Historians once thought that the human race began with the white Greek and Romans. Present day archaeologists are telling us that the cradle of civilization is in the Nile Valley of Africa. Two rival kingdoms called Egypt and Nubia have much in common but they also have their unique differences. In my essay I will explore some of these similarities and differences.
Egypt and Nubia were both ruled by monarchy, which shows that they had an advanced form of political organization. Archeologist’s findings show that the symbols of Nubian royalty are the same as those of Egyptian Kings. They believed that they were god-Kings and built large pyramids to spend eternity surrounded by there riches to keep them comfortable after death. The difference between the Egyptian and the Nubian monarchy is that the Egyptian monarchies were all male rulers but Nubians monarchies were both male and female and held power jointly.
Egypt and Nubia both traded with other countries to acquire the goods they desired. Egypt had few natural resources but was involved in manufacturing glass, paper, perfume, cosmetics and fine linen fabric. Egypt wanted to trade these for the different products from Central Africa. Nubia had many natural resources such as gold, ivory, copper, frankincense, iron ore, hardwood timber, ostrich feathers, leopard skins and elephants. Nubia traded these along with their pottery and manufactured goods. The powerful, wealthy black Nubians Kings controlled the trade routes between central Africa and Egypt, which is one reason why Egypt eventually attacked and conquered Nubia.
Egyptians and Nunians both believed in the god-Amun (the ram-head god). The Egyptians thought the silhouette of the mountain at Gebel Barkel looked like a cobra’s head which is a sign of royal power. They believed that the god-Amun lived there so they built a temple to him. Thus, it’s considered to be a sacred mountain, perhaps the holiest place in the Nile valley. It is where the pharaohs held their crowning ceremonies. The Nubians also believed the god-Amun lived in the mountain. When they conquered Egypt they called on the authority of the god-Amun. This was confirmed when archaeologists found a curving of a man making an offering to the god-Amun in the remains of a large temple in Nubia.
Both the Egyptians and the Nubians had a system of writing to record important events in their history. The Egyptians used picture writings called hieroglyphs that they curved on the temple walls and on tablets describing events in their lives. The Nubians used an alphabet called meroitic. Historians are hoping to understand this alphabet so that they will be able to read the Nubian’s writings and discover more about their culture.
It is clear that the early African people were a politically organized, intelligent industrious, creative and civilized people worthy of our respect. Probably, due to racial prejudice, it was once thought that black Africans were not capable of producing high civilization. Nubia, the homeland of the earliest black culture may have been the home of the first human race on earth.
Edward Reynolds (1994) Focus on Africa: D.C. Health and company. CanadaWho are the Nubians? (Date N/A). Homestead. October 23, 2006.
http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/nubians.htmlJamila, White. (1999). Black Kingdoms of the Nile episode 2. PBS. October 23, 2006http://www.pbs.org/wonders/Episodes/Epi1/1_wondr4.htmJimmy Dunn (Copyright 1999-2003). The Yam of Egypt’s Old Kingdom. Tour Egypt. October 23, 2006. http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/yam.htm