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Sudan floods threaten 700 BC archaeological sites 

People carry their belongings on a submerged area in Khartoum on August 03, 2020 [Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency]
People carry their belongings on a submerged area in Khartoum on August 03, 2020 [Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency]

The Sudanese floods are posing a significant threat to important archaeological sites dating back to 700 BC.

A Sudanese official confirmed: “The severe floods now in Sudan threaten two archaeological sites that contain Meroë and Nuri royal pyramids, which are among the most important sites in the country.”

Hatem Ennoor, head of the General Authority of Sites and Museums in Sudan, asserted that: “The royal bath in Meroë, a pool that fills up each year during the Flooding of the Nile, is at risk because of the unprecedented levels of water. Teams are at work since Monday to protect the site from drowning. Meroë is at Nile’s Eastern bank, 200 kilometres northeast capital Khartoum.”

READ: Sudan launches emergency appeal for flood relief 

Meroë was the capital of the Kush Family that ruled in early 600 BC. Ennoor added that: “The tombs residing seven to ten metres under the Meroë pyramids, 350 kilometres northern Khartoum, have been damaged because the groundwater level increased.”

The city of Meroë includes the cemetery of the Pharaoh Taharqa who ruled what is now Egypt and Sudan in 700 BC. Ennoor insisted that the cemetery is a “priceless archaeological site”. As in Egypt, royal family members were buried under the pyramids.

Floods in Sudan resulted in the deaths of no less than 102 persons and the collapse of tens of thousands of houses according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The authorities declared a state of emergency for a three-month period.

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