Volume 35 / Issue 2


Issue Cover

Nubia An Ancient African Civilization

On the cover: From Nina de G. Davies, The Tomb of Huy (London: The Egypt Exploration Society, 1926), Pl. 28. ("The Homage of the Nubian Princes")

Karanog, Wealthy Capital of a Lower Nubian Province

Behind the Scenes

Karanog, a provincial capital of the Meroitic kingdom during the 2nd centuries A.D., provides our richest glimpse into a culture found only in Lower Nubia. It was partially excavated by C. Leonard Woolley and D. Randall-MacIver for the University Museum in 1907. The excavated ara of the town contained both elite an dlower order houses. […]

Images and Attitudes

Ancient Views of Nubia and the Nubians

By: Frank M. Snowden, Jr.

Ancient Nubia was clearly perceived by its contemporaries as an independent country, rich in coveted resources and inhabited by dark and black-skinned Negroid peoples. These peoples at one time conquered and ruled Egypt and laid the foundations of a state that survived for more than a thousand years. Various sources leave no doubt whatsoever that […]

Chiefs or Kings?

Rethinking Early Nubian Politics

By: David O'Connor

Egypt and Nubia—immediately upstream of Egypt developed the two earliest known of Africa’s many civilizations. Yet Nubia is not found on modern maps and for many people its history remains mysterious. In medieval and later times it was rec­ognized as a distinct country, but today most of Nubia is subsumed into the Republic of the Sudan. and […]

Nubia: An Ancient African Civilization


Ancient Nubia occupied a vast region just south of ancient Egypt, a region lying partly in Egypt but mostly in the Sudan. We tend to think of Egypt as the greatest ancient power on the African continent. Her gigantic pyramids and temples overshadow, at least in scale, the achievements of other early African cultures. However, […]

Medieval Nubia

Another Golden Age

By: William Y. Adams

It is no easy task to review the history of Nubia from A.D. 400 to 1500 in a few pages, for I am obliged to speak not of one but of two quite different civilizations. The Banana phase, immediately following the fall of Meroe, represents in many ways the last gasp of the pharaonic and […]

Beyond the Nile

The Influence of Egypt and Nubia in Sub-Saharan Africa

By: John Alexander

A number of developments in human affairs seem to have taken place earlier in the Nile Valley—especially in Egypt—than in other parts of Africa. The four most important of these are the development of agriculture; the formation, based on agriculture, of civilized states; the development of metallurgy (copper, gold, silver, bronze, and iron); and conversion […]

Art and Industry

The Achievements of Meroe

By: Samia B. Dafa'alla

The empire of Meroe flourished along the Sudanic Nile valley from approximately 300 B.C. to A.D. 350. Although successors to the Napatan empire, the Meroites seem to have been less influenced by Egypt than the Napatan were. They developed a distinctive civilization which incorporated indigenous religious cults, a system for writing their language, new forms […]