North East Africa 200 BCE

Nubian civilization is becoming more African and less Egyptian in spirit.

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What is happening in North East Africa in 200BCE

In Nubia, Egyptian cultural influences are beginning to weaken, and a distinctively African civilization is beginning to emerge.

Meroe, the new heartland of the kingdom of Kush, is far enough south to receive tropical rains in the summer, and crops of sorghum and millet can be grown without the need for irrigation. A mixed agriculture of crop-growing and cattle-rearing flourishes well beyond the near confines of the river Nile, and forms the economic base of the Nubian kingdom.

In other ways, too, Nubian culture and society is moving away from Egyptian models. The local language has replaced Egyptian at court, and an alphabet (as yet undeciphered) has been developed for it. In religion, the Nubians are adding their own gods, notably the lion god, Apedemek. In art, Nubian motifs are becoming more important, with African animals playing a larger part, and in architecture, the kings are being buried under distinctive Nubian-style pyramids – centuries after the last pyramid was built in Egypt.

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