A team of archaeologists has discovered a huge ancient gold
processing centre and a graveyard along the River Nile in modern
They were part of the Kingdom of Kush, or Nubia, which lasted
from 785 BC to around AD 350.
The scholars say the finds show the empire was much bigger than
previously thought and rivalled Ancient Egypt.
The archaeologists are racing to dig up the Hosh el-Geruf area,
some 225 miles from the capital, Khartoum, before the Merowe dam
floods the area in 2008.
The dam is due to create a lake a hundred miles long and two
miles wide, forcing some 50,000 people from their homes.
"Nubia was renowned for its gold deposits," said Geoff Emberling,
from the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute, according to
National Geographic News.
"Even today, panning for gold is a traditional activity in the
area," said his colleague, Bruce Williams.