Nubian FortsForts - The Military
The Middle Kingdom Period of Egyptian Royalty began constructing a string of 17 Forts in Nubia after they had conquered the Nubians. This string of Forts which Pharaoh Senusret I, and later Pharaoh Senusret III, commissioned to be built, all stand along the river at strategic locations, following the topology that the Land gives them, and are named aggressively.
But, the Fortresses should not just be viewed as Military Stage points for military or warfare purposes. They were hubs of activity for trade and safe havens for Traders and their Goods, which included Ebony Wood, Animals Skins, Incense, Ivory, Resin, Ostrich Feathers and most importantly Gold from Nubia which the Royal Family and the uppermost Nobles craved.
This string of Nubian Fortresses with their accompanying Towns were constructed on and below the Second Cataract of the Nile in modern day Sudan. They controlled roughly 320 kilometers of River and surrounding land from the First Cataract of the Nile at Aswan to just before the Second Cataract.
To visit one of the Nubian Forts, click on the relevant image below
Built on what is now an Island in Lake Nasser, the Fort at Askut was one of the Nubian Line of 17 Forts and was built during the reign of Pharaoh Senusret III during Egypt’s 12th Dynasty. The Fort measures 87 meters long by 77 meters wide, with mudbrick Walls of over 5 meters thick.
One of the smaller Forts in this Nubian String is situated on an Island roughly 5 kilometres south of the largest Fortress at Buhen. The Fort at Dabenarti was erected around 1900 BC, measured 230 by 60 meters, and was abandoned around 1700 BC.
This Fort is sometimes referred to as Semna East as it is located opposite the Semna Fort. It was erected in Dynasty 12 by Pharaoh Senusret III but now lies under the waters of Lake Nasser. By the New Kingdom Period the Fort had the additions of Temples, Cemeteries and houses which all supported local Nubian town and village settlements.
Named after the Cataract in the Nile River where the Fort is built, the Semna Fort, or Semna South Fort, is roughly 24 miles south of Wadi Halfa in a Gorge which is the narrowest point of the Nile Valley. The Fort was built in Dynasty 12 in an L shape following the ground it is built on. In Egyptian it was known as the Subduer of the Seti-land and was connected to the Fort now known as Semna West by a large Wall.