Matt is a photojournalist and archaeologist based between Jackson Hole and Boston. Working alongside field researchers and nonprofit organizations, he currently writes and photographs articles related to culture, history, and conservation for...
Lightpainting of a pyramid of an unknown king at the royal Kushite necropolis of Meroë. This cemetary, used between 350BC to 300AD, contains over fifty pyramids and served as the necropolis for the capital city. The pyramids are a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Kingdom of Kush flourished in modern day Nubia between 2000 BC - 350 AD, successfully invading Egypt during the 25th Dynasty and establishing a line of influential kings and queens who ruled along the Nile.
The Egyptian Temple of Soleb, built by Amenhotep III (ca. 1390–1352 B.C.) in honor of Amun-Re. The complex bears a strong resemblance to Luxor Temple and was possibly designed and built by the same architect.
Kushite pyramids near the base of Jebel Barkal and the modern day town of Karima. These pyramids date to the Meroitic Period (c. 270 BC - 350 AD) when some royal figures requested to be buried below the sacred mountain in place of the royal necropolis at Meroë.
Jebel Barkal holds a significant place in Nubian and Egyptian religion as the birthplace of the god Amun. The area was also home to Napata, the first formal capital of the Kingdom of Kush between 900 to 270 BC.
Sudanese students relax and play on sand dunes amongst the Pyramids of Meroe. The Kushite kings and warrior queens played a major role in the 2019 revolution, and sites like Meroe are now seeing a increase in local visitation.
Cover spread of the September 2020 issue of Smithsonian Magazine
In The Land of Kush
Updated Apr 2022
Archaeology, Conservation, Culture, Culture stories, Desert, Dictatorship, Documentary, Editorial, Ethnic minorities, Historical, History, Hope, Iconic places, Islam, Journalism, Nubia, Photography, Photojournalism, Pyramids, Revolution, Social justice, Sudan, Sudanese revolution, Travel, World heritage, World history
The Nubian region of northern Sudan was once home to the Kushite Kingdom, an African power that ruled between 2,600 BC - 350 AD. The Kushites established the largest bronze age cities in Africa outside of Egypt, constructed over 200 pyramids, and conquered Egypt to establish the 25th Dynasty in 744 BC. Despite its vast achievements, the Kingdom of Kush remains little known to most people. As Sudan begins to open its doors to the world following the 2019 revolution, they hope that their spectacular past will help guide them towards a vibrant future. This story ran as the cover article for the September 2020 issue of Smithsonian Magazine.