Meroe is the name of an ancient city on the east bank of the river Nile in modern Sudan. The Meroitic Kingdom, with its capital at Meroe, flourished between the 3rd century BC and the 3rd century AD. It was heavily influenced by Egyptian culture, especially in art and religion. The kingdom of Meroe developed from the kingdom of Napata, which had formed the 25th Dynasty in Egypt. The Napatan culture had been completely Egyptian, but with its withdrawal up the Nile new African elements developed. The kingdom of Meroe proper, a stable, well-organised African state, dates from about 270 BC, when the royal cemetery was moved from Napata to Meroe. Contacts with Egypt were close throughout the period. The majority of the Meroitic gods were very similar to Egyptian deities, but some were new. Much of the city of Meroe is as yet unexcavated, including the mounds of slag and debris from iron smelting, for which Meroe was famous.