The Kingdom of Kush was an ancient empire that was established in the North African region of Nubia, just south of Ancient Egypt.
The major cities of Kush were located in the White and Blue Nile as well as on the Nile River. At present, the Kingdom of Kush is now Sudan.
It was initially established at around 1070 B.C.E. after it acquired its autonomy from Egypt. The Kingdom of Kush rapidly became a superpower in Africa with its empire lasting more nearly two millennia.
As a matter of fact, Kushite emperors subsequently became the pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty of Egypt while Kushite princesses ruled the political terrain of Thebes.
Unlike other African civilizations, the Kingdom of Kush was most often linked to Old Egypt due to its similarities in culture, the government, and religious beliefs.
Similar to Ancient Egyptians, people of Kush also constructed pyramids at the burial locations and preserved the dead through mummification as well as worshipped Egyptian gods and goddesses.
Other than the pharaohs, the Kushites also considered priests as one of the most respected figures in society. Priests created laws and were believed to communicate with Gods.
Under the priests were artisans who worked in the industry of iron and gold which was vital to the economy of the Kingdom of Kush.
Farmers were also recognized by the government as they made sure that the entire state has something to eat.
The Kingdom of Kush was also not short of resources as its people mined gold and iron on a daily basis.
Gold enabled the Kushites to trade for goods and services with the Egyptians while the iron was used to develop the strongest tools and weapons for battles.
Interesting Facts about the Kingdom of Kush
- The Kingdom of Kush is known for its superior warrior-queens. Royal women who are called as kandakes led Kush in confrontations with Roman Emperor Augustus and Alexander.
- The pyramids that were built by Kushites were smaller compared to Egyptian pyramids. Ordinarily, burial chambers are situated underneath the pyramids. At present, pyramids that were built in the city of Meroe can still be viewed as of today.
- The empire started to weaken and eventually collapsed in 300 C.E. after Rome conquered Egypt.
- For centuries, Kushite artifacts have been stolen by grave robbers. In fact, Italian grave robber Giuseppe Ferlini robbed the necropolis at Meroe and destroyed more than 40 pyramids on the process.
- The name “Nubia” was derived from the Egyptian word “nub” which means gold. Interestingly, the Kingdom of Kush is the primary source of gold for the Egyptians.
- The life expectancy of people living in Kush was not very long. As a matter of fact, a person was only anticipated for at least 20 years.
- Other trade items that were utilized by Kushites include feathers, slaves, ivory, and incense.
- The Kingdom of Kush is known as the “Land of Bow” because of its skilled archers.
What are the capitals of Kush?
It had two different capital cities specifically the city of Napata and Meroe. Napata which became the first capital of the kingdom was situated within the Nile River in the northern part of Kush. It served as the capital city of the Kingdom of Kush during the peak of its power.
When was the capital moved to Meroe?
At around 590 B.C.E., the capital city of Kush was moved to the city of Meroe. It was located at the south of Napata and became a center for ironworking.
How powerful were the priests?
The priests of the Kingdom of Kush were so powerful that they could decide when it was time for the Emperor to die.
When did the Kushites take control of Egypt?
Kush took control of Egypt in 727 B.C.E. before the arrival of the Assyrians.
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