Unlike Egyptian Pyramids, the Kushite was a solid monument lacking any internal chambers. It was erected over top of the deceased's burial chamber or chambers to serve as a memorial monument, but the two were structurally independent. Its side is steeper than those of Egyptian pyramids, usually constructed at an angle between 60-65 degrees and the maximum height reached is about 30m. Today, the best preserved pyramids may be found at Jebel Barkal though they are also found at many other sites including Nuri and Meroe. Members of the Kushite royal family as well as the elite of society could have a pyramid and chapel constructed for them.
The construction sequence of a royal tomb would normally be as follows:
1. During the lifetime of the ruler, a burial place was selected and a staircase was cut from the east descending into the ground or slope of a jebel. The burial chambers were hewn out of the rock, five to ten meters below ground at the button of this descendary. A queen's tomb considered of two chambers while a king's tomb had three chambers.
2. After the
This wealth and power were display in the royal tombs of the kerma kings and in those of the nobility as may be demonstrated by the large number of associated cattle sacrifices. One tomb, perhaps of a king of the Middle Kerma period (2050-1750c) consisted of a grave 11.7m in diameter and 2m deep, covered by amount that reached 25m across. More than 4,000 cattle bucrania were arranged in a crescent shape on the south side of the mound. The tombs of the later kerma kings were even more impressive. From 1700BC, the kingdom of Kush was the most powerful state in the Nile Valley. Buried under mounds up to 90m in diameter, these rulers were accompanied to their deaths by as many as 400 sacrifice humans; amongst home may have been members of the king's family retainers and prisoners of war, though their identifies remain uncertain.