The histories of Egypt and Nubia

Nubia and Egypt shared a common culture and border. Ancient Nubia was a commercial center for Central and Southern Africa. The name Nubia is derived from the Egyptian word "nub", meaning gold. Nubia was a golden city trading in gold, ebony, ivory, exotic , copper and precious metals.The ancient civilization of Nubia has long been forgotten by Europeans and Africans. 

 Time chart
The histories of Egypt and Nubia are so intertwined that an Egyptian time chart will clarify the development of Nubia.
Nubia - The Kingdom of Kush
The first Egyptian reference to Nubia appears in 1971 B.C. - 1928 B.C.. The early Egyptians referred to this area as the Kingdom of Kush. It was not until the crusaders of the Middle Ages that the word Nubia was used. The capital of Nubia was Kerma, then Napata and finally Meroe. These cities were commercial centers connecting Southern and Northern African commerce. Kerma hosted massive brick buildings which were devoted to commerce and the arts.
The history of the Kingdom of Kush, as this monarchy is usually called, is traditionally divided up into two main periods, named after the two cities that, in turn, served as the royal capital. The earlier phase of the kingdom (ca. 900-ca. 295 b.c.) is termed the Napatan Period, because the Nubian kings at this time rule d from Napata, a site located close to the Fourth Cataract. The later Meroitic Period (ca. 295 b.c.-a.d. 320) is named for its capital site of Meroe (pronounced Mer-oh-way), located south of the Fifth Cataract.
The Egyptians contested Nubia for control of Lower Nubia (Northern) and plotted to control Upper Nubia. The government of Nubia had supported the Hyskos in the Hyskos invasion of Egypt. The era of the New Kingdom had ushered in a time of Egyptian conquest and revenge. The Egyptian rulers sent an army into Nubia (1580 B.C), destroying the capital of the Kush Kingdom. The Egyptians founded a new capital at Napata (near the Fourth Cataract) and built a temple to their God - Amon. The Kingdom of Kush became an Egyptian colony. In the years that followed, Egypt fell into chaos. History has no record of the events of the next four hundred years. In the eighth century B.C., a Nubian dynasty dedicated to conquest raised an army and attacked Egypt. In 712 B.C., an African dynasty ruled both Egypt and Nubia. The Nubian Pharaohs followed Egyptian traditionalism and restored the rites and traditions of the old religion.
The destruction of the Nubian capital Kerma lead to the establishment of Napata as the center of Nubian life. The Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II built a temple of Amon at the base of the mountain Jebel Barkal, which was located in Napata. Egyptian priests came to worship at this site and the area became the second most important site in Egyptian religious worship (after Karnak). The mountaintop formation of Jebel Barkal contains an outcropping resembling the head of a cobra. The cobra was the symbol of Egyptian royalty. The Nubian rulers of Kush believed this was a sign from the God Amon of their right to the Egyptian throne. In 760 B.C., the Nubian King Kashta seized control of Lower (northern) Nubia from the Egyptians. He united Lower and Upper Nubia, conquered Upper (southern Egypt) and called himself Son of Ra of Upper and Lower Egypt. Kashta founded the Nubian Pharaohs of the 25th dynasty. In 730 B.C., Piye conquered Lower Egypt (northern Egypt). The Kush Empire extended 1,200 miles from the Mediterranean to Khartoum and beyond. Piye's sister became the high priestess in the Temple of Amon at Karnak. Piye was the first to build pyramids in Kush. Piye crowned himself Pharaoh and waged war against Libya.
In 716 B.C., Shabako (Piye's uncle) succeeded Piye. Shabako moved his capital to the city of Memphis. He loved to build pyramids and as a result, Nubia had more pyramids than Egypt. Shabako believed he was the restorer of the Egyptian traditions and the ancient glories.
In 690 B.C., Shabitko, the son of Piye, ascended to the throne. Shabitko sent arms to Judah in defiance of an Assyrian military threat. In 674 B.C., the Assyrian's invaded Egypt. The Nubian's were pushed back into Nubia proper. King Tanutamani was the last Nubian King to attempt to re-take Egypt. By 656 B.C., Nubian dominance of Egypt was at an end. The Nubian Empire had lasted less than a century. In 593 B.C., the names of the Nubian Pharaohs were erased from Egyptian monuments. In 591 B.C., Napata (the Nubian capital) was sacked. Meroe became the third Nubian capital.
The Nubian Kings would forever believe themselves the rightful rulers of Egypt. They would forever be addressed as rulers of Upper and Lower Egypt.
Meroe was the third capital of Nubia. It is situated between the Fifth and Sixth Cataracts. The Nubian culture, a mix of Egyptian, Greco-Roman and Southern Africa influences, would last for a thousand years. The Nubian Egyptian religion now included Black Gods. Alexander the Great invaded Egypt and established the Ptolemies Pharaohs. The Meroitic (Nubian) and Ptolemies (Greek-Egyptians) co-existed and thrived. In 30 B.C., Octavius Caesar defeated Cleopatra's army. Egypt became a Roman colony. The Roman's sent a legion, under the command of General Petronius (24 B.C. - 21 B.C.), to subdue Nubia and seize control of the gold trade. The Nubian army, led by Queen Amanirenas, smashed the Roman forces at Aswan, Philae, and Elephantine. The African army had stood against the most powerful state in the ancient world - Imperial Rome. This was Africa's finest hour. The Roman military had been stalemated and Nubia was divided into Lower Nubia (Roman) and Upper Nubia (Meroitic).
Meroitic history is filled with powerful Queen mothers. Women ruled with the same authority as men. The Meroitic alphabet has never been deciphered due to the lack of a translation key or Rosetta stone. The Nubians so disliked their Roman neighbors that a bust of Caesar Augustus was buried beneath a doorway to a temple. In this way, all who entered would step on his head. By A.D. 300-350, Meroe was abandoned due to environmental pollution. Meroe suffered the fate of an over industrialized nation. The smelting industry had poisoned the soil. Trees had been cut down and the resulting erosion had washed away the topsoil. The land was unable to grow the crops necessary to feed the population. A new kingdom of Axium became Africa's commercial center. In A.D. 350, the Christian King Ezana of Axium had defeated Meroitic forces.
Archeological findings have shown that the founding of Kerma dates back to 5,000 B.C.. The Nubian Empire pre-dates Egyptian civilization and its lifespan outlasted Egypt, Greece and Rome combined. The African army had defeated both Egyptian, Greek and Roman enemies. At the height of its power, Nubia was the center of the ancient world. The Kingdom of Kush, with its alphabet, commerce and architectural triumphs was the equal of its ancient world counterparts. In the modern world, the memory of this once great empire would fade into history.


Upper and Lower Egypt are united.
Pharaohs are absolute rulers.
The pyramids are built.

-2250 B.C

Monarchy weakened and feudal princes' wage internal wars.

-2000 B.C

The leadership of Thebes unifies Egypt
Tombs and Temples are built.

-1780 B.C

A northeastern peoples, the Hyskos invade Egypt.

-1660 B.C

Thebes and Memphis are centers of power.
Imperial age of conquest from Syria to the Sudan.
Ramses I, II and III were warrior Pharaohs.
Kerma, the capital of Nubia destroyed.

-1100 B.C

Egypt falls into chaos.
Nubian dynasty appears devoted to the Egyptian Gods.
Pharaohs are absolute rulers
Nubians conquer Egypt.
Assyrians destroy Thebes 663 B.C.

KERMA The oldest city in Africa, founded 5000 B.C.
First capital of Nubia.
The city covered 62 acres and housed a temple, palace, commercial center and over 200 homes.
Sacked by the Egyptians.
NAPATA The second capital of Nubia.
A sacred center devoted to the Egyptian Gods. The temple founded at Jebal Barkal, a sacred mountain, became the source of Nubian claims to the Egyptian throne. The Kings of Nubia invaded Egypt and established the 25th dynasty. They were the masters of the world. The Nubian Empire encompassed Syria in the north to Nubia in the south. The Nubian Kings supported the state of Israel in its struggle against the Assyrians.
Captured by an Egyptian and Greek assault in 591 B.C.
MEROE The third capital of Nubia.
Assyrian invaders had toppled the last of the Nubian Pharaohs. The Nubian dynasty would continue for another one thousand years. The Nubian culture at Meroe combined Egyptian and Southern African traditions. The Nubian written language (believed non-existent by Europeans) has never been translated.
Sacked by the Egyptians.

Rulers of Kush




00 Awawa
00 Nedjeh























0 Alara
1 Kashta
2 Piye
3 Shabaqo
4 Shebitqo
5 Taharqo
6 Tanwetamani
7 Atlanersa
8 Senkamanisken
9 Anlamani
10 Aspelta
11 Aramatelqo
12 Malonaqeñ
13 Analma'aye
14 Amani-nataki-lebte
15 Karkamani
16 Amaniastabarqo
17 Si'aspiqo
18 Nasakhma
19 Malowiebamani
20 Talakhamani
21 Irike-Amannote
22 Baskakeren
23 Harsiyotef
24 Unknown King
25 Akhratañ
26 Amanibakhi
27 Nastaseñ
28 Aktisanes
29 Aryamani
30 Kash...
31 Irike-Piye-qo
32 Sabrakamani







33 Arkamaniqo
34 Amanislo
35 Amanitekha
36 Shesep-ankh-n-amani
37 Arnekhamani
38 Arqamani
39 Adikhalamani
40 [...]mr[...]
41 Unknown King
42 Q Shanakdakheto
43 Tañyidamani
44 Naqyerinsan
45 Unknown King
46 Unknown King
47 Aqrakamani
48 Teriteqas
49 Q Amanirenas
49a Akinidad
50 Q Amanishakheto
51 Q Nawidemak
52 Amanikhabale
53a Natakamani
53b Q Amanitore
54 Shorakaror
55 Amanitaraqide
56 Aryesebokhe
57 King or Queen
58 Queen
59 Amanitenmomide
60 Q Amanikhatashan
61 Tarekenidal
62 Amanikhareqerem
63 Ariteñyesbokhe
64 Amanikhedolo
65 Takideamani
66 Mashadakhel
67 Teqorideamani
68 Maloqorebar
69 Tamelordeamani
70 Yesbokheamani
71 [...]k[...]
72 [.]p[...]niñ
73 Q Pat[.]rapeamani
74 Q Amanipilade


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