The Nubian civilization was strongly influenced by their northern neighbors, the Egyptians . Archaeologists have evidence revealing achievements in pottery and other artistic fields. They also created many temples that are found throughout Nubia. Many of these accomplishments resemble artifacts found in Egypt as well. Egypt had control over Nubia for many years, and when Egypt did not dominate, the two regions were peaceful. Kushite princes ventured into Egypt and brought back Egyptian customs and ideas to Nubia. Nubia
GEOGRAPHY • Nubia is located in today’s southern Egypt and northern Sudan, along the Nile River. • The Nubian desert is divided by the Nile River. • The borders separating Nubia from the rest of the world have shifted over time. • Nubia was five-hundred miles long, stretching from the Nile river that is 1/3 in modern day Egypt and 2/3 in the modern day Sudan. Nubia began before the first cataract and extended past the sixth cataract to Khartoum. • The Nubian kingdom served as a trade corridor because it was right on the way to Egypt. It connected the Mediterranean world to Africa. The Nile River influenced the Nubian civilization by providing them with the most basic and yet most essential aspect of a civilization: a constant supply of water.
GEOGRAPHY The fertile belt along the Nile River in Nubia is narrower than in Egypt. Lack of agriculture resulted in Nubia’s inability to support large cities like those in Egypt. The population of Nubia was much smaller than that of Egypt. Upper Nubia = South Lower Nubia = North The Nile provided the necessities and the Nubians relied on it as the Egyptians did. Nubians were very dependent on the Nile River, because the desert land of Nubia wasn’t suitable for agriculture. Today Nubia = Nile area between Aswan of Egypt a sea in the east and Libyan desert in the west.
Lower Nubia is the northern region, stretching from the First Cataract to Semna and the Second Cataract. Today, this is southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Upper Nubia extends along the Nile to the Sixth Cataract and Khartoum. Today, this is central Sudan. The Nile flows through Nubia, from south to north. The Nile bends in Upper Nubia. It turns southwest between the Fifth and Fourth cataracts, shaping the geography of Nubia. The Nile’s Influence on Nubia Similar to the Egyptians, the Nile River shaped much of their culture and provided a constant supply of water. http://www.touregypt.net/HistoricalEssays/nubia.htm
Important Dates in History
In 3100 to 1000 BC it was the Bronze Age
In 1550 to 1100 BC there was the colonization of Nubia by Egypt.
After the 20 th Dynasty in Egypt- Egypt loses control of Nubia
In 900 BC there is evidence of Nubian monarchy. This is known as the Kingdom of Kush since it started in Upper Nubia
In 770 BC it was the Napatan Period where kings extended their rule to the north
Soon after, Egypt was subjugated to Nubia control
In 23 BC Egypt falls to Roman control
The X-group period ended in 540 AD with onslaught of Christianity
After 1550 AD the Nubian empire completely dismantled. Nubian people were left scattered and moved into Egypt.
Upper/Lower Nubia formed three independent kingdoms- Nubadia, Makuria, Alodia. These kingdoms converted to Christianity in about the 6 th century A.D. In the 7 th century A.D., Nubadia and Makuria united to form a single kingdom that lasted for about 600 years. It was weakened in the 13 th century by Mamelukes from Egypt. In the 14 th century, Makuria was taken over by Arab nomads. The Arabs then established a Muslim kingdom. It was eventually degenerated into areas without authority. Nubadia and their client-state, Kingdom of Dotawo survived for about 100 years afterwards. Then they vanished in spite of unrecorded cultural identity. Lower Nubia was annexed by Ottoman Turks in 1550 A.D. to their Near Eastern empire.
• Nubian religion and culture are related to each other in many ways such as the sacred burials of pharaohs. • Amun was one of the most important gods, he was associated with the sun and the forces of nature. • He was represented as a ram with a sun disk above his head. They believed the king of Nubia was the son of Amun. • Nubian religion included a belief in the afterlife, with burial practices that evolved over time. • They left supplies such as water and food in the tombs of their dead. In 580 AD, Christianity became the official religion of Nubia . This is the Egypt god Amun Nubian Religion
Nubian Religion Today
The people of Nubia are mainly Muslim. They believe in one God and his prophet Mohammad.
The ceremonies of Muslim can be separated into three sections: the right of passage, the religious ceremonies and the agricultural rituals. The Nubians borrowed from the Islamic religion, where it is tradition to clean the body of the deceased, dress it, and wrap it in white cloth and have it buried before the first sun set.
Nubia built their own pyramids for royal tombs, creating their own pyramid style lasting from the middle of the 8 th century BC until the middle of the 4 th century
Much of their culture was influenced by Egyptians, but there are also many examples of influence on Egyptian culture from Nubia
Traders, immigrants, slaves and at times conquerors, brought with them art elements practices and religious ideas that became part of Egypt’s culture
The culture of Nubia changed dramatically in 250 A.D. New people immigrated to Nubia, and the archaeological ideas changed.
A main part of Nubian culture was abilities to make pottery.
Empires Cushite ruled Egypt in the 8th and 7th centuries B.C. Three Cushite Kingdoms: 1. Kerma = capital (2400 - 1500 B.C.) 3. Meroe = capital (590B.C. - 300 A.D.) Nubia can be referred to as Cush, Kush, Te-Nehesy, Nubadae, Napata, or the Kingdom of Meroe or…Nubia. Starting after the 1st Dynasty, when Nubia wasn’t ruled by Egypt, Nubian culture flourished and Nubians were able to interpret traditions of Africa and Egypt in their own way. Kingdoms sprung up and Nubian history began. King Awawa is the earliest known Nubian king During the Meriotic Kingdom, the Nubians had an unusually high number of queens. Lower and Upper Nubia were under control of Egypt by the Eighteenth Dynasty. First Nubian kingdom = Kerma. 2500-1500 B.C. 1950 B.C. : Egypt conquers Nubia 1150 B.C.: Nubia is ruled locally once again 800 B.C. : New Cushite kingdom. Influenced by Egypt. http://www.touregypt.net/HistoricalEssays/nubia.htm
Kings at Kerma ruled in Nubia by 1550 B.C. these rulers were buried in large tombs, along with hundreds of sacrificed people. In the Kerma culture, people generally made use of metal, and they advanced in the art of pottery. During this time, contact increased between Egypt and Nubia. 1950 to 1000 B.C.: Egypt ruled Nubia. Archaeologists have found Egyptian style temples in Kush. The Nubians worshipped Egyptian gods and practiced the Egyptian hieroglyphic writing system. Gold, ivory, and ebony were found in Nubia. These valuables were used to make treasures for the Egyptian Kings. When Egypt was threatened by northerners in 747 B.C., (soon after it had separated into rival states) the Egyptians asked for the Nubians’ protection and alliance. The Kushite king at the time, Piye, reunited and saved Egypt. Kushite kings then went on to rule both Nubia and Egypt for another 100 years. After an Assyrian invasion in 663 B.C., the Nubian king fled to Napata, and this era was discontinued. The Egyptians and Nubians had a “give-and-take” relationship. Not only were the Nubians influenced by the Egyptians, but the Egyptians also benefited from the Nubians. Every historic event pertaining to Nubia involved the Egyptians in some way.
Nubia created a lot of art. Their finest art was pottery.
Nubians were skilled builders. They were known for their intricate smelter, developed installations, central temples, houses and massive royal mound tombs
Gold, ivory, and ebony were found in Nubia. These valuables were used to make treasures for the Egyptian Kings.
The temples that Nubians built were greatly influenced by the Egyptians. These temples include:
The ancient temples north of Lake Nasser
The temples created between the High Dam and Abu Simbel
the main Temple of Kalabsha
Beit al-Wadi temple
Temple at Wadi as-Subua
Temple of Derr
Women played an important role in Nubian culture and history. In Nubian art, women were depicted as the possessors of the offspring of the gods.
Isis: Queen of all goddesses and illustration of the queen mother. There was a Cult of Isis; and it became the strongest religion in Nubia- lasted from Meroitic period to the X-group period.
Nubia had many strong queens due to the existence of women in their religion.
Nubian people were divided into classes by their pottery skills.
Nubian Citizen Characteristics
The Nubians had darker skin color; Mediterranean facial features and frizzy hair which made them look different from the Egyptians.
They consisted of three different groups based on their ethnic varieties.
The Kenuz who lived in the city of Aswan, speak Metouki
The Arabs who lived 40 kilometers south of Aswan, speak Arabic
The Fedija who occupied 130 kilometers of the southern Nile, speak Mahas.
Some Nubians were tillers of the soil and lived along the river in permanent settlements; others were nomads, who lived in the deserts on the fringes of the Nile and moved constantly about with their herds in search of new pastures. In ancient times people probably identified themselves, as they still proudly do today, by their tribe and their way of life.
Williams, Bruce. "Nubia." The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago . 19 Feb 2007. Oriental Institute. 24 Nov 2008<oi.uchicago.edu/museum/special/nubia>.
Dunn, Jimmy. "Nubia." Tour Egypt . 2004. Tour Egypt. 24 Nov 2008 <http://www.touregypt.net/HistoricalEssays/nubia.htm>.