Ancient Egypt had powerful Sudan rival, British Museum dig shows





The Second Kushite Kingdom controlled the whole Nile valley from Khartoum to the Mediterranean from 720BC to 660BC.

Now archaeologists have discovered that a region of northern Sudan once considered a forgotten backwater once actually "a real power-base".

They discovered a ruined pyramid containing fine gold jewellery dating from about 700BC on a remote un-navigable 100-mile stretch of the Nile known as the Fourth Cataract, plus pottery from as far away as Turkey.

Other finds included numerous examples of ancient rock art and 'musical' rocks that were tapped to create a melodic sound.

They only made the discoveries after being invited by the Sudanese authorities to help excavate part of the Merowe region, which is soon to be flooded by a large hydro-electric dam. More than 10,000 sites were found.

Historians had written off the area as being of little archaeological interest.



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