For further reading: A bibliography and resource list for the pyramids at Meroe

It might be useful to gather in one place the sources that I have found online for the pyramids at Meroe.  Doubtless some of the links will prove ephemeral; but corrections are welcome in the comments, however late.  The material here is not up to date – the most recent from the 1950s – but I can only work from what I can find online.

Note that all my posts on Meroe may be found here, and I have excerpted or translated material from what follows in them.


  • G. A. Reisner, “The Meroitic Kingdom of Ethiopia: A Chronological Outline”, in: Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 9 (1923), p. 34-77.  Online at JSTOR here, but it is not open-access.

This is perhaps the single most important article, for anyone interested in the pyramids of Kush: i.e. of Napata and Meroe.  It assigns the Reisner numbers to the pyramids, which are used today.  It also establishes the date-order of the pyramids, and gives a list of royal pyramids in date order with their rulers (p.75-8), thereby establishing a list of kings for Napata and Meroe.  It also contains detailed maps of all the pyramids and pyramid fields, photographs of treasure from various of them, and other photographs.

  • G. Reisner, “The Pyramids of Meroe and the Candaces of Ethiopia”, in: Museum of Fine Arts Bulletin vol. 21, no. 124, 1923, p.11-27.  Online here (originally at the MFA, but no longer).

Much less important article, but … online and accessible.  Useful photographs, and discussion of who the “Candace”s were – the title is for a Queen.  (Note that the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has a lot of items on its website, some online.  Search for Meroe.)

  • S. E. Chapman and D. Dunham, “Decorated chapels of the Meroitic pyramids at Meroe and Barkal”, in: The Royal Cemeteries of Kush III, Boston, 1952.  50 pages. Online here (PDF).

This is another important article, with loads of plates, and a complete list of all the royal pyramid tombs in the six Kushite cemeteries, including the Meroe North.  Plate 1 is a map of the Meroe North pyramid field, with Reisner’s and Lepsius’ codes for each pyramid.  It also discusses the early visitors to the site, and mentions unpublished papers!

B. Porter and R. Moss, Topographical Bibliography of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic texts, reliefs and paintings. – VII. Nubia, The Deserts and Outside Egypt. Oxford: Griffith Institute, 1952.  Online here.  Meroe starts on p.235, with biblio; then p.241-3 has real scholarly bibliography, including unpublished manuscripts of material, plus a map of the pyramid field with the Reisner numbers.  This is then followed by an entry for each pyramid in turn, with finds, and bibliography.  Massive and exhaustive.


Early Travellers

  • F. Caillaud, Voyage à Méroé au fleuve Blanc fait dans les années 1819 à 1822, Paris (text in 4 vols: 1826-7; plates in 2 vols: 1823).  Plates: here and here.  See my blog posts here and here.

  • G. Ferlini, Relation historique des fouilles opérées dans la Nubie par le Docteur Ferlini : suivie d’un catalogue des objets qu’il a trouvés dans l’une des 47 pyramides aux environs de l’ancienne ville de Méroé , Rome (1838).  Online at the Bavarian State Library here.  See my blog post here.

  • G. A. Hoskins, Travels in Ethiopia, Above the Second Cataract of the Nile, London, 1835.  Online here.  Includes 90 illustrations.

  • K. Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien, 12 vols, 1849-59.  All online here.  See my blog post here.

I hope that this will be useful to others who learn of the pyramids of Meroe, as I have done, and wonder how to learn more.

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