The Kingdom of Kush
(900 BCE-350 CE)
The Twenty-Fifth Dynasty of the pharaohs of Egypt was established by the kings of Kush. According to Margaret Shinnie in Ancient African Kingdoms, "The Kushites were the first truly African people to achieve a position of power and to win the respect of the civilized world as it was at the time".
The capital, Napata, was moved further south to Meroe in 590 BCE. Both Napata and Meroe were international trading centres within Africa. They were in contact with Africans in every direction, particularly with Egypt to the north and Ethiopia to the southeast. Outside Africa, they were in contact with Syria, Persia, Greece, Rome and India.
Kush, while not as glorious as Egypt in the building of pyramids and temples, did eclipse Egypt in one area: the manufacture of iron.
For a period of 1250 years (ending in 350 CE), the kingdom of Kush flourished as a unique civilization which, beneath an Egyptian façade, remained profoundly African.
Ancient African Civilizations: Kush and Axum, Stanley Burstein, ed. Markus Wiener, 1998.
The Ancient African Kingdom of Kush (Cultures of the Past), Pamela F. Service. Benchmark Books, 1998.
Northeast Africa: Egypt, Kush, Aksum, Kenny Mann. Silver Burdett Press, 1996.
Kerma and the Kingdom of Kush, 2500-1500 B.C.: The Archaeological Discovery of an Ancient Nubian Empire, Timothy Kendall. University of Washington Press, 1997.
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The Kingdom of Kush: Handbook of the Napatan-Meriotic Civilization, Laszlo Torok. Brill Academic Publishers, 1998.
Kush, the Jewel of Nubia: Reconnecting the Root System of African Civilization, Dr. Miriam Ma'at-Ka-Re Monges. Red Sea Press, 1997.
The Kingdom of Kush: The Napatan and Meroitic Empires, Derek A. Welsby. Markus Wiener, 1998.
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