Kushite Empire - Part 1: “Rise of the Kushite Empire” - LINK
Capture of Oxyrhynchus, Tetehen, Hatbenu
They captured Oxyrhynchus and set siege to the great fortress of Teheneh: “Then the battering-ram [or siege tower] was employed against it, its wall was overthrown, and a great slaughter was made among them of unknown number; also the son of the chief of the Meshesh, Tefnakhte.”
The city of Hatbenu was also taken, and yet Piye still wasn’t pleased. Piye made it to the city of Thebes where he where he celebrated a Feast to Amun and a Feast to Opet. He then set sail towards Hermopolis where he scolded his men for taking this long to finish off the enemy.
Foreign prisoners of Ramesses III - Libyan, Nubian, Syrian, Shasu Bedouin, and Hittite. Note the Libyan’s tattoos.
Piye sieges Hermopolis: “He set up for himself the camp on the southwest of Hermopolis and besieged it daily. An embankment was made, to enclose the wall; a tower was raised to elevate the archers while shooting, and the slingers while slinging stones, and slaying people among them daily.”
Days later the city surrendered [as did Nimlot], offering all manner of gifts in gold, silver, bronze, precious stones [lapis lazuli, malachite among others], clothing, and the uraeus of Nimlot. There Piye visited the temple of the god Thoth (Hermopolis’ patron god), after he made sacrifices of bulls, fowl and calves, the people of Hermopolis rejoiced.
^ Libyans. Note the tattoos
^ Libyan Warrior. Note the tattoos
^ Libyans captured by Egyptians. Note the tattoos.
[Before the Libyans came to rule over Egypt they were depicted as having tattoos, long hair with long side locks, antelope skin robes, shaved mustache but the beard was left alone unless long enough to braid. Later on, under Egyptian influence, they began to have shorter hair which was braided and beaded, two feathers atop their heads, and although they kept their antelope skin robes they now also wore the Egyptian styled kilts which sported an animal tail from the band.]
^ Libyans and Egyptians
His love of horses “It has been noted in recent studies of horse skeletons from el Kurru by Bokonyi (1993) and the textual evidence of use of horses in Kushite warfare indicates that the finest horses used in contemporary Egypt and Assyria were bred and exported from Nubia” - Nubian Pharaohs and Meroitic Kings
His love of horses, as stated in his stela which resided at Jebel Barkal:
“And his majesty went into the palace where the horses were kept, and into the stalls of the foals and he perceived that they had been suffering from hunger, and he said, “I swear by my own life, and the love for Ra, that to my mind, to allowed my horses to suffer hunger is the worst violence of all the evil things which thou has done in the violence of thy heart.””
King in the North
[RED] Tefnakhte - King in the North, Chief of the West, Libyan King of Saïs.
The ruler of Heracleopolis, Pefnefdibast (an ally of Piye), bore tribute in the form of gold, silver, precious stones, horses and “He threw himself upon his belly before his majesty” in praise and as symbol of loyalty. Piye sailed north and reached the stronghold of Per-Sekhemkhperre which under the threatening words of Piye, opened its gates to him and no blood was shed (“granaries [were assigned] to the divine offerings of his father, Amon-Re, lord of Thebes”).The same occurred at the cities of Mer-Atum [Meidum] and Ithtowe (Itjtawy - Aphroditopolis).
Battle of Memphis
Nubian troops storm the walled capital of Memphis with flaming arrows by Gregory Manchess
The next city to give resistance was that of Memphis which refused to open its doors and raised a militia army of artisans, builders and sailors. Under the cover of darkness Tefnakhte entered Memphis, reinforcing the militia with his best men, this army now numbered 8,000 men.
“It is fortified with a wall; a great battlement has been built, executed with skillful workmanship. The river flows around the east side, and no opportunity of attack is found there.”
There seemed to be no plausible way to take the city, the enraged Piye ordered his men to gather up every ship that lay within the harbor of Memphis and sail the against the walls as to mount them via the masts of the ships.
“Then his majesty was enraged against it like a panther; he said: “I swear, as Re loves me, as my father, Amon [who fashioned me], favors me, this shall befall it, according to the command of Amon.”
“I will take it like a flood of water, for Amun has commanded me!”
“His majesty himself came to line up the ships, as many as there were. His majesty commanded his army (saying): "Forward against it! Mount the walls! Penetrate the houses over the river. If one of you gets through upon the wall, let him not halt before it, [so that] the (hostile) troops may not repulse you.”
[Note the masts of the ships behind the wall]
The city of Memphis was taken “as (by) a flood of water” and because they resisted him, there was a great slaughter (the survivors were held captives [The city was then ritually cleansed with natron and incense].
After the fall of the city of Memphis, resistance in the region fell away, princes and kings of the Nile Delta came to the king with offerings treasure and peace. Only the city of Mesed revolted but it was swiftly quelled and every man within its walls was slaughtered.
A triumphant Kushite King accepting the homage of vanquished princes in Egypt in 724 BC By James Gurney
Piye’s Victory stele, Piye is given tribute by four Nile Delta rulers
Piye now returned to Kush with the riches they attained on this holy conquest. “Then the ships were laden with silver, gold, copper, clothing, and everything of the Northland, every product of Syria, and all sweet woods of God’s Land.”
Piye was buried at El-Kurru, one of the royal cemeteries used by the Nubian royal family.
El-Kurru Pyramid. K.17 contains a tomb dating to the time of Piye
A rough estimate of how tall the pyramid might have once been, About 34.5 meters high (113.189 feet high), compared to some of the other pyramids which used to be about 34 meters high as well (111.549 feet high). [Source]
Wide view of Nubian pyramids, Meroe. Three of these pyramids are reconstructed.
Jebel Barkal - the pillar on the left was seen as the giant statue of a cobra, therefore the mountain was seen as a giant uraeus (picture by T. Kendall)
Bronze statuette of the Nubian King, Shabaqo by B. V. Bothmer Note the uraeus atop his head.
Most of the information I’ve supplied has come straight from the English translations of Piye’s stele. (SOURCE)
♡Happy New Year in Somali, Oromo, Yoruba, Xhosa, Swahili and Hausa♡
Facts about Somali, Oromo, Yoruba, Xhosa, Swahili and Hausa:
Somali- Somali is an Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Somalia, the Somali diaspora, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Yemen and Kenya. It is the second most spoken Cushitic language after Oromo. As of 2014, an estimated 15 million people in Africa speak Somali.
Oromo- A Cushitic language named after the Biblical character Cush, Oromo is an Afro-Asiatic language group found mainly in the Horn of Africa and spoken by more than 30 million people. You’ll hear it mostly in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Egypt. It’s not the official language of any of these countries, but the Oromo people are one the largest ethnic groups in the region, especially in Ethiopia, where 95 percent of Oromo speakers live.
Yoruba- More than 30 million Nigerians speak this language, mostly in the southwestern states, but it’s also widely spoken in Benin, Togo, and, as a result of the Atlantic slave trade and the diaspora, in Brazil, Cuba, and other Caribbean islands. Freed Yoruba slaves from Sierra Leone, the Aku wrote one of the first West African dictionaries in the Yoruba language in 1849. Categorized in the Niger-Congo linguistic family, Yoruba is a varying tonal language written in mostly Latin letters. There is also a slight Arabic influence found in some words.
Xhosa- Xhosa is one of the official languages of South Africa and is spoken by about 7.69 million people. Xhosa is a tonal language, so a consonant or vowel can have a different meaning depending on how it’s pronounced. One of the language’s most distinguishing features is the click consonants made with a click of the tongue.
Kiswahili (Swahili)- No one’s sure exactly how many millions of Africans use this language as a first, second, or third tongue, but it is estimated at more than 100 million. Most Swahili speakers (the term used in the non-Kiswahili speaking world) don’t use it as a first language — mostly second or third — although many have it as a second first language (confusing?) mainly in countries such as Uganda or the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the official language of Tanzania, and is verging on being the same in Kenya. It is so popular that many universities abroad offer it as a foreign language major or minor. “Hakuna Matata!”
Hausa- Particularly in Western and Central Africa, this lingua franca is used as a first or second language by more than 50 million people. Because of many Muslim generations of Hausa speakers and constant pilgrimages to holy cities from Sub-Saharan Africa, Hausa is also spoken in much of North Africa. As an indigenous national language, it is used in Niger and Nigeria. It is normally written in mostly-Latin letters because of British colonization’s translated texts, but was also written with Ajami — a particular Arabic alphabet — since the 17th century.
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Under Thutmose I (c.1506-1493 BC), campaigns were led against Nubia which would eventually reach beyond the 4th cataract.
“Year 3, first month of the third season, day 22. His Majesty sailed this canal in victory and in the power of his return from overthrowing the wretched Kush.”
“O ye people of Dju-Wa’ab (‘Pure Mountain’), which was called Nesut-Tawy (‘Thrones of the Two Lands’ ie. Nubia and Egypt) before it was known.”
Jebel Barkal - Meroitic royal pyramids of the first century BC appearing behind by Enrico Ferorelli
There was a mountain that when seen by the Egyptians, they were convinced that it was the residence of the god Amun, it was named Dju-Wa’ab (“Pure Mountain”) and Nesut-Tawy (“Thrones of the Two Lands”).
Ramesses II in his war chariot charging into battle against the Nubians
In the 15th regnal year of the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III (Born, 1481 BC. Ruled from 1479-1425 BC) established a fort and garrison there as well as a grand temple to Amun at Jebel Barkal. He notes that there was a native town near the mountain which would later be named Napata. In time Egypt itself was at war with the Libyans, the Sea Peoples, and each other and had to retract control over Kush, this fragmentation would later make the conquest by the Nubians all the easier.
Egypt and Nubia c.1300 BC
Rise of Kush
He ruled Nubia in a time where the Egyptian language and hieroglyphics were used in their inscriptions, as well as granting themselves Egyptian royal titles, spoke of themselves as the “- heirs of the New Kingdom pharaohs” and the “-sons of Amun”. He unified Nubia from the city of Meroe to the third cataract and established the city of Napata as its capital and was the first significant restorer of the Amun cult in Nubia.
Reconstruction of the temple of Amon near Jebel Barkal
Kashta (“the Kushite, from the land of Kush”, reign c.760-750 BC)
After the death of Alara, his son took the throne. He ruled Nubia from the capital city of Napata. He built a mud-brick palace at Jebel Barkal, and is believed to have been the first of his dynasty to have lived in Napata permanently. This Kushite king placed his daughter, Amenirdis I, as the successor of a position called ‘God’s Wife of Amun’, the highest rank one could have within the Amun cult which was centered in Thebes. This important religious and political position took the Nubians one step closer to taking over Egyptian lands.
His takeover has been seen as a peaceful one, as those who previously ruled remained within the city, working jointly with the Nubians and were eventually buried in Thebes. His arrived at Thebes was welcomed by the priests of Amun for they were under threat from the north and had long relied upon Nubian soldiers for protection (for more on this, see my post on theMedjay). Egyptian culture and religion flooded into Nubia during his reign and after his death he was buried within a Nubian pyramid. Kashta’s successor was his son Piye, the most famous of the Nubian of this dynasty.
Piye (ruled c. 750-712 BC)
Upon attaining the throne of Nubia and Upper Egypt (southern Egypt, Thebes in this instance) he placed his daughter Shepenwepet II as ‘God’s Wife of Amun’. Taking advantage of the fragmented situation of Lower Egypt (Northern Egypt) Piye began to expand northward and in doing so he attracted the eyes of Tefnakhte of Sais rose against him.
War of the Five Kings
Fragmented Egypt during the Third Intermediate Period
[PURPLE] Piye – Nubian King of Kush and Thebes. [RED] Tefnakhte - Chief of the West, Libyan King of Saïs. [GREY] Osorkon IV – Libyan Pharaoh of Tanis and Bubastis. [YELLOW] Iuput II – Libyan King of Leontopolis. [TAN] Nimlot – Libyan
King of Hermopolis.
During this period the majority of Egypt was under the control of the Libyan Weshesh, both the 23rd and the 24th dynasties of Egypt were ruled by Libyan pharaohs. One of these Libyan rulers was named Tefnakhte, a prince ruling from the city of Saïs, rallies the north and rises against the South. City after city fell to him; out of fear they opened their gates and welcomed his forces. Piye hears of this incoming threat:
“Then [his majesty] heard [the message] with courageous heart, laughing, and joyous of heart. These princes and commanders of the army who were in their cities sent to his majesty daily, saying: “Wilt thou be silent, even to forgetting the Southland, the divisions of the [court]? While Tefnakhte advances his conquest and finds none to repel his arm.”
Namert, once an ally of Piye, sides with Tefnakhte. Seeing this as a holy war supported by Amun himself, Piye readies his army and has them perform a ritual cleansing at the Amun cult temple of Karnak in Thebes.
[TAN] Nimlot - Libyan King of Hermopolis [ORANGE] Peftjauawybast – Ally of Piye, ruler of Herakleopolis.
‘We know not what he cries in mustering troops. Yoke the war horses, the best of thy stable; draw up the line of battle! Thou knowest that Amon is the god who has sent us.’ ”
“When ye arrive at Thebes, before Karnak, ye shall enter into the water, ye shall bathe in the river, ye shall dress in [fine linen], unstring the bow, loosen the arrow. Let not the chief boast as a mighty man; there is no strength to the mighty without him, He [Amun] maketh the weak-armed into the strong-armed, so that multitudes flee from the feeble, and one alone taketh a thousand men.
Sprinkle yourselves with the water of his altars, sniff the ground[kneel, bow]before him. Say ye to him, ‘Give us the way, that we may fight in the shadow of thy sword. (As for) the generation[young men] whom thou hast sent out, when its attack occurs, multitudes flee before it.’ ”
^ Nubians trading with Egyptians. The Nubians exported ebony and ivory, gold, ostrich feathers, slaves, leopard skins, exotic fruits and animals.
“there are mines of gold, silver, iron and brass, besides abundance of ebony and all sorts of precious stones.”- Diodorus I: 33
^ Nubians dancing to the sound of a drum.
For more on the Nubians, check out my post on theMedjay.
Battle on the Nile 729/28 BC
As Piye’s army sails northward they meet up with a large northern navy which was slaughtered and the survivors captured. They then went to the frontier of Heracleopolis and demanded a battle.
“They sailed down-stream upon the river, they found many ships coming up-streams bearing soldiers, sailors, and commanders, every valiant man of the Northland, equipped with weapons of war, to fight against the army of his majesty. Then there was made a great slaughter among them, (whose) number was unknown. Their troops and their ships were captured, and brought as living captives to the place where his majesty was [Napata].”
The Battles Near Heracleopolis
Another naval battle occurred, a great slaughter fell upon the northern force with the survivors landing on the west side of the Nile. The next morning the enemy was slain in a pitched battle, both horses and men of unknown number had fallen, leading the enemy to rout back to the North.
The traitor Nimlot fled to the city of Hermopolis and Piye’s forces sieged it. Reports were sent to Piye of their victories, “enraged like a panther” by the fact that a remnant of the enemy army has fled northward, he marches northward to finish them off.
“I will myself go northward, that I may destroy that which he has done, that I may make him turn back from fighting, forever.”
Though Egypt was ruled by the Libyans, the military stayed relatively similar to the Egyptian archetype.
[^ An assumption that I made from what artwork I’ve seen from the period. I could be wrong, if I am then politely inbox me privately so I can correct this. These Libyan dynasties are still seen as obscure to most historians and archaeologists]
^ Sphinx of the Libyan Pharaoh, Shoshenq I
Pendant bearing the cartouche of the Libyan Pharaoh, Osorkon II
Relief thought to depict the Libyan Pharaoh, Osorkon IV
Libyan Pharaoh, Tefnakht, on his year 8 stela. The Chief of the West
Most of the information I’ve supplied has come straight from the English translations of Piye’s stele. (SOURCE)
(If you want to see more, tell me via reblog, reply and/or inbox)
As for me, I judge the Colchians to be a colony of the Egyptians
because, like them, they are black with woolly hair..
M. Constantine Volney on the Colchians
*Colchis is usually defined as the area east of the Black Sea Coast, restricted from the north by south-western slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range more evidence to support the claim of Blackness in ancient Russia is CUSHITES, COLCHIANS, AND KHAZARS
The reason I will not go to see the movie “Exodus: gods and kings” it is the lack of depiction of true history of East Africans or ancient Kush Kingdom or ancient Egypt.
East Africans have been denied their history and have been told their history begins in the 13 or 14 century at migration but no definite explanation has been given for the reason behind the migrations.
Ancient Egypt was divided into two in different times of history or united depending on who the leader was. There was Upper Egypt which was present day East Africa and Lower Egypt which was present day Egypt and parts of Libya. It was Upper Egypt that produced a lot of pharaohs most notably King Menes who united Upper and Lower Egypt.
Karnak a temple in Egypt where the concept of teeth removal was done to feed sick people. Removal of six lower teeth was a practice done by my ethnic group. Nak means teeth kar means the place in my native language Luo.
Present day Egypt had for the most been of mixed race due to trade and intermarriage.
The Top 10 African languages to know when doing business on the continent
Other widely spoken languages of
Africa include Berber, which is a popular dialect in North Africa,
specifically in Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Mali and Egypt, with
approximately 20 million speakers; Somali, which is a Cushitic language
spoken in Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya by approximately 20 million
speakers; Fulani, which is widely spoken in western and Central Africa
by approximately 18 million speakers; Rundi from Burundi which is spoken
by over 10 million people; Kinyarwanda in Rwanda which is spoken by
over 10 million speakers and Tigrinya, which has over 6 million speakers
in Central Eritrea and Sudan. Chichewa is popular in Malawi with over 6
million speakers, and Spanish is also spoken in Equatorial Guinea by
over 600,000 people.
I’ve been reading into pre-Islamic Somali beliefs and mythology which fascinates me. Here is some of the information I came across.
Somalis before the arrival of Islam (7th century) through trade, believed in Waaq (sky god) and till this day there are a lot of terms and words in Somali language, culture, folklore and fables that have words that relate to this ancient religion e.g. “barwaaqo” (God’s rain). There are also Somali towns and cities that relate to this religion such as the town of Caabudwaaq (literally meaning “worship waaq), Ceel-waaq (well of Waaq). In Oromo culture, Waaq or Waaqo denotes the single god of the early pre-Abrahamic, monotheistic faith believed to have been adhered to by Cushitic groups. This belief system still somewhat exists in some Oromo societies.
Somali mythology dates to pre-Islamic times and includes belief in jinn, supernatural spirits, and ghouls treacherous shape-changing spirits, who are said to inhabit significant features of the landscape, including wells, crossroads, and burial grounds. Also extremely important is astrology, which is thought to provide divinations of the days ahead; some Somalis believe that the appearance of certain stars, constellations, and eclipses can presage everything from the coming of rain to a massacre.
Somalis also had a strange assumption of the universe and the cause of natural disasters along with that. They believed: The equilibrium of the Universe in Somali mythology was tied with the love between a Bull and a Cow. The Universe was said to balance itself on the horns of a bull, a beast forever staring at the cow tied to a pole in front of him. Whenever his love turned her eyes away from the Bull, it would result in a physical shift that caused natural disasters on Earth. Religious temples dating from antiquity known as Taalo were the centers where important ceremonies.
Eebo (God) is the Somali word for God and was synonymously used for the ancient Cushitic Sky God Waq in Somali and Waaqa in oromo. According to Somali Legend Eebo lived in the Heavens and whenever the nomads successfully prayed for rain it was known as Barwaaqo (God’s rain)
The Ayaanle(Angels) in Ancient Somalia or Ayaana in Oromo were known as the good spirits and acted as mediators between God and humans. They were said to be bringers of luck and blessings.
Huur (Reaper) was the messenger of Death and had the form of a large bird. The deity was akin to Horus of ancient Egypt and played a similar role in Somali society.
Nidar (Punisher) was the righter of wrong. He was considered the champion of those that were exploited by their fellow humans. The deity has survived in modern Somalia as a popular saying; Nidar Ba Ku Heli ("Nidar will find and punish you”)