On the Nile River south of the 3rd Cataract, the city of Kerma was the main centre of the Kingdom of Kush. A civilisation developed here before the Egyptians conquered them in 1.550 B.C. Kerma is considered one of the oldest inhabited towns in Africa and a place of immense historical importance.
The area was occupied for at least 10,000 years, but the town reached its peak around the period of 1800 BC to 1600 BC, when it became the capital of the Kingdom of Kush and an important trading centre during the time of Egypt's Middle Kingdom.
During this period the Nubian kings built two monumental mud-brick temples, known as deffufa. The word descends from the Nubian term for a mud-brick building.
A boundary wall surrounds the Deffufa. Although their religious significance cannot be doubted, their precise function has not been determined, but their architecture is unparalleled in the ancient world, and their importance is comparable to that of the Ziggurat and the people of Sumer.
So far three Deffufas have been discovered; the Western Deffufa, the largest and the best preserved, was built of thick mud-brick walls to provide a cooler temperature in the hot climate. The mud structure comprises three stories and stretches over an area of 15,070 sq feet and is about 18 meters in height.
North of Kerma, is the ancient Egyptian rock inscription known as The Tombos Stella is found in the area of Tombos (Nubia), dating to the second year in the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose, and is also well worth a detour.