North East Africa 500 BCE

Nubian civilization is beginning to free itself from Egyptian dominance.

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What is happening in North East Africa in 500BCE

For the past five centuries Nubia has been home to a powerful kingdom, Kush. In 730 BCE the king of Kush conquered Egypt, founding the 25th dynasty of pharaohs. This line of Nubian pharaohs lasted for about 60 years before being driven back into Nubia by an invasion from Assyria (670 BCE).

In Nubia they have continued to rule a powerful kingdom, at first based on Napata, the old capital, and then, after 593 BCE, when Napata was sacked by an Egyptian invasion, at Meroë, in the south.

The ruling class of Nubia remains notably Egyptianized. The kings continue to call themselves Lords of Upper and Lower Egypt, the traditional titles of the Egyptian pharaoh. The court continues to use the Egyptian language and script, and Egyptian gods are worshipped in the Egyptian-style temples. The move south to Meroë, however, symbolizes Nubia’s growing freedom from its past as its civilization begins to develop in its own distinctive way.

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