El-Kurru is located south of Jebel Barkal, 20km south of modern Kareima. It is the northern most of the early Kushite royal burial grounds containing over 20 royalburials. The earliest known are ancestral tombs that predate the Kushite kingdom. Through time, the tomb structures developed from simple mounds with rounded enclosure walls to rectangular tomb structures with rectangular walls and small mortuary chapels. Some of the later tombs were covered with pyramids and belong to the rulers Piankhy (747-716 BC), Shabaqo (716-702 BC), and Tanwetamani (664-653 BC). Their burial chambers were dug deeply in the sandstone substratum and accessed by stairways.