Year Five – Class 3Adjunct Professor – JoeBoisvertFall 2012 & Spring 2013
Prehistoric Egypt Ancient EgyptEarly Dynastic Period of Egypt: 31st to 27th centuries BC Old Kingdom of Egypt: 27th to 22nd centuries BC First Intermediate Period: 22nd to 21st centuries BC Middle Kingdom of Egypt: 21st to 17th centuries BC Second Intermediate Period: ca. 1640 to 1570 BC New Kingdom of Egypt: 1570 to 1070 BC Third Intermediate Period and 1070 to 664 BC Late Period of ancient Egypt Achaemenid Egypt: 525 to 402 BC and 343 to 332 BC Greco-Roman Egypt Ptolemaic Egypt: 332 to 30 BC Roman Egypt: 30 BC to AD 395 Byzantine Egypt: 395 to 645 Medieval Egypt Arab Egypt: 639 to 1250 Mamluk Egypt: 1250 to 1517 Ottoman Egypt: 1517 to 1805 Modern Egypt Egypt under the Muhammad Ali dynasty: 1805 to 1882 Modern Egypt: since 1882
The Nile River was home to two major civilization - Egypt and Kush. Is it Kush or Nubia? Kush conquered Nubia. Kush was conquered in turn. We call the region Kush/Nubia, but the ancestors of these people think of themselves as Nubian. Major Export: Iron Weapons and Tools, Ivory, Incense, Gold Natural resource: Nile River, Gold Mines Industries: Farming, mining, trading, defense (army) Agricultural crops: Yams (sweet potatoes), beans, rice, onions, sorghum, millet, papaya, gourds, cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, cotton, and peanuts. Economic specialization: Traders, miners, farmers, blacksmiths, soldiers Religion: The same gods and goddesses as ancient Egypt with a few extra thrown in like the 3-headed Lion God. Clothing: In the beginning, the same as Egypt - white, loose, cool cotton clothes. As time went on, the Nubians began dressing more like the people south of the Sahara, dressing in colorful cotton clothing, wearing nose plugs instead of collars and bracelets.
The histories of Egypt and Nubia are so intertwined that an Egyptian time chart will clarify the development of Nubia. Nubia - The Kingdom of Kush The first Egyptian reference to Nubia appears in 1971 B.C. - 1928 B.C.. The early Egyptians referred to this area as the Kingdom of Kush. It was not until the crusaders of the Middle Ages that the word Nubia was used. The capital of Nubia was Kerma, then Napata and finally Meroe. These cities were commercial centers connecting Southern and Northern African commerce. Kerma hosted massive brick buildings which were devoted to commerce and the arts
Napata as their spiritual homelandlargest pyramid at Nur
The Egyptians contested Nubia for control of Lower Nubia (Northern) and plotted to control Upper Nubia. The government of Nubia had supported the Hyskos in the Hyskos invasion of Egypt. The era of the New Kingdom had ushered in a time of Egyptian conquest and revenge. The Egyptian rulers sent an army into Nubia (1580 B.C), destroying the capital of the Kush Kingdom. The Egyptians founded a new capital at Napata (near the Fourth Cataract) and built a temple to their God - Amon. The Kingdom of Kush became an Egyptian colony. In the years that followed, Egypt fell into chaos. History has no record of the events of the next four hundred years.
Nubia (Land of Gold): The Kingdom of Kush (also called Nubia - the Land of Gold) was located on the Nile River, to the south of ancient Egypt. Nubia was also known as the Land of the Bow because their archers were expert and fierce. The army of archers kept the Nubian people safe. It was important for them to be strong. Many kingdoms wanted to control Nubia. Nubia was a land of natural wealth. They had gold mines, ivory, incense, and iron ore. Unlike Egypt, they were not dependent upon the flooding of the Nile for good soil. They enjoyed tropical rainfall all year long.
Daily Life of the Nobles: For many hundred of years, the nobles of ancient Kush thought of themselves as Egyptians. They dressed like Egyptians. Their homes were similar. The kings and nobles lived in riverside palaces. There were sailboats on the Nile. Their daily life was very much like the people they envied - the ancient Egyptians. As in ancient Egypt, many of their leaders were great Queens, not Kings. When the capital of the Kushite kingdom was moved further south along the Nile, they began to act less like Egyptians and more like other civilizations in South Sahara Africa. Their jewelry changed. They began wearing anklets and ear studs.
Religion: In the beginning, they worshiped the same gods as did the ancient Egyptians, with a few extra throw in like the three- headed Lion God. They mummified their dead. They build pyramids. Kush pyramids looked a little differently - they had flat tops, but they served the same purpose; they were tombs. The people of Kush loved stories from the Bible. Many became Christians because of the Bible stories they heard from passing traders.
Although they were two different kingdoms, Egypt and Kush were linked by the Nile River, by a shared past, and by the economics of the day. Kush had something other kingdoms wanted. They had iron. This time in history was known as the Iron Age. From about 1000 BCE to about 1000 CE, iron was critically important. Iron was used to make tools and weapons. Kush was the iron center of ancient Africa. Kush was also one of the major gold producers in the ancient World
Supply and Demand: As the demand for iron grew, Kush ran into a problem. To make iron, they needed to wood to burn. They had used up much of their wood. Their resources were dwindling. Kush could not produce as much iron as they had in the past, yet demand for iron was growing. Traders began to look elsewhere for iron. As trade dwindled, the country began to weaken. Kush looked around for new avenues of trade. They had incense. They had ivory. Certainly someone would want these wonderful products. The leaders of Kush began to turn their eyes towards the vast Sahara Desert.
It is an extremely difficult task to attempt to describe the Nubians during the course of Egypts New Kingdom, because their presence appears to have virtually evaporated from the archaeological record. The result has been described as a wholesale Nubian assimilation into Egyptian society. This assimilation was so complete that it masked all Nubian ethnic identities insofar as archaeological remains are concerned beneath the impenetrable veneer of Egypts material culture.
The Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, known as the Nubian Dynasty or the Kushite Empire, was the last dynasty of the Third Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt. The 25th dynasty was a line of rulers originating in the Nubian Kingdom of Kush and most saw Napata as their spiritual homeland. They reigned in part or all of Ancient Egypt from 760 BC to 656 BC. The dynasty began with Kashtas invasion of Upper Egypt and culminated in several years of war with the Assyrians which was to result in the destruction of the Kushite Empire. The 25ths reunification of Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt, and also Kush (Nubia) created the largest Egyptian empire since the New Kingdom
In the Kushite Period, when Nubians ruled as Pharaohs in their own right, the materialculture of Dynasty XXV (about 750–655 B.C.E.) was decidedly Egyptian in character. Nubias entire landscape up to the region of the Third Cataract was dotted with temples indistinguishable in style anddecoration from contemporary temples erected in Egypt. The same observation obtains forthe smaller number of typicallyEgyptian tombs in which these elite Nubian princes were interred.
They ushered in an age of renaissance by reaffirming Ancient Egyptian religious traditions, temples, and artistic forms, while introducing some unique aspects of Kushite culture. It was during the 25th dynasty that the Nile valley saw the first widespread construction of pyramids (many in modern Sudan) since the Middle Kingdom. After Assyrian kings Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal invaded Egypt and defeated and drove out the Nubians, they were succeeded by the Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt, the last native dynasty to rule Egypt before the Persian conquest.
In the eighth century B.C., a Nubian dynasty dedicated to conquest raised an army and attacked Egypt. In 712 B.C., an African dynasty ruled both Egypt and Nubia. The Nubian Pharaoh Taharqa and other Nubian Pharaohs followed Egyptian traditionalism and restored the rites and traditions of the old religion
Taharqa ushered in one of Ancient Egypts greatest periods of renaissance. He ruled as Pharaoh from Memphis, but constructed great works throughout the Nile Valley, including works at Jebel Barkal, Kawa, and Karnak. At Karnak, the Sacred Lake structures, the kiosk in the first court, and the colonnades at the temple entrance are all owed to Taharqa and Mentuemhet. Taharqa built the largest pyramid in the Nubian region at Nuri (near El-Kurru).
Taharqa, a son and third successor of King Piye, was the greatest of the Nubian pharaohs. His empire stretched from Palestine to the confluence of the Blue and White Niles. About 684 B.C. the Nile rose in a great flood. Taharqas kingdom brought an exceptional harvest that year, and the kingdom grew rich. He ordered many construction projects, and built or renewed many fine temples in Egypt. The early years of his reign were very prosperous. Mentioned in the Bible, in the Book of Isaiah in the Bible, Hezekiah learns that Taharqa is coming with an army. The biblical reference also refers to an angel coming down and slaying the 5,000 Assyrians besieging Jerusalem.
New International Version (NIV) 9 Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the king of Cush,[a] was marching out to fight against him. When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word: 10 “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’ Footnotes:Isaiah 37:9 That is, the upper Nile region – The Assyrian ruler was Sennacherib he fougth against Hezekiah, the king at Judaea
Rome combined. The African army had defeated both Egyptian, Greek and Roman enemies. At the height of its power, Nubia was the center of the ancient world. The Kingdom of Kush, with its alphabet, commerce and architectural triumphs was the equal of its ancient world counterparts. In the modern world, the memory of this once great empire would fade into history