Amazing Pyramids That Aren’t From Egypt

While Egypt has a ton of amazing pyramids, they haven't entirely cornered the market. We bring you the best outside of the land of pharaohs.
Meroe Pyramids Sunset

The Meroe Pyramids at dusk Source: 500PX

When most people think of pyramids, their minds instantly go to Egypt. After all, all of the most famous pyramids are located there. However, Egypt does not corner the market completely. These ancient structures have been built all over the world and there are some astonishing examples that can be found in Asia, America and even Europe.

Amazing Pyramids: Nubian Pyramids

Amazing Pyramids Sudan Meroe

Pyramids of Meroe Source: World All Details

For starters, we aren’t traveling very far from Egypt. In fact, we are just visiting its southern neighbor, Sudan. Back when this region was known as Nubia, it was ruled over by the Kingdom of Kush. While the Kushite Kingdoms ruled, they centered their capital in three different locations: Kerma, Napata and Meroe. They’ve also built pyramids in each area.

Amazing Pyramids Sudan Kurru

Pyramids at the cemetery of el-Kurru Source: Narmar

Over a period of approximately 3000 years between 2600 BC and 300 AD, over 250 pyramids were built in these three capital cities. Like the Egyptian pyramids, these were used as burial chambers for the Nubian rulers and their families. The royal cemetery at El-Kurru is arguably the most famous location. It is the resting place of noteworthy rulers such as Kashta, Shabaka and Piye.

It is pretty easy to distinguish between Egyptian and Nubian pyramids. Although the latter were often as tall as Egyptian pyramids, they had a much smaller foundation. This led to the creation of pyramids that were very tall and narrow.

Amazing Pyramids: Aztec Pyramids

Amazing Pyramids Aztec Moon

Full view of the Pyramid of the Moon Source: Panoramio

The pyramids in South America have become pretty well-known in their own right. Many ancient civilizations such as the Aztec and the Maya have built very large and impressive structures throughout what is now Mexico. Tourism in these areas has boomed over the last few years. A lot of the credit goes to the notorious Mayan calendar which some claimed that it predicted the end of the world.

Amazing Pyramids Aztec Sun

Entrance to the Pyramid of the Sun Source: Wikimedia Commons

These ancient structures don’t need any kind of extra publicity because they are quite astonishing on their own. The Aztecs built their greatest pyramids in the ancient city of Teotihuacan. Here is where you can find the Pyramid of the Sun, the largest Aztec pyramid in the world (third largest overall). However, at a height of just 233 ft, it is about half as tall as the Pyramid of Giza. This is because the design of Aztec pyramids is quite different. They have a very large foundation (Pyramid of the Sun has a base perimeter of almost 3,000 feet), but they are not very tall.

Amazing Pyramids Tepozteco

This small pyramid at El Tepozteco was dedicated to the Aztec god Tepoztecatl Source: Blogspot

The Pyramid of the Sun is relatively young since construction began around 100 AD. Right next to it is an older structure called Pyramid of the Moon which was built sometime between 200 and 450 AD. It is slightly smaller than the Pyramid of the Sun and has the same wide base design.

Amazing Pyramids Small Aztec

Pyramid of the Sun surrounded by much smaller pyramids Source: University of Wisconsin

Radu Alexander
Radu Alexander
Radu is a freelance writer who specializes in historical, scientific and offbeat topics.
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