A diver is getting ready to plunge into the unappealing water in front of her. Above her rises a pyramid, a monument to a long-lost king. For here in the broiling north of Sudan, deep in the desert, lie the remains of a kingdom that once held sway over vast swathes of northern Africa.
The man whose tomb lies beneath this pyramid was called Nastasen. He was a pharaoh of Nubia buried here more than 2,000 years ago. Now the diver, 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.