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Nuri is a place in modern Sudan on the south (east) side of the Nile. Close to it, there are pyramids belonging to Nubian kings. Nuri is situated about 15 km north of Sanam, and 10 km from Jebel Barkal. All these remains belonged to the ancient city Napata, the first capital of the Nubian kingdom of Kush.

File:Napata english2.jpg
Map of Jebel Barkal and Nuri

The earliest pyramid (Nu. 1) at Nuri belongs to king Taharqa which measures 51.75 metres square by 40 or by 50 metres high.[citation needed] His successor Tantamani was buried in el-Kurru, but all following Nubian kings and many of their wives till Nastasen (Nu. 15) (about 330 BC) were buried here.[1] The pyramids at Nuri are in general smaller than the Egyptian ones and are today often heavily destroyed, but they often still contained substantial parts of the funerary equipment of the Kushite rulers who were buried here. During the Christian era, a church was erected here.[2] The church was built of many old stones, including several stelae originally coming from the pyramids.

The pyramids were systematically excavated by George Reisner.

The pyramids of Nuri together with other buildings in the region around Gebel Barkal have been placed on the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage sites since 2003.[3]

Tombs at Nuri

See List of monarchs of Kush for more information.
View of the pyramids
File:Sudan Nuri Pyramids 2012a.jpg
A man walks among the pyramids

The royal family of Kush was buried in the cemeteries of Nuri and el-Kurru.[4]

The pyramids of Nuri are built on two separate plateaus. The highest point in the cemetery is taken up by Taharqa's pyramid on the western plateau. The pyramids of the other kings are located on the eastern plateau. The pyramids of the royal women are placed closer to Taharqa's pyramid on the western plateau. These pyramids fall into three groups: (1) A group of pyramids is located to the south and west of Taharqa's pyramid; (2) Two parallel rows are located to the north of Taharqa's pyramid; (3) A group of very small tombs is located to the far north.
The King's Mothers were buried in the southern group, but this is not an area exclusively used for the burial of King's Mothers. Most of the King's Wives were buried in the parallel rows just north of Taharqa's tomb. The tombs to the far north were much smaller and may have been built for wives of lesser rank.[5]


  1. Compare the list in Derek A. Welsby: The Kingdom of Kush. British Museum Press, London 1996, pp. 207-208 ISBN 0-7141-0986-X
  2. Dunham, The Royal Cemeteries of Kush II, Nuri, fig. 216
  3. Gebel Barkal and the Sites of the Napatan Region at
  4. Dows Dunham and M. F. Laming Macadam, "Names and Relationships of the Royal Family of Napata", The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 35 (December 1949), pp. 139-149
  5. Angelika Lohwasser, "Queenship in Kush: Status, Role and Ideology of Royal Women", Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. 38 (2001), pp. 61-76


  • Dows Dunham. The Royal Cemeteries of Kush II, Nuri, Boston (Mass.): Museum of Fine Arts, 1955.

External links

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