Sudan - Meroe, Royal Necropolis
It was on the morning of April 25, 1821 that Frédéric Cailliaud first saw "a host of pyramids." In his letters to M. Jomard of the Academy at Paris, he wrote: “In my preceding letters I gave you an account of the discovery of a great number of pyramids; I have since been enabled to measure 45 of them. We also found tracks of a city, the ruins of one large and two smaller temples, and six lion sphinxes of sandstone. Later discoveries confirmed my conjecture that this must be the site of Meroe, and that the peninsula between Bruce’s Nile and the river Atbara, must be the real island of Meroe of the ancient […] All the pyramids stand accurately according to the four cardinal points, and each of them, with the exception of only one, contains a small sanctuary on the east side”. Mr Cailliaud did a meticulous research on the site of Meroe. He accurately drew and described all his findings in his book A Trip to Meroe on the White River, which he published in 1826.
190 years after the findings of Cailliaud, the Island of Meroe has been declared World Heritage site by Unesco. Thus becoming the second listed site in Sudan after Jebel Barkal, in Karima. The Island of Meroe was the heartland of the Kingdom of Kush, a major power from the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. The property consists of the royal city of the Kushite kings at Meroe, near the River Nile, and the nearby religious sites of Naqa and Musawwarat es Sufra. These were the seats of the rulers who occupied Egypt for close to a century and feature, among other vestiges, pyramids, temples and domestic buildings as well as major installations connected to water management. Their vast empire extended from the Mediterranean to the heart of Africa, and the sites testify the exchange between the art, architectures, religions and languages of both regions. The term 'Island of Meroe' comes from classical sources, from Greek and Roman explorers that considered Meroe an island due to its position between the Nile and the Atbara River.
Atlas Reizen is more than happy to help you discover these wonderful and suggestive sites in complete comfort, giving you the chance of capturing the charming atmosphere of this still unknown country. Contact us for a personal meeting and your individual voyage to Sudan.