Situated a short distance east of the Nile, the ancient pyramids of Meroe are an important burial ground of thirty kings, eight queens and three princes of the Kingdom of Cush who reigned during the Afro-Egyptian Meroitic period roughly between 300BC and 300AD. Meroe became the prosperous capital of the Kingdom after the sack of Napata around 590BC. The place was well known to the Greek Philosopher, Herodote, who lived in 400BC; it was also known to the Romans and given a mention in the Bible. Knowing that the personal belongings of Kings and Queens were hidden near the top of the pyramid in which they were buried, an Italian, Ferlini, destroyed the tops of these pyramids in the middle of the nineteenth century in his search for treasure. The artefacts he found were sold to the Berlin Museum.