upper nile

The Temple of Edfu is an Ancient Egyptian temple on the Nile in Upper Egypt. Edfu was known in Greco-Roman times as Apollonopolis Magna, after the god Horus-Apollo. It’s one of the best preserved shrines in Egypt. It’s dedicated to the falcon god and was built in the Ptolemaic period between 237 and 57 BC. Wall inscriptions provide important info on language, myth, and religion during that period. Inscribed texts “provide details of its construction and preserve information about the mythical interpretation of this and all other temples as the Island of Creation.” There are “important scenes and inscriptions of the Sacred Drama which related the age-old conflict between Horus and Seth.” They’re translated by the German Edfu-Project.

Homebrew Monster: Sephis

After the Egyptian army’s resounding defeat at the battle of Tobruk (the result of an overwhelming force made up entirely of animated armor), the Pharaoh simply didn’t have the military strength to hold onto the Upper Nile. The followers of Sebek and Set retreated from Egyptian society and declared themselves sovereign, and gained a stranglehold on the now-undefended region and built a citadel. The party, serving the United Pantheon of Greek, Egyptian, and Norse gods, arrived to clear out the citadel and in doing so, rescued a young boy by the name of Cantrus. He had been captured and chanted at, but the followers of Sebek apparently had not finished the ritual. But when exposed to a cursed and sentient doll, imbued with the energies of chaos… Cantrus transformed, into the monstrous creature known as Sephis.

Large fiend, chaotic evil

AC: 18 (natural armor)
HP: 300 (20d12+85)
Speed: 40 ft.

STR 23 (+6)  DEX 16 (+3)  CON 20 (+5)  INT 12 (+1)  WIS 15 (+2)  CHA 14 (+2)

Saving Throws: STR +11, DEX +8, CON +10
Skills: Athletics +11, Intimidation +7, Perception +7
Senses: darkvision 60 ft., passive perception 17
Languages: Common
Challenge: 17 (18,400 XP)

Aura of Chaos: at the start of each turn, roll a d6 to determine what kind of
  damage creatures within 10 ft take 2d6 of if they fail a DC 16 Con save. Acid,
  cold, fire, lightning, poison, thunder.


Multiattack: Sephis makes 2 claw attacks, 1 Chaos Beam, and 1 tail attack per
Claws: +13 to hit, 10 ft, one target, 2d8+6 slashing damage.
Chaos Beam: Sephis fires a 5 ft wide 40 ft beam from his mouth. Creatures in
  the line make a DC 18 Dex save. On a success, they take half damage. On a
  fail, they take 5d10 damage. Roll a d8 to determine acid, cold, fire, force,
  lightning, necrotic, poison, or thunder damage.
Tail: +13 to hit, 5 ft, one target, 2d8+6 bludgeoning damage.

Art by @beefiestjake

IC 1848: The Soul Nebula : Stars are forming in the Soul of the Queen of Aethopia. More specifically, a large star forming region called the Soul Nebula can be found in the direction of the constellation Cassiopeia, who Greek mythology credits as the vain wife of a King who long ago ruled lands surrounding the upper Nile river. The Soul Nebula houses several open clusters of stars, a large radio source known as W5, and huge evacuated bubbles formed by the winds of young massive stars. Located about 6,500 light years away, the Soul Nebula spans about 100 light years and is usually imaged next to its celestial neighbor the Heart Nebula . The featured image appears mostly red due to the emission of a specific color of light emitted by excited hydrogen gas. via NASA


Egypt is a Greek word meaning “Black.” μαύρος             

• The Egyptians of the Bible were Negroid. 
• The Bible says both Egyptians and Ethiopians are descendants of Ham. 
• Arabs invaded Egypt in the 7th Century AD; Remember, Egypt wasn’t invaded by Rome until 300 BC. The Bible dates 4000 BC. 
• Therefore, Arabs have no more connection to Ancient Egypt than Europeans have to Ancient America. 
• Egyptian is an Afro-Asiatic language. (AFRO, AFRO) 
• The national language of modern day Egypt is Egyptian Arabic, which gradually replaced Coptic. (Coptic–Ethiopia) 
• Black Egyptians were eventually mixed with invading Libyans, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Turks, Arabs and Western Europeans. That is where the mixed people of the modern-day Arabs come from. 

The following is supporting evidence from The African Origin of Civilization: by: Cheikh Anta Diop 

Evidence from Physical Anthropology 
The skeletons and skulls of the Ancient Egyptians clearly reflect they were Negroid people with features very similar to those of modern Black Nubians and other people of the Upper Nile and of East Africa. 

Melanin Dosage Test 
Egyptologist Cheikh Anta Diop invented a method for determining the level of melanin in the skin of human beings. When conducted on Egyptian mummies in the Museum of Man in Paris, this test indicated these remains were of Black people. 

Osteological Evidence 
“Lepsius canon,” which distinguishes the bodily proportions of various racial groups categories the “ideal Egyptian” as “short-armed and of Negroid or Negrito physical type." 

Evidence From Blood Types 

Diop notes that even after hundreds of years of inter-mixture with foreign invaders, the blood type of modern Egyptians is the "same group B as the populations of western Africa on the Atlantic seaboard and not the A2 Group characteristic of the white race prior to any crossbreeding.”


Egyptian Bronze Votive Oxyrhynchus Fish, Late Period - Ptolemaic,   664-30 BC

It wears the crown of Hathor and uraeus. Its neck is engraved with a usekh collar and its eyes are inlayed with bronze and silver.

These fish, the medjed, a species of elephantfish in the Nile river were believed to have eaten the penis of Osiris after his brother Set had dismembered and scattered the god’s body. A settlement in Upper Egypt, Per-Medjed, was named after the fish and is now better known under its Greek name Oxyrhynchus.

The city, located about 160 km south-southwest of Cairo, is also an archaeological site and is considered one of the most important ever discovered. For the past century, the area around Oxyrhynchus has been continually excavated, yielding an enormous collection of papyrus texts dating from the time of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods of Egyptian history. Among the texts discovered at Oxyrhynchus are plays of Menander, fragments from the Gospel of Thomas, and fragments from Euclid’s Elements.

Tom Hiddleston in South Sudan:Children deserve a chance of a childhood

In conflict and crises, it is children who are hardest hit. I saw this for myself in South Sudan, on a visit to the country with Unicef earlier this year. South Sudan is a forgotten war, which strikes children with unforgivable brutality. Rape, forced recruitment and attacks on schools are becoming a daily part of their childhood.  

South Sudan declared independence from Sudan in 2011, and has been riven by political and civil conflict since December 2013. The major cities have become war zones, with civilians fleeing to relative safety in rural areas. So many people, so many innocent children: displaced, desperate, starving.

The day before I was due to fly to South Sudan – in February this year – Unicef announced that at least 89 boys had been abducted while they were preparing to sit their school exams in Wau Shilluk, in Upper Nile state. These boys, some as young as 13, had been forcibly conscripted into armed militia.

Three days later, I found myself in the very same village, one of the most remote places I have ever seen. Walking around the desolate school, the destruction left in the wake of the militia’s violent interruption of the school day the previous weekend was still visible. The playground was empty, school desks had been overturned and doors were hanging off their hinges.

In one of the school-rooms, I met with 15-year-old John*, who had escaped abduction. Sitting on the floor together in the corner, he told me that he feared for his life, that everyone did. He told me: “we have a big problem and worry. The soldiers – they are killing the people”. But despite the immense danger, he still wanted to attend school and prepare for his exams.  

In South Sudan, around 13,000 children have been recruited and are being used by all sides of the conflict, putting their lives at risk and irreversibly changing the fortunes of these children. I met a Unicef aid worker in the Upper Nile region, who had met with boys desperate to go home, but bound by the fear the militia had instilled in them. Children face an impossible choice – kill or be killed. For some, these children may seem a lost cause. But not for Unicef who, as well as delivering vital water and health care to children in South Sudan, are working to release and rehabilitate children forced to fight.

In Jonglei state, days later, I met hundreds of boys who had recently been released by an armed group called the Cobra faction, living in a Unicef Interim Care Centre, awaiting reunification with their families.  They receive shelter, food, education, clothing and basic health care, as well as counselling.

One of these boys, 16-year-old Afrikey*, on the day of our visit was being reunited with his family for the first time in over two years. His conscription had left emotional scars. He had seen things a boy of his age should never have to see. He had the far-off stare of a much older man – a depth in his face. I witnessed him being reunited with his mother: some hope amid the devastation.

To this day, there is no official record of what happened to the 89 boys in Wau Shilluk. I cannot help but wonder where they are, what they are doing, and whether their families will see them again.

It is for these children, for boys like John and Afrikey, that I am backing Unicef UK’s new campaign, which calls on the Government to prioritise protecting children from violence in crises.  Children, whether those journeying as refugees through Europe or living in conflicts like South Sudan, deserve a chance of a childhood.

For the sake of every child in danger, our leaders must step up and do more. The public can support Unicef UK’s call for the Prime Minister to protect children from violence in emergencies at unicef.uk/protect

* Names changed to protect identities

The opening of the Akeley Hall of African Mammals in 1936 marked the birth of the golden age of the diorama. Named for Carl Akeley—the naturalist, explorer, and Museum taxidermist—the hall showcases large mammals of Africa.

At the center is a freestanding group of eight elephants, poised as if to charge, surrounded by 28 vivid habitat dioramas. These provide a glimpse of the diverse topography of Africa and its wildlife, from the Serengeti Plain to the waters of the Upper Nile to the volcanic mountains of what was once the Belgian Congo. 

Learn more about the Akeley Hall of African Mammals.

AMNH/K. Regan

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Above image: The crests of the nine provinces of Sudan from 1956-1970

Below: The ten states of South Sudan

Equatoria Province (in blue) is now divided into:

  • Eastern Equatoria State
  • Central Equatoria State
  • Western Equatoria State

Bahr el Ghazal Province (in green) is now divided into:

  • Warrap State
  • Northern Bahr el Ghazal State
  • Western Bahr el Ghazal State
  • Lakes State

Upper Nile Province (in blue) is now divided into:

  • Unity State
  • Upper Nile State
  • Jonglei State

Basically what I’ve gathered from the first chapter of King Leopold, England, and the Upper Nile (1899-1909) is that there were several attempts to seize control of Upper Nile territories and to some extent - Equatoria by the following colonial powers: Belgium, France, Germany and most importantly, Britain. Here are some excerpts that I thought were really interesting:

“In the latter half of the nineteenth century, no one knew where the source of the Nile was located, but all believed that interference with its water was possible. This belief had long been enshrouded in fables invented to explain the failure of the Nile flood and myths designed to confirm Egyptian fears that political enemies upstream could turn the water on and off at will, depending on the good behavior of the rules of Egypt." 

"The security of Egypt traditionally depended on control of the Upper Nile, whence came the water to make the desert bloom. Without the wager that the Blue Nile brought down from Ethiopian Highlands and that the White Nile carried from the central African lakes, Egypt would be a barren land incapable of supporting man or beast.”

So in part, Britain’s pursuit of the Upper Nile basin was a plan devised to protect their interests in Egypt while securing control over the region. I will probably continue summarizing this in parts because there’s a lot to internalize, the book is just loaded with information.