Although the water looks unappealing, Kristin Romey prepares herself to plunge into the depths – and right above her head, there’s a big clue as to why she is putting herself through this ordeal. In this part of the broiling north of Sudan, you see, there’s a pyramid – a monument to a long-lost monarch that hints at a kingdom that once held sway over vast swathes of northern Africa. And when Romey and her colleague reach their destination, what they find is truly astonishing.
The pair know where they should be heading, too. A man’s tomb lies beneath this pyramid, although he wasn’t just any man; Nastasen was once a pharaoh of Nubia, and he was buried here more than 2,000 years ago. Now Romey – a trained archaeologist – moves down a stairway etched into the rock. All she has for air, should there be an emergency, is a tiny canister.