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It’s a well-known fact that structures known today as pyramids were brought to the public’s attention through Egypt’s iconic monuments. Nonetheless, there have been many pyramid discoveries in other parts of the continent as well as the rest of the world.
Among the most recent is in Algeria, specifically in the Tiaret province located west of Algiers. A report on Al Arabiya stated that archaeologists are still in the process of uncovering the entire expanse of the site, but so far they’ve declared that the area has over a dozen pyramids and ancient shrines.
The biggest pyramid uncovered as of late is similar in size to the ones in Giza, albeit the shape is different. It’s circular as opposed to the more popular pyramids which were constructed with a square base.
What’s more intriguing, however, are the stories behind the ancient structures. As indicated in our previous report headlined ‘Little Known Facts About Africa’, Algeria is now the largest country in the continent. The size of Ancient Algeria was not much different. It has been home to several empires and civilisations such as Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Numidians and of course, the Romans.
The newly discovered pyramids have been dated back to the time of the Numidians. According to Azzeddine Mihoubi, the nation’s Culture Minister, the largest one was built for Cleopatra Selene or Cleopatra VIII who was the wife of the Numidian King, Juba.
Cleopatra Selene is not to be confused with her mother, Cleopatra VII, the pharaoh now known mononymously as Cleopatra. The latter is the figure often seen in modern portrayals of Egyptian-themed films such as the self-titled Cleopatra (1963) starring Elizabeth Taylor or games similar to the Cleopatra slots on the digital portal Slingo for example. Most people are familiar with the character without knowing that she had a daughter who was bestowed with the same name, as it was a common ancient custom. But although Cleopatra Selene was not as iconic as her mother, she was still powerful and influential during her time so much so that King Juba bent to her will.
Before accepting his marriage proposal, Cleopatra Selene requested that King Juba’s land should have a river like the Nile as well as pyramids like those in Egypt. The King made it happen by lining the banks of Wazafran River in Algeria with the same species of plants that grow around the Nile. Needless to say, the second demand was also met.
But the large pyramid would not be built until after Cleopatra Selene’s passing. King Juba honoured his wife’s memory by constructing a structure comparable to the Great Pyramids of Giza. But the King wanted to create his own legacy as well, so he changed the shape as mentioned earlier.
With a country as large as Algeria, scientists and historians are positive that there are more fascinating ancient sites, relics and other items waiting to be unearthed. Stay tuned for more news about such discoveries within our massive continent.