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Ta-Seti, Land of the Bow

The Places

Home to the Kingdom of Kush. It was enveloped into Egypt under Pharaoh Thutmose I around 1500BC

Where: Area between modern Aswan in Egypt and Khartoum in Sudan 

When: Traced back to 2500BC

Who: Kushites: Nubia was divided into 3 regions:

  • Upper: South of 3rd Cataract on the Nile River
  • Middle: Between the 2nd and 3rd Cataracts on the Nile River
  • Lower: Between the 1st and 2nd Cataracts on the Nile River


1st Nubian Culture
Neolithic Peoples who moved up from today’s southern Sudan. They were a Cattle Culture who can be seen in the Saharan Rock Reliefs. They were involved with the Megaliths at Nabta Playa which is the world’s first Astronomical device

2nd Nubian Culture
3500BC who engaged in trade with the Ancient Egyptians

3rd Nubian Culture
2500 – 1500BC they divided into small Kingdoms including the Saharan Nomads. During 2040 to 1640BC Egypt expanded into Nubia with mainly peaceful relationship and peoples the north of the Sudan became known as the Medjay

The Medjay

They worked for the Egyptians in their Garrison’s Military Outposts and as Scouts as they were mainly nomadic desert peoples

By the 18th Dynasty the Medjay were an elite paramilitary police force who were used to protect valuable areas especially Royal and Religious areas.


The Kerma

The peoples of Kerma were one of earliest to build an urban center in the Nile region, and by 1750BC the Kings of Kerma were powerful enough to have organised the erection of walls, structures and the richest of tombs when all around were nomadic desert tribes.

The Kerma nearly defeated the Egyptians but the Egyptians retaliated in the New Kingdom period and destroyed the Kingdom of Kerma and expanded Egypt down to the 4th Cataract.

By the end of Pharaoh Thutmose I’s reign, all of northern Nubi was annexed into Egypt. The Egyptians quickly built a new administrative center at Napta which was used to produce Gold and Incense as well as provide security.

Kush, The Naptian Period

Egypt moved from the Napata region leaving a legacy that merged with the indigenous customs and formed the Kingdom of Kush.


When the Nubians became the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt

King Kashta ruled Nubia from his Capital City of Napata; roughly 400km North from the present Sudanese capital of Khartoum.

He began the Kushite involvement in Egypt by arranging for his daughter, Princess Amenirdis I, to become the next God’s Wife of Amun in the mighty city of Thebes once Pharaoh Osorkon III’s daughter, Princess Shepenupet I, left the post.

This gave future Kushite Royals the thread that connected them legitimately to the Throne of Egypt.

The First Invasion

Nubian King Piye led the invasion of Egypt himself which he chronicled in his hieroglyphic “Stele of Victory”. This Stelae gives Egyptologists the information of how Piye records his elevation to be, “Pharaoh of all Egypt”, and how he further legitimised his reign by announcing him the, “Son of Re . . . . . Beloved of Amun” and Ruler of Lower & Upper Egypt. He therefore became the first Pharaoh of the 25th Dynasty. Current thinking sees the effort and planning that went into this Kushite invasion as the reason as to how Egypt was so readily conquered, and not due to a case of “exhaustion” which was previously thought to be the case.

Meroitic Period: 800-350BC

The capital city was at Meroe on the East Bank of the Nile

The people preserved some Egyptian customs but they gradually developed their own form of writing, away from hieroglyphics


Achaemenid Period: 350BC-350AD

The Achaemenids were in power in Kush whilst the Nubians were faced with the Roman Imperial Army. They lost the battle and the Kushite Army was then faced with an approaching Roman Army who were in occupation in southern Egypt under the Command of Prefect Gaius Petronius. They met and fought near Thebes and the Kushite’s were forced to retreat to Maharraqa, in the Kingdom of Kush. The Romans attempted to draw the Kushite’s into a peace agreement but they could not be lured in. So Prefect Petronius advanced and seized the Kushite city of Karanog and the city of Napata, the second Capital.

The region was decimated and those who had not been abducted to be enslaved by the Romans then divided into smaller groups with their own leaders often coming from the mercenary armies. This left the whole area vulnerable and during the 4th Century the Noba invaded and conquered. This may well be where the name Nubia may have emanated from


Christian Nubia: 350AD

Nubia was invaded by the Kingdom of Aksum and Nubia practically collapsed. 3 small Kingdoms emerged to replace it:-

  • North Kingdom of Nobatia, Capital at Pachoras
  • Middle Kingdom of Makuria, Capital at Old Dongola
  • South Kingdom of Alodia, Capital at Soba

Makuria expanded and was the power by the 7th Century and its rulers set about agreeing to a Peace Treaty with Muslim Rulers in Egypt

A Peace Treaty which lasted for 600 years

Slowly Islam was introduced to the area by Traders and the Nubian kingdom collapsed around 1504 with Islam supplanting Christianity


Islamic Nubia

In the 14th Century the Dongolan Government collapsed and the region was once more divided and dominated by the Arabs

Northern Nubia was controlled by Egypt and Southern Nubia was under the Kingdom of Sennar

By the 19th Century Nubia was all under the control of Egypt under the rule of Muhammad Ali


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