HOME

TheInfoList




Nubia () (
Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubian") and literally means "(language) of the Nubian ...
: Nobīn, ) is a region along the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
river encompassing the area between the
first cataract of the Nile The Cataracts of the Nile are shallow lengths (or whitewater rapids) of the Nile River, between Khartoum and Aswan, where the surface of the water is broken by many small boulders and stones jutting out of the river bed, as well as many rocky i ...
(just south of
Aswan Aswan (, also ; ar, أسوان, ʾAswān ; cop, Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ, Souan ) is a city in the south of Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast ...

Aswan
in southern
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
) and the confluence of the
Blue Blue is one of the three of pigments in painting and traditional , as well as in the . It lies between and on the of . The eye perceives blue when observing light with a between approximately 450 and 495 s. Most blues contain a slight mix ...

Blue
and
White White is the lightest color and is achromatic (having no hue). It is the color of snow, chalk, and milk, and is the opposite of black. White objects fully diffuse reflection, reflect and scattering, scatter all the visible spectrum, visible wa ...

White
Niles (in
Khartoum Khartoum or Khartum ( ; ar, الخرطوم, Al-Khurṭūm) is the capital of Sudan Sudan (; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a ...

Khartoum
in central
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A ...

Sudan
), or more strictly, Al Dabbah. It was the seat of one of the earliest
civilizations A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification Social stratification refers to a society's categorization Categorization is the human ability and activity of r ...

civilizations
of
ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0
"History"
from ...

ancient
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of i ...

Africa
, the
Kerma culture The Kerma culture or Kerma kingdom was an early civilization centered in Kerma, Sudan. It flourished from around 2500 BC to 1500 BC in ancient Nubia. The Kerma culture was based in the southern part of Nubia, or "Upper Nubia" (in parts of present-d ...
, which lasted from around 2500 BC until its conquest by the
New Kingdom of Egypt New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz (South Korean band), The Boyz Albums and EPs * New (album), ''New'' (album), by Paul McCartne ...
under
Pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. ...

Pharaoh
Thutmose I Thutmose I (sometimes read as Thutmosis or Tuthmosis I, Thothmes in older history works in Latinized Greek; Ancient Egyptian Ancient Egypt was a civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is charac ...

Thutmose I
around 1500 BC, whose heirs ruled most of Nubia for the next 400 years. Nubia was home to several
empires An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and w ...
, most prominently the
Kingdom of Kush The Kingdom of Kush (; : 𓎡𓄿𓈙 ''kꜣš'', : ''Ku-u-si'', in grc, Κυς and Κυσι; cop, ; he, כּוּשׁ) was an ancient kingdom in , centered along the in what is now northern and southern . The region of Nubia was an ea ...
, which conquered Egypt in eighth-century BC during the reign of
Piye Piye (once transliterated as Pankhy or Piankhi; d. 714 BC) was an ancient Kingdom of Kush, Kushite king and founder of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, who ruled Egypt from 744–714 BC. He ruled from the city of Napata, located deep in Nubia, ...
and ruled the country as its
25th Dynasty The Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XXV, alternatively 25th Dynasty or Dynasty 25), also known as the Nubian Dynasty, the Kushite Empire and the Black Pharaohs, was the last dynasty of the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt T ...
(to be replaced a century later by the native Egyptian
26th Dynasty#REDIRECT Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt The Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XXVI, alternatively 26th Dynasty or Dynasty 26) was the last native dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford Engl ...
). From the 3rd century BC to 3rd century AD, northern Nubia would be invaded and annexed to Egypt, ruled by the
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has cer ...
and
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...

Romans
. This territory would be known in the Greco-Roman world as Dodekaschoinos. Kush's collapse in the fourth century AD was preceded by an invasion from
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea and Djibouti to the north, Somaliland to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the sout ...

Ethiopia
's
Kingdom of Aksum The Kingdom of Aksum ( gez, መንግሥተ አኵስም), also known as the Kingdom of Axum or the Aksumite Empire, was an ancient kingdom, from the 2nd to the 10th century, with its capital at the city of Axum Aksum or Axum (; ti, ኣኽሱ ...

Kingdom of Aksum
and the rise of three Christian kingdoms:
Nobatia Nobatia or Nobadia (; Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 ...
,
Makuria Makuria (Old Nubian Old Nubian (also called Middle Nubian or Old Nobiin) is an extinct Nubian language, attested in writing from the 8th to the 15th century AD. It is ancestral to modern-day Nobiin and closely related to Dongolawi and Kenzi. ...
and
Alodia Alodia, also known as Alwa ( grc-gre, Aρουα, ''Aroua''; ar, علوة, ''ʿAlwa''), was a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and pr ...
. Makuria and Alodia lasted for roughly a millennium. Their eventual decline started not only the partition of Nubia, which was split into the northern half conquered by the
Ottomans The Ottoman Turks or Osmanlı Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic people The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups of Central Asia, Central, East Asia, East, North Asia, North and West Asia as well as parts of Europe and ...
and the southern half by the Sennar sultanate, in the sixteenth century, but also a rapid
Islamization Islamization (also spelled Islamisation, see spelling differences; ar, أسلمة, ), Islamicization or Islamification, is the process of a society's shift towards the religion of Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in ...
and partial
Arabization Arabization Ise vs ize, or Arabisation ( ar, تعريب ') describes both the process of growing Arab influence on non-Arab populations, causing a language shift by their gradual adoption of the Arabic language and their incorporation of the cultu ...
of the
Nubian people Nubians () (Nobiin language, Nobiin: ''Nobī'') are an ethnolinguistics, ethno-linguistic group of people who are indigenous to the region which is now present-day northern Sudan and southern Egypt. They originate from the early inhabitants of ...
. Nubia was reunited with the
Khedivate of Egypt The Khedivate of Egypt (, ; ota, خدیویت مصر ') was an autonomous tributary state Ayutthaya from its vassal states in the Malay Peninsula">Ayutthaya_Kingdom.html" ;"title="Bunga mas, a form of tribute sent to the King of Ayutthaya K ...
in the nineteenth century. Today, the region of Nubia is split between Egypt and Sudan. The primarily
archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better underst ...
science dealing with ancient Nubia is called
NubiologyNubiology is the designation given to the primarily archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthr ...
.


Linguistics

The name Nubia is derived from the
NobaNoba is a term found in a number of historical sources discussing ancient and Medieval Nubia Nubia () (Nobiin language, Nobiin: Nobīn, ) is a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between the Cataracts of the Nile, first cataract of th ...

Noba
people: nomads who settled the area in fourth-century AD following the collapse of the kingdom of
Meroë Meroë (; also spelled ''Meroe''; Meroitic or ; ar, مرواه, translit=Meruwah and ar, مروي, translit=Meruwi, label=none; grc, Μερόη, translit=Meróē) was an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile The Nile ( ar, الني ...
. The Noba spoke a
Nilo-Saharan The Nilo-Saharan languages are a proposed family of African languages spoken by some 50–60 million people, mainly in the upper parts of the Chari and Nile rivers, including historic Nubia, north of where the two tributaries of the Nile meet. Th ...

Nilo-Saharan
language that is ancestral to
Old Nubian Old Nubian (also called Middle Nubian or Old Nobiin) is an extinct Nubian language, attested in writing from the 8th to the 15th century AD. It is ancestral to modern-day Nobiin and closely related to Dongolawi and Kenzi. It was used throughout ...
, which was mostly used in religious texts dating from the eighth and fifteenth centuries. Before the fourth century, and throughout
classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, ...
, Nubia was known as
Kush Kush or Cush may refer to: Bible * Cush (Bible), two people and one or more places in the Hebrew Bible Places * Kush (mountain), a mountain near Kalat, Pakistan Balochistan * Kush (satrapy), a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire * Hindu Kush, a mou ...
, or, in
Classical Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient Greek, ancient , ''Hellēnikḗ'') is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family of languages, nati ...
usage, included under the name
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea and Djibouti to the north, Somaliland to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the sout ...
(''
Aethiopia Ancient Aethiopia, ( gr, Αἰθιοπία, translit=Aithiopia; also known as Ethiopia) first appears as a geographical term in classical documents in reference to the upper Nile region, as well as certain areas south of the Sahara desert. Its ...
''). Historically, the people of Nubia spoke at least two varieties of the
Nubian language The Nubian languages ( ar, لغات نوبية : lughāt nūbīyyah) are a group of related languages spoken by the Nubians. They form a branch of the Eastern Sudanic languages, which is part of the wider Nilo-Saharan phylum. Initially, Nubian ...
group, a subfamily that includes
Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubian") and literally means "(language) of the Nubian ...
(the descendant of Old Nubian), Kenuzi-Dongola, Midob and several related varieties in the northern part of the
Nuba Mountains The Nuba Mountains, also referred to as the Nuba Hills ( ar, جبال النوبة), is an area located in South Kordofan, Sudan Sudan (; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السو ...
in South
Kordofan Kordofan ( ar, كردفان ') is a former province of central Sudan. In 1994 it was divided into three new federal states of Sudan, states: North Kordofan, South Kordofan and West Kordofan. In August 2005, West Kordofan State was abolished and i ...

Kordofan
. The Birgid language was spoken north of
Nyala The lowland nyala or simply nyala (''Tragelaphus angasii''), is a spiral-horned antelope The term antelope is used to refer to many species of even-toed ruminant Ruminants (suborder In biological classification, the order ( la, wikt:ord ...
in
Darfur Darfur ( ; ar, دار فور, Dār Fūr, lit=Realm of the Fur Fur is a thick growth of hair Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Hair is one of the defining characteristics of mammals. The hu ...

Darfur
, but has been extinct as late as 1970. However, the linguistic identity of the ancient
Kerma culture The Kerma culture or Kerma kingdom was an early civilization centered in Kerma, Sudan. It flourished from around 2500 BC to 1500 BC in ancient Nubia. The Kerma culture was based in the southern part of Nubia, or "Upper Nubia" (in parts of present-d ...
of southern and central Nubia (also known as
Upper Nubia Upper Nubia is the southernmost part of Nubia, upstream on the Nile from Lower Nubia. It is so called because the Nile flows north, so it is further upstream and of higher elevation in relation to Lower Nubia. The extension of ''Upper Nubia'' is ra ...
), is uncertain; some research suggests that it belonged to the
Cushitic The Cushitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. They are spoken primarily in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA) om, Gaafa Afrikaa, am, የአፍሪካ ቀንድ, yäafrika qänd, so, Geeska Afrika 𐒌𐒜 ...

Cushitic
branch of
Afroasiatic Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamitic, is a large language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed lang ...

Afroasiatic
languages, while more recent studies indicate that the Kerma culture belonged to the
Eastern Sudanic Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, wit ...
branch of Nilo-Saharan languages instead, and that other peoples of northern (or
Lower Lower may refer to: *Lower (surname)Lower is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: * Arthur R. M. Lower (1889–1988) Canadian historian * Britt Lower (born 1985), American actress * Cyrus B. Lower (1843–1924), American Civil War ...
) Nubia north of Kerma (such as the C-group culture and the Blemmyes) spoke Cushitic languages before the spread of Eastern Sudanic languages from southern (or Upper) Nubia.


Geography

Nubia was divided into three major regions: Upper, Middle, and Lower Nubia, in reference to their locations along the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
. "Lower" referred to regions downstream (further north) and "upper" to regions upstream (further south).
Lower NubiaLower Nubia is the northernmost part of Nubia, downstream on the Nile The Nile ( ar, النيل, an-Nīl, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin: Áman Dawū) is a major north-flowing river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually fre ...
lay between the First and the Second
Cataracts A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens A lens is a transmissive optical Optics is the branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'natur ...
within the current borders of Egypt, Middle Nubia lay between the Second and the Third Cataracts, and
Upper Nubia Upper Nubia is the southernmost part of Nubia, upstream on the Nile from Lower Nubia. It is so called because the Nile flows north, so it is further upstream and of higher elevation in relation to Lower Nubia. The extension of ''Upper Nubia'' is ra ...
lay south of the Third Cataract.


History


Prehistory (6000–3500 BC)

In prehistoric times, North Africa was mostly occupied by nomadic cattle herders. The Khartoum Mesolithic was a highly advanced culture in southern Nubia (near modern Khartoum). They created sophisticated pottery that is "perhaps the oldest known in the world". By 5000 BC, the people who inhabited what is now called Nubia participated in the
Neolithic revolution The Neolithic Revolution, or the (First) Agricultural Revolution, was the wide-scale transition of many human culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (Ameri ...
. The Sahara became drier and people began to domesticate sheep, goats, and cattle. Saharan
rock reliefs File:S10.08 Abu Simbel, image 9503.jpg, 320px, Two of the reliefs at the Abu Simbel temples, before relocation A rock relief or rock-cut relief is a relief, relief sculpture carved on solid or "living rock" such as a cliff, rather than a ...
depict scenes that have been thought to suggest the presence of a cattle cult, typical of those seen throughout parts of Eastern Africa and the Nile Valley even to this day. Nubian rock art depicts hunters using bows and arrows in the neolithic period, which is a precursor to Nubian archer culture in later times. Megaliths discovered at
Nabta Playa Nabta Playa was once a large internally drained basin in the Nubian Desert 280px, Fragment of Nubian Desert seen from space The Nubian Desert ( ar, صحراء النوبة, ''Şaḩrā’ an Nūbyah'') is in the eastern region of the Sahara Des ...
are early examples of what seems to be one of the world's first
astronomical Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Gr ...
devices, predating
Stonehenge Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, west of Amesbury. It consists of an outer ring of vertical sarsen standing stones, each around high, wide, and weighing around 25 tons, topped by connecting ho ...

Stonehenge
by almost 2,000 years. This complexity as expressed by different levels of authority within the society there likely formed the basis for the structure of both the Neolithic society at Nabta and the
Old Kingdom of Egypt In ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization ...
.


Pre-Kerma; A-Group (3500-3000 BC)


Upper Nubia

The poorly known " pre-Kerma" culture existed in Upper (Southern) Nubia on a stretch of fertile farmland just south of the
Third Cataract The Cataracts of the Nile are shallow lengths (or whitewater ( French Alps) , Central Finland between Sweden and Finland. Whitewater forms in a rapid context, in particular, when a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, ...
.


Lower Nubia

Nubia has one of the oldest civilizations in the world. This history is often intertwined with Egypt to the north. Around 3500 BC, the second "Nubian" culture, termed the Early
A-Group The A-Group culture was an ancient civilization that flourished between the First and Second Cataracts A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens (anatomy), lens of the eye that leads to a visual impairment, decrease in vision. Cataracts often deve ...
, arose in Lower (Northern) Nubia. They were sedentary agriculturalists, traded with the Egyptians, and exported gold. This trade is supported archaeologically by large amounts of Egyptian commodities deposited in the A-Group graves. The imports consisted of gold objects, copper tools,
faience Faience or faïence (; ) is the general English language term for fine tin-glazed pottery. The invention of a white Ceramic glaze, pottery glaze suitable for painted decoration, by the addition of an stannous oxide, oxide of tin to the Slip (c ...
amulets and beads, seals, slate palettes, stone vessels, and a variety of pots. During this time, the Nubians began creating distinctive black topped, red pottery. Around 3100 BC the A-group transitioned from the Early to Classical phases. "Arguably royal burials are known only at Qustul and possibly Sayala." During this period, the wealth of A-group kings rivaled Egyptian kings. Royal A-group graves contained gold and richly decorated pottery. Some scholars believe Nubian A-Group rulers and early Egyptian
pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the conte ...

pharaoh
s used related royal symbols; similarities in A-Group Nubia and Upper Egypt rock art support this position. Scholars from the University of Chicago Oriental Institute excavated at
Qustul Qustul is an archaeological cemetery A cemetery, burial ground, gravesite or graveyard is a place where the remains of dead people are burial, buried or otherwise interred. The word ''cemetery'' (from Greek language, Greek , "sleeping place" ...

Qustul
(near Abu Simbel – Modern Sudan), in 1960–64, and found artifacts which incorporated images associated with Egyptian pharaohs. Archeologist Bruce Williams studied the artifacts and concluded that "Egypt and Nubia
A-Group culture The A-Group culture was an ancient civilization that flourished between the First and Second Cataracts A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens (anatomy), lens of the eye that leads to a visual impairment, decrease in vision. Cataracts often deve ...
shared the same official culture", "participated in the most complex dynastic developments", and "Nubia and Egypt were both part of the great East African substratum". Williams also wrote that Qustul "could well have been the seat of Egypt's founding dynasty". David O'Connor wrote that the Qustul incense burner provides evidence that the A-group Nubian culture in Qustul marked the "pivotal change" from predynastic to dynastic "Egyptian monumental art". However, "most scholars do not agree with this hypothesis", as more recent finds in Egypt indicate that this iconography originated in Egypt instead of Nubia, and that the Qustul rulers adopted or emulated the symbols of Egyptian pharaohs.


Egypt in Nubia

Writing developed in Egypt around 3300 BC. In their writings, Egyptians referred to Nubia as "
Ta-Seti Ta-Seti (''Land of the bow'', also Ta Khentit, ''the Frontier'' or ''Borderland'') was the first nome (administrative division) of Upper Egypt Upper Egypt ( ar, صعيد مصر ', shortened to , , locally: ; ) is the southern portion of Egypt ...
", or "The Land of the Bow," as the Nubians were known to be expert archers. More recent and broader studies have determined that the distinct pottery styles, differing burial practices, different grave goods, and site distribution all indicate that the
Naqada Naqada ( ar, نقادة, translit=Naqāda, , grc, Παμπανίς, translit=Pampanís) is a town on the west bank of the Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian langu ...
people and the Nubian A-Group people were from different cultures. Kathryn Bard states that "Naqada cultural burials contain very few Nubian craft goods, which suggests that while Egyptian goods were exported to Nubia and were buried in A-Group graves, A-Group goods were of little interest further north." There is no evidence that the pharaohs of the First Dynasty buried at Abydos were of Nubian origin.


Early Kerma (3000–2400 BC)

A uniform culture of nomadic herders, called the Gash group, existed from 3000 to 1500 BC to the east and west of Nubia. In Lower Nubia, the A-group moved from the Classical to Terminal phase. At this time, kings at Qustul likely ruled all of Lower Nubia and demonstrated the political centralization of Nubian society. The A-Group culture came to an end sometime between 3100 and 2900 BC, when it was apparently destroyed by the First Dynasty rulers of Egypt. There are no records of settlement in Lower Nubia for the next 600 years. Old Kingdom Egyptian dynasties (4th to 6th) controlled uninhabited Lower Nubia and raided Upper Nubia.


Early Kerma; C-Group (2400–1550 BC)


Upper Nubia

The pre-Kerma developed into the Middle phase Kerma group. Some A-group people (transitioning to C-group) settled the area and co-existed with the pre-Kerma group. Like other Nubian groups, the two groups made an abundance of red pottery with black tops, though each group made different shapes. Traces of the C-group in Upper Nubia vanish by 2000 BC and Kerma culture began to dominate Upper Nubia. The power of an independent Upper Nubia increased around 1700 BC and Upper Nubia dominated Lower Nubia. An Egyptian official, Harkhuf, mentions that Irtjet, Setjet, and Wawat all combined under a single ruler. By 1650 BC, Egyptian texts started to refer to only two kingdoms in Nubia: Kush and Shaat. Kush was centered at Kerma and Shaat was centered on Sai island. Bonnet posits that Kush actually ruled all of Upper Nubia, since "royal" graves were much larger in Kush than Shaat and Egyptian texts other than the Execration lists only refer to Kush (and not Shaat).


Lower Nubia

C-group Nubians resettled Lower Nubia by 2400 BC. As trade between Egypt and Nubia increased, so did wealth and stability. Nubia was divided into a series of small kingdoms. There is debate over whether the C-group people, who flourished from 2500 BC to 1500 BC, were another internal evolution or invaders. O'Connor states "a transition from A group into a later culture, the C-group, can be traced" and the C-group culture was typical of Lower Nubia from 2400 to 1650 BC. Although they lived in close proximity to each other, Nubians did not acculturate much to Egyptian culture. Notable exceptions include C-group Nubians during the 15th Dynasty, isolated Nubian communities in Egypt, and some bowmen communities. C-Group pottery is characterized by all-over incised geometric lines with white infill and impressed imitations of basketry. Lower Nubia was controlled by Egypt from 2000 to 1700 BC and Upper Nubia from 1700 to 1525 BC. From 2200 to 1700 BC, the Pan Grave culture appeared in Lower Nubia. Some of the people were likely the
Medjay Medjay (also ''Medjai'', ''Mazoi'', ''Madjai'', ''Mejay'', Egyptian ''mḏꜣ.j'', a nisba The Arabic language, Arabic word nisba (; also transcribed as ''nisbah'' or ''nisbat'') may refer to: * Arabic nouns and adjectives#Nisba, a suffix used to ...
(''mḏꜣ'',) arriving from the desert east of the Nile river. One feature of Pan Grave culture was shallow grave burial. The Pan Grave and C-Group definitely interacted: Pan Grave pottery is characterized by more limited incised lines than the C-Group's and generally have interspersed undecorated spaces within the geometric schemes.


Egypt in Nubia

In 2300 BC, Nubia was first mentioned in
Old Kingdom In ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associate ...
Egyptian accounts of trade missions. The Egyptians referred to Lower Nubia as Wawat, Irtjet, and Setju, while they referred to Upper Nubia as Yam. Some authors believe that Irtjet and Setju could also have been in Upper Nubia. They referred to Nubians dwelling near the river as Nehasyu. From
Aswan Aswan (, also ; ar, أسوان, ʾAswān ; cop, Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ, Souan ) is a city in the south of Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast ...

Aswan
, the southern limit of Egyptian control at the time, Egyptians imported gold, incense, ebony, copper, ivory, and exotic animals from tropical Africa through Nubia. Relations between the Egyptians and Nubians showed peaceful cultural interchange, cooperation, and mixed marriages. Nubian bowmen that settled at Gebelein during the First Intermediate Period married Egyptian women, were buried in Egyptian style, and eventually could not be distinguished from Egyptians. Some Egyptian pharaohs may have had Nubian ancestry: p.155
Mentuhotep II Mentuhotep II ( egy, Mn- ṯw-ḥtp Hotep (; also rendered ''hetep'') is an Egyptian language, Egyptian word that roughly translates as "to be satisfied, at peace". The word also refers to an "offering" ritually presented to a deity or a dead ...
of the 11th Dynasty "was quite possibly of Nubian origin" and
Amenemhet I :''See Amenemhat, for other individuals with this name.'' Amenemhat I (Middle Egyptian The Egyptian language (Egyptian: ''r n km.t'', , Coptic language, Coptic: ) is an Afroasiatic languages, Afro-Asiatic language which was spoken in anc ...
, founder of the 12th Dynasty, "may have had a Nubian mother". However, according to F. J. Yurco, "Egyptian rulers of Nubian ancestry had become Egyptians culturally; as pharaohs, they exhibited typical Egyptian attitudes and adopted typical Egyptian policies". After a period of withdrawal, the
Middle Kingdom of Egypt The Middle Kingdom of Egypt (also known as The Period of Reunification) is the period in the history of ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a of , concentrated along the lower reaches of the , situated in the place that is now the count ...
conquered Lower Nubia from 2000 to 1700 BC. By 1900 BC, King Sesostris I began building a series of towns below the Second Cataract with heavy fortresses that had enclosures and drawbridges. relentlessly expanded his kingdom into Nubia (from 1866 to 1863 BC) and erected massive river forts including
Buhen Buhen ( grc, Βοὥν ''Bohón'') was an ancient Egyptian Ancient Egypt was a civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of go ...

Buhen
,
Semna Image:Semna-vue.jpg, Perspective view of a reconstruction of the Semna West Fort The region of Semna is 15 miles south of Wadi Halfa and is situated where rocks cross the Nile narrowing its flow—the Semna Cataract. Semna was a fortified area es ...
,
Shalfak Shalfak (originally ''Waf-Chastiu'', "subduing the foreign lands") is an ancient Egyptian fortress once built up on the western shore of the Second Cataract of the Nile River The Nile ( ar, النيل, an-Nīl, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nob ...
and
Toshka{{coord, 22.494795, N, 28.579559, E, display=title The New Valley Project or Toshka Project consists of building a system of canals to carry water from Lake Nasser to Irrigation, irrigate part of the sandy wastes of the Western Desert (Egypt), West ...
at
Uronarti Uronarti, a Nubian word meaning "Island of the King", is an island in the Nile The Nile ( ar, النيل, an-Nīl, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin: Áman Dawū) is a major north-flowing river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, ...
to gain more control over the trade routes in Lower Nubia. They also provided direct access to trade with Upper Nubia, which was independent and increasingly powerful during this time. These Egyptian garrisons seemed to peacefully coexist with the local Nubian people, though they did not interact much with them. Medjay was the name given by
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

ancient Egypt
to nomadic desert dwellers from east of the Nile river. The term was used variously to describe a location, the Medjay people, or their role/job in the kingdom. They became part of the Egyptian military as scouts and minor workers before being incorporated into the Egyptian army. In the army, the Medjay served as garrison troops in Egyptian fortifications in Nubia and patrolled the deserts as a kind of
gendarmerie Wrong info! --> A vedette of the French ''Gendarmerie Maritime'' in La Rochelle harbour A gendarmerie () is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily ...

gendarmerie
, or elite paramilitary police force, to prevent their fellow Medjay tribespeople from further attacking Egyptian assets in the region.Wilkinson, ''op.cit.'', p. 147 The Medjay were often used to protect valuable areas, especially royal and religious complexes. Although they are most notable for their protection of the royal palaces and tombs in Thebes and the surrounding areas, the Medjay were deployed throughout Upper and Lower Egypt; they were even used during
Kamose Kamose was the last Pharaoh of the Theban Seventeenth Dynasty The Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XVII, alternatively 17th Dynasty or Dynasty 17) is classified as the third dynasty of the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt The S ...
's campaign against the
Hyksos Hyksos (; Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with th ...
and became instrumental in turning the Egyptian state into a military power. After the
First Intermediate Period of Egypt The First Intermediate Period, described as a 'dark period' in ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place t ...
, the Medjay district was no longer mentioned in written records.


Kerma; Egyptian Empire (1550–750 BC)


Upper Nubia

From the Middle Kerma phase, the first Nubian kingdom to unify much of the region arose. The Classic Kerma culture, named for its royal capital at
Kerma Kerma was the capital city of the Kerma culture, which was located in present-day Sudan at least 5500 years ago. Kerma is one of the largest archaeological sites in ancient Nubia. It has produced decades of extensive excavations and research, incl ...

Kerma
, was one of the earliest urban centers in the Nile region and oldest city in Africa outside of Egypt. The Kerma group spoke either languages of the
Cushitic The Cushitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. They are spoken primarily in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA) om, Gaafa Afrikaa, am, የአፍሪካ ቀንድ, yäafrika qänd, so, Geeska Afrika 𐒌𐒜 ...

Cushitic
branch or, according to more recent research,
Nilo-Saharan The Nilo-Saharan languages are a proposed family of African languages spoken by some 50–60 million people, mainly in the upper parts of the Chari and Nile rivers, including historic Nubia, north of where the two tributaries of the Nile meet. Th ...

Nilo-Saharan
languages of the
Eastern Sudanic Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, wit ...
branch. Although somewhat similar, the Upper Nubia Kerma and Lower Nubia C-group were different. By 1650 BC (Classic Kerma phase), the kings of Kerma were powerful enough to organize the labor for monumental town walls and large mud brick structures, such as the Eastern and Western Deffufas (50 by 25 by 18 meters). They also had rich tombs with possessions for the afterlife and large
human sacrifice Human sacrifice is the act of killing one or more humans as part of a ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to a set sequence. Rituals may be ...
s.
George Andrew Reisner George Andrew Reisner Jr. (November 5, 1867 – June 6, 1942) was an American archaeologist Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a b ...
excavated sites at the royal city of Kerma and found distinctive
Nubian architecture Nubian architecture is diverse and ancient. Permanent villages have been found in Nubia Nubia () is a region along the Nile The Nile ( ar, النيل, an-Nīl, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin: Áman Dawū) is a major north-flowing river ...
, such as large pebble covered tombs (90 meters in diameter), a large circular dwelling, and a palace-like structure. Classic Kerma rulers employed "a good many Egyptians", according to the Egyptian Execration texts. Kerma culture was militaristic, as attested by many archers' burials and bronze daggers/swords found in their graves. Other signs of Nubia's military prowess are the frequent use of Nubians in Egypt's military and Egypt's need to construct numerous fortresses to defend their southern border from the Nubians. Despite assimilation, the Nubian elite remained rebellious during Egyptian occupation. There were numerous rebellions and "military conflict occurred almost under every reign until the 20th dynasty". At one point, Kerma came very close to conquering Egypt: Egypt suffered a serious defeat at the hands of the
Kingdom of Kush The Kingdom of Kush (; : 𓎡𓄿𓈙 ''kꜣš'', : ''Ku-u-si'', in grc, Κυς and Κυσι; cop, ; he, כּוּשׁ) was an ancient kingdom in , centered along the in what is now northern and southern . The region of Nubia was an ea ...
. According to Davies, head of the joint
British Museum The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of Lond ...

British Museum
and Egyptian archaeological team, the attack was so devastating that, if the Kerma forces had chosen to stay and occupy Egypt, they might have permanently eliminated the Egyptians and brought the nation to extinction. During Egypt's Second Intermediate period, the Kushites reached the height of their Bronze Age power and completely controlled southern trade with Egypt. They maintained diplomatic ties with the Thebans and Hyksos until the New Kingdom pharaohs brought all of Nubia under Egyptian rule from 1500 to 1070 BC. After 1070 BC, there were continued hostilities with Egypt, which led Nubians to concentrate in Upper Nubia. Within 200 years, a fully formed Kushite state, based at Napata, began to exert its influence on Upper (Southern) Egypt.


Lower Nubia

When the Middle Kingdom Egyptians pulled out of the Napata region around 1700 BC, they left a lasting legacy that was merged with indigenous C-group customs. Egyptians remaining at the garrison towns started to merge with the C-group Nubians in Lower Nubia. The C-group quickly adopted Egyptian customs and culture, as attested by their graves, and lived together with the remaining Egyptians in garrison towns. After Upper Nubia annexed Lower Nubia around 1700 BC, the Kingdom of Kush began to control the area. At this point, C-group Nubians and Egyptians began to proclaim their allegiance to the Kushite King in their inscriptions. Egypt conquered Lower and Upper Nubia from 1500 to 1070 BC. However, the Kingdom of Kush survived longer than Egypt.


Egypt in Nubia

After the Theban 17th Dynasty
New Kingdom of Egypt New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz (South Korean band), The Boyz Albums and EPs * New (album), ''New'' (album), by Paul McCartne ...
(c. 1532–1070 BC) expelled the Canaanite Hyksos from Egypt, they turned their imperial ambitions to Nubia. By the end of
Thutmose I Thutmose I (sometimes read as Thutmosis or Tuthmosis I, Thothmes in older history works in Latinized Greek; Ancient Egyptian Ancient Egypt was a civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is charac ...

Thutmose I
's reign (1520 BC), all of Lower Nubia had been annexed. After a long campaign, Egypt also conquered the Kingdom of Kerma in Upper Nubia and held both areas until 1070 BC. The Egyptian empire expanded into the Fourth Cataract, and a new administrative center was built at
Napata Napata (Old Egyptian The Egyptian language or Ancient Egyptian ( egy, 𓂋𓏺𓈖 𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖, , cop, ϯⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ) is an Afro-Asiatic language Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamit ...
, which became a
gold Gold is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elemen ...

gold
and incense production area. Egypt became a prime source of gold in the Middle East. The primitive working conditions for the slaves are recorded by
Diodorus Siculus Diodorus Siculus, or Diodorus of Sicily ( grc-gre, Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης ;  1st century BC), was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern ...
. One of the oldest maps known is of a gold mine in Nubia: the
Turin Papyrus Map 300px The Turin Papyrus Map is an ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. A ...
dating to about 1160 BC; it is also one of the earliest characterized road maps in existence. Nubians were an integral part of New Kingdom Egyptian society. Some scholars state that Nubians were included in the 18th Dynasty of Egypt's royal family.
Ahmose-Nefertari Ahmose-Nefertari (Ancient Egyptian: '' Jꜥḥ ms Nfr trj'') was the first Great Royal Wife of the 18th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. She was a daughter of Seqenenre Tao and Ahhotep I, and royal sister and wife to Ahmose I. Her son Amenhotep I beca ...
, "arguably the most venerated woman in Egyptian history", was thought by some scholars such as
Flinders Petrie Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, FRS FRS may also refer to: Government and politics * Facility Registry System, a centrally managed Environmental Protection Agency database that identifies places of environmental interest in the United ...

Flinders Petrie
to be of Nubian origin because she is most often depicted with black skin. The mummy of
Ahmose-Nefertari Ahmose-Nefertari (Ancient Egyptian: '' Jꜥḥ ms Nfr trj'') was the first Great Royal Wife of the 18th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. She was a daughter of Seqenenre Tao and Ahhotep I, and royal sister and wife to Ahmose I. Her son Amenhotep I beca ...
's father,
Seqenenre Tao Seqenenre Tao (also Seqenera Djehuty-aa or Sekenenra Taa, called 'the Brave') ruled over the last of the local kingdoms of the Theban region of Egypt in the Seventeenth Dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period. He probably was the son and ...
, has been described as presenting "tightly curled, woolly hair", with "a slight build and strongly Nubian features". Some modern scholars also believe that in some depictions, her skin color is indicative of her role as a goddess of resurrection, since black is both the color of the fertile land of Egypt and that of the underworld.Tyldesley, Joyce. Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt. Thames & Hudson. 2006. In 1098–1088 BC, Thebes was "the scene of a civil war-like conflict between the High Priest of Amun of Thebes Amenhotep and the Viceroy of Kush
Panehesy Panehesy (also transcribed as PinhasyAldred, Cyril, Akhenaten: King of Egypt ,Thames and Hudson, 1991 (paperback), , pg 16,18,24,66,131,222 or PanehsyKemp, Barry, The City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti: Amarna and its People, Thames and Hudson, 2012) ...
(= the Nubian)". It was chaotic and many tombs were plundered. Instead of sending soldiers to restore order,
Ramesses XI Menmaatre Ramesses XI (also written Ramses and Rameses) reigned from 1107 BC to 1078 BC or 1077 BC and was the tenth and final pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt and as such, was the last king of the New Kingdom of Egypt, New Kingdom period ...
put Panehesy in control of that area's military and appointed him Director of Granaries. Panehesy stationed his troops in Thebes to protect the city from thieves, but it resembled a military occupation of Thebes to the High Priest, which later led to the Civil war in Thebes. By 1082 BC, Ramesses XI finally sent help to the High Priest. Panehesy continued his revolt and the city of Thebes suffered from "war, famine, and plunderings". Panehesy initially succeeded and the High Priest fled Thebes. Panehesy pursued the High Priest as far as Middle Egypt before Egyptian forces pushed Panehesy and his troops out of Egypt and into Lower Nubia. Ramesses sent new leadership to Thebes:
Herihor Herihor was an Egyptian army officer and High Priests of Amun at Thebes, High Priest of Amun at Thebes (1080 BC to 1074 BC) during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses XI. Chronological and genealogical position Traditionally his career was placed befo ...

Herihor
was named the new High Priest of Thebes (and effectively King of Southern Egypt) and Paiankh was named the new Viceroy of Kush. Paiankh recaptured former Egyptian holdings in Lower Nubia as far as the second Nile cataract, but could not defeat Panehesy in Lower Nubia, who ruled the area until his death. Herihor's descendants became rulers of Egypt's 21st and 22nd Dynasties.


Napatan Empire (750–542 BC)

There are competing theories on the origins of the Kushite kings of the 25th Dynasty: some scholars believe they were Nubian officials that learned "state level organization" by administering Egyptian-held Nubia from 1500 to 1070 BC, such as the rebel Viceroy of Kush, Panehesy, who ruled Upper Nubia and some of Lower Nubia after Egyptian forces withdrew. Other scholars believe they are descended from families of the Egyptianized Nubian elite supported by Egyptian priests or settlers. Children of elite Nubian families were sent to be educated in Egypt then returned to Kush to be appointed in bureaucratic positions to ensure their loyalty. During the Egyptian occupation of Nubia, there were temple towns with Egyptian cults, but "production and redistribution" was based mostly on indigenous social structures. The El Kurru chiefdom likely played a major role in the development of the Kingdom of Kush due to its access to gold producing areas, control of caravan routes, more arable land, and participation in international trade. "There can be no doubt that el-Kurru was the burial place of the ancestors of the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty." The early el-Kurru burials resemble Nubian Kerma/C-group traditions (contracted body, circular stone structures, burial on a bed). However, by 880–815 BC, Nubian burials at el-Kurru became more Egyptian in style with "mastabas, or pyramid on mastabas, chapels, and rectangular enclosures". Alara, the first el-Kurru prince, and his successor,
Kashta Kashta was an 8th century BC king of the Kingdom of Kush, Kushite Dynasty in ancient Nubia and the successor of Alara of Nubia, Alara. His nomen ''k3š-t3'' (transcribed as Kashta, possibly pronounced /kuʔʃi-taʔ/) "of the land of Kush" is ofte ...

Kashta
, were buried at el-Kurru. Later documents mention Alara as the 25th Dynasty's founder and "central to a myth of the origins of the kingdom". Alara's sister was the priestess of Amun, which created a system of royal secession and an "ideology of royal power in which Kushite concepts and practice were united with contemporary Egyptian concepts of kingship". Later, Kashta's daughter, the Kushite princess Amenirdis, was installed as God's Wife of Amun Elect and later Divine Adoratrice (effectively governor of Upper Egypt), which signaled the Kushite conquest of Egyptian territories. The Napatan Empire ushered in the age of Egyptian archaism, or a return to a historical past, which was embodied by a concentrated effort at religious renewal and restoration of Egypt's holy places.
Piye Piye (once transliterated as Pankhy or Piankhi; d. 714 BC) was an ancient Kingdom of Kush, Kushite king and founder of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, who ruled Egypt from 744–714 BC. He ruled from the city of Napata, located deep in Nubia, ...
expanded the Temple of Amun at Jebel Barkal by adding "an immense colonnaded forecourt".
Shabaka Neferkare Shabaka, or Shabako (Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and ...
restored the great Egyptian monuments and temples, "unlike his Libyan predecessors".
Taharqa Taharqa, also spelled Taharka or Taharqo (Egyptian language, Egyptian: 𓇿𓉔𓃭𓈎 ''tꜣ-h-rw-k'', Neo-Assyrian language, Neo-Assyrian: ''Tar-qu-u2'', , Manetho's ''Tarakos'', Strabo's ''Tearco''), was a pharaoh of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty ...

Taharqa
enriched Thebes on a monumental scale." At Karnak, the Sacred Lake structures, the kiosk in the first court, and the colonnades at the temple entrance are all built by Taharqa and Mentuemhet. In addition to architecture, the Kingdom of Kush was deeply influenced by Egyptian culture. By 780 BC,
Amun Amun (; also ''Amon'', ''Ammon'', ''Amen''; egy, jmn, ''reconstructed'' ; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is ...

Amun
was the main god of Kush and "intense contacts with Thebes" were maintained. Kush used the methods of Egyptian art and writing. The Nubian elite adopted many Egyptian customs and gave their children Egyptian names. Although some Nubian customs and beliefs (e.g. burial practices) continued to be practiced, Egyptianization dominated in ideas, practices, and iconography. The cultural Egyptianization of Nubia was at its highest levels at the times of both Kashta and Piye.


Nubia in Egypt

Kashta peacefully became King of Upper and Lower Egypt with his daughter Amendiris as Divine Adoratrice of Amun in Thebes. Rulers of the 23rd Dynasty withdrew from Thebes to Heracleopolis, which avoided conflict with the new Kushite rulers of Thebes. Under Kashta's reign, the Kushite elite and professional classes became significantly Egyptianized. The city-state of
Napata Napata (Old Egyptian The Egyptian language or Ancient Egyptian ( egy, 𓂋𓏺𓈖 𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖, , cop, ϯⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ) is an Afro-Asiatic language Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamit ...
was the spiritual capital of Kush and it was from there that
Piye Piye (once transliterated as Pankhy or Piankhi; d. 714 BC) was an ancient Kingdom of Kush, Kushite king and founder of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, who ruled Egypt from 744–714 BC. He ruled from the city of Napata, located deep in Nubia, ...
(spelled Piankhi or Piankhy in older works) invaded and took control of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
. Piye personally led the attack on Egypt and recorded his victory in a lengthy hieroglyphic filled
stele A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek plural is written , ''stēlai'', but this is only rarely encountered in English. or occasionally stela (plural ''stelas'' or ''stelæ''), ...

stele
called the "Stele of Victory". Piye's success in achieving the double kingship after generations of Kushite planning resulted from "Kushite ambition, political skill, and the Theban decision to reunify Egypt in this particular way", and not Egypt's utter exhaustion, "as frequently suggested in Egyptological studies." Due to archaism, Piye mostly used the royal titulary of Tuthmosis III, but changed the Horus name from "Strong bull appearing (crowned) in Thebes" to "Strong bull appearing in Napata" to announce that the Kushites had reversed history and conquered their former Thebaid Egyptian conquerors. He also revived one of the greatest features of the Old and Middle Kingdoms: pyramid construction. As an energetic builder, he constructed the oldest known pyramid at the royal burial site of
El-Kurru El-Kurru was one of the royal cemeteries used by the Nubian royal family of Kingdom of Kush, Kush and Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, Egypt's 25th Dynasty. It is now located in Northern state, Sudan, Northern state, Sudan. Excavated by George Reis ...
. According to the revised chronology,
Shebitku Shebitku (also known as Shabataka or Shebitqo, and anglicized as Sethos) was the second pharaoh of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt The Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XXV, alternatively 25th Dynasty or Dynasty 25), also know ...
"brought the entire Nile Valley as far as the Delta under the empire of Kush and is 'reputed' to have had Bocchoris, dynast of Sais, burnt to death".
Shabaka Neferkare Shabaka, or Shabako (Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and ...
"transferred the capital to Memphis". Shebitku's successor,
Taharqa Taharqa, also spelled Taharka or Taharqo (Egyptian language, Egyptian: 𓇿𓉔𓃭𓈎 ''tꜣ-h-rw-k'', Neo-Assyrian language, Neo-Assyrian: ''Tar-qu-u2'', , Manetho's ''Tarakos'', Strabo's ''Tearco''), was a pharaoh of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty ...

Taharqa
, was crowned in Memphis in 690 BC and ruled Upper and Lower Egypt as Pharaoh from Tanis in the Delta. Excavations at el-Kurru and studies of horse skeletons indicate the finest horses used in Kushite and Assyrian warfare were bred in and exported from Nubia. Horses and chariots were key to the Kushite war machine. Taharqa's reign was a prosperous time in the empire with a particularly large Nile river flood and abundant crops and wine. Taharqa's inscriptions indicate that he gave large amounts of gold to the temple of Amun at Kawa. His army undertook successful military campaigns, as attested by the "list of conquered Asiatic principalities" from the Mut temple at Karnak and "conquered peoples and countries (Libyans, Shasu nomads, Phoenicians?, Khor in Palestine)" from Sanam temple inscriptions. László Török mentions the military success was due to Taharqa's efforts to strengthen the army through daily training in long-distance running and Assyria's preoccupation with Babylon and Elam. Taharqa also built military settlements at the Semna and Buhen forts and the fortified site of Qasr Ibrim. Imperial ambitions of the
Mesopotamian Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a of situated within the , in the northern part of the . Mesopotamia occupies most of presen ...

Mesopotamian
-based
Assyrian Empire Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria Assyria () ( akk, 𒀸𒋩, syc, ܐܬܘܪ or ), also at times called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the Ancient Near East that existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25 ...
made war with the 25th Dynasty inevitable. Taharqa conspired with Levantine kingdoms against Assyria: in 701 BC, Taharqa and his army aided
Judah Judah may refer to: Historical ethnic, political and geographic terms The name was passed on, successively, from the biblical figure of Judah, to the Israelite tribe; its territorial allotment and the Israelite kingdom emerging from it, with the ...
and King
Hezekiah Hezekiah (; he, חִזְקִיָּהוּ ''H̱īzəqīyyahū''), or Ezekias, ''Ḥazaqia'ú'' 'ḫa-za-qi-a-ú'' el, Ἐζεκίας Septuagint">/nowiki>Septuagint:_Εζεζία.html" ;"title="Septuagint.html" ;"title="/nowiki>Septuagint"> ...

Hezekiah
in withstanding a siege by King
Sennacherib Sennacherib (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo up Chiswick_Press.html"_;"title="Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press">Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press_ A_logo_(abbreviation_of_logotype,_from__el.html" ;"title="Chiswick_Press_. ...

Sennacherib
of the Assyrians (2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 37:9). There are various theories (Taharqa's army, disease, divine intervention, Hezekiah's surrender, Herodotus' mice theory) as to why the Assyrians failed to take Jerusalem and withdrew to Assyria. Sennacherib's annals record Judah was forced into tribute after the siege and Sennacherib became the ruler of the region However, this is contradicted by Khor's frequent utilization of an Egyptian system of weights for trade and the twenty-year cessation in Assyria's pattern of repeatedly invading Khor (as Assyrians had before 701 and after Sennacherib's death). In 681 BC, Sennacherib was murdered by his own sons in
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bavel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babili'' *Kassite The Kassites ...

Babylon
. In 679 BC, Sennacherib's successor, King
Esarhaddon Esarhaddon, also spelled Essarhaddon, Assarhaddon and Ashurhaddon (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo up Chiswick_Press.html"_;"title="Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press">Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press_ A_logo_(abbreviatio ...

Esarhaddon
, campaigned in Khor, destroyed Sidon, and forced Tyre into tribute in 677–676 BC. Esarhaddon invaded Egypt proper in 674 BC, but according to Babylonian records, Taharqa and his army outright defeated the Assyrians. In 672 BC, Taharqa brought reserve troops from Kush, as mentioned in rock inscriptions. Taharqa's Egypt still had influence in Khor during this period as Tyre's King Ba'lu "put his trust upon his friend Taharqa". Further evidence was
Ashkelon Ashkelon or Ashqelon (; he, , ), also known as Ascalon (; grc-gre, Ἀσκάλων, ''Askálōn''; ar, عَسْقَلَان, '), is a coastal city in the Southern District of Israel on the Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea ...
's alliance with Egypt and Esarhaddon's inscription asking "if the Kushite-Egyptian forces 'plan and strive to wage war in any way' and if the Egyptian forces will defeat Esarhaddon at Ashkelon". However, Taharqa was defeated in Egypt in 671 BC when Esarhaddon conquered Northern Egypt, captured Memphis, and imposed tribute before withdrawing. Pharaoh Taharqa escaped to the south, but Esarhaddon captured the Pharaoh's family, including "Prince Nes-Anhuret and the royal wives", and sent them to Assyria. In 669 BC, Taharqa reoccupied Memphis and the Delta, and recommenced intrigues with the king of Tyre. Esarhaddon led his army to Egypt again and, after his death in 668 BC, command passed to
Ashurbanipal Ashurbanipal, also spelled Assurbanipal, Asshurbanipal and Asurbanipal (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo up Chiswick_Press.html"_;"title="Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press">Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press_ A_logo_(abbrevi ...
. Ashurbanipal and the Assyrians defeated Taharqa again and advanced as far south as Thebes, but direct Assyrian control was not established. The rebellion was stopped and Ashurbanipal appointed
Necho I Menkheperre Necho I (Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable cultu ...
, who had been king of the city
Sais Sais ( grc, Σάϊς, cop, Ⲥⲁⲓ) or Sa El Hagar ( ar, صا الحجر) was an ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a of , concentrated along the lower reaches of the , situated in the place that is now the country . Ancient Egyptia ...
, as his vassal ruler in Egypt. Necho's son,
Psamtik I Wahibre Psamtik I (Ancient Egyptian Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient ...
, was educated at the Assyrian capital of
Nineveh Nineveh (; ar, نَيْنَوَىٰ '; syr, ܢܝܼܢܘܹܐ, Nīnwē; akk, ) was an ancient Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a n kingdom and of the that existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25th ...
during Esarhaddon's reign. As late as 665 BC, the vassal rulers of Sais, Mendes, and Pelusium were still making
overtures Overture (from French language, French ''ouverture'', "opening") in music was originally the instrumental introduction to a ballet, opera, or oratorio in the 17th century. During the early Romantic era, composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Beet ...
to Taharqa in Kush. The vassals' plot was uncovered by Ashurbanipal and all rebels but Necho of Sais were executed. Taharqa's successor, Tantamani, sailed north from Napata with a large army to Thebes, where he was "ritually installed as the king of Egypt". From Thebes, Tantamani began his reconquest and regained control of Egypt as far north as Memphis. Tantamani's dream stele states that he restored order from the chaos, where royal temples and cults were not being maintained. After conquering Sais and killing Assyria's vassal, Necho I, in Memphis, "some local dynasts formally surrendered, while others withdrew to their fortresses". The Kushites had influence over their northern neighbors for nearly 100 years until they were repelled by the invading Assyrians. The Assyrians installed the native Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt, 26th Dynasty of Egypt under
Psamtik I Wahibre Psamtik I (Ancient Egyptian Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient ...
and they permanently forced the Kushites out of Egypt around 590 BC. The heirs of the Kushite empire established their new capital at
Napata Napata (Old Egyptian The Egyptian language or Ancient Egyptian ( egy, 𓂋𓏺𓈖 𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖, , cop, ϯⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ) is an Afro-Asiatic language Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamit ...
, which was also sacked by the Egyptians in 592 BC. The Kushite kingdom survived for another 900 years after being pushed south to
Meroë Meroë (; also spelled ''Meroe''; Meroitic or ; ar, مرواه, translit=Meruwah and ar, مروي, translit=Meruwi, label=none; grc, Μερόη, translit=Meróē) was an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile The Nile ( ar, الني ...
. The Egyptianized culture of Nubia grew increasingly Africanized after the fall of the 25th Dynasty until Queen Amanishakheto, Amanishakhete acceded in 45 BC. She temporarily arrested the loss of Egyptian culture, but then it continued unchecked.


Meroitic (542 BC–400 AD)

Due to pressure from Assyrians and Egyptians,
Meroë Meroë (; also spelled ''Meroe''; Meroitic or ; ar, مرواه, translit=Meruwah and ar, مروي, translit=Meruwi, label=none; grc, Μερόη, translit=Meróē) was an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile The Nile ( ar, الني ...
(800 BC – ) became the southern capital of the
Kingdom of Kush The Kingdom of Kush (; : 𓎡𓄿𓈙 ''kꜣš'', : ''Ku-u-si'', in grc, Κυς and Κυσι; cop, ; he, כּוּשׁ) was an ancient kingdom in , centered along the in what is now northern and southern . The region of Nubia was an ea ...
. According to partially deciphered Meroitic texts, the name of the city was Medewi or Bedewi. Meroë was in southern Nubia by the east bank of the Nile, about 6 km north-east of the Kabushiya station near Shendi, Sudan, and about 200 km northeast of
Khartoum Khartoum or Khartum ( ; ar, الخرطوم, Al-Khurṭūm) is the capital of Sudan Sudan (; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a ...

Khartoum
. Meroë is mentioned in first-century AD Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: "farther inland, in the country towards the west, there lies a city called Meroe". In fifth-century BC, Greek historian Herodotus described it as "a great city...said to be the mother city of the other Ethiopians." Together, Musawwarat es-Sufra, Naqa, and Meroë formed the Island of Meroe. The town's importance gradually increased from Kingdom of Kush, the beginning of the Meroitic Period, especially from the reign of Arakamani (c. 280 BC) when the royal burial ground was transferred to Meroë from
Napata Napata (Old Egyptian The Egyptian language or Ancient Egyptian ( egy, 𓂋𓏺𓈖 𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖, , cop, ϯⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ) is an Afro-Asiatic language Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamit ...
(Jebel Barkal). Excavations revealed evidence of important, high ranking Kushite burials, from the Napatan Period (c. 800 – c. 280 BC) in the vicinity of the settlement called the Western cemetery. They buried their kings in small pyramids with steeply sloped sides that were based on New Kingdom Viceroy designs. At its peak, the rulers of Meroë controlled the Nile Valley over a north–south straight-line distance of more than . People of the Meroitic period preserved many ancient Egyptian customs but were unique in many respects. The Meroitic language was spoken in Meroë and Sudan during the Meroitic period (attested from 300 BC) before becoming extinct around 400 AD. They developed their own form of writing by using Egyptian hieroglyphs before switching to a cursive alphabetic script with 23 signs. It was split into two types: Meroitic Cursive, which was written with a stylus and used for general record-keeping; and Meroitic Hieroglyphic, which was carved in stone or used for royal or religious documents. It is not well understood due to the scarcity of bilingual texts. The earliest inscription in Meroitic writing dates from between 180 and 170 BC. These hieroglyphics were found engraved on the temple of Queen Shanakdakhete. Meroitic Cursive is written horizontally, and is read from right to left like all Semitic orthographies. The Meroitic people worshiped the Egyptian gods as well as their own, such as Apedemak and the lion-son of Sekhmet (or Bast (mythology), Bast). Meroë was the base of a flourishing kingdom whose wealth was centered around a strong iron industry and international trade with India and China. Metalworking is believed to have happened in Meroë, possibly through bloomery, bloomeries and blast furnaces. The centralized control of production within the Meroitic empire and distribution of certain crafts and manufactures may have been politically important. Other important sites were Musawwarat es-Sufra and Naqa. Musawwarat es-Sufra, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was constructed in sandstone. Its main features were the Great Enclosure, the Lion Temple of Apedemak (14×9×5 meters), and the Great Reservoir. The Great Enclosure is the main structure of the site. Much of the large labyrinth-like building complex, which covers approximately 45,000 m2, was erected in third-century BC. The scheme of the site is, so far, without parallel in Nubia and
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

ancient Egypt
. According to Hintze, "the complicated ground plan of this extensive complex of buildings is without parallel in the entire Nile valley". The maze of courtyards includes three (possible) temples, passages, low walls that prevent any contact with the outside world, about 20 columns, ramps and two reservoirs.Google Books
Sudan: The Bradt Travel Guide p.131-2.
There is some debate about the purpose of the buildings, with earlier suggestions including a college, a hospital, and an elephant-training camp.UNESCO
Nomination document p.43.
The Lion Temple was constructed by Arnekhamani and bears inscriptions in Egyptian hieroglyphs, representations of elephants and lions on the rear inside wall, and reliefs of Apedemak depicted as a three-headed god on the outside walls. The Great Reservoir is a hafir to retain as much as possible of the rainfall of the short, wet season. It is 250 m in diameter and 6.3 m deep. Kandake, often Latinised as Candace, was the Meroitic language, Meroitic term for the sister of the king of Kush who, due to Matrilineality, matrilineal succession, would bear the next heir, making her a queen mother. According to scholar Basil Davidson, at least four Kingdom of Kush, Kushite queens — Amanirenas, Amanishakheto, Nawidemak and Amanitore — probably spent part of their lives in ''Musawwarat es-Sufra''. Pliny the Elder, Pliny writes that the "Queen of the Aethiopia, Ethiopians" bore the title ''Candace'', and indicates that the Ethiopians had conquered ancient Syria and the Mediterranean. In 25 BC the Kush kandake Amanirenas, as reported by Strabo, attacked the city of Syene (known as
Aswan Aswan (, also ; ar, أسوان, ʾAswān ; cop, Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ, Souan ) is a city in the south of Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast ...

Aswan
today) within the territory of the Roman Empire; Emperor Augustus Caesar, Augustus destroyed the city of Napata in retaliation. In the New Testament biblical account, Ethiopian eunuch, a treasury official of "Candace, queen of the Ethiopians", returning from a trip to Jerusalem, met with Philip the Evangelist and was baptized.


Achaemenid period

The Achaemenids occupied the Kushan kingdom, possibly from the time of Cambyses II, Cambyses (), and more probably from the time of Darius I (550–486 BC), who mentions the conquest on Kush (''Kušiya'') in his inscriptions. Herodotus mentioned an invasion of Kush by the Achaemenid ruler Cambyses II, Cambyses (), however, Herodotus mentions that "his expedition failed miserably in the desert". Derek Welsby states "scholars have doubted that this Persian expedition ever took place, but... archaeological evidence suggests that the fortress of Dorginarti near the second cataract served as Persia's southern boundary."


Ptolemaic period

The Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom under Ptolemy II Philadelphus invaded Nubia in 275 BC and annexed the northern twelve miles of this territory, subsequently known as the Dodekaschoinos ('twelve-mile land'). Throughout the 160s and 150s BC, Ptolemy VI has also reasserted Ptolemaic control over the northern part of Nubia. There is no record of conflict between the Kushites and Ptolemies. However, there was a serious revolt at the end of Ptolemy IV's reign and the Kushites likely tried to interfere in Ptolemaic affairs. It is suggested that this led to Ptolemy V defacing the name of Arqamani on inscriptions at Philae. "Arqamani constructed a small entrance hall to the temple built by Ptolemy IV at Pselchis and constructed a temple at Philae to which Ptolemy contributed an entrance hall." There is evidence of Ptolemaic occupation as far south as the Second Cataract, but recent finds at Qasr Ibrim, such as "the total absence of Ptolemaic pottery", have cast doubts on the effectiveness of the occupation. Dynastic struggles led to the Ptolemies abandoning the area, so "the Kushites reasserted their control...with Qasr Ibrim occupied" (by the Kushites) and other locations perhaps garrisoned.


Roman period

According to Welsby, after the Romans assumed control of Egypt, they negotiated with the Kushites at Philae and drew the southern border of Roman Egypt at Aswan. Theodore Mommsen and Welsby state the Kingdom of Kush became a client Kingdom, which was similar to the situation under Ptolemaic rule of Egypt. Kushite ambition and excessive Roman taxation are two theories for a revolt supported by Kushite armies. The ancient historians, Strabo and Pliny, give accounts of the conflict with Roman Egypt. Strabo describes a war with the Roman Empire, Romans in first-century BC. He stated that the Kushites "sacked Aswan with an army of 30,000 men and destroyed imperial statues...at Philae." A "fine over-life-size bronze head of the emperor Augustus" was found buried in Meroe in front of a temple. After the initial victories of Kandake (or "Candace") Amanirenas against Roman Egypt, the Kushites were defeated and
Napata Napata (Old Egyptian The Egyptian language or Ancient Egyptian ( egy, 𓂋𓏺𓈖 𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖, , cop, ϯⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ) is an Afro-Asiatic language Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamit ...
was sacked.Arthur E. Robinson, "The Arab Dynasty of Dar For (Darfur): Part II", ''Journal of the Royal African Society'' (Lond). XXVIII: 55–67 (October, 1928)
/ref> Napata's fall was not a crippling blow to the Kushites and did not frighten Candace enough to prevent her from again engaging in combat with the Roman military. In 22 BC, a large Kushite force moved northward with the intention of attacking Qasr Ibrim. Alerted to the advance, Petronius again marched south and managed to reach Qasr Ibrim and bolster its defences before the invading Kushites arrived. Welsby states after a Kushite attack on Primis (Qasr Ibrim), the Kushites sent ambassadors to negotiate a peace settlement with Petronius, which succeeded on favourable terms. Trade between the two nations increased and the Roman Egyptian border being extended to "Hiera Sykaminos (Maharraqa)." This arrangement "guaranteed peace for most of the next 300 years" and there is "no definite evidence of further clashes." During this time, different parts of the region divided into smaller groups with individual leaders (or generals), each commanding small armies of mercenaries. They fought for control of what is now Nubia and its surrounding territories, leaving the entire region weak and vulnerable to attack. Meroë would eventually be defeated by the new rising
Kingdom of Aksum The Kingdom of Aksum ( gez, መንግሥተ አኵስም), also known as the Kingdom of Axum or the Aksumite Empire, was an ancient kingdom, from the 2nd to the 10th century, with its capital at the city of Axum Aksum or Axum (; ti, ኣኽሱ ...

Kingdom of Aksum
to their south ruled by Ezana of Axum, King Ezana. A stele of Ge'ez language, Ge'ez of an unnamed ruler of Kingdom of Aksum, Aksum thought to be Ezana was found at the site of Meroë. From his description, in Greek language, Greek, he was "King of the Aksumites and the Himyarite, Omerites" (i.e. of Aksum and Himyar). It is likely this king ruled sometime around 330 AD. While some authorities interpret these inscriptions as proof that the Axumites destroyed the kingdom of Meroe, others note that archeological evidence points to an economic and political decline in Meroe around 300. Moreover, some view the stele as military aid from Aksum to Meroe to quell the revolt and rebellion by the Nuba peoples. However, conclusive evidence and proof to which view is correct does not currently exist. At some point during fourth-century AD, the region was conquered by the
NobaNoba is a term found in a number of historical sources discussing ancient and Medieval Nubia Nubia () (Nobiin language, Nobiin: Nobīn, ) is a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between the Cataracts of the Nile, first cataract of th ...

Noba
, from which the name ''Nubia'' may derive; another possibility is that it comes from the Egyptian word for gold (hieroglyph), gold. From then on, the Romans referred to the area as
Nobatia Nobatia or Nobadia (; Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 ...
.


Christian Nubia

Around 350 AD, the area was invaded by the
Kingdom of Aksum The Kingdom of Aksum ( gez, መንግሥተ አኵስም), also known as the Kingdom of Axum or the Aksumite Empire, was an ancient kingdom, from the 2nd to the 10th century, with its capital at the city of Axum Aksum or Axum (; ti, ኣኽሱ ...

Kingdom of Aksum
and the Meroitic kingdom collapsed. Three smaller Christianity, Christian kingdoms replaced it: the northernmost was
Nobatia Nobatia or Nobadia (; Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 ...
(capital Pachoras; now modern-day Faras, Egypt) between the first and second cataract of the Nile River; in the middle was
Makuria Makuria (Old Nubian Old Nubian (also called Middle Nubian or Old Nobiin) is an extinct Nubian language, attested in writing from the 8th to the 15th century AD. It is ancestral to modern-day Nobiin and closely related to Dongolawi and Kenzi. ...
(capital Old Dongola), and southernmost was
Alodia Alodia, also known as Alwa ( grc-gre, Aρουα, ''Aroua''; ar, علوة, ''ʿAlwa''), was a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and pr ...
(capital Soba). King Silky of Nobatia defeated the Blemmyes and recorded his victory in a Greek language inscription carved in the wall of the temple of Talmis (modern Kalabsha) around 500 AD. Christianity had been introduced to the region by the fourth century: Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria consecrated Marcus as bishop of Philae before his death in 373 AD. John of Ephesus records that a Miaphysite priest named Julian converted the king and his nobles of Nobatia around 545 AD. He also writes that the kingdom of Alodia was converted around 569. However, John of Biclarum wrote that the kingdom of Makuria converted to Catholicism the same year, suggesting that John of Ephesus might be mistaken. Further doubt is cast on John's testimony by an entry in the chronicle of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria Eutychius of Alexandria, which states that in 719 AD the church of Nubia transferred its allegiance from the Eastern Orthodox Church, Greek to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Coptic Orthodox Church. After the official Christianization of Nubia, the Isis cult of Philae remained for the sake of the Nubians. The edict of Theodosius I (390 AD) was not enforced at Philae. Later attempts to suppress the cult of Isis led to armed clashes between the Nubians and Romans. Finally, in 453 AD, a treaty recognizing the traditional religious rights of Nubians at Philae was signed. By the seventh century, Makuria expanded and became the dominant power in the region. It was strong enough to halt the southern expansion of Islam after the Arabs had taken Egypt. After several failed invasions the new Muslim rulers agreed to a treaty with Dongola, called Baqt, to allow peaceful coexistence and trade, contingent on the Nubians making an annual payment consisting of slaves and other tributes to the Islamic Governor at Aswan; it guaranteed that any runaway slaves were returned to Nubia. The treaty was kept for six hundred years. Throughout this period, Nubia's main exports were dates and slaves, though ivory and gold were also exchanged for Egyptian ceramics, textiles, and glass. Over time the influx of Arab traders introduced Islam to Nubia and it gradually supplanted Christianity. After an interruption in the annual tribute of slaves, the Egyptian Mamluk ruler invaded in 1272 and declared himself sovereign over half of Nubia. While there are records of a bishop Timothy of Faras, Timothy at Qasr Ibrim in 1372, his see included Faras. It is also clear that the cathedral of Dongola had been converted to a mosque in 1317. The influx of Arabs and Nubians to Egypt and Sudan had contributed to the suppression of the Nubian identity following the collapse of the last Nubian kingdom around 1504. A vast majority of the Nubian population is currently Muslim, and the Arabic language is their main medium of communication in addition to their indigenous Nubian language. The unique characteristic of Nubian is shown in their culture (dress, dances, traditions, and music).


Islamic Nubia

In the fourteenth century, the Dongolan government collapsed and the region was divided and dominated by Arabs. Several Arab invasions into the region and the establishment of smaller kingdoms occurred over the next few centuries. Northern Nubia was brought under Egyptian control, while the south was controlled by the Kingdom of Sennar in the sixteenth century. The entire region came under Egyptian control during Muhammad Ali of Egypt, Muhammad Ali's rule in the early nineteenth century, and later became a joint Anglo-Egyptian condominium (international law), condominium.


21st-century archaeology

In 2003, archaeologist Charles Bonnet (archeologist), Charles Bonnet led a team of Swiss archaeologists to excavate near
Kerma Kerma was the capital city of the Kerma culture, which was located in present-day Sudan at least 5500 years ago. Kerma is one of the largest archaeological sites in ancient Nubia. It has produced decades of extensive excavations and research, incl ...

Kerma
and discovered a cache of monumental black granite statues of the Pharaohs of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, 25th Dynasty of Egypt, now displayed at the Kerma Museum. Among the sculptures are ones belonging to the dynasty's last two pharaohs,
Taharqa Taharqa, also spelled Taharka or Taharqo (Egyptian language, Egyptian: 𓇿𓉔𓃭𓈎 ''tꜣ-h-rw-k'', Neo-Assyrian language, Neo-Assyrian: ''Tar-qu-u2'', , Manetho's ''Tarakos'', Strabo's ''Tearco''), was a pharaoh of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty ...

Taharqa
and Tantamani, Tanoutamon, whose statues are described as "masterpieces that rank among the greatest in art history". Craniometric analysis of Kerma fossils that compared them to various other early populations inhabiting the Nile Valley and Maghreb found that they were morphologically close to Prehistoric Egypt, Predynastic Egyptians from Naqada culture, Naqada (4000–3200 BC).Marta Mirazón Lahr et al. (2010) "Human Skeletal Remains, Fazzan, Libya", ''The Society for Libyan Studies'' Dental trait analysis of Kerma fossils found affinities with various populations inhabiting the Nile Valley, Horn of Africa, and Northeast Africa, especially to other ancient populations from the central and northern Sudan. Among the sampled populations, the Kerma people were overall nearest to the
Kush Kush or Cush may refer to: Bible * Cush (Bible), two people and one or more places in the Hebrew Bible Places * Kush (mountain), a mountain near Kalat, Pakistan Balochistan * Kush (satrapy), a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire * Hindu Kush, a mou ...
populations in
Upper Nubia Upper Nubia is the southernmost part of Nubia, upstream on the Nile from Lower Nubia. It is so called because the Nile flows north, so it is further upstream and of higher elevation in relation to Lower Nubia. The extension of ''Upper Nubia'' is ra ...
, the
A-Group culture The A-Group culture was an ancient civilization that flourished between the First and Second Cataracts A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens (anatomy), lens of the eye that leads to a visual impairment, decrease in vision. Cataracts often deve ...
bearers of
Lower NubiaLower Nubia is the northernmost part of Nubia, downstream on the Nile The Nile ( ar, النيل, an-Nīl, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin: Áman Dawū) is a major north-flowing river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually fre ...
, and people of Ethiopia, Ethiopians.


Contemporary issues

Nubia was divided between Egypt and Sudan after colonialism ended and the Republic of Egypt was Egyptian Revolution of 1952, established in 1953, and the Republic of Sudan seceded from Egypt in 1956. In the early-1970s, many Egyptian and Sudanese Nubians were forcibly relocated to make room for Lake Nasser after Aswan Dam, dams were constructed at
Aswan Aswan (, also ; ar, أسوان, ʾAswān ; cop, Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ, Souan ) is a city in the south of Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast ...

Aswan
. Nubian villages can be found north of Aswan on the west bank of the Nile and on Elephantine Island. Many Nubians now live in large cities like Cairo.


Nubian Images

File:Nubian. Female Figurine, ca. 3500-3100 B.C.E.jpg, Nubian terracotta female figurine from the Neolithic period ca. 3500–3100 BC Brooklyn Museum File:Nubian king with bow, Buhen Fortress.jpg, Nubian king with bow, Buhen Fortress, 1650 BC, Univ. of Chicago Museum File:Nubian Tribute Presented to the King, Tomb of Huy MET DT221112.jpg, Nubian Tribute Presented to the King, Tomb of Huy MET DT221112 File:Nubians bringing tribute for King Tut, Tomb of Huy.jpg, Nubians bringing tribute for King Tut, Tomb of Huy File:Gebel Barkal Amun temple (B500).JPG, Temple of Amun, Jebel Barkal File:Nubia- 2008- Piramidi Khartoum-2.jpg, Entrance to Great Enclosure, Musawwarat es-Sufra File:Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe-114985.jpg, Column and elephant – part of temple complex in Musawwarat es-Sufra File:A great pyramid at Meroe in 1821.jpg, Pyramid of Amanishakheto File:Amanishakheto Jewellery 03.jpg, Jewelry of Kandake Amanishakheto File:Lion temple relief, Naga (Sudan).jpg, Copy of relief from Naqa depicting Amanitore (second from left), Natakamani (second from right) and two princes approaching a three-headed Apedemak. File:The Archer King, National Museum of Sudan, Khartoum, Sudan, North-East Africa (cropped).jpg, The "Archer King", an unknown king of Meroe, 3rd century BC. National Museum of Sudan. File:Nieznany - Malowidło ścienne - Biskup Petros pod opieką Św. Piotra-1.jpg, Bishop Petros, Christian Nubia File:Jebel Sheikh Suleiman.jpg, The Relief of Gebel Sheikh Suleiman probably shows the victory of an early Pharaoh, possibly Djer, over A-Group Nubians circa 3000 BC. File:Christian wall painting from Kalabsha, Nubia.png, Now gone Christian Nubian wall painting in the Temple of Kalabsha


See also

*
Kerma culture The Kerma culture or Kerma kingdom was an early civilization centered in Kerma, Sudan. It flourished from around 2500 BC to 1500 BC in ancient Nubia. The Kerma culture was based in the southern part of Nubia, or "Upper Nubia" (in parts of present-d ...
*List of monarchs of Kerma *
Kingdom of Kush The Kingdom of Kush (; : 𓎡𓄿𓈙 ''kꜣš'', : ''Ku-u-si'', in grc, Κυς and Κυσι; cop, ; he, כּוּשׁ) was an ancient kingdom in , centered along the in what is now northern and southern . The region of Nubia was an ea ...
*List of monarchs of Kush *
Napata Napata (Old Egyptian The Egyptian language or Ancient Egyptian ( egy, 𓂋𓏺𓈖 𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖, , cop, ϯⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ) is an Afro-Asiatic language Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamit ...
*Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt *Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt family tree *
Meroë Meroë (; also spelled ''Meroe''; Meroitic or ; ar, مرواه, translit=Meruwah and ar, مروي, translit=Meruwi, label=none; grc, Μερόη, translit=Meróē) was an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile The Nile ( ar, الني ...
*Kandake, Queens of Meroe *Military of ancient Nubia *Nubian pyramids *
NubiologyNubiology is the designation given to the primarily archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthr ...
*Merowe Dam


Notes


Further reading

* Adams, William Y. (1977): ''Nubia: Corridor to Africa'', London. * * Bell, Herman (2009): ''Paradise Lost: Nubia before the 1964 Hijra'', DAL Group. * "Black Pharaohs", ''National Geographic'', Feb 2008 * Bulliet et al. (2001): ''Nubia, The Earth and Its Peoples'', pp. 70–71, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. * Drower M. (1970): ''Nubia A Drowning Land'', London: Longmans. * Emberling, Geoff (2011): ''Nubia: Ancient Kingdoms of Africa''. New York: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. * Fisher, Marjorie, et al. (2012): ''Ancient Nubia: African Kingdoms on the Nile''. The American University in Cairo Press. * Hassan, Yusuf Fadl (1973): ''The Arabs and the Sudan'', Khartoum. * Jennings, Anne (1995) ''The Nubians of West Aswan: Village Women in the Midst of Change'', Lynne Reinner Publishers. *O'Connor, David (1993): ''Ancient Nubia: Egypt's Rival in Africa'', Philadelphia, The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania. * Thelwall, Robin (1978): "Lexicostatistical relations between Nubian, Daju and Dinka", ''Études nubiennes: colloque de Chantilly, 2–6 juillet 1975'', 265–286. * Thelwall, Robin (1982) 'Linguistic Aspects of Greater Nubian History', in Ehret, C. & Posnansky, M. (eds.)
The Archeological and Linguistic Reconstruction of African History
'' Berkeley/Los Angeles, 39–56. * Török, László (1997): ''The Kingdom of Kush: Handbook of the Napatan-Meroitic Civilization''. Brill Academic Publishers. * Valbelle, Dominique, and Charles Bonnet (archeologist), Bonnet, Charles (2006): ''The Nubian Pharaohs''. New York: The American University in Cairo Press.


Notes


External links


African Kingdoms

Ancient Sudan Website



Medieval Sai Project

"Journey to Ethiopia, Eastern Sudan, and Nigritia"
was written by Pierre Trémaux in 1862–63. It features extensive descriptions and drawings of Nubia.
1960s Nubia Scrapbook

Nubian Foundation for Preserving a Cultural Heritage
{{Regions of the world Nubia, History of Nubia, Ancient peoples Nubian people, + Historical regions Ancient Greek geography of East Africa