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The Kingdom of Kush – From Napta to Meroe


The King's of Kush were forced out of Egypt by the Assyrian invasions. Following king Tanwetamani, there is no evidence to suggest that the Kushite kings made further attempts to reconquer Egypt, but such a military action might have provoked the campaign of the Egyptian Pharaoh Pasmtic II into Nubia in 593BC. Pasmtic's war is recorded in official inscriptions, graffiti from Greek mercenary soldiers inscribed at Abu Simbel and Buhen, and by the Greek historian Herodotus. His army penetrated far into the Nubia, and a battle with the Kushites at Pnubs (Dokki Gel, Kerma) documented. The Egyptian army may even have reached and sacked Napta. From this time forward it is certain that the kings resided mainly at Meroe, going north to Napta to be crowned, for religious festivals in other tons of the Dongola Reach and to be buried at Nuri. It is most likely that Meroe was closer to the centers of wealth and population. There are few inscriptions from the period 590-300BC, but contacts with Egypt was conquered by the Persians in 525BC. The kushite king supplied troops to the army which xerxes sent against Greece in 480BC, and Ivory from Kush was used in building the Persian Palaces. Names of Kushite Kings are known from their tombs at Nuri. A long inscription was carved by king Irike. A manote in the temple of Kawa, and two large stela were setup by the king's Harsiyotef (c. 380BC) in the temple at Jebel Barkal. These recorded raids by desert doweling people on the towns of the Dongola Reach, and also on Meroe itself. This period was a time of change. Its end is marked by the removal of the royal cemetery from the Napatan region to Meroe.

 

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