NUBIA AND THE ORIGINS OF MAN AS GOD-LIKE
This article was compiled by Jodi Phillips May 2014, for the Institute of Black Academics
concerning Black Under achievement.
PUBLISHED 09 MAY 2014 04:26
When discussing the civilisations of the Nile Valley, many histories focus almost exclusively on the role of Egypt. But this approach ignores the emergence further south on the Nile of the kingdom known to the Egyptians as Kush, in the region called Nubia - the area now covered by southern Egypt and Northern Sudan.
The relationship between Egypt and Kush was a complex one, which changed depending on the political and economic climate of the time.
"Nubia was the meeting place of the Mediterranean and African civilisation. The relationship between Egypt and upper Nubia was completely different from time to time and period to period. If the Egyptian king's power is widespread it catches everything under its control and Nubia comes under Egyptian authority, but if it is weak, then upper Nubia is ruled by itself." - Osama Abdel Meguid, Director of the Nubian Museum in Aswan
The Kushites were first based in Kerma, and then at Napata - both towns in what is now northern Sudan.
Kerma was an advanced society and archaeological evidence shows that ceramics were being produced by 8,000 BC - earlier than in Egypt. By about 1700 BC, the town had grown into a town of 10,000 people with a complex hierarchical society.
Egypt could not ignore its southern neighbour although its interest was predominantly economic. Nubia was rich with minerals such as stones needed for the building of temples and tombs, and gold, needed for jewellery. Indeed Kush was one of the major gold producers of the ancient world.
At one stage Nubia, was occupied by Egypt for about 500 years and then the tables turned. From around 850 BC, the Egyptian state fell into such decline that what became known as the 25th dynasty rose in Nubia, with authority over all of Egypt.
This dynasty based at Napata was known as the 'Ethiopian' dynasty. Although it was heavily influenced by Egyptian culture and religion, it was in many ways the first great African power.
In 713 BC King Shabaka came to power in Kush and brought the Nile Valley as far as the Delta under his control. The name of one of his successors, King Taharqa, is found on inscriptions throughout the Valley.
Moving to Meroe
The dynasty ended following a military defeat at the hands of the Assyrians and in about 600 BC the capital of the Kushite kingdom was moved from Napata to Meroe, further south along the Nile.
[Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/specials/1624_story_of_africa/page90.shtml].