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The Western Deffufa, once the centre of the city of Kerma, pictured on Friday, March 23, 2007. Kerma was the seat of the first independent kingdom of Kush and the Western Deffufa dates from the earliest Kushite period putting it at over 3,500 years old. Deffufa is a Nubian term meaning mud-brick building and the Western Deffufa is the largest and possibly oldest structure in sub-Saharan Africa...The ancient kingdom of Kush emerged around 2000 BC in the land of Nubia, what is today northern Sudan. At their height the Nubians ruled over ancient Egypt as the 25th Dynasty between 720 BC and 664 BC (known as the Black Pharaohs) and saw their borders reach to edges of Libya and Palestine. The Kushite kings saw themselves as guardians of Egyptian religion and tradition. They centered there kindgom on the Temple of Amun at Napata (modern day Jebel Barkal) and brought back the building of Pyramids in which to inter their kings - there are around 220 pyramids in Sudan, twice the number in Egypt. After Napata was sacked, by a resurgent Egypt, the capital was moved to Meroe where a more indigenous culture developed, Egyptian hieroglyphics made way for a cursive Meroitic script, yet to be deciphered. The Meroitic kingdom eventually fell into decline in the 3rd century AD with the arrival of Christianity.