Owen Jarus
LiveScience
Wed, 06 Feb 2013 10:01 CST
Sudan Pyramid_1

© Vincent Francigny/SEDAU
Among the discoveries are pyramids with a circle built inside them, cross-braces connecting the circle to the corners of the pyramid. Outside of Sedeinga only one pyramid is known to have been built in this way.

At least 35 small pyramids, along with graves, have been discovered clustered closely together at a site called Sedeinga in Sudan.

Discovered between 2009 and 2012, researchers are surprised at how densely the pyramids are concentrated. In one field season alone, in 2011, the research team discovered 13 pyramids packed into roughly 5,381 square feet (500 square meters), or slightly larger than an NBA basketball court.

They date back around 2,000 years to a time when a kingdom named Kush flourished in Sudan. Kush shared a border with Egypt and, later on, the Roman Empire. The desire of the kingdom’s people to build pyramids was apparently influenced by Egyptian funerary architecture.

At Sedeinga, researchers say, pyramid building continued for centuries. “The density of the pyramids is huge,” said researcher Vincent Francigny, a research associate with the American Museum of Natural History in New York, in an interview with 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.”

Sudan Pyramid_2

© B-N Chagny, SEDAU/SFDAS
This aerial photo shows a series of pyramids and graves that a team of archaeologists has been exploring at Sedeinga in Sudan. Since 2009 they have discovered at least 35 small pyramids at the site, the largest being 22 feet (7 meters) in width.
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