The museum constructed in 1955 and established as a museum in 1971. The building and its surrounding gardens house the largest and most comprehensive Nubian archaeological collection in the world including objects from the Paleolithic period.
National Museum of Sudan houses collections of these periods of the History of Sudan: Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, A-Group culture, C-Group culture, Kerma Culture, Middle Kingdom of Egypt, New Kingdom of Egypt, Napata, Meroë, X-Group culture and medieval Makuria.
One of the most important exhibits of the museum is the statue of Taharqo. A 4-meter high granite statue of Pharaoh Taharqo, penultimate Pharaoh of the 25th dynasty. The statue was broken by the Egyptians upon sacking Napata in 591 BCE under the reign of Psamtik II, then buried in a pit by kushite priests and found by George Reisner in 1916.
In the museum garden are some rebuilt temples and tombs relocated from the submerged area of Lake Nasser. Τhe temples and tombs were re-erected in the museum garden according to the same orientation of their original location surrounding an artificial strip of water symbolic of the Nile.