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Ferlini raided the Meroe pyramids in 1834.

Giuseppe Ferlini (1800–1870), of Bologna, Italy, was an Italian doctor turned explorer and archaeologist who destroyed over 40 pyramids in a quest for treasure in the 1820s in Egypt and Sudan. He served as surgeon the Egyptian army, occupying Sudan. While the army stayed at Khartoum and Sennar, he went in 1834 to Meroë and destroyed many pyramids there and in Wad ban Naqa while searching for treasures. He found only one cache of gold. He tried to sell it to several European museums, but at this time nobody believed that such high quality jewellery could be made in Black Africa. His finds were finally sold, and remain at the museums in Munich and Berlin.

The Sudanese do not fondly remember this infamous rogue archaeologist. According to "Dark Star Safari" by Paul Theroux, Ferlini dynamited the tops of many of the Meroë pyramids, marring the formerly pristine relics and making off with the artifacts. Of particular note was the leveling of Pyramid N 6 of the kandake Amanishakheto.



  • Warren R. Dawson, Eric P. Uphill: Who was Who in Egyptology, London 1995, S. 150

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