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Old January 29th, 2014, 05:12 AM   #1

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Egypt's 25th dynasty - the black pharaohs


I've just acquired an excellent book on this by Dr N.D. Harkless:

[ame="http://www.amazon.co.uk/NUBIAN-PHARAOHS-AND-MEROITIC-KINGS/dp/1425944965/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391000420&sr=8-1&keywords=harkless+nubian+pharaohs"]NUBIAN PHARAOHS AND MEROITIC KINGS: THE KINGDOM OF KUSH: Amazon.co.uk: Necia Desiree Harkless: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514I6pfOB0L.@@AMEPARAM@@514I6pfOB0L[/ame]

It's a nice easy read for those of us who know very little about ancient history, i.e. me.

Up until the 25th dynasty, the Nubians were often oppressed by the Egyptians. Old artefacts from the time of King Tut, which were recently on display in London, show brown-skinned Egyptians oppressing black-skinned Nubians. That changed when the Nubians conquered Egypt (785-765 BC) and started the 25th dynasty.

I will see if I can give some excerpts from time to time. Here is one....

ALARA
"Alara is the name that is first known to us. He is first mentioned on the stela of Queen Tabiry who was the daughter of Kasaqa and wife of Piye (Piankhi). He is also considered as the founder of the dynasty and brother of Taharqa's grandmother on a Kawa IV stela. It is apparent that Alara was the brother of Kashta wo succeeded him (c760)." p126

"Alara rose from the prince of Kurru to king and it was fitting for his successors to be known as the Kingdom of Kush. He was buried in 747 BC at Kurru in a pyramid tomb." p126
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Old January 29th, 2014, 05:25 AM   #2

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We've had several threads on the subject. Here is one:

http://historum.com/history/17615-black-pharaohs.html
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Old January 29th, 2014, 06:16 AM   #3

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Well, that thread has been closed, because of some posters' antiquated desire to claim that there were no "black" pharaohs of Egypt. If there's another thread that has not been closed, please direct me to it. Until such time, I will pass on what snippets I read on this one....

I would like to think that now we accept that the 25th dynasty was "black", we can discuss this like mature adults....

Alara was succeeded by his brother Kashta, who married his sister Pebtatma.

"Kashta was affirmed by the priests of Amun when he arrived in Thebes....To the Egyptian priests threatened as they were from the north and long accustomed to rely on Nubian troops for their protection, the rise of a new and effective commander may well have appeared as a deliverance.They hastened to recognise him and to claim his protection. Kashta's assumption of power at Thebes set the stage for a brief, meteoric appearance of Kush as a world power." p127

He was the first of the dynasty to reside at Napata permanently.

Last edited by shivfan; January 29th, 2014 at 06:20 AM.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 06:23 AM   #4

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There have been several. I think there was also a National Geographic article on the subject you might be interested in.

Black Pharaohs - National Geographic Magazine
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Old January 29th, 2014, 06:50 AM   #5

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That's a good article....

The BBC also had an interesting programme called "The Treasures of Ancient Egypt", where the presenter went in search of 30 "treasures". One of them involved a treasure from the 25th dynasty, where he discussed the obviously sub-Saharan features of the images created during this 150-year dynasty.

Also, in Neil MacGregor's "A History of the World in 100 Objects", there's this about the Sphinx of Taharqo:

"It's made out of sandy grey granite and it's beautifully preserved. The muscular lion's back, the mane of hair and the powerful outstretched paws are all classically Egyptian - unquestionably a black African, and this sphinx is the image of a black pharaoh." p141.

"This brief Sudanese conquest of Egypt has been a largely forgotten history. The official narrative of Egypt underplayed the Kushite disruption, blandly calling the reign of the Kushite kings the 25th dynasty, thus quietly incorporating them into an unbroken story of an eternal Egypt; but Kush's historical role is now being energetically reassessed, and Sudanese history in some measure rewritten." pp141-2.

"As originally placed in the temple, Taharqo's sphinx would have been seen only by the ruler and his closest circle, which would have included priests and officials from both Egypt and Kush. Coming upon it in an inner sanctuary, Kushites would have been reassured by its black African features, while Egyptians would have immediately felt at home with its peculiarly Egyptian iconography." p142.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 10:08 AM   #6

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There were likely other "black" kings of Egypt before this...just not specifically a Nubian dynasty before this period. For example, during the 2nd Intermediate Period there was a king in Lower Egypt named Nehesy, which literally means "The Nubian." There were also undoubtedly many kings who possessed Nubian blood due to regional admixture.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 10:18 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamregent View Post
There were likely other "black" kings of Egypt before this...just not specifically a Nubian dynasty before this period. For example, during the 2nd Intermediate Period there was a king in Lower Egypt named Nehesy, which literally means "The Nubian." There were also undoubtedly many kings who possessed Nubian blood due to regional admixture.
I think the idea of another dynasty from another country is interesting. Like the Hyksos (I've always been fascinated by them), Egypt was rule by foreigners at various times. I am also interested in learning more about Nubia and other black empires.

How did the Egyptians explain their takeover by foreign groups? The gods were angry? Were there any visible or cultural influences imposed by these foreigners?
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Old January 29th, 2014, 03:43 PM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmie View Post
How did the Egyptians explain their takeover by foreign groups? The gods were angry?
Well, really, the only foreign takeover native Egyptians would be in a good position to offer an explanation for would be in the case of the Hyksos. The reason is because Egypt never really recovered from foreign domination from the 3rd Intermediate Period on (except for a brief resurgence during the 26th Dynasty). There was a long succession of foreign rulers -- Libyans, Nubians, Assyrians (effectively), Persians, Greeks & Romans. By the time 500 or 1000 years passed, the exact details were probably lost in the confusion and folks who might have offered an explanation probably didn't really know what they were talking about (i.e. Manetho).

In the case of the Hyksos, the native pharaohs of the ensuing New Kingdom preferred not to talk about it for the most part. However, there are some potential clues. For example, the pharaoh credited with finally expelling the Hyksos and founding the New Kingdom is Ahmose. He erected the Tempest Stela which potentially refers to the Hyksos. It describes a time when egypt was overcome by "water" (potentially, the Hyksos) and he essentially "paid" the water to leave before restoring the land to it's former glory. Kamose (predecessor of Ahmose) likewise erected a couple of stelae describing events of the period. We also have a few other documents such as the Speos Artemidos inscription of Hatshepsut and papyrus Sallier I, which both contain definite references to the Hyksos. Although, they were written some time after the fact. There is also a biographical inscription in the tomb of a soldier/sailor named Ahmose, son of Ebana which contains details about the war against the Hyksos.

Something else you may find interesting are texts that potentially speak to the rise and fall of native dynasties (e.g. Book of the Heavenly Cow, Westcar Papyrus).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmie View Post
Were there any visible or cultural influences imposed by these foreigners?
The foreigners typically tied themselves to the Egyptian religion whenever they set up shop. Obviously, they brought customs and technology with them but they channeled it through the native culture to maintain their control. In the case of the Hyksos, they probably introduced the horse and chariot as well as the compound bow, which all became pivotal during the later New Kingdom.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 04:49 PM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmie View Post
We've had several threads on the subject. Here is one:

http://historum.com/history/17615-black-pharaohs.html
I almost forgot how badly Guada owned Shaddam IV here. You know its getting ugly when your opponent immediately breaks out links from Matilda's Anthropology blog.

My response to this is the same as the previous thread, "black pharoahs" is a misnomer:

'Egyptians are a branch of the Niolitic cattle pastoralist culture of the once fertile Sahara. As such they have deep ties from Ethiopia to Chad so a "black pharaoh" wasn't the least bit remarkable. Its worth remembering the Neolithization of the Nile Valley came via Nubia. Its possible the first kings to unite Egypt were Nubians. Ta-Seti was a much older kingdom than Egypt and Egyptians themselves referred to all of Upper Egypt as Ta-Seti (Land of the Bow). Piye and the Kushite dynasty weren't unique. The 12th, 18th and 19th dynasties had similarly pronounced affinities with Ta-Seti. But it didn't take some obvious relationship with the south for there to be so-called black pharaohs, as evidenced by royalty of the 4th and 5th dynasties.'
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Old January 29th, 2014, 11:37 PM   #10
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Interesting book by Dr N.D. Harkless.
I knew about it awhile ago,and read some of it but some of info about modern nubians and other modern population groups in the book is outdated or incorrect.
Of course the book and the part she has in it was written before more updated or info about dna etc..
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