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Ancient African Kingdom of Kush


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Ancient Kushite-Nubian Civilization

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Ancient African Kingdom of Kush

  1. 1. The Ancient African Kingdom of Kush Du Sable Museum of African American History November 20, 2014 Dr. Josef Ben Levi
  2. 2. Map of Ancient Kush
  3. 3. Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop on The Fear of Evading the Question of Egypt as an African Civilization. • Diop (1974) further stated that: • The African historian who is skeptical and evades the problem of Egypt is,...neither modest or objective, nor unruffled; he is ignorant, cowardly, and neurotic. Imagine, if you can, the uncomfortable position of a Western historian who was to write the history of Europe without referring to Greco-Latin antiquity and try to pass that off as an scientific approach. (1974, p. xiv) • Philosophy is a factor in the life history of the human experience. • Why is it that European philosophy is called simply philosophy but African philosophy is designated as ethnophilosophy? 5
  4. 4. Images from the Tomb of Rameses III 19th Dynasty
  5. 5. • Fundamental to this academic denial is the way historiography is constructed in the Western academy and its foundations in George Wilhelm Frederick Hegel's thinking about the place of Egypt, whose accomplishments he places outside of the African sphere. • He stated that Africa had no history. For Hegel, Egypt was of Asiatic or European origin or what he called Hither Asia. He argued that: • Africa's northern coast, was to be and must be attached to Europe. (1899/1956, p.99). • Since the two main criteria Hegel used to define philosophical thought were reasoned discourse and written records, for Hegel: • Africa was in an unhistorical, underdeveloped spirit, in a state of nature and only on the threshold of the world's history. (1899/1956, p. 99). • While castigating Africa, Hegel does later acknowledge that Egyptian civilization received its culture from what the Greeks called Ethiopia, mainly the Kushite capital at Merowe which is at the fourth cataract of the Nile valley in what is called the Sudan today. 7
  6. 6. • Hegel goes on to say: • At this point we leave Africa, not to mention it again, for it is no historical part of the world; it has no movement or development to exhibit. (1988/1956, p. 99) • Hegel, essentially, relegates Africa and her people to what amounts to a footnote in his introduction. • Hegel detaches Egypt from Africa and consequently, the Africans from Egypt. • He went on to argue that the Greeks got rid of all the foreign nature of philosophy so well that it was essentially of Greek origin (Hegel, 1899/1956). 8
  7. 7. • A German scholar, Johann Gottfried Von Herder (1744-1803), created the concept of an imaginary connection between the ancient histories of Western Europe and ancient Greece and Rome. • This was in spite of the fact that the Germanic peoples and their early history is not nor ever was connected with ancient Greece or Rome. • But This notion of origins did not really matter so long as one could be constructed and agreed upon within a respected academic consensus. • Herder influenced the historical perceptions of both Georg Wilhelm Frederick Hegel and Max Weber. 9
  8. 8. • Herder made the case that history is essentially the story of great men and battles. • This was a view that led to the establishment of two historical doctrines, the Crocean doctrine of Benedetto Croce and Paul Veyne doctrine. • The Croce-Veynes doctrine of history which stated that: • The intelligence of history has been enriched from the time of the ancient Greeks to today. (1985; 2001, p. 1; p. 129-130) • Hegel's line of thinking has influenced the popular Western European and American concept of Africa as well as the Western academy's view about African philosophy. • The ancient histories of Western Europe created an imaginary connection between itself and ancient Greece and Rome was a concept developed by a German scholar, Johann Gottfried Von Herder (1744-1803). • This was in spite of the fact that the Germanic peoples and their early history is not nor ever was connected with ancient Greece. 10
  10. 10. Geography: Ta Seti, Wawat, Kush, Yamm • Ancient Kush is the foundation of Classical Nile Valley Civilizations. It is located in the area of present Upper Egypt (Lower Nubia) and the Sudan (Upper Nubia). • Its earliest development started in the Western Sahara around Nabta Playa, in the Eastern Desert around the Wadi Hammamat near the Red Sea and the Southern region near the origin of the Nile River. • From these three regions emerged the African people we today call the ancient Nubians. • All of the major cataracts of the Nile flow through ancient Nubia or Kush. •
  11. 11. Geo-Political Names for Nubian Locations in Ancient Kemetic Texts: • Ta-Seti- (Land of the Bow) • Ta-Nehesy-(Land of the Nehesy People) • Wawat (Lower Nubia) • Irjet-(Lower Nubia) • Satju-(Lower Nubia) • Kaau-(Upper Nubia) • Iuntiu-Setiu (Eastern Desert) • Yamm (Upper Nubia) • Nubia (Gold Lands?) • Punt-(Upper Nubia-Red Sea)
  12. 12. Ethnic Nubian Names in Ancient Kemetic Texts: • Kush-(12-32nd Dynasties) • Sha’at-(Isle of Sai) • Iryshek-(Western Desert) • Tua-(Western Desert) • Imana’a-(Western Desert) • Ruket-(Western Desert) • Awshek-(Eastern Mountains) • Webet-Sepat (Eastern Mountains) • Khenet-Hennefer (Kush-18th Dyn.) • Irem-(Dongola Bend-Old Yamm) • Miu – (Bayuda Region-5th cataract) • Karoy-(Napata area) • Meroe-(Baruat)-East Bank of Nile, South of 5th cataract • Butana- (Inland from Merowe)
  13. 13. Sources of Information: -Egyptian texts - Greek and other contemporary texts
  14. 14. Ancient Writers on Nubia • Homer • Herodotus • Eratosthenes • Claudius Ptolemy • Olympiodorus • Strabo • Diodorus Siculus • Flavius Josephus • Pomponious Mela • Pliny the Elder • Julius Africanus • Procopius • Ammianus Marcellinus
  15. 15. Some Names for Nubia: *Ta – Seti (“Land of the Bow”) * Wawat (Lower Nubia) * Kush (Upper Nubia) * Ethiopia (Greek -- “Land of the Sun-Burned/Burnt Faces”) {not the same as modern Ethiopia (Axum, Abyssinia)} * Meroë
  16. 16. • Mdw Ntr – Divine Speech- • Ta Seti- Land of the Bow- • Kush- the Southern Land- • Ta Netcher – The Land of the Divinities • Ta Nehesi – Land of the Southerners- • Nehesi – The Up River Ones –
  17. 17. George A. Reisner 1867 - 1942
  18. 18. African-American Writers on Ancient Nubia
  19. 19. Martin Robeson Delaney (1812-1865)
  20. 20. Henry Highland Garnet (1815-1882)
  21. 21. Maria W. Stewart (1803-1897)
  22. 22. Dr. Alexander Crummell (1819-1898) Africa and the American Negro: Addresses and Proceedings of the Congress on Africa, December 13-15, 1895
  23. 23. Antenor Firmin (1850-1911) • Antenor Firmin predicted that the United States would have a Black president in 1885!
  24. 24. Dr. William Edward Burghardt DuBois (1868-1963)
  25. 25. Joseph Ephraim Casely-Hayford (1866-1930) Ethiopia Unbound: Studies in Race Emancipation
  26. 26. Edward E. and Josephine E. Carlisle
  27. 27. Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden (1832-1912)
  28. 28. Dr. Rufus Perry (1834-1895) • The Cushite, or the Descendants of Ham as Found in the Sacred Scriptures and in the Writings of Ancient Historians and Poets from Noah to the Christian Era, 1893.
  29. 29. Dr. George Washington Williams (1849-1891)
  30. 30. Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins (1859-1930)
  31. 31. Leila Amos Pendleton (1860-?)
  32. 32. Dr. Willis Nathaniel Huggins (1886-1941)
  33. 33. George Wells Parker (1882-1931) 1918. The Children of the Sun. Omaha: Hamitic League of the World. 2d reprint ed., Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1981.
  34. 34. William Leo Hansberry (1894-1965) 1974. Pillars in Ethiopian History: The William Leo Hansberry African History Notebook – Vol. I. Edited by Joseph Harris. Washington: Howard University Press. 1977. Africa and Africans as Seen by Classical Writers: The William Leo Hansberry African History Notebook – Vol. II. Edited by Joseph Harris. Washington: Howard University Press.
  35. 35. Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965)
  36. 36. Drusilla Dunjee Houston (1876-1941) 1926. Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Cushite Empire. Oklahoma City: Universal Publishing Co. Reprint, Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1985.
  37. 37. Dr. Chancellor Williams (1898-1992)
  38. 38. Dr. John Glover Jackson (1907-1993) 1939. Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization: A Critical Review of the Evidence of Archaeology, Anthropology, History and Comparative Religion – According to the Most Reliable Sources and Authorities. New York: Blyden Society. Reprint, Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1985.
  39. 39. Dr. John Henrik Clarke (1915-1998)
  40. 40. Dr. Yosef A.A. Ben Jochannan (1918- )
  41. 41. Dr. Ivan Van Sertima (1935-2009)
  42. 42. Dr. Johnson Coleman De Graft-Johnson (1919- )
  43. 43. Dr. Miriam Maat Ka Re Monges (1955- )
  44. 44. Dr. Necia Desiree Harkless (1920 - )
  45. 45. Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop (1923-1986)
  47. 47. PALEOLITHIC ends 8,000 BC MESOLITHIC 8,000 – 5,000 BC NEOLITHIC 4,900 – 3,000 BC
  48. 48. CHALICE
  49. 49. The Qustul Incense Burner
  50. 50. Relations with Egypt
  51. 51. 13 Ta -- “Land” Seti -- “Bow” Ta-Seti “Land of the Bow”
  52. 52. Army Recruits {Weni} Irtjet Medja Yam {Iam} Wawat Kaau
  53. 53. Army Recruits {Weni} Irtjet Medja Yam {Iam} Wawat Kaau
  54. 54. Bega People Ancient and Modern
  55. 55. Khasekhemwy Statue of King Khasekhemwy, the last king of the Second Dynasty (ca. 2686B.C.) was found at Hierakonpolis in ancient Nubia in 1898. Also the funerary stela of the First Dynasty king “Djed," with the niched facade of his palace called a serekh to hold his name and designate him as a king.
  56. 56. FIGURINES
  58. 58. Nubian Nations and Others From the Tomb of Anen New Kingdom
  59. 59. Headwear of the Rulers (Qore) of Kush
  60. 60. Taharka
  61. 61. Images from the Tomb of Ramesses III
  62. 62. Egyptian 11th Dynasty Mentuhotep II
  63. 63. Mentuhotep and his Daughter Kemset
  64. 64. Kemset, The Black Sister, Daughter of Methuhotep
  65. 65. Aushead
  66. 66. Classical Nubian Images
  67. 67. Ancient Nubian Images
  68. 68. Busiris Amphora
  69. 69. Caeretan Hydria showing Herakles and Busiris with Egyptians -Front
  70. 70. Caeretan Hydria showing Herakles and Busiris with Egyptians- Back
  72. 72. Doukki Gel/Pnub
  73. 73. Diagnostic-Burial TUMULUS
  74. 74. BURIAL BED
  77. 77. “KERMA / TULIP BEAKER”
  78. 78. Full Frame from the Tomb of Huy
  79. 79. The Princes and Princesses of Kush
  80. 80. The “Fake” Prices and Princesses of Kush
  81. 81. Mai Her Peri- Lion on the Battlefield
  82. 82. Hieratic Biographical Text of Mai Her Peri
  83. 83. The Africans of the Ancient Nile Valley I
  84. 84. Africans of the Nile Valley II
  85. 85. Entertainment for the Royal family
  86. 86. Mentuemhat Ruler of Thebes, 4th Prophet of Amon – 25th Dynasty
  87. 87. Herihor, High Priest of Amon – 20th Dynasty
  88. 88. The Rulers of Kush in the Kerma Museum
  89. 89. Ancient Kushite Crown Names
  90. 90. Napatan burial sites: El-Kurru Nuri
  91. 91. God’s Wife of Amun
  92. 92. Amenirdis I Daughter of Kashta
  93. 93. Shepenwepet II Daughter of Piye
  94. 94. Meroitic Period 250 BC – 350 AD
  95. 95. Apedemak
  96. 96. Qore – “King” Kandake – “Queen” Kandake Candace
  97. 97. Shanakdakhete 170 – 150 BC
  98. 98. Amanitore & Natakamani 1 – 20 AD
  99. 99. Amanishakheto 10 – 1 BC
  100. 100. The Medieval Nubian Period: 550-1500 c.e. • This period is divided into three kingdom: Nobatia :200-543 CE., Makuria:650-700 CE., and Alwa 580- 1504 CE. • This is the period known as Christian Nubia. At this period many Nubians became Monophysite or “Coptic” Christians. • Nobatia remained a Christian Kingdom until it was conquered by the Moslems under Arab clans such as the Beni Kanz who converted the people to Islam and intermarried with their women. During this time a treaty was established between Nubia and Egypt called the “Baqt” • The Nubian Christian Kingdoms were finally conquered by Muhammad Ali in 1504.
  101. 101. Baqt Treaty 1.In 652 CE. a treaty between Nubia and Egypt was signed under Abdallah ibn Sa’ad ibn Abi Sahr in which Nubia would supply 360 “slaves” each year to Arab Egypt and promise not to attack them. In return Egypt would provide 1300 “gallons” of wine. 2. In 720 CE. a “Baqt” is signed between Egypt and the Beja. 3. In 758 CE. The Abbasid Dynasty complained that it was not receiving any “Baqt” payments and the Blemmeyes attack Upper Egypt. 4. Between 819-822 CE. The King of Dongola and the Beja refuse to pay “baqt” and mount an attack on Egypt. 5. In 1268 The King od Dongola, Dawud pay “baqt” to the Mamlukes. 6. In 1317 The Christian king of Nubia is defeated and the first Muslim King, Abdullah Bar Shambu is place on the throne in Dongola. The first mosque is built in Dongola and the “baqt” is reestablished.
  102. 102. Churches and Mausoleums from the Early Christian Era
  103. 103. Musa Hilal Janjaweed (Devils on Horseback) and his Army
  104. 104. Destruction of the Fur Kingdom
  105. 105. Saint Josephine Bahkita • She was born in 1869 in the village of al-Gossa in Darfur of the Dago clan • In 1878 at age 9 she was kidnapped by Arab slavers. • The Arabs named her “Bahkita” (Fortunate). • She was sold many time until a Turkish general sold her to an Italian family from Genoa. • She was sent to a convent as a servant to her owners daughter. • She refused to return to Africa and was freed by the Catholic church and became a nun in 1896. • She was canonized as St. Bakhita in 1992.
  106. 106. National Images 6: Nubian Women
  107. 107. Modern Nubian Women and Girls
  108. 108. Contemporary Africans of the Nile Valley
  109. 109. Modern Nubian Men and Boys
  110. 110. Ethnic Images: Mahas
  111. 111. Modern Nubian Family
  112. 112. The Celator Numismatics Journal These ancient Kushite coins were first published in The Celator Vol.17, No.10, Oct. 2003. At that time it was “assumed” that the coins were inscribed in “Aramaic” even though there was no evidence among the Numismatics and graphologists arguing over the inscriptions that this was the case. They finally concluded that it was an indecipherable language. They, at the time, never conceived of the possibility that the coins could be from ancient Africa. A member of the Society Historia Numorum out of Boston, Mass. and remembered seeing similar inscriptions in the Sudan in 1977 decided to seek out a Meroitic Language “scholar” on the internet. That is how I became involved in this project with members of the “Society” in early 2008. That association ultimately led to my correctly deciphering the inscriptions on the coins by the end of 2008 and solving a “Hidden Ancient African” riddle that had existed since these coins were found in 1858. Since that time I have received other coins from them to decipher and the work is continuing. This is a brief story about my decipherment of the first two ancient Kushite coins. This opens a whole new area of research for African scholars who want to go beyond mere coin collecting as a hobby.
  113. 113. Classic Athenian Tetradrachm Owl Coin 449 bce Ancient coins were known as Celators-to engrave, carve. They were widely used throughout the ancient Greek world. When other countries did not have any they minted their own. The reverse side has the owl alongside the Greek word for “ethnic” or “nation” which suggest that it was the “national” currency . The olive leaf represents olive oil which was the most important product exported from Athens. The crescent moon represents the victory of the Athenians over the Persians at the Battle of Salamis in 480 bce which was fought under the “waning moon”. This lead to the Greek ideal of constitutional government, private property, individualism, and all of the notions that are equated with Western civilization today. The “owl” possibly means “wisdom”? Athena is, of course, derived from– Net/Neith - of Sais. She was the Principle of the “Weaver” and “Shooter” . She was also a Mother Principle as counterpart to Mut the symbol of Motherhood. She was also sometimes identified with H at-Hor
  114. 114. Phoenician Tetradrahm 460-404 bce The Phoenician letter (w-sin/shin) carved into the cheek of Athena indicates that this coin was minted in the city of Sidon in Phoenicia.
  115. 115. Himyarite Owl Coin 27 bce – 14 ce. This Himyarite Owl coin from the time of Octavian or Augustus Caesar with a wreath on his head and the owl with an amphora under its feet. To the right of the owl are the ancient Himyarite letters “Y” over “A” and to the left are the letters “H” over “P” and the letter “N” under “P” with the letter “B” left of “P”.
  116. 116. Sabean Owl Coin 3rd cent. bce
  117. 117. Persian Owl Coin 400 bce
  118. 118. Egyptian Issue Owl Coin from the time of the Persian Satrap ArtaXerxes III Ochus 343-338 bce Athens started using coins issued with the owl about 510 bce. Around the same time that the Athenian democratic society was established under Kleisthenes. (Herodotus) In 449 bce. The Athenian Coinage Decree was signed which sought to force Athens’ allies to use Athenian coins, weights and measures. This may have been due to the moving of the Athenian Leagues treasury from Delos to Athens. Coins started being minted in Egypt (Kemet) during the Persian periods ( 525-404 bce) and (343-332 bce.) During this time lots of “owl” tetradrachms were produced. There were also smaller denominations such as dekadrachms, didrachms, drachms, etc. Silver Owl coinage was used throughout Roman Imperial times until it was discontinued in 267 ce.
  119. 119. Meroitic Script
  120. 120. Kandake of Irem Kushite Coin
  121. 121. Candace or Meroitic- Kdqy-Kandake
  122. 122. Qore Khabbash Meroitic Coin To commemorate the reestablishment of ancient Kushite rule in the Nile Valley or, Weheme Mesu, Kabbash, had a coin minted in his honor. It is clear that it was minted in Kush as is indicated by the inscription below the olive leaves to the left of the owls head. What this confirms is not only that Kush had its own coinage, but that it had its own mint to produce them and their own scribes to inscribe them. It further supports the well known facts attested by the ancient writer such as Diodorus, Herodotus, Plato, and others of the significance of Kush as a trading and intellectual center in the Nile Valley at that time. It must be kept in mind that when the ancient Greeks and Romans were looking at the inhabitants of the Nile Valley in their time, they were looking at the descendants of the ancient Kushites, whom we would also call Nubians.
  123. 123. More Meroitic Owl Coins No. 122, 123, 124
  124. 124. • “If we are to take command of the world and recreate an African world order we must first recover the ability to conceive of such a task. We must first take command of our own minds” • Dr. Jacob H. Carruthers, “Essays in Ancient Egyptian Studies”, p.36, 1984.
  125. 125. Giving Life Like the Sun Forever