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35 Ancient Pyramids Discovered in Sudan

Feb 07, 2013 02:21 AM EST

Thirty five pyramids, dating back around 2,000 years, have been discovered at a site called Sedeinga in Sudan.

A team of researchers led by Vincent Francigny, a research associate with the American Museum of Natural History, found the pyramids along with graves, between the years 2009 and 2012, reports LiveScience.

The pyramids were built when the ancient kingdom of Kush was flourishing in Sudan. The kingdom shared a border with Egypt, and the pyramids were apparently influenced by the burial practices of Egypt.

The pyramids are clustered together at the Sedeinga site, located on the left bank of the river Nile in Sudan. In 2011, the research team found at least 13 pyramids packed into a 5,381 square feet area. That's slightly larger than an NBA basketball court. "The density of the pyramids is huge," Francigny told LiveScience. "Because it lasted for hundreds of years they built more, more, more pyramids and after centuries they started to fill all the spaces that were still available in the necropolis."

While the biggest pyramids discovered are about 22 feet (7 meters) wide at their base, the smallest ones are just 30 inches (750 millimeters) long. Pyramid building at the Sedeinga site continued for centuries, until they ran out of room to build more pyramids. "They reached a point where it was so filled with people and graves that they had to reuse the oldest one," Francigny said.

Francigny and his team also found skeletal remains and some artifacts beside the pyramids. Interestingly, they found an offering table near the skeletal remains possibly of a grandmother. The offering table had an inscription written in Meroitic language. It was a final send-off for the grandmother, who was given a pyramid burial 2,000 years ago, the LiveScience report said. 

The research team is planning to continue their work at Sedeinga throughout 2013. 

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