Ancient Sudan /
Other spelling: Kermah
It relates also to the Kingdom of Kerma, lasting from around 2500 to 1500 BCE. This is also identified as Kingdom of Cush.
Kerma thrived from gold excavated in the Eastern desert. There was also cattle pastoralism as well as trade along the Nile.
Among the main structures from the Kerma culture are the two huge mud-brick structures known as deffufa, dating from the 17th century BCE. The Western Deffufa is about 50 by 25 metres, and 18 metres high. It must have served as a temple, with a shrine on its roof.
The Eastern Deffufa is 2 km away and is slightly shorter but just as high. It must have served as a funerary chapel, as its surroundings contain about 30,000 graves.
Rulers at Kerma built multi-roomed tombs. They were placed on their final rest on beds, surrounded by hundreds of servants who were ritually sacrificed to follow the king into the afterlife.
Pottery, important for differentiating cultures and establishing dates, is at Kerma highly polished and usually in red and black. There is also much Egyptian and Hyksos pottery, indicating a rich trade.
The Kerma culture has occasionally been defined as part of Egyptian culture, but it appears to be local and largely independent. The people living here are ancestors of the Nubians, a Nilotic people. The region is probably what the Egyptians referred to as Yam.
The site of Kerma includes both an extensive town and a cemetery consisting of large tumuli.