Sat, May 05, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Sudan archaeologists unearth bones in pyramid for DNA testing
蘇丹金字塔骨骸 考古學家將進行DNA鑑定

This picture taken on April 24, shows Meroitic pyramids at the archaeological site of Begraweya, about 250km north of Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.

Photo: AFP

Archaeologists in Sudan have reopened an ancient pyramid and extracted bones and artifacts, in order to carry out further examinations including DNA tests.

The items were found in one of three burial chambers in pyramid No. 9 in Begraweya on the Island of Meroe. Located on the east bank of the Nile, the Island of Meroe used to be the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Kush in the Nubia region. It is now listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, where Kush kings and queens from the Meroitic Period are believed to be buried.

Named after the nearest village “Begraweya,” the site is home to a group of pyramids famous for the unique construction style of narrow bases and steep angles on the sides, ranging from six meters to 30m tall.

“Pyramid No. 9 belongs to King Khalmani (Adikhalamani) who reigned between 207 BC and 186 BC,” Mahmoud Suleiman, the head of a team of archaeologists, told journalists in Begraweya, about 250km north of Khartoum, the capital and largest city of Sudan, last Tuesday.

The bones so far discovered are believed to have belonged to more than one person and have been shown to journalists by the team of archaeologists in Begraweya. DNA tests should shed light on the relation between the bones, while further items are expected to be recovered from another of the pyramid’s chambers, the team said.

“In the coming days we will open [another of the three burial chambers],” said Murtada Bushara, another archaeologist from the team. This chamber “contains a coffin,” Bushara added. The dig is raising hopes that the remains of King Adikhalamani himself may be uncovered.

This is not the first time the pyramid has been the site of significant activity. American archaeologist George Reisner presided over a dig in 1923 and took artifacts back to Boston.

Sudan’s remote pyramids are not as grand as their better-known cousins in Egypt. The first archaeological digs in Sudan took place only about 100 years ago, much later than in Egypt or Greece.











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