The Kingdom Of Kush


World History 10B


1/23/04


South of Egypt, going more south of the Nile River, lay an area that is known as Nubia. Nubia was the home and birthplace of the kingdom of Kush. Nubia was “an important corridor of trade for gold, ivory, ebony, and ostrich feathers” (World History: People and Nations, 299). Kush was a small kingdom compared to all the others in the world. Also like other kingdoms, it had its golden age and its time of decline. The history of the kingdom is “divided up into two main periods” (Ancient Nubia – Kingdom of Kush). Each of the periods had it’s own capitol. Its first was the Napatan period for the time Napata was the capitol, and the second was the Meroitic Period for when Meroe was capitol (Ancient Nubia – Kingdom of Kush). Very little is known about the decline of the kingdom, but the rival of the kingdom is turned out to be blamed. Other sources bring out more ideas to blame.


The kingdom of Kush first started at the city of Kerma, “a trading center of southern Nubia that emerged about 1800 B.C.” (World History: People and Nations) It has been found that the reason Kush arose was because of the rich trade they had with the nearby kingdom of Egypt. Richard Hooker explains that the Egyptians conquered Northern Nubia, and when Kush conquered those lands they gained many goldmines, which helped Kush become more powerful. He also explains that the kingdom of Kush first arose when the Hyksos took over Egypt and were freed, but when Egypt regained its kingdom, Kush was conquered, and finally the collapse of Egypt in 1000 BC, Kush regained its independence. After this the kingdom of Kush moved their capitol form Kerma to the city of Napata. When the capitol was moved, the Napatan period began.


ThinkQuest explains that the first known ruler of the Kingdom of Kush during the Napatan period was Kashta. World History: People and Nations says that the kingdom of Kush kept a “close cultural and economic ties with Egypt”. Then slowly the Kingdom of Kush conquered Upper Egypt and ruled a united Egypt until the Assyrians attacked. Richard Hooker says that this invasion made the Kushites retreat south and therefore cut off ties with Egypt and the Europeans. When the Kingdom slowly regrouped itself, it made a new capitol in the city of Meroe, which is where the Meroitic period of Kush, begins.


World History: People and Nations explains that the Kush capitol of Meroe was one of the “earliest centers of ironworking in […] the ancient world” (300). It could be said that the Meroitic period was the golden age of Kush. During the Meriotic period, Kushites built pyramids, temples, and had impressive craftsmanship. (World History: People ad Nations, 300) After Kush’ “golden age” the kingdom declined. Very little is known about the decline of the kingdom of Kush, but the rival state of Kush, Aksum, is the most blamed one.


The Kingdom of Kush was the kingdom known for its riches and the amount of economy it had. It had many rulers from different cultures from time to time including the Egyptians and the Assyrians. The Kingdom controlled many trade routes and glorified because of it. Kush adopted many of the Egyptian cultures and architectures like building pyramids and having a language that had some Egyptian included. The pyramids were similar to those of the Egyptians but much smaller. Unfortunately, trough time, just like any other kingdom in the ancient world, Kush declined and was finally lost. Very little information of its decline is known but many believe the kingdom of Aksum became Kush’ successor, and by that, the economic trading center moved to the kingdom of Aksum.