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  1. Stan`

    Stan`

    0 A.D. Art Team


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  2. wowgetoffyourcellphone

    wowgetoffyourcellphone

    Community Members


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  3. Lion.Kanzen

    Lion.Kanzen

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  4. Alexandermb

    Alexandermb

    0 A.D. Art Team


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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/07/2012 in all areas

  1. 30 points
    Wildfiregames presents: 0AD's unit upgrade. -Why do you work on this upgrade when you should be working on pathfinder and performance improvements? -Please note that this upgrade has been done by an artist who hasn't any knowledge in programming. This upgrade has not taken away any precious work time to 0AD programming developers who continue to work on the needed pathfinder and performance improvements. -Why do you make this upgrade? For a number or reasons: Unit models are very old, around 6-7 years old. These new models are closer to today's industry standards. UV mapping and model proportions aren't ideal on the current models. The new ones have realistic human proportions and much better UV mapping. Old animations cannot be modified, only created from scratch. With the new models we can maintain the blender source files of the animations and modify them at will. Since we share the blender source files, the team and the community can make variations for their own model variations and still use the new armature. Old model's armature (skeleton) is very basic and limited. With the new model's armature we can achieve more detailed animations and are capable of basic prop animation -Are these new models already implemented? Do they work with the old animations? -No. The models are finished and ready to start animation production. We will remake all the unit animations and implement them when there are almost all of the required animations completed. However, the models are commited to the SVN version of the game with some test examples that you can check in the map editor. These examples and the models will be released in the next Alpha release (Alpha18) if you don't wan't to set up a SVN version. To check some unit examples in SVN, go to the map editor and in the object tab, search for all actors and filter by "newunit". Once selected click on "Switch to action viewer" to isolate the unit and zoom in. (please note these are just examples and they aren't final unit setups) -Do you have increased the number of unit variations of the game? -Yes, now there are non-armored unit variations, and armored unit variations with some differences. There are plans to add some more in the near future if time permits. -Can I make my own animations for my mod and use these new models? -Yes you can! Check at the bottom of this post to download the blender source file(s) of the armature and check the SVN newunit xmls example for setting up your own units. Don't forget to check the presentation video where there's a short explanation of how the armature works. -What is left to be done before I can play with these new models? -Since the unit heads have different size than the old ones, all the helmets in the game must be resized to fit them. Also as pointed a few lines above, we're going to upgrade all the animations to fit these new models. When these two tasks are complete or close to completion, we'll implement them and you'll be able to play 0AD with them. -Is there something I can make to help with this task? -Yes! If you are a skilled animator with experience in human models' animations you can open a thread in "Applications and contributions" subforum, tell us about yourself and show us some of your animation works! Male unit variations (Old Work in progress): (Click following images to enlarge) Female unit variations (Old work in progress): Download the blend file and start animating! Enjoy! New unit upgrade animation template.zip
  2. 29 points
    0 A.D. Development Report: May - August 2019 Wildfire Games, the international group of volunteers developing 0 A.D. : Empires Ascendant, is happy to present its latest development report. If you want to find out more about the development of this open-source, cross-platform real-time strategy game or if you are interested in game development in general, it might provide an interesting read. If you want to be part of this project, feel free to visit our forums and join our active community, or just grab a task from our list of open tickets and get right to it. We are currently looking for Programmers, Animators and Artists. *names written in bold black are Wildfire Games staff and names written in bold grey are community members Programming wraitii has rewritten UnitMotion for better code and easier extensibility, with the goal in sight of introducing optimisations. He's optimised the Hierarchical Pathfinder, and is working on pathfinder threading. he has also worked on two patches, allowing triggers to give units modifiers, and making attack effects easily moddable so that, for example, a unit can both capture and damage in the same attack. Stan` Created a first version of the polycount guidelines and updated the art design document. He also added a glow material that also supports normal maps (basic_glow_norm). Stan` worked on many other fixes and improvements, such adding more animations to the atlas drop down list. vladislavbelov continues to work on the renderer among other things, improving the water's GLSL shader by increasing the reflection and refraction realism. He also added a tool to Atlas, which allows choosing water height by simply clicking on a part of the terrain with the desired height. Itms worked on our Continuous Integration system, and improved the developing environment for the programmers behind the scenes. He made the move from VS2013 to VS2015 as the default compiler on Windows, with help from Angen. He also upgraded SpiderMonkey to version 45. s0600204 increased the usage of pkg-config instead of hard-coding or library-specific programs, and added support for special characters (UTF8) in map names and descriptions. elexis rewrote source/gui/ to have a cleaner code structure and use C++11 features (most code still came from 2004), fixed a number of compiler warnings and some memory leaks. JoshuaJB fixed some memory leaks introduced by the implementation of STUN + XMPP ICE. historic_bruno has been working on MacOS build fixes. trompetin17 fixed an issue with atlasUI and added a "new" checkbox to the map settings tab. Imarok, FeXoR and bb_ have also been working on various smaller code fixes, improvements and reviews. Mate-86 has worked on a feature allowing entities to be affected by Status Effects, such as flaming projectiles igniting the target or poisoned arrows poisoning the target, which will cause the target to continue suffering damage for a while. Freagarach has replaced the gender-tag with phenotype, adding the ability to choose a random phenotype for a given template, allowing for different looks for the same template, as well as having male and female units from the same template with their correct respective voices. Freagarach, with assistance from wraitii, has also wrapped damage types in a Damage element in XML templates to make them generic. This places the damage types in a "Damage" container, just like the "Resources" are. Part of the effort towards having secondary attacks and a more easily moddable game. Angen made the AI aware of the existence of the new ranges and updated precompiled headers to improve build times. Krinkle fixed ESLint semicolon-related warnings and has been updating various wiki-pages on trac. minohaka helped testing and discovering regressions. Art Alexandermb‘s new fauna models and textures were committed by Stan`, including Marwari, Lusitano and Celtic horse breeds, new cattle textures, sanga variants, a new Maurya trader chariot with new animations and he animated the new Kushite hero chariot by Sundiata. He sorted his many new Celtic shields according to their specific civ, diffenrentiating the Gauls and Britons with the help of Genava55. Another big update were the many improvements to a variety of other shields, including the Greek aspis with new higher quality models and textures. And then there was the big Hellenic helmets update: Thracian, Phrygian, Boeotian, Chalcidean, Attic, Bryastovets, Corinthian and the Pilos helmet, with many variations. New meshes and textures for greaves were also committed. Many other smaller fixes and improvements were made, further enhancing the quality of his already Herculean art contributions, as wel as working on “the great animations re-export” together with Stan` (cleaning and committing) and assisted by fatherbushido and Enrique, in order to solve a flaw in many older meshes, while also taking the opportunity to improve on some of those animations and adding some new ones. Alexandermb has also been working on a number of formations like the testudo, phalanx and syntagma. wackyserious created many new Macedonian, Persian and Roman unit textures, a new Ptolemy IV hero texture and updated the Thracian Peltast, Naked Fanatic, Scythian Archer, Judean Slinger and Seleucid Pikeman and Cataphract. Stan` Made a new blacksmith for the Britons, improved the walls for the Gauls and added some detailing to their barracks. He unified foundation sizes and construction dust, added new scaffolds and updated structure templates accordingly. LordGood is continuing his prolific work in the flora department. Teak, dragon bamboo, strangler figs, bananas, areca palm, doum palm, Atlas cedar, holly oak, juniper tree and some new grasses are his latest additions. He has also been working on the Hellenization of the Ptolemies with a new tower and temple. Bigtiger has worked on some beautiful new flora as well, adding holm oaks, Euro birch, fir tree and a new fern to the collection. He also made new cliffs, new particle actors for snow and clouds and new temperate terrain textures. These new assets can be admired in three new excellent looking maps by Bigtiger himself: Farmland, Oceanside and Roadway. wowgetoffyourcellphone made new icons for the deer, boar, camel, horse, walrus and wildebeest. The Uffington White Horse he made back in 2016 will replace Stonehenge as the new wonder for the Britons. Other Gallaecio has been improving and correcting the English descriptions in-game. Stan` gave a presentation on 0 A.D. and it’s develoment process in Rennes for GrafikLabor 2019. user1 continues his work moderating smurf accounts in the multiplayer lobby. After discussions on the transliteration of Ancient Greek into English, the decission has been made to use the standards of the American Library Association and Library of Congress proposed by Anaxandridas ho Skandiates, who is, in discussion with Nescio, working to update all the Greek specific names, making them more accurate and consitent. Nescio has also been updating the English style guide, cleaned up the technology data files and applied some corrections to the new horse and cattle fauna templates (among others), added skirmishing templates to some structures and cleaned some obstruction and footprint sizes for others, improved a number of tool tips and improved and corrected some of the Roman and Persian specific names. Tom 0ad Has created five new informative videos, including “0AD Faction Overview 04 – Persians”, “0AD Faction Overview 05 – Kushites”, “The Ultimate Guide to Siege Weaopons”, “Top Three Tips to Improve. FAST” and “Essential Team Game Guide”. Likewise, ValihrAnt has made a number of enlightening videos, including “Unit Ranks & Promotions Explained”, “Top 5 Most Underrated Techs” and “Strategy Guide, Cavalry Rush Build Order”. HMS-Surprise, Unknown_Player, Feldfeld and psypherium organized the commentated Sunday Pro Games between April and June. This was a competetive community event, with Boudica ranking number 1! elexis, Stan` and wraitii have been updating an extensive list presenting all noticable changes to the end user in Alpha 24, since development started on December 26th, 2018. Changes include new 3D and 2D art, sound, maps, gameplay, user interface, renderer, pathfinder and more. Check it out at: https://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/Alpha24 Art Features A small selection of Alexandermb's new helmets with many variants: One of many new sets of shields. The Greek aspis for the Athenian faction. From top to bottom: basic, advanced, elite and champion. By Alexandermb: Macedonian, Carthaginian and Spartan units showing off their new equipment, by Alexandermb: New Macedonian unit textures by wackyserious: New unit textures for the Romans, Judean Slingers and Seleucid Cataphracts, by wackyserious: Some of the new temperate flora assets by Bigtiger: A lush display of some of LordGood's new tropical flora assets and cliffs: The new Oceanside map by Bigtiger. It's by the ocean... Mediterranean Islets, by LordGood: Hellenized Ptolemaic walls and temples on the banks of the Nile. Take note of the new palms and baobab trees. By LordGood:
  3. 24 points
    New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 23 Ken Wood Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of 0 A.D. Alpha 23 “Ken Wood”, the twenty-third alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source real-time strategy game of ancient warfare. Easy Download and Install Download and installation instructions are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. 0 A.D. is free software. This means you are free to download, redistribute, modify and contribute to the application under the same licenses (GPL v2 or a later version for code and Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 for artwork, see license). Although you might find some people selling copies of 0 A.D., either over the internet or on physical media, you will always have the option to download 0 A.D. completely gratis, directly from the developers. No “freemium” model, no in-game advertising, no catch. Top New Features New Civilization: Kushites Mod Downloader Cavalry and Spartan Building Models Combine Victory Conditions Attack Range Visualization Diplomacy Colors Destruction Damage Unit Information Dialog AI Behavior Lobby Authentication to prevent impersonation Nomad Mode on all Random Maps New Random Maps: Lower Nubia, Jebel Barkal, Elephantine, Fields of Meroë, Hellas, Dodecanese, Scythian Rivulet Civilization: Kushites The most prominent feature of the new release is the introduction of the Kushites. The Kingdom of Kush was a Middle Nile Valley civilization between 785 B.C. and 350 A.D. The region became known as Nubia and is located in present day Sudan. Steeped in pharaonic traditions, Kushites considered themselves the true heirs of the New Kingdom. They were fierce in the defense of their homeland, facing Persian, Ptolemaic and Roman invasions as well as constantly testing the strength of their northern neighbours. The armies of Kush are diverse, with contingents recruited from all across its vast domain. With a wide array of trainable units, they can adapt to almost any kind of opposing army. Boosted both economically and militarily by their monumental pyramids, ingenious leaders and special technologies, Kushites gain a variety of benefits. Lead the Nubian kingdom to bloody war and see the emergence of the mighty Kingdom of Kush. Learn more about ancient Kush here. Economic and religious Kushite sites (10MB 6k-HD) A nubian city in full bloom ( 6MB 6k-HD) Temple Of Amun Pyramids of Meroë, photograph by Fabrizio Demartis, CC-BY-SA 2.0 Nubian Pyramid Two Apedemak Champion Guards and a Blemmye Camp ( 4MB 6k-HD) Harsiotef, Kushite King of Meroë (404 B.C. to 369 B.C. ) Looted bust of the first Roman Emperor Augustus, found in Meroë, photograph by Steve F-E-Cameron CC-BY-SA 3.0 Mod Downloader Beginning this Alpha, players can install mod files just by opening them with 0 A.D. This new version also comes with a mod downloader, that allows you to connect to the new mod.io platform and fetch mods from inside the game. Wildfire Games and the mod.io team have worked together to bring you this feature, and 0 A.D. is one of the first games for which mods are available from this new and powerful platform. Please note that only mods that Wildfire Games has tested against blatant security issues will be available through mod.io. However, you are always free to install mods manually from other sources. 0 A.D. Mod Downloader Millenium A.D., a free mod featuring Anglo-Saxons, Byzantines, Carolingians and Norse civilization at the of Charlemagne and the Viking Age Terra Magna, a free mod featuring the Han Dynasty of China and pre-columbian Zapotecs New Models Similar to previous releases, meshes, animations, textures and materials for a number of units have been reworked. This time with a focus on helmets, shields and clothing. But 0 A.D. Alpha 23 also comes with many new artwork, as the Spartan faction has received an entirely new set of models. All Cavalry units have been replaced with much more realistically looking, more fluently animated high-poly models. New Spartan Buildings ( 9MB 6k-HD) New Helmets and Siege Firing Animations ( 7MB 6k-HD) New animal type Zebu and new Cavalry models ( 6MB 6k-HD) Combine Victory Conditions The addition of new victory conditions throughout the last releases, such as Wonder Victory, Regicide and Capture The Relic gamemode have made it reasonable to allow players to combine all these modes arbitrarily. So if you ever wanted to play a game where you can choose between defeating the enemy by taking out the hero or starting an ambush on the relics after building a citystate and assembling an army, now is the time! Two heroes fighting for victory ( 9MB 6k-HD) Attack Range Visualization Similar to the aura range visualization of the former release, fortifications and mobile towers now reveal the range they cover upon selection. Furthermore, the attack distance is also drawn when in the building placement preview, so that the player can find the best suitable location prior to settling the position. Attack Range Visualization during building preview mode ( 7MB 6k-HD) Diplomacy Colors Both in traditional games with two teams and in diplomacy teams with interactive alliance buildup, players could have often used a quick way to find out where the border to the enemy lies and which parts of the territory can be considered a safespace. With 0 A.D. Alpha 23 players are rewarded with a way to toggle between the player colors and team colors (one color per diplomatic stance), enabling them to react to every threat to their city instantly. Blue indicates the player, green allies and red opponents ( 12MB 6k-HD) Destruction Damage One of the new features that targets 0 A.D. (but also mods and other RTS that once might use the Pyrogenesis engine) is the ability of units to deal damage to surrounding enemies when they are destroyed. The effect is demonstrated by Fireships that can and will sink enemy ships if not taken care of by the enemy combatant. An Iberian Fireship sinks nearby fishing ships ( 4MB 6k-HD) Unit Information Dialog Players and observers can now open a dialog that displays all the game related details by rightclicking on a unit during a match. It is also designed to provide sufficient space for historic background information in future versions of the game. Everything you wanted to know about the Amun Temple AI Behaviors The Petra AI now supports configuration of different behaviors, such as Aggressive or Defensive. Although still in an early stage of development, it aims at more diverse singleplayer experience. AI Configuration Dialog Lobby Authentication To establish a safer multiplayer environment, the possibility of player impersonation was ruled out by an improved connect mechanism that requires lobby players to remain authenticated at the lobby server when joining games. The new match setup option Furthermore, the lobby chat was made accessible in the match setup, running games and the summary screen, so players can stay in tune with upcoming games without having to leave the party early. Nomad on all Random Maps Players have enjoyed the "Unknown Nomad" random map since years. It required players to scout the randomly generated map and find a suitable location to lay the foundation stone of their city. With 0 A.D. Alpha 23, this game mode is not restricted to this map anymore but can freely chosen on any of the random map scripts. A Persian player starting the city at the river ( 10MB 6k-HD) New Maps The entire random map generation code has been revamped. The results of this endeavor are many more possibilities and comfort for map authors to generate landscapes and a new quality standard in map design. With Alpha 23, 0 A.D. was enriched by seven random map scripts and three new skirmish maps. Six of these maps take place in the domain of the Kushites. New Random Maps Lower Nubia Lower Nubia is the area between the first and second cataract of the Nile and formed the traditional border region between Kush and Egypt. The hostile and merciless Sahara desert makes defending your position on the river and its steep banks an absolute necessity. This map, like most other realworld maps below was created using realworld elevation data from the NASA Blue Marble series. New random map "Lower Nubia" ( 10MB 6k-HD) Abu Simbel Temple of Ramesses II, photograph by Than217, Public Domain Jebel Barkal The "Jebel Barkal" is the holy mountain that was used as a landmark by traders crossing the Nile river, near its fourth cataract. It is located near the Nubian city of Napata, which later became the capital of ancient Kush. The remains of the Napatan temple complex and the nearby pyramids were declared a world heritage site in 2003. Stone Ruins and the famous Pinnacle of the Hill, photograph by Maria Gropa, UNESCO, CC BY-SA 3.0 "Jebel Barkal" is the first 0 A.D. map to present a vivid, procedurally generated cityscape combined with regularly spawned attackers of adjustable difficulty. City Walls of Napata ( 11MB 6k-HD) Procedural Generation of the City ( 10MB 6k-HD) Temple Guards patroling Napata ( 9MB 6k-HD) Players start near the fertile banks of the Nile river. In order to attain resources, players have to either establish a tradeline there or reach the mineral abundance in the shelterless desert. Contrary to the average map, players find complementary advantages and disadvantages depending on the starting location, making cooperative teamplay and strategic decisiontaking much more relevant. New random map "Jebel Barkal" ( 8MB 6k-HD) The Pyramids and the Hill, photograph by Ron Van Oers , UNESCO, CC-BY-SA 3.0 Elephantine Together with Philae, the fortified Island of Elephantine was situated on the Nile River at the first cataract and an important Egyptian city, often under Kushite control. As the border between Upper Egypt and Lower Nubia, Elephantine became an important way-station for the trade in ivory and other goods. It was considered to be the home of the god Khnum, guardian of the source of the Nile, and boasted an impressive temple complex whose remains can still be visited today. This map was created using OpenStreetMap data. New random map "Elephantine" ( 10MB 6k-HD) Temple of Isis on Philae Island, photograph by Olaf Tausch, CC-BY 3.0 Temple of Aswan on Philae Island, photograph by Osama Awny, CC-BY-SA 4.0 Goddess Hathor in the Satet Temple on Elephantine Island, photograph by David Stanley, CC-BY 2.0 Fields Of Meroë The "Island of Meroë" is a vast peninsula flanked by the Nile and Atbarah rivers and formed the heartland of ancient Kush. This map comes in two variants, one depicting the dry season and one for the rainy season. The map demonstrates the new possibility to select the map biome in the match setup. "Fields Of Meroë" - dry season ( 9MB 6k-HD) "Fields Of Meroë" - wet season ( 10MB 6k-HD) Temple of Amun in Naqa, photograph by Coordinamento delle organizzazioni per il servizio volontario, CC-BY-SA 3.0 Hellas This unique random map script choses a random area of Greece each time, yielding a much greater surprise effect each terrain generation. A "Hellas" map generation showing a part near the Aegean Sea ( 9MB 6k-HD) Dodecanese "Dodecanese" is greek and translates to "twelve islands". It names a group of 15 large and 150 small islands in the southern Aegean Sea . This is the first random map script placing little bridges. New random map "Dodecanese" ( 10MB 6k-HD) Scythian Rivulet This is a map focusing on the beauty of pristine winter, featuring crispy mounds of snow, shown under a not-too-bright sun. New random map "Scythian Rivulet" ( 8MB 6k-HD) New Skirmish Maps Alpha 23 "Ken Wood" comes with three new Skirmish maps: Egypt, Butana Steppe and Via Augusta: "Egypt" (6 players) comes with prebuilt cities of geographically accurate civs ( 10MB 6k-HD) "Butana Steppe" (2 players) ( 11MB 6k-HD) ""Via Augusta" (3 players) ( 14MB 6k-HD) Under The Hood This release consists of almost 1900 patches (r19923 to r21819), i.e. several hundred of bugfixes, commits restructuring of the engine code and small features that can barely be listed. It also includes solutions to prevalent crashes and performance bottlenecks. Finally, the Pyrogenesis engine can be compiled using Visual Studio 2015 and premake5. The name "Ken Wood" Ken Wood, also known as Phoenix-TheRealDeal or tonto_real, was one of the three original gameplay designers of 0 A.D, together with Wijitmaker and Acumen. He was a retiree in his 60’s from Arizona, but he sadly passed away in 2006 after a long fight with cancer. It is thanks to the amount of energy and passion he poured into the early stages of 0 A.D. that we are celebrating another great release of our favorite game! We managed to reach that symbolic letter W for our twenty-third Alpha, and we keep remembering him through the development of the project. Ken Wood was instrumental in conceptualizing some of the core concepts of 0 A.D. Most notably, he laid the foundations of the citizen-soldier concept, and its female villager counterpart. He was also fascinated by Celtiberian civilizations and designed the Iberian and Carthaginian factions. He designed a Rock-Paper-Scissors counter system for units of the game, biomes for maps, and had big ideas for naval combat and realistic ship movement. If you want to know more about the story behind 0 A.D., see this article. We have also re-published an interview from the old website here. And let us not forget his famous quote, which gives us all the motivation we can need: For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter X. Keep it original and related to the time frame portrayed in 0 A.D. (appx. 500 B.C. – 0 A.D.) and post your proposal here! Support Us The work is still in progress and can use every helping hand. You can support us by translating the game in your language at transifex, contributing art or code or simply by donating. If you experience a technical problem with the game, please report it at trac.wildfiregames.com. This is also the first address to visit when you wish to dedicate some of your time to help patching the code. Got any further questions or suggestions? Discuss them with other players and developers at the forum or talk with us directly in the irc chat. Subscribe Contact info for press, bloggers, etc.: aviv@wildfireTROYgames.com without the capitalized name of a city Ulysses spent some time in.
  4. 23 points
    “Oh Great God, swift one. Who comes to him who calls. Watch my sister for me, the woman born in the same womb as me. Do for her as I have done for you. Spontaneous miracles that cannot be denied. Elevate her children and make them prosper, even as you did for me.” -From Taharqa’s prayer to Amun, at his temple in Kawa- "At the Height of his power, King Taharqa leads his queens through the crowds during a festival at the temple complex of Nubia's Jebel Barkal, it's pinnacle gleaming with gold. Accompanied by a sacred ship bearing an image of the god Amun, Taharqa is robed in a priestly leopard skin and crowned with the double uraeus that declares him Lord of the Two Lands - ruler of both Nubia and Egypt." [Taharqa is the 4th Pharaoh of the 25th dynasty and forefather of the later Napatan and Meroitic periods of Kush, seen in front of the Great Temple of Amun in Napata, artwork by Gregory Manchess]. The Kingdom of Kush: A proper Introduction By Malcolm Kwadwo Kwarte Quartey Often misunderstood, and even more often overlooked, Kush was a major centre of power in the ancient world. Its deserts and its armies formed the southern frontier of many classical civilizations. Its gold and ivory were prized throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Its trade routes connected Africa to the rest of the world and its mercenaries served as far as Greece. Its rulers, many of them powerful queens, known as Kandakes, ruled in the style of the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom. City builders, administrators, craftsmen and artists, writers and musicians, ironworkers and goldsmiths, priests, warriors, farmers, cattle herders and horse breeders. Builders of pyramids. The bowmen of Nubia. Who were these Kushites? What is their story? Some of the iconic Nubian pyramids, at Begrawiya, the royal necropolis of Meroë. Between the 8th Cenury BC and 350 A.D., at least 255 pyramids were built by the Kushites, at sites like El Kurru, Napata, Meroë and Nuri. Comprehensive and richly illustrated introductions to Kushite history are hard to come by. Therefore I will attempt to provide you with a thorough analysis of Kushite history, outlining their origin and environment, culture and religion, architecture, economy and military. I will also be contextualizing them in the broader African, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern world of Antiquity, including their trade-relations as well as the prolonged wars they waged against several other heavyweights of their time. Because of a lack of credible and historically accurate representations of these people in popular culture, I have spent considerable time gathering a rich collection of primary sources, accurate and relevant images focused on important archaeological sites, reliefs, artefacts and historical reconstructions of houses, monuments, cities, and the people of Kush, as well as contemporary written histories. If any attempt is made to represent “The Kingdom of Kush” in any kind of media format, the histories and images provided in this introduction can provide the backdrop for literature, or the backbone for graphic art or the models of buildings, the environment and the people of Kush. King Tanyidamani and Apedemak, the god of war and fertility, on a votive plaque from the Naqa kiosk. Meroitic inscriptions are seen in the upper corners. Indentifying Kush Kushites are known and referred to by a number of names, depending on the specific time-period or source being discussed, easily confusing casual readers. The following terms are (sometimes erroneously) used interchangeably: “Kush”, "Cush" or “The Kingdom of Kush”, "The Kingdom of Kerma", "The Kingdom of Napata" or "Napatans", “The Napatan Empire” or the "25th Dynasty", “Meroites”, “The Meroitic Kingdom”, or more commonly, but less precisely, “Nubia”, or “the Nubians”. Egypt’s fearsome southern neighbor. This is Herodotus’ Aethiopia, but must not be confused with the modern day country of Ethiopia, which lies to the south of ancient Kush. Neither should they be confused with the “Kushans” of Bactria and India. The Kingdom of Kush was centred on the Southern Nile Valley in modern day Sudan. More specifically Upper and Lower Nubia (including a part of southern Egypt), the Bayuda desert and the Butana steppe, a vast, semi-arid, seasonal savannah, flanked by the Nile and the Blue Nile to the West, and the Atbarah River to the East. In the Butana people were able to take advantage of seasonal rainfalls to engage in large-scale agro-pastoralism. Mainly cattle herding and the cultivation of cereals. Likewise, the fertile banks of the Nile, with its annual inundation, provided rich soils for the cultivation of barley, wheat, sorghum and millet, along with cash crops like cotton and dates. In 450 B.C. Herodotus correctly identified one of the capital cities as Meroë, an ancient site that was used for royal burials as early as 890 B.C. Situated between the 5th and the 6th cataracts on the Nile, Herodotus called it a “great city... said to be the capital of the other Ethiopians”. An important note, is that Kushite and Egyptian history, culture, religion, politics and to some degree even language and ethnicity are so tightly interwoven, that Kushite history cannot be understood without that of Egypt, as can Egyptian history not be understood without that of Kush. Therefore there will be frequent mention of Egypt. In the past, this Kushite-Egyptian relationship has often been described as one of master and servant, relegating Kush to a backwater civilization, even riding on the coattails of Egypt. This sentiment is actively being challenged by modern academia and ongoing excavations and fresh discoveries are shedding new light on these complicated early chapters of human history. Egypt and Kush were two components of the interrelated, yet regionally distinct Nile Valley Civilizations and the symbiotic nature of the Kushite-Egyptian relationship will become apparent when examining both histories side by side. Unless explicitly mentioned, all images of historical sites and artefacts shared in this article are of Sudanese origin, with the exception of those from Lower Nubia, which is the southernmost part of modern day Egypt, but was politically and culturally part of Kush for most of its existence. These sites and artefacts belong to the Kerma, Napatan or Meroitic Periods of Kush, even though some may look very similar to their Egyptian contemporaries. Terminologies: To the ancient Kushites and Egyptians alike, the entire world was centred around the ebb and flow of the life bringing Nile River. They saw the water flow from a higher place (the headwaters of the Nile in the Ethiopian highlands and Central Africa), to a lower place, namely Northern Egypt, the Delta and eventually the Mediterranean sea. Thus, they considered southern lands "upper" (higher elevation), and northern lands "lower" (lower elevation). As a result, the traditional partitions of the Nile Valley are as follows (north to south): Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt, Lower Nubia, Upper Nubia. The cataracts of the Nile are shallow stretches of river or white water rapids between Aswan and Khartoum. 6 major cataracts brake the surface of the water with boulders, jagged rocks and rocky islets. These places are very difficult to navigate by boat and have often formed natural boundaries between different regions, and states. The use of the term "Nubia" only becomes widespread after the fall of Kush, and is associated with the rise of the Noba (Nobatae/Noubades/Nobatia). Nonetheless, "Nubia" is often used as a geographical designation for the lands south of Egypt. As such, for the duration of this article, "Nubia" will be used exclusively as a geographical term, referring to the areas from Aswan and the 1st cataract in South Egypt, to the 6th cataract in Central Sudan, divided into Lower Nubia (North) from the first to the second cataract, and Upper Nubia (South), from the second to the 6th cataract. It is important to note that ancient Kush stretched hundreds of kilometers further south of 6th cataract, beyond the traditional confines of Nubia. Likewise, the term "Ethiopia" (from The Greek Αἰθιοπία/Aethiopia, Αἰθιοπ- which roughly translates as "burnt face" and directly refers to black people in general), was the primary term used by Greeks in Antiquity to refer to Kush (and in later times more broadly includes all of Africa south of Egypt). In these writings, "Ethiopia" and its derivatives will refer to ancient Kush, and not the modern day country of Ethiopia, unless explicitly mentioned. Other, Egyptian names for the region include Ta-Nehesy (land of the riverine Nubians) which was a term also used by Kushites, and Ta-Seti (land of the bow), although both of these terms seem to refer to the northern areas of Nubia. Ta-Seti was later used as the name for the southernmost nome of Egypt (one of 42) bordering Nubia. Kushites themselves referred to these areas as "pdt psdt" (The Nine Bows). The term "Kush", is a term that was used by the Kushites themselves, evidenced by names like Kashta (k3š-t3, "from the land of Kush") , as well as being used by the Egyptians (k3š), Assyrian (Kuš, Kusaya, "Kushite"), Old Persian (Kuša), Ancient Hebrew (כּוּשׁ, Kūš, also Cush, Cushi/Kushi, Cushim) and Aksumite (Kasu). Therefore, "Kush" is generally used as the academic standard, referring to the Middle Nile Valley State south of Ancient Egypt, from c. 2500 BC to 350 AD., and will be the preferred term in these writings as well. A map of ancient Kush: Lower and Upper Nubia, Bayuda and Butana, in modern day Sudan. The core territories of Kush stretched more than a thousand km, from the first cataract around Aswan (the traditional frontier), to the southern Butana steppe. More than 80 ancient sites can be seen, most of which have occupation dates from the Napatan and Meroitic periods of Kush. These are mostly towns, cities and temple complexes, which often have earlier, and later occupation dates as well. The three successive capital cities of Kerma, Napata and Meroë are highlighted in red. Other important sites include: Qasr Ibrim, Karanog, Amara East, Sedeinga, Tabo, Kawa, El Kurru, Sanam, Nuri, Dangeil, Homat el Hamadab, El Hassa, Basa, Wad Ben Naqa, Naqa and Musawwarat es Sufra. The Neolithic in Sudan: Neolithic Sudan (c. 6000 BC - 2500 BC) was occupied by a number of cultures, distinct yet related, known as A-Group Culture, and Pre-Kerma. They are identified primarily from their pottery and burial mounds (tumuli), and established some of the earliest permanent settlements of the region. These cultures evolved along similar lines as their northern neighbours of the Naqada Culture in Predynastic Egypt, traded extensively and shared some cultural substrates. The A-Group (who's indigenous name is lost to us), derived much of its power from its location along important trade routes, affording access to carnelian, gold and exotic products from the African interior including incense, ivory and ebony. The first Dynasties of ancient Egypt eventually conquered parts of Lower Nubia (c. 3100 BC) and A-Group Culture virtually disappears as the area seems to have been depopulated. However, the Egyptians were forced to abandon their occupation by 6th Dynasty because of pressures from new groups arriving in the Nile Valley (perhaps a re-emergence of A-group), fleeing the expanding deserts 500 years later. These semi-nomadic groups are known as C-Group Culture and were organised into chiefdoms, practiced early agriculture as well as pastoralism. Old Kingdom Egyptian records list a number of the tribes to their south, including: Wawat, Irtjet, Setju, Medjau (Medjay), Kaau, Tjemeh (Temeh) and Yam. Wawat (north) and Yam (south) seem to have been the most powerful of these groups, absorbing other tribes, and even threatening Egypt. Elements of C-Group also fused with Pre-Kerma, and gave rise to the powerful Kerma-culture. The Medjay are associated with the Pan Grave Culture and the later Beja people, and are particularly known for their mercenary services in Egypt. Since the Old Kingdom, Egyptians had been recruiting mercenaries from all of these tribes in large numbers, and significant cross-cultural influences are evident, from burial practices to a shared royal iconography and religious syncretism. The general political situation in the Neolithic Southern Nile Valley (left), pre-Kerma around c. 4th millennium BC (centre), and a Medjay warrior depicted on a bucranium (cattle skull) from Mostagedda, Middle Egypt, (right), illustrating the use of Hieroglyphs among the southern populations living among the Egyptians.. Post-Neolithic Sudan: The rise of Kerma (c. 2500 BC) sees the absorption of these tribes into a strong centralised state, know as Kush, which ended up rivalling Egypt itself. This period sees some of the first monumental construction activities in Sudan, organised labour, advanced metallurgy, cross-continental trade networks and the earliest use of Egyptian hieroglyphs as well as being embroiled in violent conflict with their northern neighbour, annexing lower Nubia and raiding as far north as Thebes. A thousand years after its establishment, the Kingdom of Kerma was conquered by the New Kingdom. 500 Years of occupation blurred the lines between Kush and Egypt, as the material culture of the two countries became nearly indistinguishable. When the New kingdom collapsed, Kush once again became an independent state ruled from Napata, and even conquered and ruled all of Egypt as the 25th Dynasty for almost a century. Later, Kush was ruled from the more southern Meroë, and continued practicing pharaonic culture until the 4th cenury AD. Napatan and Meroitic period Kush were major powers in their own right, well known to the superpowers of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, standing their ground in conflicts with the Saite Dynasty, Assyrians, Persians, Ptolemies and Romans, as well as being in a near perpetual state of warfare with its tribal periphery. Kush ultimately collapsed under pressures from desert tribes, increasing aridification and invasions from the emerging Aksumite empire (modern day Ethiopia and Eritrea). The History of Kush can be divided into 4 major periods: Kerma Period (c. 2500 BC - c. 1504 BC) New Kingdom Egyptian Period (c. 1504 BC - c. 1077 BC) Napatan Period (c. 795 BC - c. 590/270 BC) Meroitic Period (c. 590/270 BC - c. 330 AD) There is some debate as to whether the Meroitic period begins with the first sack of Napata by Psamtik II (c. 590 BC), or with the definitive move of the royal cemeteries to Meroë and the introduction of Meroitic script (c. 270 BC). I will continue by discussing the different periods of Kush separately, with a special focus on the Napatan and Meroitic periods, but first: Something on the difficulties involved in this research The history of Kush can be said to be relatively obscure. Many of the general histories refer to it only fleetingly, and pop-culture references are rare. This can not be attributed to a lack of documentation however, as many aspects of Kushite history are better understood than those of many of their contemporaries. There is a rich corpus of written histories and biographies left behind by the Kushites themselves, and ample mention in ancient Greek, Roman, Assyrian and Egyptian sources as well. Meroë was first noted in Western literature in 1772, by the Scot James Bruce, and Frederic Cailliaud published the first scientific survey of Sudanese monuments, Voyage à Méroé, in 1826. Since then, hundreds of archaeological sites have been identified, some of which have been under excavation for well over a century. Then what has lead to this relative obscurity? The first major excavations of Kushite sites took place from 1909 - 1914 (excavation of Meroë) under John Garstang and from 1913 - 1920 (excavation of Jebel Barkal), under the American archaeologist of Ancient Egypt, Nubia and Palestine, George Andrew Reisner. Reisner originally dismissed the sites as Egyptian satellite settlements, but this soon proved to be wrong. Owing to the racial sentiments of the time however, the prevailing principles of scientific racism didn’t allow the otherwise prolific Reisner, and others of his time to recognize that these sites were built by dark-skinned Africans, and that the local black people they were employing in their digs were actually the descendants of this ancient civilisation. As the Sub-Saharan features of Kushite rulers became increasingly apparent, the history of Kush was increasingly neglected. In the words of Timothy Kendall (Ph.D., Classical, Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies and Archaeology), a prominent historian and archaeologist directing excavations at Jebel Barkal since 1986: “While Reisner's deductions still strike us as astonishing for their brilliance and essential correctness, we are equally appalled to discover his inability to accept that the monuments he excavated were built by bona fide black men. Using entirely specious evidence, he formulated a theory that the founders of the 25th or "Ethiopian" Dynasty of Egypt were not black Sudanese but rather a branch of the "Egypto-Libyan" (by which he meant "fair skinned") ruling class of Dynasty 22, and that they were called "Ethiopians" by the Greeks simply because they dominated a darker-skinned native "negroid" population, which, as he stated, "had never developed either its trade or any industry worthy of mention." Like Taylor and Lepsius, believing absolutely that skin pigmentation was a determinant of intellectual ability and enlightenment, Reisner attributed the apparent cultural decline of the Napatan phase of the Kushite culture (ca. 660-300 B.C.) to the "deadening effects" of racial intermarriage between his imagined light-skinned elite and darker-skinned hoi poloi. The Meroitic cultural renaissance (after ca. 300 B.C.) he explained as simply the result of new influxes of Egyptians. Nubian cultures, he reasoned, were not as developed as the Egyptian because the people were of mixed race, yet by virtue of their relationship to the superior Egyptian race, they were elevated far above the "the inert mass of the black races of Africa." This was Reisner at his worst. Such unabashed racist interpretations, widely published in scholarly journals at the time and accepted as gospel by the popular press, today offend and embarrass all of us. Yet it is interesting to note how such pervasive racism then affected the discipline of Nubian Studies in America. Reisner, very much a product of his time, seems to have had an unconscious need to believe that his Kushite kings were "white" (or "white men" in darker skin, or dark men with "white souls") in order to make them and their culture more worthy of study to himself and more acceptable to the contemporary scholarly and museum-going public -- and perhaps even to his financial backers at the Museum of Fine Arts. Yet whether judged as "white" or "black," Nubian civilization could not have received much popular interest at the time. If it were merely an offshoot of a "white" Egypt in central Africa, as Reisner theorized, then it would inevitably be judged as late, decadent, and "peripheral" (i.e to the Egyptocentered and Eurocentered universe). If it were "black," then in the minds of his contemporaries it would be utterly irrelevant to history. In either case, it seemed to offer few attractions as an area of study for Egypologists of that generation, and almost none pursued it. Contemporary books on Egyptian history virtually ignored it. [...] When the mass of material from Reisner's excavations in the Sudan was sent back to the Boston Museum in 1924, most of it went into storage and was all but forgotten. When in the late 1970s it was rediscovered by the Museum's curators, they joyously identified it as one of the Museum's most important and unique treasures, assigned it to several national and international touring exhibitions, and finally installed it in a special permanent gallery.” Apart from Kushite history essentially being ignored for such a long time, other events like the deliberate destruction of archaeological sites has been a real problem. The Italian treasure hunter, Giuseppe Ferlini, for example, destroyed over 40 pyramids between 1834 and 1836 in his hunt for gold, less than 10 years after they were first documented by Cailliaud. Ancient destruction events, like the invasion of Psamtik II, the Roman invasion and especially the Aksumite invasion have been particularly destructive as well. Entire archaeological sites such as the temple of Taharqa in Kawa are often reburied after their initial excavations, to protect the remains from the harsh weather, obscuring them from view, and thus limiting exposure. In addition, tens of thousands of precious artefacts were shipped all over the world and can be found in private collections and museums, which often lump Kushite artefacts together with the Egyptian collection, often with little mention of their origin or political context. It’s not until the past few decades that the interest in Kushite history has been rekindled, and large scale excavations have recommenced. A reexamination of the available sources, combined with our ever-growing knowledge gleaned from the now near constant excavations are shedding a whole new light on this once thriving civilization. Finding quality information on the Kushites in your local library however, is unlikely, and many sources on the web are simply unreliable. Primary sources, books by authoritative historians specialised in this region and archaeological dig reports are by far the most reliable sources, but aren’t always easy to come by. In addition to the aforementioned difficulties, Kushite archaeological sites and artefacts are generally in a poor state of preservation. Unlike Egypt, much of Sudan lies in the rain-belt, and receives annual showers, degrading organic materials much faster than they would in the arid northern deserts. Building materials like wood and lower quality mud bricks perish easily and higher quality (fired) bricks and cut stone have historically been “mined” from Kushite sites for the construction of modern towns. Many later, and even modern towns and cities are actually built on top of ancient settlements. Vandalism and looting from poorly protected sites is also a real issue, and the lack of funding and regular political instability in Sudan hinder excavation efforts, especially on the periphery of ancient Kush, which is often reduced to a conflict zone. One of the biggest challenges however has been the construction of the Aswan High Dam in Southern Egypt, which created Lake Nasser, flooding an almost 500 km stretch of Lower Nubia, an area rich in Kushite archaeological sites including countless cities and towns, temple complexes and fortifications… Lake Nasser also displaced more than 60.000 indigenous Nubians from their ancestral homelands, flooding as many as 71 towns and villages. Nubians today are a marginalised minority population, with a unique language and culture, and have faced persecution and discrimination from both the Egyptian and Sudanese Arab-led governments. The construction of new dams in Sudan are threatening even more Nubians with displacement, and will flood even further archaeological sites. The final note on the difficulties in investigating this history is about names and terminologies. Over the past two centuries or so, many different research institutions and individuals have studied, and written about the Kushites, often in their own languages, and often with little regard to previously used spelling-methods. As such, archaeological sites and the names of rulers often have alternate spellings, depending on the source being consulted. Kushites themselves also used a variety of names for the same person or place. Some examples: rulers: Taharqa = Taharqo = Taharco = Tirhaka = Taraca = Tarka = Tarco = Tarko = Tarakos = … Piye = Piankhi Shebitku = Shebitqo = Shabataka Shabaka = Shabako Amanirenas = Amanirena = Amnirense Amanishakheto = Amanishakhete = Amanikasheto Shanakhdakheto = Shanakdakhete Tantamani = Tanwetamani = Tanutamun = Tementhes Arakamani = Arkamaniqo = Arkakamani = Ergamenes I Although the chronology of Kushite rulers is relatively well understood, different sources list slightly different or even imprecise dates for these rulers. place-names: Jebel Barkal = Gebel Barkal / Birkel / Berkel (the location of Napata) Napata = Napita = Nabata = Npt Meroë = Birawe = Medewi = Bedewi = Meruwah = Meron = Merari Naqa = Naga = Naga’a = Naq’a = twjlkt = tolkte Wad ben Naqa = Wad ben Naga = Wad ban Naqa = Ouad-Beyt-Naga = Wad Naga Kawa = Gematon = Gempaten Qasr Ibrim = Premnis = Pedeme = Primis Pselchis = Pselkis = Pselqet = Dakka Musawwarat es Sufra = al-Musawwarat as Sufra = El-Mecaourah = Aborepi Taking all these points into consideration, it is important to realize when studying Kushite history, that we are mostly limited to what remains, which constitutes only a fraction of what once was. Kerma, the First Kingdom of Kush: c. 2500 BC - 1504 BC The standing remains of a c. 4000 year old monument. The Western Deffufa, a massive mud brick temple in the center of Kerma, capital of the first Kingdom of Kush. Excavation results at Kerma, the first capital of Kush, also known as the Kingdom of Kerma. Aerial view of a historic reconstruction of the central district of the Royal City of Kerma, somewhere around c. 2050 - 1750 BC, showing the Western Deffufa, a massive mud-brick religious monument, still standing today at 18 meters in height , surrounded by elite residential area's. This central area was walled with massive earthen ramparts with bastions. A large necropolis, shrines, palaces and agricultural villages extending north and south towards the fertile plain of the Nile surrounded this district. The Kingdom of Kerma evolved from pre-Kerma and C-Group Culture influences, in northern Sudan in the third millennium BC. Kerma is the first expression of Kushite culture and saw the development of the earliest known urban settlement patterns south of Egypt. By 2500 BC Kerma emerged as a regional centre and by 1700 BC the city of Kerma had an estimated population of over 10.000 people. The "Eastern Cemetery" contains over 30.000 graves, with some royal burial mounds (tumuli) extending over 90 meters in diameter, ringed by smaller graves and thousands of cattle-skulls known as bucrania. The city boasted monumental buildings, palaces, residential areas, storehouses, worksites, and a system of thick defensive walls, miles of irrigation canals and engaged in long distance trade. Kerma was known for its extensive blue faience (glazed quartzite), gold-processing, bronze-working, ivory, pottery and jewellery. It was the seat of a highly centralized state. The first of many in Sudan. One of the things Kerma is most known for is its distinctive black topped red polished pottery found abundantly in Kerma-sites. A popular export product for the Ancient Egyptian market as well. Two of the most important symbols of royal authority in the later kingdoms of Kush, the Ram and the Lion first appear at very early dates, during the Kerma period. The Rams from Kerma were in all probability the precursor to the later state god of Kush, the ram-headed deity known as Amun of Napata. At 120 cm long, the large faience inlay of a lion (one of a pair), took up a prominent position on the walls of the Eastern Deffufa, a funerary monument in one of Kerma's Eastern Cemetery. . Blue glazed faience and pottery from Kerma. The sometimes striking similarities with contemporary Egyptian art (hippo and pottery shard) makes identifying the origin of manufacture an often contentious issue. Ancient Egypt and Kush were each others primary trading partners (and enemies), and numerous artefacts from each culture regularly made their way in to the others' grave-sites (through peaceful exchange or violent raids), including entire statues like the famous Middle Kingdom funerary statue of the Lady Sennuwy, found in a royal tumulus of a King of Kerma, indicative of successful Kushite campaigns against their northern neighbour. Other pieces are typically Sudanese, such as the "blue glazed faience wall tile representing one of the local enemies of the kingdom of Kerma, from a chapel in which foreigners were shown bound together to symbolize the domination of the Kerma kingdom". Some of the most common grave-goods, and a major export item of Kerma period Kush were its beads. The beads from Kerma come in a large variety of shapes, sizes and colours, and are produced from glass, polished stones, faience, gold and bronze The history of Kerma is in itself divided in several main settlement periods: Pre-Kerma (c. 3500–2500 BC) No C-Group culture Phase Early Kerma (c. 2500–2050 BC) C-Group Phase Ia–Ib Middle Kerma (c. 2050–1750 BC) C-Group Phase Ib–IIa Classic Kerma (c. 1750–1580 BC) C-Group Phase IIb–III Final Kerma (c. 1580–1500 BC) C-Group Phase IIb–III Late Kerma – ‘New Kingdom’ (c.1500–1100? BC) The riches of the Kingdom of Kerma had been prized since the Old Kingdom, and the kingdom is attested in Egyptian records as Kush (k3š), as early as the Middle Kingdom. Starting with Senusret I, and particularly Senusret III of 12th Dynasty, Egypt gained its first permanent foothold in Lower (northern) Nubia, with the establishment of 17 fortresses, such as the enormous fortress of Buhen in c. 1860BCE. By the 13th dynasty, Egyptian power waned, and by the mid 17th century BC the Egyptians were forced to abandon the forts and Lower Nubia was reoccupied by Kush. By c. 1650BCE Kerma was strong enough to challenge Egypt itself, formed an alliance with the invading Hyksos from the north, and raided deep into Upper Egypt, as recorded in the inscriptions of the tomb of Sobeknakht II at El-Kab where he was governor at the time, and successfully repulsed the "massive Nubian invasion on the small and fragile 16th or 17th Dynasty city state of Thebes". These events almost brought about a premature end to Pharaonic Egypt, and led to the Second Intermediate Period. "Kushite warriors lay siege to one of seventeen forts [Buhen] constructed by the great Egyptian kings of the Twelfth Dynasty to safeguard the southern frontier of the country from attack by dark-skinned neighbors to the South. Although these forts were considered impregnable, they were stormed and partly destroyed by brave "Kerma Kushites." Hansberry. W., & Johnson, E. (1964, November 1). Africa's Golden Past. Ebony, 36" Curiously, Nubian bowmen played a crucial role as mercenaries (the original Medjay), in Kamose’s campaign against their former Hyksos allies, and Kush continued to supply much of the Egyptian armed forces in subsequent periods. Kushite mercenaries in service of the Theban Pharaoh Kamose in his war of liberation against the Hyksos. Art by Angus McBride. Typical Kerma period bronze daggers with ivory pummels. Archers were among the most important mercenary units recruited from Kush, and were a popular theme in Egyptian wooden figurines, such as the ones found in the tomb of Mesehti, an 11th Dynasty nomarch of the 13th nomos of Upper Egypt. New Kingdom Egyptian Period c. 1504 BC - 1077 BC After the Hyksos were expelled, Egypt undertook a number of campaigns against the so-called "wretched Kush" under Tuthmosis I and Ahmose I. This eventually resulted in the annexation of Kush (as far south as the 5th cataract) and the destruction of Kerma c.1504 BC. In a final insult, Tuthmosis sailed back to Egypt victoriously, with the body of the slain King of Kerma hung upside down from the prow of his ship. After this conquest, Kerma culture was increasingly 'Egyptianized' yet rebellions continued for 220 years (until c.1300 BC). The New Kingdom Pharaoh Horemheb campaigning in Lower Nubia against "the wretched Kush". Art by Angus McBride. During the New Kingdom, Kush nevertheless became a key province of the Egyptian Empire: economically, politically and spiritually. Major Pharaonic ceremonies were held at Jebel Barkal in Napata, and the royal lineages of the two states intermarried. What was first a colonial relationship became increasingly symbiotic. In this period, Kush was ruled by the "Viceroy of Kush", also known as the "King's son of Kush", and were probably of Nubian royalty. It has been postulated that the later Napatan kings evolved from this New Kingdom office. Another school of thought however maintains that Meroë, an area inhabited since the Neolithic and was never under Egyptian rule, was the origin of the Kings of both the Napatan and the Meroitic periods. Kings as early as Taharqa explicitly mention being the "good son in Meroë" before "being called by Amun of Napata" to receive kingship. During the New Kingdom period Kushites became prominent in the powerful cult of Amun, and were often tasked with the protection of temples and tombs of Upper Egypt. Kushites also provided a significant number of warriors for the New Kingdom army and often rose to high positions of power. A rich wall painting from the Theban tomb (TT40) of "Amenhotep called Huy", Viceroy of Kush under Tutankhamen. The scene depicts the arrival of Huy and various Kushite royals at the pharaoh's court in Thebes, bringing offerings from the southern lands to the Egyptian monarch. The rich display of Kushite products include luxurious furniture, shields covered in cowhide and leopard pelt, bows, chariots, gold, cattle, exotic pelts, slaves and even a giraffe. Surprisingly, even horses were exported from Kush to Egypt at this early date, depicted onboard of Huy's ships. These products, among others, are mirrored in many other Egyptian scenes depicting Kushite offerings, as well as being displayed in later Napatan and Meroitic reliefs. Even the remains of furniture, strikingly similar to the examples in the painting have been unearthed from Kushite tombs. During the Egyptian occupation many great monuments were built in Kush by the New Kingdom pharaohs, partly to impress and awe their southern neighbors into submission, and to solidify Egyptian religion. Monuments such as Abu Simbel, constructed in the 13th century BC by Ramesses II, in Lower Nubia. A site of great religious ceremonies. During this period the aristocracies of both Egypt and Kush intermingled freely, and gave rise to a distinct Egypto-Kushite culture, that was to last for many centuries after the collapse of the iconic New Kingdom. Art by Hussein Bicar. Jebel Barkal is a modest, lonely mountain rising steeply from the flat desert floor surrounding it, located at a large bend in the Nile, where the waters flow southwards (instead of north) for several hundred kilometers, before turning northwards again, a spiritually profound fact for the later Egyptians. Kushites and Egyptians alike considered it the site of the creation of the world, and the source of kingship. A local, ram-headed deity was worshipped here, and when the Egyptians passed the mountain in their conquest of the region, declared it the southern home of Amun, and the ram, his southern form. In the 15th century BC, Thutmose III established the first mudbrick temple to Amun at the foot of this mountain which marked Egypt’s southern most centre of administration. Jebel Barkal was known to the Egyptians as "Dju-Wa’ab" (Pure Mountain) and "Nesut-Tawy" (Thrones of the Two Lands), and they considered it a more ancient, southern mirror of Karnak, Thebes, which they gave the same name: "Ipet-Sut" (Most Select of Places). Successive pharaohs built and rebuilt temples here creating a religious centre. The city that arose around this religious centre became known as Napata and was to become one of the most important cities of Kush, as it’s religious capital, and the seat of the cult of Amun. Around 1075BCE, the New Kingdom collapsed, and the Egyptianised people of Kush reasserted their independence, eventually setting up their own kingdom, ruled from Napata. This ushered in the Napatan period. The 25th Dynasty and Napata, the second Kingdom of Kush: c. 790 BC - 590/270 BC "I shall cause Egypt to taste the taste of my fingers" - Piye, first Kushite pharaoh to rule all of Kush and all of Egypt - Alara is the first ruler of the Napatan royal dynasty whose name is preserved to us and is credited with the unification of the fragmented lands of Kush, from Meroë to the areas north of Napata. By the 750's BC, his successor and possible brother, Kashta (literally: from the land of Kush), invaded Upper Egypt and occupied Thebes. His successor, Piye, completed the conquest, and conquered one of the largest empires the Nile Valley had ever seen. Piye, Shabaka, Shebitku, Taharqa and Tantamani, often dubbed the "Black Pharaohs", all ruled Egypt, as well as Kush, as pharaohs of the 25th dynasty, also known as the “Nubian Dynasty” or the “Kushite Empire”. They saw themselves as the custodians of classic Nile Valley culture and religion. The true heirs of the New Kingdom. Piye built the first royal pyramid the Nile Valley had seen in over 500 years, a tradition the Kushite kings continued in to the 4th century A.D. They initiated major restoration projects on the ancient temples, and built many new ones. Taharqa's construction efforts at Karnak for example, are noteworthy, like the Kiosk of Taharqa, and the Osirian temple. These activities reinvigorated Egyptian traditional religion, especially the cult of Amun. The Kushite pharaohs received tribute from powerful states in the Levant while expanding their military activities as far north as the Kingdom of Judah. This period is characterised by new heights of prosperity as well as violent conflict with the Neo-Assyrian Empire. "After capturing city after city along the Nile River in 730 B.C., troops commanded by King Piye of Nubia storm the great walled capital of Memphis with flaming arrows. Piye modeled himself after powerful pharaohs such as Ramses II, claiming to be the rightful ruler of Egypt. His triumph over the northern chiefs would unite all Egypt under Nubian rule for three-quarters of a century." Art by Gregory Manchess The Kushite Pharaoh Piye (also known as Piankhi) receiving tribute from Egyptian (Libyan) princes in the Nile Delta. Art by James M. Gurney At the height of their power, just before the crippling wars with Assyria, Taharqa (left, art by Gregory Manchess) and his predecessors, Piye, Shabaka and Shebitku of the the 25th dynasty not only ruled the largest empire the Nile Valley had ever seen, stretching hundreds of kilometers further south than the New Kingdom ever did, but actually ruled one of the largest empires in the world of the late eight century BC. The Assyrian wars Growing tensions over Kushite activity in the Levant, led to a series of devastating wars with the Neo-Assyrian Empire beginning (indirectly) in 720 BC with a pitched battle near Raphia in modern day Gaza, where Egyptian forces under the insubordinate Kushite vassal Tefnakht provided military aid to Hanunu, King of Gaza, in his unsuccessful rebellion against Sargon II. The battle of Eltekeh in 701 BC, in the Kingdom of Judah, then under the protection of the 25th Dynasty pharaohs, was the next major engagement. Under King Shabaka (or Shebitku), the young prince Taharqa commanded the Kushite armies and defeated the forces of Sennacherib, saving Jerusalem from almost certain destruction. These events are even alluded to in the Old Testament of the Bible, in 2 Kings 19: 9-11: "Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the king of Cush, was marching out to fight against him. So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word: “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria." Kushite political ambitions in the Levant were clear, and the Phoenician city of Tyre (Lebanon), openly rebelled against Assyrian rule with Kushite support. Under Esarhaddon, the resurgent Assyrian armies invaded the levant once again, crushing the Phoenician revolt. In 673 BC they met the Kushite forces outside the Philistine city of Ashkelon, but were soundly defeated by the now pharaoh, Taharqa. In 671 BC Esarhaddon again launched an attack, this time from the Sinai, and Taharqa was forced on the defensive, fighting running battles with the Assyrians all the way to Memphis. Taharaqa was eventually defeated and Memphis, his northern capital, was conquered and sacked. Taharqa was wounded five times by the arrows of Esarhaddon and fled towards Thebes. Taharqa’s queen and secondary wives, brothers, as well as Ushankhuru, the Nubian crown prince were captured alive and taken back to Nineveh. An Assyrian and a Kushite duke it out, in one of many battles fought during the Assyrian invasion of the Levant and Egypt. Art by Angus McBride. On the left, an Assyrian battle relief depicting the siege of the northern Egyptian walled city of Memphis, held by the Kushites of the 25th Dynasty. Some of the archery heavy Kushites are seen with a typical feather in their hair. In the middle, a detail of the bound Kushite captives being taunted with decapitated heads of their fallen comrades. On the right, the victory stele of the Assyrian King Esarhaddon, depicting the sovereign holding a bound Judean King, and the Kushite crown prince and son of Taharqa, Ushankhuru, on ropes. The Judean King has a ring piercing his lips, through which the rope is attached. The kneeling Prince Ushankhuru is tied with a rope around his neck. The uraeus on his head affirms his status as a royal captive. The lower half of the stele is entirely covered in cuneiform inscriptions. Taharqa's successor, Tantamani reconquered all of Egypt once again in 664 BC, killing Necho I, the Assyrian vassal king. The conquest was short lived, as the Kushites were again pushed back by the Assyrians under Ashurbanipal who even sacked Thebes, the southern Egyptian capital. By 656BCE, originally an Assyrian vassal, Psamtik I of the 26th (Saite) Dynasty took definite control of Thebes, ending the Kushite presence in all of Egypt. Psamtik II, with the participation of Greek mercenaries, even campaigned in Lower Nubia in 590 B.C. and may have even sacked Napata. The Kushite seat of authority was now slowly shifting towards the more southern Meroë, eclipsing Napata, and giving rise to a distinctively more “Africanised” Meroitic culture. Kush and the Persians By 609 BC, The Neo-Assyrian Empire had collapsed, and was absorbed by the Achaemenid Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great. His successor, Cambyses II, successfully conquered Egypt in 525 BC, ending the Saite Dynasty, after which he attempted the conquest of Kush. He was met with catastrophic failure, apparently "unable to cross the desert". According to Herodotus, when Cambyses II sent spies disguised as messengers bearing gifts to the court of the "Ethiopian King" (probably Amaninatakilebte), the King realised that these were spies, and told them to deliver the following message to Cambyses, along with a bow: "The King of the Ethiopians advises the King of the Persians to bring overwhelming odds to attack the long-lived Ethiopians only when the Persians can draw a bow of this length as easily as I do; but until then, to thank the gods who do not incite the sons of the Ethiopians to add other land to their own.', So speaking he unstrung the bow and gave it to the men who had come". Strabo wrote that Cambyses II's army passed Karanog, before being "overwhelmed by the setting in of a whirlwind", forcing them to withdraw. The actual nature of the confrontation is unclear, but the presence of a Persian army at Karanog as well as the depiction of Middle Eastern looking captives in some Kushite reliefs of the time, and the romanticisation of the Kushite-Persian war in classic literature (see Heliodorus of Emesa's Aethiopica) suggests there may well have been a direct confrontation. After this initial clash, Persian and Kushite Kings participated in the ritual exchange of royal gifts, as evidenced by the "Ethiopian tribute bearers" in the reliefs of Persepolis and the presence of Persian luxery items like silverware in the burial chambers of Kushite kings. Various sources also list and depict "Aethiopians" in the armies of Xerxes' failed invasion of Greece (480 BC), both in the infantry and navy. Herodotus describes them as clothed in the skins of leopards and lions, armed with bows and stone-tipped arrows, spears with tips of antelope horns and knotted clubs. He also says: "When they went into battle they painted their bodies, half with chalk, and half with vermilion.". They may have originated from the border region in Lower Nubia, but these rather primitive descriptions are eerily reminiscent of the Nuba, a people inhabiting the Nuba Mountains of Kordofan (Southern Sudan), who's ancestors lived on the periphery of Kush, partially integrating into the state, as well as being a source of slaves and war-captives, exported to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Later Napata and Meroë Despite the loss of Egypt and increasing pressure from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern states, Kush continued to thrive as an independent state. They preserved the old rituals and religion, culture and even language of the New Kingdom and their 25th Dynasty predecessors, although there was a definite pivot to the south, and the old principles were reimagined in a more Africanized context. By all accounts, the Pharaohs of the 25th dynasty are the forefathers of the later Napatan and Meroitic periods, and its rulers. The Kings of Meroë went to great lengths to preserve the Egyptiansed customs they inherited, but neither did they shy away from developing their own, independent culture, religious practices, writing systems, architectural styles, aesthetic principles, military systems and trade networks. They also incorporated Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences. Combined with their close proximity to very warlike, sometimes nomadic, African tribes like the Blemmye and the Noba, and the assimilation of many of these tribes in to a greater Kushite state, demonstrate a surprising level of social and political complexity. The dreams of reconquering Egypt never fully faded either, and is illustrated by King Harsiotef's conquest of parts of Southern Egypt (Lower Nubia) as far north as Aswan, including Egyptian cities like Elephantine and Philae in the 4th century BC, and the consolidation over these areas by King Nastasen's victory over an invading force from Egypt under King Khabbash in the 330's BC The complex interactions of many peoples, cultures and influences, increasingly transformed Meroë into a uniquely African civilization. It is this later expression of Kushite culture, during the late Napatan and early Meroitic period that we shall examine further. Starting around 590BCE, when Meroë started eclipsing Napata, and ending with the Aksumite invasions of Kush, around the 330's AD. Napata, the second capital of Kush: Satellite image of the ruins of the central temple district of Napata. The "Pure Mountain", Jebel Barkal was the home of Amun, and the site of royal coronation rituals since the New Kingdom all the way through to the Meroitic period. Detailed plan of excavation results in Napata, showing the central temple district at the foot of Jebel Barkal, with many temples to various gods and at least 4 visible palaces. The large central temple (B500) is the Great Temple of Amun, and was the site of royal coronations and other important rituals. At 156 meters in length, this temple was enormous (significantly larger than the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece at "only" 69,5 meters), and the largest and most important of the many Amun temples dotting the Kushite landscape. It was rebuilt and restored several times during its long existence. Napata in it's full glory around the 1st century BC, infront of the holy mountain, Jebel Barkal. King after King commissioned restorations and new temples. Even after the move to Meroë, many kings continued to be crowned here. This illustration stays true to archaeological reports on the site. Art by Jean-Claude Golvin In a pit, close to Kerma, the broken statues of a number of Napatan Kings were uncovered, including some from the 25th dynasty, as well as later Kings. The known kings are: Taharqa, Tantamani, Senkamanisken, Anlamani and Aspelta. This find, along with others, show that area around Kerma was still important, long after its destruction, and it also shows a clear continuity from the 25th dynasty to later Kushite kings. The Meroitic Period c. 590/270BCE – 330AD Detailed reliefs on the pylon of the Merotic period Lion Temple in Naqa, featuring King Natakamani and Queen Amanitore in execution scenes. Both rulers are holding the rebel nations by their hair, clasping a sword or spear with a large blade with the same hand, about to strike down their enemies with a different weapon in the other hand. Amanitore, seen with exposed breast, in emulation of the lactating Isis, is holding a sword with the scabbard tucked in her belt. Natakamani is using a weapon that's part axe, part mace. Lions at their feet maul some of the captives. The hairstyles of the rebels suggests these might be Blemmye (modern day Beja people). A row of bound captives underneath each ruler lines the base of the building. Each captive wears a distinct headdress, symbolising specific foreign enemies, including two captives with rimmed hellenistic helmets with chinstraps. Napata was a southern expression of Egyptian culture. In fact, it can be said that during the height of the Napatan 25th dynasty, the material culture of Egypt and much of Kush become nearly indistinguishable as it was during the New Kingdom. The same can not be said for Meroë. The move to Meroë symbolizes a brake from the strict, Egyptian character of the earlier Napatan Period, and saw the mixing of African, Egyptian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences. Though Napata remained one of the most important cities of Kush, and the Kings of Meroë built new temples and palaces there, maintaining its religious authority throughout the Meroitic period. Aside from the increasing hostility from Egypt and the Persians to the north, the more southern Meroë might have became increasingly important as an attempt by the Kings of Kush to brake from the authority of the cult of Amun, the foremost religious authority in Kush, also centered on Napata. By moving the royal capital to Meroë, society became more secularized, and the Kings enjoyed a greater freedom than before. This move was completed by the time of King Arakamani, identified with “Ergamenes”, of Diodorus Siculus’ Bibliotheca Historica, in the early third century BC. According to Diodorus, the priesthood of Amun had the power to order a king to commit suicide. Ergamenes (Arakamani), was the first King to brake from this tradition. When the priests ordered his death, he moved on Napata, ordered the massacre of the priests, and moved the royal burial grounds to Meroë, where many of the iconic Meroitic pyramids were built. Diodorus states that his strong will came from his instruction in Greek philosophy, probably related to the rule of the Ptolemies in Egypt. Regardless of the changing relationship between the kings and the cult of Amun, the worship of Amun remained important throughout Kushite history. Temples to Amun continued to be built in to the third century A.D., and the cult was still present during the Christianization of Nubia in the 6th century A.D. The Meroitic period was a period of queens, and as many as 8 different women occupied the throne as rulers from 170 BC to the 4th century A.D. Fierce and unrelenting, queens like Amanirenas and Amanitore pushed Kush to greater heights and brought about a cultural renaissance. This period also saw major of conflicts, primarily with native rebels and desert nomads, but also with other great powers of the time including Ptolemies, Romans and Aksumites. A Kandake leading a religious procession in the temple of Mut, at the foot of Jebel Barkal in Napata. Statue pillars in the form of the god Bes line the courtyard, as with some other temples like the adjacent temple of Hathor, or the colonnade from Naqa. Art by James M. Gurney. The Meriotic period saw the infiltration of far flung influences such as: Greco Roman (in the form of luxery imports, stylistic elements in architecture, the Greco-Roman bath-house in the Royal City in Meroë and lavish Mediterranean style decorations in elite residences), Ptolemaic (in the form of Greek philosophy, military and agricultural technology (such as the saqiya, an animal driven water-wheel) and import of luxery goods, like wine and silverware) and Persian and possible Indian influences (in depictions of deities, textiles). The Meroitic period also saw the embracement of typically Sub Saharan African ethno-cultural elements. They still, more or less, depict themselves in Egyptian styles, but with typically black African physical features. Intense contact with often hostile and semi-nomadic desert tribes, as well as other more southern tribes, and their subjugation to Kushite rule and incorporation in to the state was necessary to keep trade routes open. Trade routes like those connecting Meroë to the African interior, or the Mediterranean, and the Red Sea coast (Eritrean Sea), where it was connected to the Indian Ocean trade. Meroë slowly grew in to a metropolis. Hellenistic influences permeate these rather crude sandstone statues from the Royal Bath House in the Royal City of Meroë. These Meroitic pieces represent a radical departure from the strict earlier Egyptian forms, which are however never fully abandondoned either, merely supplemented by Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences. Kushite relations with Ptolemaic Egypt The relationship between Kush and Ptolemaic Egypt, as with every other period of Egyptian-Sudanese history, is complex, to say the least. Periods of growing tension, followed by violent conflict often preceded more peaceful times, when relations were more intimate, trade flourished and cultural exchanges became notable. Lower Nubia, sandwiched between the Thebaid region of southern Egypt to the north and Kush to the south, became a hotly contested flashpoint. In 332 BC the Macedonian king, Alexander the Great invaded the Achaemenid Persian satrapy of Egypt, and ushered in a period of Greek rule in Egypt that was to last more than 300 years. Ptolemy, a close companion of Alexander and general in his army, was appointed satrap of Egypt, and after the death of Alexander and the Wars of the Diadochi, he established himself as Ptolemy I Soter (saviour), Pharaoh of Egypt, and founder of the Ptolemaic Dynasty. The 4th century BC Kushite king Harsiotef had conquered parts of southern Egypt, up to Aswan, the border of Lower Nubia. His successor, Nastasen had consolidated Kushite rule over Lower Nubia by defeating a large invasion led by Khabash, a local Egyptian ruler that led a revolt against Persian rule, just a few years before Alexanders' conquest. Taking advantage of the turmoil in the northern lands, during the later wars of the Diadochi, and Ptolemy's consolidation of power in Alexandria, northern Egypt, Nastasen and his successor were expanding their influence over Thebes, the centre of southern Egypt. Frustrated by growing Kushite ambitions in southern Egypt, Ptolemy II launched his Nubian campaign in c. 275 BC, and conquered the Triakontaschoinos, the area between the 1st and the second cataract, effectively ending the Kushite occupation of Lower Nubia. The campaign seems to have pacified Kush for some time, and the Ptolemies gained access to the gold mines of the Eastern desert. As relations warmed again, war-elephants were acquired from the Butana Steppe, south of Meroë in joint Kushite-Ptolemaic expeditions, sometimes numbering hundreds of men, and Ptolemaic influence becomes noticeable at the court of the Kushite kings. In this period, Greek was thought at the Royal city, and Mediterranean influences start permeating Kushite art. Although Kush remained a sovereign state, and they seemed to incorporate influences on their own terms, there was a certain degree of Hellenization noticeable from this period onwards. In a form of cooperation, or rather competition, this period saw combined building activities in Lower Nubia by the Ptolemies and Kushites. During the reign of Kushite Pharaoh Arqamani, Ptolemy IV built a new temple at Dakka. In cooperation, Arqamani built a small entrance hall to the temple. The Kushite Pharaoh also constructed a temple at Philae with its entrance hall built by Ptolemy. The original temple of Debod in Philae (currently in Madrid, Spain) was built by Adikhalamani, and later Ptolemies and Romans extended it on all sides. By 205 BC, Ptolemaic control over Upper Egypt and Lower Nubia collapsed, as a result of Hugronaphor's revolt. Hugronaphor is believed to be of Nubian origin, and was a Kushite ally. He led the secession of Upper Egypt, and ruled from Thebes. The Kushites reoccupied Lower Nubia. The combined forces of Hugronaphor's successor, Ankhmakis, and his Kushite allies were defeated by the Ptolemaic army under Ptolemy V, and Upper Egypt and Lower Nubia were once again reoccupied by the Ptolemies. The Meroitic kings were very persistent in asserting what they believed to be their birthright and somewhere after the 130's BC reoccupied Lower Nubia once again. By 200 BC, the Ptolemaic kingdom was in decline, and started depending on Rome for support. Conflict with its Mediterranean neighbours, dynastic squabbles and native rebellions so weakened Egypt, that by 30 BC, following the death of Cleopatra VII, Rome declared it a province (Aegyptus), to be governed by a prefect selected by the Emperor himself. Regardless of the dificult relationship between the two, the weakening Ptolemaic state did not bode well for the Kushites, who were dependent on the lucrative trade routes along the Nile. After the Ptolemaic collapse, the Roman occupation and taxation of areas in Southern Egypt which had been in the Kushite sphere of influence for almost a century, caused further frustration to the southern Nile Valley state. In c. 29 BC The first prefect of Roman Egypt, Cornelius Gallus, faced rebellions in Upper Egypt and Lower Nubia as a result of this taxation, but he was able to quell these rebellions and attempted to assert Roman authority over Nubia. Two figurines from Ptolemaic Egypt, depicting the complicated relationship between the Ptolemies and Kushites very well. On the left, a contemptuous statue of a bound Nubian captive or slave, from the Fayum. On the right, the benevolent Kushite, a noble and friendly face. The War with Rome "On my order and under my auspices two armies were led, at almost the same time, into Ethiopia and into Arabia which is called the "Happy," and very large forces of the enemy of both races were cut to pieces in battle and many towns were captured. Ethiopia was penetrated as far as the town of Nabata, which is next to Meroë" - Emperor Agustus - from the "Res Gestae Divi Augusti" (The Deeds of the Divine Augustus), the funerary inscription of the first Roman Emperor, giving a first-person record of his life and accomplishments, including the invasion of Kush. One of the most interesting events of the Meroitic period was the Kushite-Roman war, recorded by Strabo, in his “Geography”, and relates the history of the Roman invasion of Kush, as a response to the Kushite invasion of Upper Egypt led by King Teriteqas, Queen Amanirenas and Prince Akinidad in 27 BC, starting a 5-year war, and ended with a negotiated peace treaty, remarkably favourable to the Kushites. The exact reason for the Kushite aggression is a matter of debate, but what is clear, is that the Romans had started taxing territories in Southern Egypt which had been part of the Kushite sphere of influence for a very long time. In Strabo's Geography, Book XVII, 54, he says: "... the Aethiopians, emboldened by the fact that a part of the Roman force in Aegypt had been drawn away with aelius Gallus when he was carrying on war against the Arabians, attacked the Thebaïs and the garrison of the three cohorts at Syenê, and by an unexpected onset took Syenê and Elephantinê and Philae, and enslaved the inhabitants, and also pulled down the statues of Caesar..." Queen Amanirenas and Prince Akinidad, possibly her son, watch the burning of the fort housing the Roman garrison in 27 BCE, during their invasion of Upper Egypt. The inspiration for the attire of the royals being depicted was taken directly from various temple reliefs. Art from "Splendors of the Past: Lost Cities of the Ancient World, National Geographic Society, 1981, page 171-173" After the arrival of Roman reinforcements and failed negotiations at Dakka (Pselchis), the Romans launched a counter-offensive and advanced deep in to Northern Kush, even sacking the old religious capital of Napata. King Teriteqas apparently died early on in the war, and Prince Akinidad seems to have been killed during the sack of Napata or shortly after. Strabo's account, although not completely reliable, sheds light on the weapons and arms of the bulk of the Kushite forces. Strabo says: "...But Petronius, setting out with less than ten thousand infantry and eight hundred cavalry against thirty thousand men, first forced them to flee back to Pselchis, an Aethiopian city, and sent ambassadors to demand what they had taken, as also to ask the reasons why they had begun war; and when they said that they had been wronged by the Nomarchs, he replied that these were not rulers of the country, but Caesar; and when they had requested three days for deliberation, but did nothing they should have done, he made an attack and forced them to come forth to battle; and he quickly turned them to flight, since they were badly marshalled and badly armed; for they had large oblong shields, and those too made of raw ox-hide, and as weapons some had only axes, others pikes, and others swords... ...Petronius attacked and captured Nabata too, from which her son had fled, and rased it to the ground; and having enslaved its inhabitants, he turned back again with the booty, having decided that the regions farther on would be hard to traverse. But he fortified Premnis better, threw in a garrison and food for four hundred men for two years, and set out for Alexandria" What Strabo doesn't mention is that the otherwise perfectly traversable road from Napata to Meroë was dotted with garrisoned fortresses, and by occupying Napata, the Roman forces had encircled themselves with powerful desert tribes and infuriated locals. Either way, these events resulted in Queen Amanirenas assuming full power in Kush. She marshalled a second large force of thousands of fighters from the south and marched straight north, towards the Roman troops, who had withdrawn towards the northern border and set up camp in the fortified hill-top city of Premnis (Qasr Ibrim). "...Meantime Candacê marched against the garrison with many thousands of men, but Petronius set out to its assistance and arrived at the fortress first; and when he had made the place thoroughly secure by sundry devices, ambassadors came, but he bade them go to Caesar; and when they asserted that they did not know who Caesar was or where they should have to go to find him, he gave them escorts; and they went to Samos, since Caesar was there and intended to proceed to Syria from there, after despatching Tiberius to Armenia. And when the ambassadors had obtained everything they pled for, he even remitted the tributes which he had imposed." It is clear from the geography of Qasr Ibrim (Premnis) that Roman forces were entirely encircled, but a large array of ballistae made a frontal assault by the Kushites nearly impossible, leading to a stalemate and subsequent negotiations on the island of Samos with Emperor Augustus himself. In one romance, it is said that Queen Amanirenas sent a bundle of golden arrows with one of her envoys to present to Augustus Caesar as either a token of friendship, or to be used in battle... The war ended with a negotiated peace treaty, remarkably favorable to the Kushites. The Romans ceded Premnis, in return for the many statues the Kushites had looted and remitted any claim of tribute. Kushite-Roman relations remained generally peaceful through the following centuries, and trade increased significantly. Napata was rebuilt and the large number of new construction projects in the subsequent generations indicate that this was an affluent period. If anything, the war with Rome seems to have reinvigorated Meroitic Kush. The Roman Sack of Napata, c. 24 BC, by LordGood An interesting side-note, is that the head of one of the statues looted by the Kushites, a bronze head of Emperor Augustus (known as the Meroë Head), was buried beneath the steps of a temple to victory in Meroë, as if to insult the Roman Emperor in perpetuity. It was excavated by J. Garstang in 1910, and is now on display in the British museum. It is actually one of the finest bronze heads of Augustus ever found. The Bronze head of Augusts, known as the Meroe head, found buried beneath the steps of a temple to victory in Meroë. The victory temple in the Royal City in Meroë (second half of the 1st century BC) was once decorated with some very interesting frescoes. This is the same temple where the bronze head of Emperor Augustus was found, buried beneath it's steps. In the fragmented fresco, a Meroitic ruler is seen, seated on a throne, backed by another royal. Considering date and context, the seated royal is probably Queen Amanirenas, and royal to her back is prince Akinidad. What's so interesting, is that the feet of the seated royal are placed on top of a footrest, depicting the bound enemies of Kush, including a very Mediterranean looking captive. The Greco-Roman striped tunic, pale skin-tone, date, context and the fact that he's wearing what looks like a (stylized) variation of an Imperial helmet missing its cheek guards, strongly suggest that this prisoner is a Roman legionary. The other 4 prisoners depict 2 Egyptians and 2 (northern?) Nubians, perhaps Roman allies in the war with Kush. The so-called "Hamadab Stela", one of a pair, seen in situ, at the temple in Homat el Hamadab, 3km south of Meroë. This is one of the longest Meroitic inscriptions ever found, commissioned by Queen Amanirenas, and is believed to commemorate the war with Rome. It even seems to mention the sack of Napata and the enslavement and deportation of its population by the Roman army. Our poor understanding of the Meroitic language hampers translation attempts of this Kushite view of the war. Meroë, the Third Capital of Kush: A plan of the main excavated structures in Meroë, including parts of the walled "Royal City", temples to Amun, Apedemak and Isis, as well as other shrines. The large rubble heaps to the north, east and south of the Royal City are city mounds: the remains of sprawling residential areas not yet properly excavated. The Nile and its fertile floodplain are directly to the west of the city, and the pyramid fields of Begrawiya, the royal necropolis are to the east of this map. Detail of the excavated areas of the "Royal City" in Meroë, with lavishly decorated multistoried appartment blocks, palaces, the royal baths, temples, shrines, gardens and ceremonial walls of cut stone and rubble filling, reaching a thickness of almost 8 meters in some places. The so called "Temple of Augustus" was a victory shrine where the looted Roman bronze head of Emperor Augustus was found, buried beneath its steps, hence the name. A historical reconstruction of the city of Meroë, around 100 A.D. From "The Capital of Kush" by Rebecca J Bradley The Queens of Kush: One among many curiosities about the Meroitic state is the fact that it was ruled by as many as 8 queens, bearing the title "Kandake" ("Queen Mother" or "Queen Regent"), from c. 170 BC to the 4th century AD. These were powerful monarchs with a fierce reputation, ruling independently and sometimes taking male titulary, like "Qore" ("King") or "Son of Re, Lord of the Two Lands". They are often depicted as strong, heavy set women, seen in reliefs, smiting the rebel nations in execution scenes (sometimes alongside a lion, mauling the captives). In chronological order, they are: Shanakdakhete (r. c 170BC - 160/150 BC) Nawidemak (r. c. early 1st century BC, or 1st century AD) Amanirenas (r. c. 40 BC - 10 BC) Amanishakheto (r. c. 10 BC - 1 AD) Amanitore (r. c. 1 BC - 20 AD) Amanikhatashan (r. c. 62 AD - 85 AD) Maleqorobar (r. c. 3d century AD) Lakhideamani (r. c. 4th century AD) Shanakdakhete is the earliest known of these ruling queens, but women have always played an influential role in the history of Kush, at least since the time of Kashta, the first pharaoh of the 25th Dynasty, and probably earlier. Kashta had his daughter, Amenirdis I, installed as God's Wife of Amun in Thebes and this helped him legitimise his later occupation of the region. Amanirenas is legendary for her resistance to the Romans. Amanishakheto is known for the large hoard of gold and other jewellery found in a hidden compartment near the top of her pyramd (originally one of the largest in the royal necropolis of Meroë). Amanitore is remembered as a great builder, restored the temples at Napata a generation after the Roman sack of the city, and built other temples in Amara and Naqa. She ruled over one of the most prosperous periods in Meroitic history, after warming relations with Rome and the profitable trade that accompanied it. Amanikhatashan apparently even sent her Kushite cavalry in aid of the Roman Emperor to be, Titus of the Flavian Dynasty, during the Great Jewish Revolt in 70 AD. One of these queens is also mentioned in the New Testament story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-40), but is only generically referred to as "Candace, queen of the Ethiopians". Queens, including Amanishakheto, seen in an intimate embrace with the goddess Amesemi (center) Queen Shanakdakhete, the earliest known ruling queen of Kush, reigned c. 170 BC - 160/150 BC, with a prince supporting her crown. Queen Amanishakheto, in full royal regalia, seated on a lion throne underneath a baldachin, receiving ritual incense from a prince, Meroë Queen Amanitore and a prince receive blessings from a curiously three-headed form of Apedemak, Naqa. Queen Amanishakheto, depicted possibly alongside her successor, Queen Amanitore, in a relief from Amanishakheto's pyramid chapel in the Begrawiya Royal Necropolis, Meroë. The end of Meroitic Kush Determining the reasons behind the fall of Meroitic Kush is not a straightforward question, but political instability and environmental degradation are among the most influential factors. The Crisis of the Third Century which almost led to the collapse of the Roman Empire significantly weakened Kush as well, and former subjects of the Kushite state became increasingly brazen and ambitious. Encroaching desertification and large scale deforestation to feed the smelting furnaces and fire the kilns also dramatically affected the livability in large areas of once lush pasture and farmlands, reducing the ability of the land to support large populations. By the 3d century AD, the Blemmye increased in power, and established an independent kingdom with their conquest of parts of Lower Nubia. Because of the frequent forays of these warriors on camel-back into Roman Egypt, this thorn in the eyes of Meroitic Kush became a real problem for the Romans as well. They even participated in the Palmyran Queen Zenobia's revolt against Roman rule, and occupied Thebes in the process. By 297 AD the Noba (or Nobatae), formerly a semi-nomadic tribe wondering the Western Desert, were invited by the Roman Emperor Diocletian to establish themselves as Roman foederati in lower Nubia to counter the Blemmye threat. These Noba, a former Kushite vassal, might have even established themselves as a military aristocracy in Kush before the fall of Meroë itself. The aggression of these Noba became an increasing liability to the Kushite state, eroding Meroitic central authority even further. By the 330’s AD, the emerging Aksumite Empire, located in modern day Ethiopia and Eritrea, had become strong enough to challenge a weakening Kush, and the Aksumite Emperor Ezana, waged a devastating war on the Kushites. Ezana’s campaign seems to have been directed primarily against the Noba, in response to Kush’s inability to deal with their raiding activities on the Sudanese-Ethiopian border. Ezana’s invasion laid waste to Noba, and Kushite territory alike, effectively ending Kushite hegemony. Ezana commemorated his victory on a large multilingual stele, known as the “Ezana Stone”, written in Ge’ez, Greek and Sabaean. A part of its translation reads: "Then, when I had sent them [further] messages they did not heed me, and they refused to desist and […]. But they retreated once I made war on them and I rose up by the power of God and killed [them] by the Takkazē at the ford of Kemalke while they took to flight without making a stand. And I pursued the fugitives for twenty-three days, killing them, taking prisoners, and seizing booty wherever I halted, while my troops who had gone forth into the surrounding country brought back [further] prisoners [and] booty and I burned their towns of brick and those of straw. And they (i.e., the Aksumite troops) pillaged their grain and copper and iron and […..] and destroyed the idols in their temples and the storehouses of grain and cotton and cast them into the Nile. And many—I know not their number—died in the water as their boats sank from being overloaded with people, women and men." The trilingual "Ezana Stone", in Axum, modern day Ethiopia, detailing the Aksumite Emperor Ezana's campaign against Kush. Ezana is noted for being the first Christian ruler of Axum. The written record Kush was a literate society, with Egyptian hieroglyphs appearing as early as the late Kerma-period. By the Napatan period, a local adaptation of hieroglyphs was used to write the Napatan dialect, and by the 3d century B.C. an indigenous alphasyllabaric script was developed, known as the Meroitic script to write the as of yet undeciphered Meroitic language. A rich corpus of thousands of inscriptions exist in the form of dedication stelae, funerary inscriptions and inscriptions on statues, pottery and in the form of ancient graffiti. Because of our poor understanding of the Meroitic language, the written histories of the Kushites becomes more obscure from Meroitic period onwards. We have a far more comprehensive understanding of the Napatan records, like the hundreds of pages of translations of Kushite texts, mostly royal inscriptions, found in de Fontes Historiae Nubiorum, a 4 volume collection of textual sources for the history of the Middle Nile Region (Nubia) between the eighth century BC and the sixth century AD. Aside from the indigenous written record, there is a plethora of textual references to Kush from Egypt, the Hellenistic and Roman world, as well as Assyrian, Persian and Aksumite records. A few examples of richly inscribed royal stelea belonging to (left to right) King Aspelta, King Anlamani, Prince Tedeken and King Tanyidemani. Meroitic script More beautiful examples of Meroitic script Although most of the inscriptions are of a very formal nature (prayers, temple dedications, royal autobiographies), we can still learn a great many details about Kushite society, for example the iconic Kushite love for horses, illustrated in Piye’s victory stele in Napata. Here he expresses outrage at the sight of neglected horses in the stables of the newly conquered Hermopolis: "I swear, as Re loves me, and as my nostrils are rejuvenated with life, it is more grievous in my heart that my horses have suffered hunger, than any evil deed that thou hast done, in the prosecution of thy desire.” The text also notes the frequent use of horses and chariots in his campaigns, and that they are paid to him as tribute. Horses being offered as tribute to Piye of the 25th dyansty, from a relief on the Great Temple of Amun in Napata We also know of the 4th century B.C. King Harsiotef's frequent use of cavalry in his wars of expansion, from the Harsiotef stela: "I sent my infantry and my cavalry against the rebels of Metete" [...], "I sent my army and my cavalry against the rebels of Mekhuf" [...], "I sent it [the army], the mutilators, men: 50, together with the cavalry of the four desert lands of Mekhty, which is in Taqotshe; and it slaughtered them".[...] fighting the Rehrehsa threatening Meroë: "The chief at my side made him withdraw. He made my army and cavalry safe." Other examples of textual records of Kushite horses are the Neo-Assyrian palace records under Sargon II, Esarhaddon and other rulers, which make frequent mention of “Kushite horses”, “Kushite riders” “Kushite horse trappings” and “Kushite charioteers” and chariots. Kushite horses and chariots were captured during the Assyrian invasions of Egypt, and Kushite horses were a prized trade commodity in earlier as well as later times. The large Kushite breed of horse, a probable ancestor to the Dongolawi, was apparently much desired, and was exported on a considerable scale, along with their handlers and chariots. These records, along with the finds of horse remains and equipment in some of the royal tombs, clearly show us that horses were bred, and played an important role in Kush, as they did in later periods of Sudan’s history. Other textual sources shed light on ancient conflicts, like the 4th century BCE, victory stela of the Kushite King Nastasen, boasting of a victory against an invasion from Egypt, led by Kambasuten. Nastasen claimed to have taken “many fine boats”. Kambasuten is widely identified with Khabash from Sais, who lead a revolt against Persian rule in Egypt, just a few years before the conquest of Alexander the Great. The victory stela of King Nastasen on the left, with a detail of the King and his wife Queen Sakhmakh in the middle. The stela of King Harsiotef, predecessor and possible father of Nastasen is seen on the right. Both stelae are quite similar in style, depicting the rulers making offerings to the human-headed Amun of Karnak on the left side, and the ram-headed Amun of Napata on the right. Both are written in the late Napatan dialect, a Kushite adaptation of the Ancient Egyptian language. Textual sources can also provide information about the use of weapons, such as the inscriptions of Nastasen, Harsiotef and Amanineteyerike which make surprising mention of an archaic weapon: the Khopesh, an ancient type of sickle sword (scimitar): "Give me your khopesh, and put awe of you among the desert lands that are in revolt and that are surrounding this nome." "Amen of Napita, my gracious father, that made my prowess excellent, and my khopesh crushing" "Son of Amun; whose khopesh is great; who widens every land; son of the gods" The Religion of Kush The supreme god of Kush had two distinct forms. The human headed "Amun of Karnak", and the ram-headed "Amun of Napata". Reliefs from Jebel Barkal (left) and Naqa (centre and right). During the New Kingdom, the Theban god, Amun of Karnak reigned supreme. The southern Egyptian god left a lasting impression on Kush, that was to endure more than 1500 years after the collapse of the New Kingdom itself. The popularity of Amun in Kush was in no small part due to the syncretism with a Nubian ram-headed god inhabiting Jebel Barkal, and declared the southern form of Amun. Amun was considered the Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, and the very source of pharaonic legitimacy itself. Major pharaonic rituals were held at Jebel Barkal and even the later Meroitic rulers travelled to the "Pure Mountain" to be crowned, under the watchful eye of the cult of Amun. The cult of Amun was a sort of religious shadow government, managing plantations and royal workshops. They also formed the highest institution of learning, preserving and teaching the arts, writing, mathematics, architecture and astronomy. They had the power to appoint or reject kings, and even had the power to decide when to go to war. The monumental Great Temple of Amun in Napata at the foot of Jebel Barkal, at 156 meters in length, is the largest freestanding structure known in ancient Kush, followed by the Amun temples of Meroë and Dangeil at a little over 120 meters in lenght. Other Amun temples were built in Kawa, Sanam, Tabo, Naqa and El-Hassa. Jebel Barkal was also the primary royal venue for the celebration of the New Year ceremonies in early August, heralding the start of the annual inundations, an important annual festival held since at least the New Kingdom. the Egyptians and Kushites had a shared pantheon, to a degree, and many of the same gods, or archaic versions and reimaginations of each others gods were worshipped since pre-dynastic times. Egyptian gods worshipped in Kush include but are not limited to: Amun of Karnak, Bes (who may actually be of Nubian origin), Isis, Hathor, Mut, Osiris, Anubis, Re-Horakty, Khnum, Hapi, Toth and Ma'at. Kushite religion included offerings of everything from incense to gold, the pouring of libation (water or milk) and the ritual honouring of the ancestors, which was the purpose of the funerary chapels attached to their pyramids. They were governed by the laws of Ma'at, both goddess and personification of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. With the move to Meroë, a local South Nubian deity, known as Apedemak, rose to prominence along with other uniquely Nubian gods like Arensnuphis, Sebiumeker, Dedun (Dedwen), Mandulis, and goddesses like Amesemi. Apedemak, a lion headed god of war/victory and fertility might have even rivalled the worship of Amun. During the Meroitic period, many new temples were built, in Napata, Naqa, Wad Ben Naqa, Musawwarat es Sufra, Hamadab, Dangeil and many other important centres. Many to Amun or Apedemak, but also to Hathor, Isis, Mut and others, including shrines to more obscure deities. Although stylistically still quite Egyptian looking, many of the details in these temples are typically Kushite, like the specific floor plans, aesthetic principles in reliefs and the languages used in the inscriptions (Napatan dialect and Meroitic). A beautiful example of a temple of Apedemak in Musawwarat es Sufra, with a doorway flanked by two stone lions. A relief on the temple of Apedemak in Musawwarat es Sufra. The lion-headed god is seen on the left, in scale armor corselet, holding a bow and arrows, while presenting an effigy of himself, protruding from a lily, and holding bound captives by a rope. King Arnekhamani, who built the temple in c. 230 B.C., is seen on the right in a royal garment wearing an elaborate crown surmounting a decorated skullcap with curved ram's horns and a uraeus. The goddesses of Kush, including Isis, Amesemi, Hathor and Mut (?), relief from the lion temple in Naqa A procession of the gods (left to right): Khnum, Osiris, Amun (of Napata), Re-Horakhty and Apedemak, being appeased by King Natakamani and Queen Amanitore, from the Lion Temple in Naqa. The Faces of Kush & something on ethnicity: Kush was a multi-ethnic, multicultural, multireligious and multilinguistic society, composed of many tribes and peoples. The complex interactions between the northern, southern, eastern, western and the principle Nile-Valley components were the driving force behind this ancient kingdom. Discussing the ethnicity of the ancient Kushites is complex, and can not be easily understood without an in-depth understanding of historical African populations, cultures and genetics. As such, I will speak only in the most general of terms. Kushites were invariably described and depicted as black people with Sub-Saharan African features. Two skin-tones are represented in art and descriptions: (jet-) black, and reddish to dark brown. Facial features vary from types similar to the features found among West- and Central African populations, to features more common among Horn of Africa- and Egyptian populations. There were two major ethno-linguistic groups, dating from the late Holocene/early Neolithic, that formed the primary ancestral populations of the people inhabiting the ancient Middle Nile, namely: Nilo-Saharan (Nilotic), and Afro-Asiatic. The extremely dark-skinned Nilo Saharan component is more prevalent in the southern and south-western areas, while the lighter, reddish to dark brown skinned Afro-Asiatic component is more prevalent in the Northern and North Eastern deserts. The areas around Napata and Meroë were populated by intermediate peoples, with the people north of Napata leaning towards the Afro-Asiatic side, and the people south of Meroë leaning more towards the Nilo-Saharan side. Modern Nubians have both Nilo-Saharan and Afro-Asiatic ancestry, though their languages are more closely related to the Nilo-Saharan languages spoken in Darfur and the Nuba mountains (Kordofan). The modern majority Arab-Sudanese population is essentially an Arabized African population, or Afro-Arabs of mixed ancestry. Arabs had started settling in Sudan by the 12th century during the collapse of the Christian Kingdom of Makuria. Modern Arab-Sudanese vary from an almost purely Arab, to a purely African ancestry, but are mostly mixed. Ancient Kushites would have looked decidedly "African", reminiscent of other black, Sub-Saharan people, mixed with more "Egyptian" looking features the further north you travel. They would not have looked remarkably different from the modern Sudanese population on a whole, although regional demographic specifics may have changed considerably. The Assyrian King Esarhaddon describes Taharqa's captured family as: “His wives, his sons and [his] daughters [who]se bodies like his, have skins as black as asphalt (he counted as booty)" Herodotus describes the aethiopians as: "the tallest and most handsome of all men." Pliny says: "For there is no doubt that the Aithiopians are scorched by the heat through the closeness of the sun; they have a burnt appearance when they are born, and their beards and hair are curly." In his "Description of Aithiopia". 2nd cent. BC. Agatharchides in the words of Diodorus Siculus writes: "There are also numerous other Aithiopian tribes; some live along both sides of the river Nile and on the islands in the river, others dwell in the regions that border on Arabia, others again have settled in the interior of Libya. The majority of these tribes, in particular those who live along the river, have black skin, snub-nosed faces, and curly hair." "Now, they relate that of all people the Aithiopians were the earliest, and say that the proofs of this are clear. That they did not arrive as immigrants but are the natives of the country and therefore rightly are called autochthonous is almost universally accepted. That those who live in the South are likely to be the first engendered by the earth is obvious to all. For as it was the heat of the sun that dried up the earth while it was still moist, at the time when every- thing came into being, and caused life, they say it is probable that it was the region closest to the sun that first bore animate beings. They further write that it was among them that people first were taught to honour the gods and offer sacrifices and arrange processions and festivals and perform other things by which people honour the divine. For this reason their piety is famous among all men, and the sacrifices among the Aithiopians are believed to be particularly pleasing to the divinity." even saying: "They [i.e. the Aithiopians] say that the Egyptians are settlers from among themselves and that Osiris was the leader of the settlement." In his conversation with an Aithiopian, Aelius Aristides writes: "About the region further upstream [from Meroë] he said that he knew nothing more himself and that no other Aithiopian knew it either, at least in any detail; but the people are black, blacker than themselves and their neighbours, the further south one gets." King Amanakhareqerema, from Temple 200, Naqa Isis from Naqa, a goddess from Kawa, and a 25th dynasty head of Ptah (Egypt) Kushite royal ladies, including one from El Hassa (Meroitic), a queen from Napata (Meroitic, possibly Amanitore) and a princess (?) Kings of the 25th Dynasty (1,2), the Napatan King Senkamanisken (3), and Ushabti of Taharqa (4) A Meroitic king (left), god (centre), and a Napatan King (right). A relief-block, depicting a Meroitic queen in Naqa (left), Taharqa (centre), goddess from Naqa (right) King Aspelta (left & centre) and Taharqa (right) Northern Kushites from Gebel Adda (left) and a coloured rendition of a statue of Maloton, governor of Karanaog (centre). On the right an unknown figure from Meroë. A royal lady from Meroë Kushites in the eyes of their contemporaries: Through the eyes of the Ancient Egyptians: The boy king, Pharaoh Tutankhamun in a New Kingdom Egyptian campaign against the Kushites The New Kingdom Pharaoh Ramesses II about to smite a Kushite royal (left), and Kushite war captives (right) Various depictions of Kushites in Egyptian art. Maiherperi, "Lion of the Battlefield". An Ancient Egyptian noble of Nubian origin. Amongst his titles were "Child of the Nursery" and "Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King". It is believed that the first title means that he grew up in the royal nursery as a prince of a vassal territory, or was the son of a lesser wife or concubine of the pharaoh. He was among the first during the New Kingdom to hold the second title, and was likely an advisor or bodyguard to the pharaoh himself. This same title was also used by the Viceroys of Kush later in the New Kingdom. Maiherperi received the honour of a burial in the Valley of the Kings, the royal necropolis of the New Kingdom. The left image is an excerpt from the Book of the Dead, one of the papyri found in his tomb, depicting Maiherperi himself. Central image shows the mummy of Maiherperi and the right images, is a detail of one of his coffins (4 in all). Through the eyes of the Assyrians: On the left a detail of the Assyrian relief of the conquest of Memphis, featuring bound Kushite captives being led away. On the right, a piece from the famous Nimrud Ivories, depicting an "Ethiopian" tribute bearer carrying a leopard pelt, antelope, and monkey. 2 of the finest pieces in the Nimrud Ivories, nearly identical, depict the execution of a Kushite royal by lion. Through the eyes of Europe and the Mediterranean (Greco-Roman): Thracian gold from the Panagyurishte Treasure (Bulgaria), depicting concentric circles of African heads Two early mediterranean depictions of Africans. On the left, a 4th century BC Etruscan terracotta vase in the form an African youth's head, only one of a number of similar pieces. On the right, the 15th century BC Minoan fresco known as "the captain of the blacks". Hellenic Attic vases, depicting Africans Attic vases with one half depicting an African man, and one half depicting a mediterranean woman are a recurring subject. The rhyton on the right is believed to be by the Greek potter Sotades. This is significant, because pottery by the famous Athenian potter also appears in a Kushite tomb. Roman bronze oil lamps in the form of African heads. Roman (left), Greek (centre, right) Roman piece (left), Hellenistic (centre) and Roman or Hellenistic (right) Ancient Greek depictions of Africans 2nd century BC Hellenistic, on the left and two Roman pieces, centre and right. Roman pieces, left and centre, and Hellenistic, right Intaglio with the head of an African woman, Classical Greece (c. late 5th Century BC) Roman bronze of an African from the Caseggiato dei Molini in Ostia. Kushite Architecture Napatan and Meroitic periods Napata: The installation of an inscribed golden plaque at the top of the spiraling peak of Jebel Barkal, commissioned by Taharqa. The outskirts of Napata can be seen in the background. To the Kushites, this spiraling peak resembled a rearing cobra, a powerful symbol of royal authority, known as a uraeus. Art by James M. Gurney. Historical 3D render of some of the main temples in the central district of Napata in later Meroitic times, showing the exact position of the excavated structures in relation to one another. Notice the human figures in front of each temple to help give you an idea of the scale of this monumental complex. The Great Temple of Amun features prominently as the most important religious edifice of ancient Kush. Inside the Great Amun Temple in Napata. One of the great courts built by Piye (Piankhy) of the 25th Dynasty on the left. On the right is the kiosk added in the Meroitic period, after several phases of reconstruction of the temple. Temples B600 and B700 at the foot of Jebel Barkal, Napata. B700, built in the Napatan period, is the temple of Osiris-Dedwen, and B600, pictured in the cross-section on the right, is known as the enthronement pavilion, shown with gilded baldachins, a ceremonial canopy under which the king would be crowned. The pavilion was a Meroitic period structure (3d century BC) built over the rubble of earlier Napatan and New Kingdom structures. Remains of the partially rock cut temple of Mut (temple 300) at Jebel Barkal, with Bes shaped pillars and Hathoric capitals in the background. B300, the temple of Mut in Napata. Bes shaped pillars line the processional entrance to the rock cut part of the inner sanctuary. Historical reconstruction of B700, the Napatan temple of Osiris-Dedwen, built by King Atlanersa and King Senkamanisken, who is featured on the pylon relief in a typical execution scene. c. 650-630 BC The Napatan throne room of Aspelta, in the "King's House" (B1200), one of the largest Kushite palaces known to date, with over 60 rooms (and 8 rebuilding phases). Columns painted with Egyptian gods and capitols adorned with carved ram heads. The sovereign would have been seated underneath a gilded baldachin as he gave audiences. Meroë: Remains of one of hypostyle halls of the Amun temple in Meroë, during the excavations of the 1910's by John Garstang. With a total length of more than 120 meters, the 3d century BC Amun temple of Meroë was second only in size to the Great Amun Temple of Napata. Central altar inside the Amun temple of Meroë Remains of formidable brick walls with a narrow dry-stone gateway, in the Royal City of Meroë during the excavations of the 1910's The main water tank and adjoining chambers of the Royal Baths, with a complex system of ceramic water pipes, sluices and drains, during excavations in Meroë. Temple M250 is sometimes referred to as the "Sun Temple" and lies on the outskirts of Meroë. This unique temple of unknown use was covered in victory reliefs, showing royals, horsemen and infantry like spearmen, swordsmen and axemen. Other sites Ruins of temple 300 in Musawwarat es Sufra Reconstruction of the facade of Temple 300 in Musawwarat es Sufra The central temple in Musawwarat es Sufra, surrounded by many other structures and irregular courtyards. Musawwarat was a large ceremonial temple complex in the Butana, about 25km from the Nile, close to Naqa. It was known to the Kushites as Aborepi, or "place of the elephant". These 3d century B.C. Meroitic structures were built over earlier Napatan temples. Ruins of Temple 200 in Naqa Reconstruction of Temple 200 in Naqa, with kiosk, high altar and stele, directly next to the Amun temple A very similar set up as Temple 200, the chapel to Hathor, aptly nicknamed the Roman Kiosk, because of its Greco-Roman features opposite the Lion temple of Apedemak, in the royal city of Naqa. The Corinthian capitols and Roman, cut stone arched windows of the kiosk attest to the far flung influence in this structure. Located about 300 meters from the Amun temple and temple 200. The remains of the Amun temple in Naqa. Built by Natakamani in the 1st century A.D. Closeup of the remains of the first pylon of the Amun temple in Naqa, built from cut stone. Most of the temple was built with mud brick and fired brick, which has mostly disintegrated over the centuries Remains of the inner sanctuary in the Amun Temple of Naqa A detailed archaeological map of the excavated structures at Naqa, a royal city about 50 km East of the Nile, in the semi-arid Butana Steppe. The Amun Temple, Temple 200, the Lion Temple and Hathor Chapel pictured above, can be seen on the southern end of this map, and give a decent idea of the scale of the central district of this ancient city. The remains of a colonnade in Wad Ben Naqa, depicting the god Bes, worshipped as a protector of households, mothers, children and childbirth. Wad Ben Naqa was an important port on the Southern Nile, serving the main inland city of Naqa. Kushite architecture saw a number of interesting indigenous developments, such as the “Nubian vault” and smaller domes. Palaces as well as common residential buildings were often constructed with vaulted ceilings made of brick. This was especially useful in an arid climate were trees aren’t large or plentiful enough to provide roofing material. Large, multistoried square palaces, built over vaulted cellars became common. Thick walls and small (arched) windows on the ground floor of these structures hint at a secondary defensive purpose. These palaces were the abodes of the royals, who often maintained several of them in different locations. The Meroitic period Kushite palace at Wad Ben Naqa The palace at Wad Ben Naqa. A typical design. A comparison in floor plan and elevation (excluding roof and windows) of some of the larger Kushite palaces at Muweis, Wad Ben Naqa, Napata (Barkal 1500) and Meroë (M251-253) Ruins of the palace at Karanog, also known as the "castle", in Lower Nubia before the flooding of the site by Lake Nasser. Originally a Kushite settlement, it was overrun and occupied by the Blemmye somewhere in the 3d century AD, during the slow collapse of Meroitic central authority. A schematic reconstruction of the palace at Karanog, actually a governors residence, in its original state. It is a small example of a typically Kushite, multistoried square palace (c. 25m x 25m), with vaulted ceilings, white lime plastered walls, storage rooms on the ground floor and decorated elite quarters on the second floor. A beautifully reconstructed model of the small governors' palace in Karanog, lower Nubia. This building features typically Nubian architecture, with vaulted ceilings, open courtyard and square design. Small windows and thick walls on the lower floor hint at a defensive purpose. A lavishly decorated 2nd floor served as the living space for the governor and his family "Fabricated by Christ Ray, in collaboration with David O'Connor and Stacey Olson, from plans an descriptions of the 1907 excavation" A much larger example of a two storied Meroitic period palace (B1500, Jebel Barkal, Napata). At more than 70 meters square, some of these palaces were quite substantial edifices, often with colonnaded courtyards, adorned with stone statues of lions. Regular houses were often compound structures, made up of rectangular blocks, arranged around private courtyards. Either using vaulted ceilings, or flat roofs, supported by thick palm logs and often plastered, making use of stone or brick columns for extra support. Extra floors were added for expansion, as families grew, and flat rooftops often had stairways leading up to them. Houses were built with sundried mud brick, or fired red bricks. Wealthy households and official buildings made use of cut stone for doorways and windows. Usually these brick buildings received a cover of fine white, lime plaster, creating a smooth white surface, sometimes decorated with colored, geometric motives, or religious symbols, especially around the doors and windows. An important note is that contemporary Nubian homes and settlement patterns, around Aswan and North Sudan, are strikingly similar to those of the Meroitic period, and even the earlier Napatan and Kerma periods. Floor plan of a Meroitic double house (AM600) in Al-Meragh, A Meroitic period town along the Wadi Muqaddam in the Bayuda desert. The house was divide in two identical halves, but completely separated from each other by a thick dividing wall. This was only one of a number of nearly identical structures in the immediate area. 3d rendered model of the Meroitic double house at Al-Meragh. Built with brick, it's doorways were lined with cut stone. The outside of the house received a coat of fine white lime plaster. Stairs leading up to a flat roof, used for a variety of purposes. Inside the central living room (left) and "kitchen" (right), in one half of the Al-Meragh compound. Stone pillars with papyrus capitals support wood beamed roof. Small windows allow for light and air circulation, but they are small enough to keep out unwanted guests. Remains of a room with mud brick walls, decorated cut stone doorway and 4 stone pillars with "papyrus capitals", one standing to its original height, in Meroë. This picture was taking during Garstang's excavation of the Royal City in the 1920's. The Nubian Vault with arched windows and doorway. Many common houses in ancient Kush would have looked very similar to this one. A typical example of Nubian architecture in the Nubian museum in Aswan. Middle class houses in Kush would have looked nearly identical to this one. Rectangular rooms, with vaulted ceilings arranged around a central courtyard. Mud plaster and painted decorations finish the design. 2 Examples of common mud brick residences in ancient Kush during the Napatan and Meroitic periods (as well as earlier and later periods). The house on the left, by Juli51, has a flat roof made of palm or acacia logs covered by a thick layer of (lime or mud) plaster, possibly supported by brick columns. The roof is accessible by a ladder and used for a variety of purposes, like drying fruits. Following the same open courtyard plan, the house on the right, by myself, sports the famous Nubian vault, a strong and long lasting barrel vaulted ceiling, built of quality bricks over a relatively narrow hall. Small windows are set high in the walls. The small cooking space in the courtyard has a light roof of palm branches, which allows smoke to pass freely, while those cooking can still enjoy the shade. Reconstruction of the "Treasury", a royal Napatan storehouse in Sanam 2 examples of dome shaped buildings from Kush. On the left, the Circular Building complex from Wad Ben Naqa, thought to be either a large storage facility for cereals, or a shrine to a local deity. The image on the right depicts a granary from the Kushite fortress of Gala Abu Ahmed, only one of several such structures on the site. The pyramids of Kush: The most well known archaeological features of Meroë are its Royal Cemeteries (South, North and West) containing large pyramid fields. Other sites, like Gebel Barkal, Nuri and El Kurru also contain royal pyramid fields. Although they were significantly smaller than the Old Kingdom Egyptian pyramids, hundreds of them were constructed from the 25th dynasty until c. 350 AD. More than twice the amount constructed by their northern neighbour. These pyramids should not be seen as Kushite copies of the massive Old Kingdom Egyptian examples, but rather an evolution from the much smaller New Kingdom pyramids built by Egyptian noblemen, like those at Deir el-Medineh, only after the Pharaohs had started being interred in the more secure rock cut tombs of the Valley of the Kings. Kushite pyramids were actually brick or stone superstructures, often with an offering chapel attached, built on top of subterranean rock cut chambers, where the deceased would be laid to rest (sometimes embalmed). The Meroitic pyramid of Queen Amanishakheto a few years before its destruction by the Italian treasure hunter, Giueseppe Ferlini, in his search for gold. A pyramid field at the South Cemetery of the Begrawiya Necropolis, directly to the east of Meroë Some of the iconic pyramids of Meroë One of the (Meroitic period) pyramid fields at Gebel Barkal, close to Napata. Another shot of the Meroitic period Barkal Pyramids. The backside of the "Pure Mountain" rises steeply from the desert floor, and the fertile river banks of the Nile stretch out in front of it. The ancient city of Napata would have been extended far to the north and south of this holy mountain. Some of the Napatan period pyramids of Nuri. Original pyramid design carved unto the wall of a pyramid chapel in Meroë (left and centre). On the right, we see a proposed construction technique for the pyramids, making use of the shaduf. This technique was actually used by archaeologists in an experimental reconstruction of one of the destroyed pyramids at Meroë. Plan of a Meroitic pyramid with offering chapel and descendary leading to a rock cut tomb beneath the actual pyramid The sloping descendary and cut stone doorways leading to the subterranean burial chamber beneath Kushite pyramids A relief from a pyramid chapel in the royal necropolis of Meroë depicts a king in his final resting place. "The Falcon has flown to heaven" Inside the Napatan period rock cut tomb of King Tanwetamani, underneath his pyramid at El Kurru. Proposed finished appearance of a small Meroitic pyramid with the use of different colours and decoration according to evidence found on remaining structures. Art from "The Royal Pyramids of Meroe. Architecture, Construction and Reconstruction of a Sacred Landscape." The fortifications of Kush Kushites weren't only prolific builders of temples and palaces, but were quite adept at building fortifications as well. These were typically large square(-ish) structures, mostly built from dry stone walls forming the base, reaching anywhere from 2 to 7 meters in height, topped with brick parapets (which have mostly weathered away since) and featuring fortified bastions and narrow gateways. The inside of these walled complexes often had rooms lining the walls, probably store rooms and sleeping quarters for the garrisons, as well as a well built central structure, which were sometimes storied and had throne rooms. Many of these fortifications were found near strategic locations like wadi's (seasonal rivers) leading towards the Nile (such as Wadi Abu Dom), along oases like the Fura Wells, or along sensitive stretches of the river, such as Qasr Ibrim or Mograt Island. Cut stone walls are also known, like the massive walls of the Royal City in Meroë, or the dressed stone walls of Musawwarat es Sufra. The Napatan/Meroitic period fortress of Gala Abu Ahmed, in the Wadi Howar, 110 km to the West of the Nile Gala Abu Ahmed, in the Western Desert, with some extra information Excavation underway at the monumental northern gateway of Gala Abu Ahmed, with stairs leading up to the bastions and walls. Ruins of the fortified hill top settlement of Qasr Ibrim, close to the traditional frontier with Egypt, before the flooding of this site by lake Nasser. Taharqa built a temple on this site, which became a flashpoint in the war with Rome, and was an important site in the Christian period as well with the building of a large cathedral and was home to the largest library of Christian Nubia. The monumental Meroitic dry stone walls and typically narrow gateway of Qasr Ibrim. Meroitic period cut stone walls lining parts of the citadel of Gebel Adda, in Lower Nubia. Protruding stylized lion and human heads decorate the walls. Like Qasr Ibrim, Gebel Adda was a fortified hill top town overlooking the Nile, with Meroitic period remains including a temple and small pyramids, as well as post-Meroitic, Christian and Islamic period remains. As with Qasr Ibrim, this site was flooded by lake Nasser. Late Meroitic fortress of Umm Ruweim, in the Wadi Abu Dom, on the road crossing the Bayuda desert, connecting Napata to Meroë. Ruins of the late Meroitic fortress of Umm Ruweim Late Meroitic fortress of Quweib, close to Umm Ruweim Late to post-Meroitic fortress of Mikaisir on Mograt Island Inside the late to post-Meroitic fortress of Mikaisir on Mograt Island Other important sites in ancient Kush: Homat El Hamadab: Using ground penetrating radar to examine sub surface remains, a detailed map of ancient Hamadab became visible. A walled Meroitic town, 3km south of Meroe. There was a palace, temple, worksites for the production of pottery and iron manufacturing and residential areas.. A preliminary idea of what the town of Hamadab looked like. Muweis: A largely un-excavated Meroitic settlement with remains of a palace, a temple complex with side temples, avenues, workshops, kilns for ceramics and metallurgy and residential areas. As with many other archaeological sites, modern cultivations have destroyed much of the site, making the assessment of it's ancient extent nearly impossible. Dangeil: The Meroitic period Amun temple at Dangeil turned out to be significantly larger than originally thought. A historical reconstruction of the walled temple complex of Amun at Dangeil Musawwarat es Sufra: Musawwarat es-Sufra was a large temple complex and cult center in the Western Butana, 20km from Naqa. It doesn't quite resemble anything found in the Nile Valley so far. In fact it is not even built by the Nile, but lies 35km to the east of it, in the Wadi es-Sufra, a seasonal river that turns into a rapid stream during the yearly rains. The complex features temples, courtyards, fruit-gardens, water-reservoirs, workshops, kitchens, store-rooms, possible royal residences and long walled corridors, perhaps separating royals pilgrims from commoners, as well as a smaller secular enclosure. The Kushites themselves called this place "Aborepi" (place of the elephant), in Meroitic. Depictions of elephants and other animals are common theme in the reliefs of Musawwarat. The earliest known structure from Musawwarat is the Great Hafir, a massive water reservoir built to capture surface runoff from the Wadi es-Sufra's seasonal water-flow. With a diameter of 250 meters and walls reaching 11- 12 meters, it is the largest hafir known in Sudan, and seems to have been built during the Napatan Period between the 6th and the 4th centuries BCE. It's sheer scale is somewhat of an enigma, considering the apparent absence of any significant settlement outside of the Small Enclosure dating to the Meroitic period. The absence of Meroitic graves in the valley also indicate that burial at this site was not allowed. Most of the current ruins found at Musawwarat (the Great Enclosure and the Lion Temple) date to the Meroitic period, and were built during the third century BCE. Parts of the Great Enclosure do overlay older Napatan ruins. The specific function of this site has been a greatly contested subject. Many theories exist, including: A royal hunting abode, the large courtyards supposedly being used to house wild animals. An elephant training center, because of it's layout of large courtyards (holding pens?) and ramps, and a significant amount elephant depictions found here, and the fact that Greek/Ptolemaic expeditions "sometimes numbering hundreds of men", came to this area specifically to acquire war elephants during the 3rd century BCE. A royal palace, because of the idea that at least some of these structures were (non-permanent) royal residences, thought to feature a throne room. Or simply as a large cult center, hosting major religious festivals drawing in countless people and royals on regular basis. An aerial shot of the temple complex of Musawwarat es Sufra, known to the Kushites as "Aborepi", located in the Butana Steppe, 25 km. south-east of the Nile Excavation results from Musawwarat es Sufra The Ruins of Musawwarat es Sufra The ruins of an outer colonnade of the central temple (temple 100) in Musawwarat es Sufra Kawa: Ruins of the Temple of Amun of Gempaten (Gematon, or Kawa), also known as the Temple of Taharqa under excavation. On the left, the temple of Taharqa in Kawa. On the right, excavation results of the walled temple district at Kawa, known to the Kushites as Gematon or Gempaten. At more than 65 meters in length, this temple of cut stone was a considerable structure. A second nearly identical temple was built at Sanam around the same time-period, which reached approximately 100 meters in length! Detail of the Shrine of Taharqa, currently in the Ashmolean museum in England. The shrine was originally constructed as a self contained structure inside of the Amun temple of Kawa. Taharqa can be seen making offerings to the the seated ram-headed god, "Amon-Re of Gempaten" and other gods. One of the seated rams originally lining the columns and processional avenues, representing Amun, is seen in front of the shrine, with the figure of Taharqa underneath its head. El Hassa: The archaeological site at El Hassa under excavation. Left to right: stone rams, Amun temple, palace. Iron Smelting Iron appears in Meroitic sites from c. 600 BCE. From the 4th century BC, large mounds of iron slag, associated with near-industrial levels of iron production in the areas in and around Meroë, dating from both the Meriotic as well as the post Meriotic period, attest to the importance of this new metal. Because of it, Meroë has been dubbed “the Birmingham of Africa”. Simplistic depictions of iron smelting and iron working in Meroë. In actuality, the skill of iron smelting was tightly controlled by the state, at least in the early Meroitic period, and was done inside dedicated structures, with an external run off for iron slag. Likewise, ironworking was done in dedicated workshops, often close to a palace or temple. By unknown artists Large mounds of iron slag at Meroë under excavation. A collection of Meroitic period iron objects from Kush, including: axes, knives, barbed arrowheads, and speartips Meroë grew in to a center of production and trade. A military power, that campaigned as far south as the Sud, and the borders of modern day Ethiopia. Against the desert tribes to the East and West of them, and against their Northern neighbor, Egypt, whether Egypt was under Native, Persian, Ptolemaic or Roman rule. It wasn’t until the trade routes started shifting, increasing desiccation and hostility from desert tribes that Meroë started waning in importance. The straw that finally broke the camels back, were the Aksumite invasions of the 330’s A.D. The artefacts of Kush: Napatan and Meroitic Period Part of Aspelta's treasure Kushites were prolific artisans, and the craftsmen of the Napatan and Meroitic royal workshops produced some of the finest artefacts of the ancient world. Famous for their gold and known for their pottery and bronze working, blue glazed faience and alabaster, and for their expensive taste in foreign imports as well. Many of the artefacts in this collection are courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts, which houses almost 20.000 artefacts from the Kerma, Napatan and Meroitic periods of Nubia. Gold: Silver: Gilded silver mask of the Royal Wife Malakaye Nuri (left) Bronze: Copper alloy statuette of a Meroitic ruler or god, found inside the court of the great temple at Tabo, Argo Island. Large parts of the piece were once gilded. Note that he's wearing a thumb ring, specifically used for archery Mixed: Taharqa offering wine to the god Hemen Faience: Beads: Pottery: Alabastron: Foreign imports (or loot): (Greco-Roman) A pair of bronze Greek auloi (a popular ancient wind instrument.), among the finest ever discovered anywhere in the world, where found in the tomb of Queen Amanishakheto The Greek god Dionysos, found in Meroë Dionysos A Roman silver goblet, believed to depict Emperor Augustus in a judgement scene An elaborate Attic rhyton, inscribed with the name of the famous Athenian potter, Sotades, depicting a riding Amazon. The red figure scene depicts fighting Greeks and Thracians. Mediterranean wine was a popular import, evidenced by the regular finds of Campanian amphora. Kushite Statuary: A few of the stone lion statues from Kush. On the left, we see the lions of Jebel Barkal, originally lining the large palace. On the right, the lions from Basa, including a man eating example. Execution by lion was a disturbingly popular theme in Kushite art. Lion statues like these were found around palaces, temples and elite residences in Meroë, Napata, Basa, Naqa, Qasr Ibrim, Abu Erteila and Musawwarat es Sufra, and are a supreme expression of royal authority, as well as being associated with the god Apedemak. Even more important in Kushite iconography than the lion, is the ram, representing Amun, the supreme god. Stone rams from Naqa (Meroitic) and Kawa (25th dynasty). These statues are always found lining the processional avenues leading to the various Amun temples, or within the temples themselves. Sun worshipping baboon from Kawa, seated baboon from Napata, seated frog, from Basa and cobra head from Napata. The baboons represent the god Thoth in disguise. The cobra comes from a uraeus, symbol of royal authority. Royal statue, from one of the temples at Gebel Barkal, in situ on the left, re-erected on the right. A collection of statues of the Kings of Kush. The colossi of Tabo (Meroitic period) on the left, and 25th Dynasty and Napatan on the right. Gods and goddesses are among the most popular subject matter. Kushites sometimes made use of supporting pillars carved in the form of gods, like the Meroitic Arensnuphis on the left, and the ancient god, Bes, on the right. Organic remains: wood, leather and fabrics Much of Sudan lies within the rain-belt, and as such, organic materials decay relatively fast, making finds of fabric, leather and wood very rare. Luckily there are exceptions, such as the hundreds of leather sandals from Gebel Adda, and fabrics from Qasr Ibrim. Linen, wool, and from the Meroitic period onwards, cotton were produced and worn on a large scale, being used to weave intricate patterns and elaborate multi-coloured tapestries. Meroitic sandals left and right. The footwear in the middle is very similar to Roman footwear of the period. Spindle whorls were used to create linnen and cotton threads. Reconstruction of a wooden stool with modern ebonized wood and the original bronze and silver fittings The Boats of Kush: It goes without saying that the Kushites, like their northern neighbours, were a predominantly riverine culture, preferring to spend their time by the banks of the Nile, (although some important sites were also found considerable distances from the river). Boats made from bound papyrus reeds were probably some of the earliest forms of river transport, and larger vessels made from wood start appearing in Pre-pharaonic northern Sudan at very early dates. Kushite boat building traditions seem to have evolved from these earlier Neolithic boat building cultures that also laid the foundation for Egyptian boat-building traditions. Clear depictions of Kushite vessels are extremely rare nonetheless, but where we can compare, they seem to be very similar to their Egyptian contemporaries, explained by the intertwined nature of Egyptian and Kushite history and culture, and the fact that they regularly travelled up and down the same river, making cultural exchanges, like boat building, very prevalent. Religious barge above the doorway of a pyramid chapel in Meroë Funerary barges are a common sight on Kushite pyramid chapels. 14 oars on this Kushite vessel, engraved on the rocks of Gebel el-Shams, near Gebel Adda Boats from Gebel Adda. The boat on the left has a central cabin, the boat on the right has a square sail. Rock carvings of boats from Wadi Sabu. Both of them have a central cabin. A very interesting detail on the boat on the right (with its 8 oars), is the horse standing on the prow of the ship. A fleet of ships from the rock art of Wadi Sabu New Kingdom Egyptian scene, from the tomb of Huy, "King's Son of Kush" (viceroy) in the time of Tutankhamen. It depicts the arrival of Huy's fleet from Kush, laden with offerings for the pharaoh. Evidently the ships used in Kush at the time when Kush was an integrated province of the New Kingdom, were of the same type as the Egyptians. Horses, cattle and slaves can be seen as some of the export-items from the southern lands. Weapons, armor and the Military of Kush "Many of its warriors still used bronze weapons, some perhaps imported from Egypt, and although swords appear in Meroitic art none have yet been found. Spears and bows were the preferred weapons, while Meroe’s archers used leather quivers, plus iron- and even stone-tipped arrows of wood or cane, often poisoned. Judging by other aspects of Meroitic administration the army was probably well organized, although a rare description of a late Meroitic army in action against Roman troops has them poorly marshaled behind large oxhide shields with axes, spears and the occasional sword. Many men were tattooed and also scarred their faces, as some Sudanese still do. Elephants were used ceremonially and occasionally in war. Such animals may have been of the now-extinct North African or Saharan type, as the true African elephant is regarded as untrainable." -Dr David Nicolle - Our knowledge on the Kushite military is limited, but a multipronged approach allows us to reconstruct Napatan and Meroitic warriors in surprising detail. Most primary references are gleaned from the rare battle scenes in carved reliefs. Reliefs of royal execution scenes and deities and royals in military gear provide information about the weapons and armour that were used, as do depictions in foreign art. The remains of weapons in graves are some of the most tangible pieces to work with and ancient descriptions offer many clues as well. An understanding of the historical context, including the earlier New Kingdom Egyptian heritage and the Kushite legacy in the post-Meroitic X-Group (Ballana) culture, also known as Nobatia, and el-Hobagi and Makuria help greatly. Apart from the typical shield and spear, daggers, massed archery and chariotry, other weapons and tactics were being introduced. Swords, mounted cavalry, armed with lances, leather armour, as well as quilted armour and the introduction of Hellenized equipment among some individuals, probably explained by their mercenary activities in Ptolemaic Egypt. For the most part though, it seems that Kushite forces were poorly armored. Nubian archery remained important into Islamic times. New types of clothing became common. Kings were now seen wearing capes, thick jackets covering their arms, and wore simple decorated belts. By the beginning of the post-Meroitic period, 4th century AD, chain mail is attested, and scale armor was used by elites since the New Kingdom. Large oblong shields of ox-hide were used by the Meroites, as well as smaller, round elephant- hyppo- or rhinoceros-hide shields. Beja (also known as Blemmyes), a Kushite enemy, vassal at times, and eventual overlord of Lower Nubia, used distinct east African round shields of this hardened leather type. Beja used mounted camel units, to dominate the deserts East of the Kushite heartland, from where they frequently raided Roman territories in Upper Egypt, making use of swords, lances, javelins and sometimes thick ox-leather armor. They were a potent mercenary force for those that could afford and control them. The Kushites inherited many New Kingdom Egyptian military elements. The 25th dynasty had full access to the Egyptian military, and most of Kush in the preceding centuries had been fully integrated in the New Kingdom. This relation is attested among other things by the production, use and export of Egyptian chariots as early as the New Kingdom, well in to the Napatan period. The fragmentary depiction of chariots in a 1st century BC temple in Napata and the New Testament story of Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunich, suggests that chariots were still used around the turn of the millennium. Kushite kings are often depicted wearing skullcaps, Egyptian style armour and weapons in addition to native swords. Other, archaic weapons were still used, like battle-axes, stone maces and even clubs, some of which were inlaid with sharp stones, remarkably similar to the Aztec Macuahuitl. Prince Arikankharer slaying his enemies with a battle axe, while holding on to a sword. A second sword, tucked in his belt, is still in its scabbard. Victory relief of the Meroitic King Sherkarer, or Shorkaror. He is carrying a sword, still in it's scabbard, swung around his back, a spear and bow and arrows. He's receiving blessings in the form of Sorghum and bound captives from a solar deity peculiar in its artistic style. This is actually Mithras, a Romanised form of the Persian God Mithra, being worshipped by a Meroitic Royal in the southern reaches of the Kushite Empire. Jebel Qeili, 1st century AD. Nubian mercenaries in Greco-Roman Egypt. On the left, Nubian cavalry from Ptolemaic Egypt. Wearing pants, a Phrygian cap, and possibly Hellenistic armor, as well as a double axe. Although these axemen weren't per se in Kushite service, such mercenary units would have brought back new weapons, armor, technologies and ideas upon their return to Kush. Full body scale armour, as seen on King Tarekeniwal (left) from his pyramid chapel in Meroë and King Amanakhareqerema (right), from the pylon of Temple 200 in Naqa. Examples of Kushite scale armor corselets, often depicted on deities like Amun, Apedemak, Arensnuphis and Horus, often holding weapons like spears, swords and bows and arrows. Kushite examples of the linen or cotton corselet. From the tombs at El-Kurru, the boat-stand of Atlanersa and a temple relief at Barkal. When fabrics like linen or cotton are wrapped or twisted in thick layers around the torso, they provide decent protection for the vital organs, from arrows, slashing weapons, and helps to blunt blows, while retaining the advantage of agility and speed, because of its lightweight design. Quite incredibly the same types of cloth armor were still being used by a variety of Sudanese warriors as late as the early 20th century! In the book "On the Erythraean Sea", the Greek historian Agatharchides, relating the history of Ptolemy II's Nubian campaign, refers to a native (Nubian) type of felt armour for horse and rider that covers the whole body except for the eyes: "For the war against the Aithiopians Ptolemy recruited 500 cavalrymen from Greece. To those who were to fight in the front ranks and to be the vanguard - they were a hundred in number - he assigned the following form of equipment. For he distributed to them and their horses garments of felt (stolas piletas), which those of that country (hoi kata ten choran; "the natives of the country" in Burstein) call kasas, that conceal the whole body except for the eyes." In this military context, "stolas piletas" has been translated as "quilted garment" or more literally "felted clothing". The term "kasas" has also been associated with a type of Persian saddle cloth, or the term "Kassos", which translates as "thick garment". It was used by Kushites as an effective protection against arrows, which made it important for the Ptolemies in their campaign against the archery heavy Kushite army. This type of quilted (usually cotton) armor became ubiquitous to the greater Sahel region, south of the Sahara, from Sudan to Mali in medieval times. It was used to cover horse and rider, concealing the whole body except for the eyes (or face), and was even used to make skullcaps. Felt armor seems to have been in use since the New-Kingdom and was reportedly even used by Scythians. It spread from medieval Egypt to the Arabs, from where it diffused into Europe, where it was used to make padded jackets, known as the gambeson, or poor man's cuirass. Many examples of African quilted cotton armor can be seen in this post. Possible Kushite examples of quilted armor. (Left to right) 1) Tanyidamani (c.100 BC), on the votive plaque from Naqa, in a military context (wearing war crown and Apedemak, god of war/victory on the reverse of the plaque). 2) Horse graffiti from Musawwarat. The horse wearing a halter is covered in some kind of padded cloth (body and neck). 3) reliefs of bound captives from the pylon of Amanishakheto's pyramid chapel. These captives, often native rebels, give us an insight into the the equipment used by the Kushites themselves. They seem to depict padded headgear of the round type, seemingly identical to the quilted cotton skullcaps used by the riders of Baguirmi, in medieval Chad, as well as the Egyptian quilted cloth skullcaps of earlier periods. They have a rim, suggesting that the fabric may have been attached to leather or bronze under helmets. Apedemak wielding a recurve (composite?) bow. Both reliefs from Musawwarat es Sufra Kushite horsemen from the graffito at Musawwarat es Sufra Graffito at Musawwarat es Sufra picture Kushite warriors including a pikeman, spearman and horseman. Kushite reliefs on the Meroitic temple M250, also known as the "Sun temple", depicting Kushite horsemen 1st century BC On the left, an @#$% or a mule decked out in royal horse-accoutrements, including a chanfron, feathered horse-crown, bronze bell tied around the neck, and riding blanket laid on top of an animal skin draped over its back. On the right: horses with riding blankets and their riders carrying spears. From the reliefs of two different pyramid chapels in the Begrawiya necropolis at Meroë. Meroitic period battle reliefs from Temple M250 in Meroë, depicting spearmen and pikemen. Battle reliefs from Temple M250 in Meroë, depicting swordsman, pikeman and spearmen Battle reliefs from Temple M250 in Meroë, depicting spearmen, pikeman, axeman and swordsman A rare photographic detail of the heavily weathered relief on temple M250, showing the axeman and swordsman, with scabbard flung behind his back 25th Dynasty battle scene on the second pylon of the Great Amun Temple in Napata, showing a Kushite archer, spearman and pikemen with small round shields hung from the shoulder, chasing enemy chariots, a mounted horseman and infantry. Fragmented reliefs showing 25th Dynasty chariots pulled by horses wearing feathered horse-crowns, from the Amun Temple at Napata. Other fragmented Meroitic period reliefs from the 1st century BC illustrate the continued use of the chariot. Even in the 1st century AD, the New Testament story of "the Ethiopian eunuch" affirms the long-lasting use of the chariot among the Kushites in Acts 8:26-28: "Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza."So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Candace , queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet." The term "Candace" is derived from the Meroitic title "Kandake", which translates as "queen" or "Queen-Mother". Curiously, the Kingdom of Kush had been ruled by a string of successive queens in this period, and Kandake Amanitaraqide was probably the one on the throne around the time of the biblical story of the Ethiopian eunuch.. 2 elephants with decorated blankets from a relief on the lion temple in Musawwarat es Sufra, also dubbed "Apedemak's War Elephants". The elephant on the right is holding on to a group of kneeling bound captives by a rope tied around their necks. In the fragmented relief a supersized figure, perhaps Apedemak himself can be made out, standing on the backs of these elephants, with one foot on each animal as if to say that victory was delivered on the backs of these beast. On the left, a bronze statuette of a war elephant, excavated in Meroë, currently in the Nubian Museum in Aswan. The rider is carrying a typical East African round shield, often made of rhino, hypo or elephant leather. He's also wearing a helmet with nasal guard. The strange bulge on top of the helmet is where a large ring was originally attached, from which the piece would have been suspended. In the image on the right, the Meroitic god Sebiumeker can be seen riding an elephant. Sebiumeker is associated with fertility, and the man seated in front of the animal, clenching its trunk between his legs in what can only be described as a very suggestive pose, affirms this association with fertility. Or should it be virility? Kushite stone, iron and bronze axe heads. Many different types and sizes seem to have been in use. Bronze quiver, barbed bronze and plain iron arrow-heads and a spear tip Barbed iron, bronze and plain stone arrowheads Metal mace heads Stone mace-heads On the left, post-meroitic spear tip and barbed javelins from Tombos, with direct parallels in earlier Meroitic depictions. On the left a spear tip and arrow heads from Meroë. Post-Meroitic weapons from the royal tombs of El Hobagi, possibly the final seat of Kushite authority after the fall of Meroë. A mere shadow the former Meroitic rulers, the 4th century AD warrior kings of El-Hobagi still used the same weapons common among the Napatans and Meroites, including axes, maces, formidable spears, swords, bows and and a lot of arrows. These tombs contained the last known inscriptions in Meroitic script. Napatan short sword Historical reconstructions of Kushite warriors Kushite archers (archaic). The quintessentially "Nubian Bowmen", clad in lion- and leopard skins, a sign of bravery. Art by Angus McBride Once again, Angus McBride does not disappoint us, with this sumptuous depiction of life in Kush. Note the "tribal warrior's" shield is made of tightly woven wicker. The Meroitic warrior, apart from his short sword and bow and arrows, is wearing a typically Nubian thumb ring, to increase accuracy while protecting the thumb during archery. The Meroitic lady sits with uncovered bosom, as they were sometimes depicted in emulation of the goddess Isis. Some of the basic infantry types from Kush, including: spearmen, swordsmen, axemen and Nubian archers (art by Marcus Pierno). Some more basic infantry types (archaic). Archers, by Pablo.O (left) and Shane Greer (centre). A simple spear infantry unit by Daniel George Mitchell (right) Kushite warriors with New Kingdom influence. Since the Old Kingdom, the Egyptian military recruited large numbers of Kushites into their ranks. The later Napatan Kings inherited much of this military culture. On the left, a basic peasant levy, wearing a simple loincloth, armed with a spear and hide covered wooden shield (art Marcus Pierno). The bulk of the Kushite forces would have been armed in a similar way. No real armor to speak of, equipped with a spear and/or axe. On the right we see a Kushite mercenary in service of a late Egyptian Pharaoh. He is one of the protagonists in "The Pack", a graphic novel by Paul Louise-Julie. This elite warrior is equipped with bronze scale-armor corselet and a khopesh. Concept pieces by myself: Pikeman & Axeman Concept pieces by myself, Kushite mounts: a war-elephant and light spear cavalry A collaboration between an artist friend (who provided the original sketches) and myself, who adapted and coloured the works:. "Nubian" Spearman and Meroitic Pikeman. Kushite Axemen and a Noble Swordsman. Art by LordGood Kushite elite warriors clad in scale armor. Temple guard of Apedemak, in emulation of the lion-god on the left. The Khopesh is closely associated with "the crushing might of Amun", making it the perfect weapon for the Napatan Temple Guards, the "Guardians of Amun", in emulation of the god as seen on the right. Art by LordGood Conclusion It is now apparent that the Kingdom of Kush was a major powerhouse in antiquity. The ancient link between Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It was one of the longest lived civilizations anywhere in the world, and the earliest urbanized society of Sub-Saharan Africa. Napata was a major centre of religion, administration and Pharaonic culture before Rome even existed and the importance of Meroë predates even the Archaic period of Greece. Ancient monuments like the Great Amun Temples of Napata and Meroë dwarfed the greatest monuments of the Hellenic world, including the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis. At the height of their power, during the 25th Dynasty, Kushite political ambitions reached as far North as Jerusalem and the Phoenician city of Tyre in Lebanon. Even during the later Napatan and Meroitic periods, powerful armies extended Kushite territorial control c. 1500 km North to South, from Southern Egypt to the borders of modern day Ethiopia. Art, architecture and writing received great patronage from the Kushite rulers, and their artisans produced some of the finest extant artefacts of the ancient world. In many ways, the culture, religion, symbology, resources and people of Kush helped shape the course of Egyptian history, as did Egypt help shape the history of Kush. The later Kushite rulers considered themselves the true heirs of the New Kingdom, the sons and daughters of Amun. They never abandoned their Pharaonic heritage, but weren’t shy about mixing in foreign influences or emphasizing their African identity either. They were well known to their contemporaries, maintained diplomatic relations and controlled a powerful trade network. They also went head to head with the most powerful empires of Antiquity, and generally maintained their political sovereignty and territorial integrity throughout these violent conflicts. The so-called long lived Ethiopians certainly lived up to their reputation and left a lasting legacy, not only in Sudan, but far beyond as well. I hope I’ve been able to offer some useful insights into the history of this often overlooked, yet fascinating civilization. I’ve spent well over a year reading and researching, sifting through thousands of primary references, countless archaeological dig reports and case studies. It took me several headaches to piece together an accurate timeline, identify reliable literature, and verify images. I based my writings on this literature and used this as a basis for determining the historical accuracy of the images I selected, in order to provide you with the most correct visualisation of ancient Kush as possible. I am not a scholar, nor a Nubiologist, just passionate about history. Mistakes are always possible, so feel free to comment if you’re unsure about about something. Other questions and remarks are always welcome. Thank you so much for reading. Amanirenas, the one eyed warrior Queen of Kush with her pet lions and a Roman captive somewhere in the 20's BC. Art by LordGood Sources & further reading: The Kingdom of Kush: Handbook of the Napatan-Meroitic Civilization, by László Török https://digitalt.uib.no/handle/1956.2/3083#preview (Fontes Historiae Nubiorum) The Capital of Kush, by Rebecca J Bradley The Horses of Kush, Lisa A. Heidorn, Journal of Near Eastern Studies Vol. 56, No. 2 (Apr., 1997), pp. 105-114 Dynasties And Empires, By Adams, W Y: http://www.yare.org/brian/books/AdamsWY/ch11.htm http://www.yare.org/brian/books/AdamsWY/ch10.htm Hellenistic History and Culture, By Peter Green p38 to p54 Aksum and Nubia: Warfare, Commerce, and Political Fictions in Ancient Northeast Africa, by George Hatke The Meroitic Empire: Trade and Cultural Influences in an Indian Ocean Context, by Randi Haaland http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10437-014-9169-0 Meroitic Double House excavation and reconstruction: http://www.learningsites.com/Meragh/AM600_home.php The Palace of Muweis and the Early Meroitic Levels: The Contribution of Technological Analysis to the Architectural Study, by Marc Maillot Ancient Nubia, by Shinnie Voyage à Méroé, au fleuve Blanc: au-delà de Fâzoql dans le midi du royaume de Sennâr, à Syouah et dans cinq autres oasis, fait dans les années 1819, 1820, 1821 et 1822 : accompagné de cartes géographiques, de planches représentant les monuments de ces contrées, avec des détails relatifs à l'état moderne et à l'histoire naturelle https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/123757#page/1/mode/1up http://digitalcommons.fairfield.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1038&context=djns Karanog, wealthy capital of a lower Nubian province: https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/karanog-wealthy-capital-of-a-lower-nubian-province/ Sobeknakht’s Hidden Treasure, by Vivian Davies https://www.hamadab3d.com http://www.ancientsudan.org/history_09_ptolemy.htm http://www.ancientsudan.org/history_16_kerma.html http://www.ucl.ac.uk/sargon/essentials/countries/kush/ http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/connections/Essays/CGraves.aspx http://www.archaeology.org/issues/174-1505/features/3146-sudan-nubia-dangeil-cult-of-amun-ra https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/ancient/nubia1.asp http://www.metmuseum.org/TOAH/hd/afrg/hd_afrg.htm http://www.livius.org/articles/person/ptolemy-iv-philopator/? http://www.jebelbarkal.org http://what-when-how.com/archaeology-of-ancient-egypt/dorginarti-to-dynastic-stone-tools-archaeology-of-ancient-egypt/ http://www.uni-koeln.de/sfb389/a/a2/download/poster_gala_abu_ahmed.pdf Qasr Ibrim: The last 3000 years, Published on Mar 21, 2014 by P.J. Rose — Sudan & Nubia, No 15, published by The Sudan Archaeological Research Society, 2011 Archaeobotanical Investigations at the Gala Abu Ahmed Fortress in Lower Wadi Howar, Northern Sudan, Published on Feb 10, 2016 by F. Jesse et al — Sudan & Nubia, No 17, published by The Sudan Archaeological Research Society, 2013 https://issuu.com/sudarchrs/docs/s_n17_jesse_et_al Gala Abu Ahmed - The Small Finds, by Angelika LOHWASSER Wad ben Naga. A history of the site. Sudan & Nubia 18 Onderka, P. - Vrtal, V.: Preliminary report on the sixth excavation season of the Archaeological Expedition to Wad Ben Naga The round structures of Gala Abu Ahmed fortress in lower Wadi Howar, Sudan http://www.academia.edu/3789815/the_round_structures_of_Gala_Abu_Ahmed_fortress_in_lower_Wadi_Howar_Sudan Boat Building in the Sudan: Material culture and its contribution to the understanding of Sudanese cultural morphology, by Yousif Hassan Madani Musawwarat es-Sufra: Interpreting the Great Enclosure by S. Wenig –Sudan & Nubia, No 5, published by The Sudan Research and Archaeological Society, 2001 https://issuu.com/sudarchrs/docs/s_n05-wenig/13 Rediscovery of the Kushite site - Naga, 15 years of excavation (1995-2010). Surprises and Innovation by K. Kroeper — Sudan & Nubia, No 15, published by The Sudan Archaeological Research Society, 2011 https://issuu.com/sudarchrs/docs/s_n15_kroeper The Royal Pyramids of Meroe. Architecture, Construction and Reconstruction of a Sacred Landscape by F.W. Hinkel — Sudan & Nubia, No 4, published by The Sudan Archaeological Research Society, 2000 https://issuu.com/sudarchrs/docs/s_n04-hinkel Stanley Burstein, Frank M. Snowden, Jr. Lectures, Howard University, When Greek was an African Language, (Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington, DC. August, 2006) https://chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/display/1301 http://www.musawwarat.com http://www.zamaniproject.org/index.php/musawwarat.html http://what-when-how.com/archaeology-of-ancient-egypt/meroitic-culture-to-metallurgy-archaeology-of-ancient-egypt/ http://what-when-how.com/archaeology-of-ancient-egypt/meroe-city-to-meroe-the-sun-temple-archaeology-of-ancient-egypt/ http://nubie-international.fr/accueil.php?a=page145000 http://whc.unesco.org/uploads/nominations/1336.pdf http://chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/display/1301 https://www.slideshare.net/jehuti/ancient-african-kingdom-of-kush http://egypte-eternelle.org/index.php/nubie/haute-nubie/meroe https://garstangmuseum.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/rome-through-the-eyes-of-meroe-an-enemy-trampled-underfoot/ https://garstangmuseum.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/object-in-focus-a-meroitic-lion-statuette-e-8003/ https://archaeologistsdiary.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/treasure-of-amanishakheto/ http://web.archive.org/web/20070913062518/http://arkamani.org/arkamani-library/library-contents.htm#Meroitic Kingdom http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft0000035f&chunk.id=ch2&toc.id=ch2&brand=ucpress http://dlib.nyu.edu/awdl/sites/dl-pa.home.nyu.edu.awdl/files/karangtown00wool/karangtown00wool.pdf http://www.fstafrika.phil-fak.uni-koeln.de/9259.html http://musawwaratgraffiti.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de http://www.unesco.org/culture/museum-for-dialogue/item/en/81/elephant-statuette http://www.mfa.org/search?search_api_views_fulltext=meroitic+ http://www.mfa.org/search?search_api_views_fulltext=napatan+ http://www.mfa.org/search?search_api_views_fulltext=kerma+ http://www.masseiana.org/maspero1.htm http://www.earlheinrich.com/Ancient_Nubia/_Private/FHN_Harsiyotef.pdf https://fallback.dainst.org/documents/10180/15360/Broschüre+Schutzbau+Meroe+englisch/4e62fd4a-e9ee-40b3-b110-730c6fbc2f58 https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/search/index?utf8=✓&keywords=lepsius+aethiopen http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Augustus/Res_Gestae/5*.html http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/herodotus/cambyses.htm http://www.jebelbarkal.org/frames/VisGuide.pdf http://www.mfa.org/search?search_api_views_fulltext=MEROITIC http://www.archaeology.wiki/blog/2016/02/01/sudan-archaeology-greco-roman-perspective-part-2/ http://artefacts.mom.fr/Publis/Welsby_2005.pdf http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/propylaeumdok/2883/1/Lohwasser_Tracks_in_the_Bayuda_desert_2013.pdf https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/search/index?utf8=✓&keywords=lepsius+aethiopen# http://www.jebelbarkal.org/frames/B200300.pdf http://www.jebelbarkal.org/frames/B500NapMer.pdf http://www.jebelbarkal.org/frames/B500Piankhyreliefs.pdf http://www.jebelbarkal.org/frames/B560561.pdf http://www.jebelbarkal.org/frames/B600.pdf http://www.jebelbarkal.org/frames/B700.pdf http://www.jebelbarkal.org/frames/B800.pdf http://www.jebelbarkal.org/frames/B1100.pdf http://www.jebelbarkal.org/frames/B1200.pdf http://www.jebelbarkal.org/frames/VisGuide.pdf https://archive.org/details/merocityofethiop00gars http://www.qsap.org.qa/images/doc/a-short-guide-to-the-ancient-site-of-naga.pdf http://www.qsap.org.qa/images/doc/Hamadab_en_2017.pdf http://www.qsap.org.qa/images/doc/kawa_qsap_english_booklet.pdf http://www.qsap.org.qa/images/doc/wadi-guide-english.pdf https://www.academia.edu/33697681/Mighty_Kingdoms_and_their_Forts._The_Role_of_Fortified_Sites_in_the_Fall_of_Meroe_and_Rise_of_Medieval_Realms_in_Upper_Nubia https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262141539_L'ile_de_Sai_dans_le_Royaume_de_Meroe https://issuu.com/sudarchrs/docs/s_n12_grzymski http://sfdas.com/IMG/pdf/rck_4_-_dunham_d._royal_tombs_at_meroe_and_barkal.pdf http://www.earlheinrich.com/Ancient Nubia/_Private/Welsby ch 9.pdf https://www.academia.edu/16628673/B_100_A_Little_Known_Palace_at_Jebel_Barkal https://www.academia.edu/19835739/Complex_M243-256_at_Meroe http://sfdas.com/IMG/pdf/rck_3_-_chapman_s._e._and_dunham_d._decorated_chapels_of_the_meroitic_pyramids_at_meroe_and_barkal.pdf http://sfdas.com/publications/ouvrages-specialises-en-ligne-ouvrages/article/rck?lang=en http://sfdas.com/IMG/pdf/livretmuse_etenglight.pdf https://www.kerma.ch/documents/Publications_PDF/Cinq_conferences.pdf http://en.wadi-abu-dom.de https://digitalt.uib.no/bitstream/handle/1956.2/3083/FHN I copy.pdf?sequence=1 https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/nubia1.asp https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01482774 http://www.meroiticnewsletter.org/MeroNews25h.pdf (El Hobagi) http://www.meroiticnewsletter.org https://issuu.com/sudarchrs/docs/s_n10_wilkins http://i-cias.com/e.o/nubia_rl_gods.htm https://www3.nd.edu/~asimonet/PUBLICATIONS/Buzon_et_al_2016_Amer_Anthro.pdf http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Diodorus_Siculus/3A*.html http://naga-project.com/en/ http://naga-project.com/wp-content/uploads/SMÄK_Naga_Guide_en.pdf http://naga-project.com/wp-content/uploads/Wildung_Naga_in_JPK_37.pdf http://journals.openedition.org/cel/383 3D statue of Sebiumeker: https://sketchfab.com/models/be716b3f76044cdc8fb6c0fb1fc30a13 3D Sphinx of Senkamanisken:https://sketchfab.com/models/76766c7a1a9c4182b569a1b81340ca2b 3D Granite statue of Amun protecting Taharqa:https://sketchfab.com/models/1d414e4b273d47d6a0cb4e5ce2bc8b29 http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/gdc/ssea/vol31/kahn article.pdf https://issuu.com/sudarchrs/docs/s_n12_anderson https://issuu.com/sudarchrs/docs/s_n19_maillot https://issuu.com/sudarchrs/docs/s_n19_anderson_et_al https://issuu.com/sudarchrs/docs/s_n19_yellin https://issuu.com/sudarchrs/docs/s_n01_wolf https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320507106_A_New_Radiocarbon_Chronology_for_Ancient_Iron_Production_in_the_Meroe_Region_of_Sudan https://www.scribd.com/document/334779567/9789088904127-Veldmeijer-2016-Excavations-of-Gebel-Adda-eBook#fullscreen&from_embed https://www.gebel-adda.com http://digitalcommons.fairfield.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1037&context=djns http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/search.aspx?matcult=15746 https://undark.org/article/nubia-sudan-amara-west-archaeology/ https://www.ancient.eu/Dodekaschoinos/ https://ia801805.us.archive.org/10/items/merocityofethiop00gars/merocityofethiop00gars.pdf https://www.google.com.gh/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=14&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj5-6ud5bLaAhVBHCwKHWfLAHsQFghlMA0&url=https%3A%2F%2Ftspace.library.utoronto.ca%2Fbitstream%2F1807%2F77480%2F3%2FSchellinger_Sarah_M_201703_PhD_thesis.pdf&usg=AOvVaw0pUlGlAoMO2KjCRDDVEXWU https://www.academia.edu/974440/_Before_the_Assyrian_Conquest_in_671_B.C.E._Relations_between_Egypt_Kush_and_Assyria_in_J._Mynářová_ed._Egypt_and_the_Near_East_-_the_Crossroads_Proceedings_of_an_International_Conference_on_the_Relations_of_Egypt_and_the_Near_East_in_the_Bronze_Age_Prague_September_1-3_2010_Prague_2011_297-328 https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/25015/1/oa_25015.pdf https://www.ancient.eu/Esarhaddon/ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ethiopia http://www.pbs.org/wonders/Episodes/Epi1/1_retel1.htm Osprey Military: Men-At-Arms Series, 243,Rome’s Enemies 5, The Desert Frontier by David Nicolle Wikipedia pages on Kush are numerous, and constitute good introductory reading materials, but they tend to be very generalistic, imprecise and often even contradictory. For this reason, a healthy amount of caution needs to be taken when consulting these pages. One of the most valuable pages is the "List of monarchs of Kush", a relatively complete chronology of Kushite rulers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_monarchs_of_Kush https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Kush https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-fifth_Dynasty_of_Egypt https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meroë https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napata https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerma https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerma_culture https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musawwarat_es-Sufra https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naqa https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nubia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nubian_pyramids https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nubian_architecture https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buhen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gala_Abu_Ahmed https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triakontaschoinos https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kandake https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashta https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piye https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabaka https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shebitku https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taharqa https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantamani https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspelta https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harsiotef https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nastasen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arakamani https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanirenas https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanishakheto https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natakamani https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanitore Interesting documentaries include: Nubia, The Forgotten Kingdom, with Julie Anderson and Salah Ahmed Rise of the Black Pharaohs, with Geoff Emberling and Timothy Kendall Africa's Great Civilizations, episodes 1 & 2, with Louis Henry Gates BBC, The History of Africa, episode 4, The Kingdom of Kush with Zeinab Badawi BBC, Lost Kingdoms of Africa, Nubia, with Dr Gus Casely-Hayford Journeys to the end of the Earth, Mystery of the African Pharaohs, with David Adams Notice: The images shared in this article are from a large variety of sources. Many of them are in the public domain or are licensed under Creative Commons CC0. Other images however are copyrighted, and are shared under fair use for non-commercial teaching, scholarship and research purposes. If any images are misattributed, or you are the copyright holder of an original work, and are unhappy about it being shared here, feel free to contact me through a public message in this thread or a private message via this forum. I can also be contacted via e-mail: malcolmquartey@gmail.com
  5. 22 points
    The purpose of this topic is to show in a simple and basic way how to improve your skills in 0a.d with 20 simple tips. 1- SHIFT button. Extremely important, mainly for order of buildings and micro. for example when picking up some wood collectors to build a house, hold the SHIFT button and right click on the house and then again on the wood, so immediately after finishing the house, they will automatically collect wood again. Your enemy is dancing in front of you, and your units missing shots, then select your units, hold SHIFT button, and select the stopped units you want to hit, so after killing the first selected enemy unit, they will fire in the next, avoiding that you shoot the dancer. You have selected 40 units, and you need to select more, keep SHIFT Button press, and select the 15 units, so you have 55 units selected. If you have enough wood and want to build 10 houses, keep SHIFT pressed, select the house and click 10 times in map. SHIFT greatly facilitates the construction of walls (make a test). 2- CTRL button: mainly required to select units. Let's imagine that you have 10 archers, 10 lancers and 10 women, you select them all, then in their interface show 3 small squares in the center with 10 archers, 10 lancers and 10 women. If you hold CTRL Buttom and click on the square of the 10 women, then you take the 10 women out of the selection, stay only 10 archers and 10 lancers, its is very important especially when suffering from harassment. CTRL button is also a shortcut key for storing units in buildings. Select the units, keep CTRL button press, and right click on the building. 3- U buttom. Shortcut button so that the units exit from within the buildings. 4- Two left mouse click. Press two left-clicks on mouse on archers for example, then all archers in your sight will be selected. 5- H button. Your units attacked the nearest unit. 6- Dance: the units automatically attack the nearest units, then select a unit and send it to the front, then click with it from side to side, you can use the SHIFT for this. 7- Storage. Must be made as close just to wood, fruit and hunting as possible. Metal and stone must have a distance that fits the units between the metal/stone to the storage. Doing too close will make your units have to walk a unnecessary distance. If necessary, make two or three. As your wood is cut make new Storages. When there is enough space for a new storage. 8- Outpost: Vision wins game, simple as that. Have vision so you will not have any more surprises. 9- keep some women close to the men, so that the collect gain 10%. 10- Tips for using with CTRL and U. I'll use an example that I only use at the moment (I did not see anyone else use until then). you are playing with iberians, and you are collecting outside the walls, so your enemy attacks you with some horses, you have no way to defend, and the gates are too far for you to run, what do you do? Select your units, press CTRL and click for units to enter the tower of the walls, then quickly click the U button several times so that the units exit quickly (Do not forget to select for the tower to unload the units inside the city). The same can be done with several types of constructions, in several occasions, use your imagination. 11- manipulation of animals: some animals can be manipulated in your favor. If the animal is too far from its storage or CC, hit him, and continues to walk behind it (no more hits), this will take the animal to the desired location. Walruses are aggressive animals, so if you hit a shot at him, they will go after you. then it is important that you select a unit and walk on the map giving a one hit on each,(preference ranges unit) and then send your unit back to your city, all walruses will follow. 12- Buildings within the radius of attack of the CC. An important tip especially for the beginning of the game, keep your houses and other possible constructions within reach of your CC, if your enemy rush you, he probably could not convert his constructions (If this happens, you probably lost the game). 13- Avoid fighting within range of towers and castles. Just fight if it's in your favor, if that does not happen, fight in another region, or make small attacks in multiple places at once. This is a regular mistake among beginners. 14- Whenever possible, make economic upgrades. Serious error between beginners and good players too, and plsssss, baskets upgrade are very, very important, basically you reduce 50% of walking time (first upgrade). 15- In fights whenever possible have melee/tank units on the front. Has already been proven in several tests that melee + ranged can win fights vs only ranged (Of course this depends on several factors). 16- Use constructs like houses/barracks to reach some resources beyond the edge. 17- keep in mind some basic things about factions / units. You are playing on Mauryans and your enemy is Romans, you do not know what strategy he used, but you should avoid some. Example, If he is a smart player it is likely that he will use spear horses against you for the simple fact that archers can not stop them, so what should you do? Make some lancers instead of archers, this will block it. 18- Preferably to armor upgrades rather than attack. Armor upgrades are cheaper, and reach more soldiers than attack upgrades. 1350 for +1 armor for melee and ranges units or 1500 for 20% attack only ranges units? 19- Balance eco. This is the most mistake among all players. Try to keep your economy always balanced and in progress. If you are collecting fruits, and they are running out, do not expect them to end up for making some farms, make before. If you are going to attack/defense, do not use all your units of a particular resource, only in special harassment and specific strategies. This will cause your economy to stop, you will have to switch resources, and this will see a snowball. 20 -keep an eye on the time. Minutes are important so you knew how well or how bad it is going. For me, for example, I know that if I'm in the minute 14 and I'm still in phase 2 in a game without major problems, I'm late, If I am playing against a good player, I can be in serious trouble. Maybe I even have a larger population, but if it has some rams or elephants, this can complicate me. I memorized some schedules, this facilitates my games, I know when to attack, pass phase, and i also know when the enemy probably attacked me in a probable rush. Well there are several other tips, but I hope that in a simple way I can help raise the level of the gameplay. Tips from other players are very welcome.
  6. 22 points
    Hey folks! I haven't been active here lately, well, since about 3 years now. So some of you will remember me, but there are a lot of new faces I'm sure. It's time for a re-introduction! My name is Ben (aka historic_bruno) and I started with 0 A.D. in fall 2010, because I was bored and wanted to join a fun project. Something bigger than myself. 0 A.D. was first alphabetically on Wikipedia's list of open source games, so I clicked it and fell in love. I mean, I always loved history and Age of Empires. And I always loved programming, so it was a match made in heaven. I started looking at the code, adding a few small features or bug fixes here and there. Started hanging out in IRC and on the forums. It was my first time contributing to an open source project, and really the largest software project I had worked on at the time (right out of college - I had a degree in computer engineering). It kinda came along at the perfect time for me, where I was in my life, not happy with what I had been doing. 0 A.D. gave me a new direction and fresh perspective. Before long, I was working on bigger changes to things like the random map generator, game setup UI, and Atlas, and they invited me to join the dev team! I was incredibly excited to be a part of such a great team. From there, I learned so much about software development from folks like Philip and all the other devs. Eventually I had so many things going on in my life, that I couldn't spend so much time in IRC, and even following the daily logs became too much (for a while 0 A.D. was like a full time job for me). And then I found it hard to keep up with Trac, so I stepped away. But I never intended it to be for years! IMO, 0 A.D. is one of the finest, if not *the* finest open source 3D game out there. Art, music, graphics, and everything is top notch. I've always been proud of our releases, each one an improvement on the last, and even though we may be slower paced than some big studios, there is a lot of passion that goes into 0 A.D. It's kind of a gift to the world and to the FOSS movement in general, and that's a cool legacy for everyone who has contributed and followed along over the years. Anyway I'm glad to be back and can't wait to see what has been happening in my absence, and meet the new folks in this community! And most of all thanks to everyone who has been playing, testing, packaging, designing, creating, developing, and involved in whatever way to making 0 A.D. what it is :-)
  7. 22 points
    Update of map post alpha 23 (version 1.0.7 in the download section) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hi everyone! I wanted to share my first 0 A.D. map - well, rather a preliminary version - with you. I was inspired by the map of Assassins Creed Origins which just crammed everything Egypt into a single place, often disregarding realism in favor of aesthetics and gameplay, which I did as well. I did for example borrow the idea of moving Cyrene, which is around 700km to the west into Alexandrias vicinity in order to add some Mediterranean environment. A further reason for me to pick that setting was that it allows me to have a lot of different cultures on the map. The upper Nile area is dominated by ptolemaic retro-egypt buildings, whereas the city of Alexandria is dominated by hellenic influences. Cyrene gave me an excuse for adding the Romans with some greek buildings, while I put the Persians, who were admittedly not really present at that same time, in the east. For purely aesthetic reasons I let Carthage occupy the Siwa oasis, and the Red Sea became a tourist destination for Mauryan coral reef divers. Map variants First of all, please take note, that this is not a final product, not even close. The map already includes most of the geological features and special locations I intended to add, but there are many areas that severely lack in detail, which is quite ok for sand deserts, but looks odd in places like coasts, riverbanks and rocky deserts. Blocking the map is also an issue, mainly because it feels strange, when the AI builds farms in the middle of the desert. The greatest thing that needs to be taken care of is balancing. Basic properties Type: skirmish Map size: giant Players: 6 Game version: alpha 23 (re-release) Right now (8.2.2018) I will only publish a 1 vs. 1 map. This has the benefit of being at least a little easier to balance out. I will provide A regular day version And a full-moon night version, because it looks just darn beautiful. I really love what you can do with the lighting and ambient conditions ... Update march 2018: A 3 vs. 3 map variant is now available and several small fixes regarding terrain, blockings and balancing have been made. On the long term I will try to release two varieties of the map regarding gameplay An all-in map: This one is outfitted with full grown cities and you will start with huge amounts of resources and a sizable army. Don’t try to play this with 7 AI players, as it will probably lag horribly. A stripped down version: Everything, except for the most prominent points of interest (e.g. the library) will be deleted. The difficult thing about this is that I will need to create a mod in order to achieve what I desire: See, if I make these buildings actors, all units will just pass through it, and if I leave them as entities, they will be taken over by the players within a few seconds and this would severely unbalance the game. Thus, I need to create a mod, which has all these buildings in a special version. I will increase those buildings capture points by a huge amount and also make them invulnerable, such that capturing them remains the only option. In some cases I might also try to reduce their functionality. Thanks to all the guys who helped me with useful tips and insights regarding modding. Gameplay In this map I tried to elongate the distance between neighboring players and create straight routes between the distant ones. In order to achieve the first requirement, the rare shallow banks of river Nile, meandering mountain tracks and marauding packs of soldiers prohibit straightforward shifts of large armies. On the other hand far away players can often be reached via wide patches of desert, which act like highways on this map. One major problem was the city of Memphis, which is located almost in the center of the map. I order to provide this city with a slight chance for survival I shaped the eastern and western desert like a bypass circumventing Memphis and relocated the city to the eastern shore of the river Nile, which I made impassable from north to south, while only the western riverbanks remained open. The Mediterranean Sea and the river Nile are navigable, which serves as much better means of transportation than the walk along the river by foot. Every player has wood in close vicinity to the starting point. No player will run out of wood easily. The banks of river Nile are especially rich in palms for obvious reasons. Stone is predominantly located in mountainous regions. Limestone can be found close to the pyramids and there is a rather large granite quarry in the very south. As I wanted the player to travel through the sandy dunes a lot metal can be found on the borders of sandy deserts. If you play the map, please let me know where you found too much resources and where they are missing. Players & Matches (and faction recommendations, mostly for esthetic reasons) Currently (9.3.2018) only the six players are available. Player #1: Alexandria (with greek and ptolemeaic entities) in the center north as Seleucids Player #2: Thebes in the very south as Kush Player #3: Siwa/Charga Oasis in the west as Carthage Player #4: Sinai in the north east as Persia Player #5: Memphis in the center as Ptolemeis Player #6: Cyrene in the north west as Romans Player #7: Red Sea in the east as Mauryan (buildings might be reverted to random later) Player #8: Desert nomads from the south west (random) Note: The AI does not get along with that map too well. It will soon be very crowded and very laggy if you choose a game with too many players. Proper matches would be: 2 players: Lower Egypt (#1 Alexandria) vs. upper Egypt (#2 Thebes) Lower Egypt currently has the edge, due to access to the Nile delta. 3 players: Lower Egypt (#1 Alexandria) vs. upper Egypt (#2 Thebes) vs. Siwa (#3) 4 players: Egypt (#1 and #2) vs invaders (#3 Siwa and #4 Sinai) Slowly approaches being balanced (version 0.19.10) 6 players: Egypt (#1, #2, #5) vs invaders (#3, #4, #6) Slowly approaches being balanced (version 0.20.7) Points of interest (selection) Alexandria: library, harbor, lighthouse Memphis: necropolis, pyramids, Apis sanctuary Fayyum: Crocodile sanctuary, Bahr Yussef channel & dam Thebes: Temple district, valley of kings Western desert: Siwa oasis with fortress, Great sand sea, Quattara depression, guelta Eastern desert: Red Sea coral reefs, mount Sinai, "Suez channel", deep wadi I collapsed some more screenies for you here ... ToDo and Changelog My ToDo-List is growing and shrinking all the time. If you have suggestions, please let me know. Unfortunately I cannot promise you, when or if I will implement them. You know, real life can be unpredictable ;-) Download Download the files and put them into the specific folders for maps and preview images. The paths I will state below are default paths for typical Windows 10 installation but may vary depending on your system and installation path. In case subfolders do not exist yet on your system, simply create them. Map files: Download: Version 0.19.6 (1 vs. 1) Version 0.19.10 (currrent) Version 0.20.7 (for upcoming release alpha23, new route through the red sea for balancing) Version 1.0.7 (30.12.2018, based on published version of 0 A.D. version alpha 23, design enhancments: red sea riffs, more nile river bank vegetation, parapets for persian base, fire places for town centers, small secret garden, other small fixes like missing ground textures, etc.) Path: “C:\users\yourname\documents\my games\0ad\mods\user\maps\skirmishes” When is the good time for deleting older versions from a post? Can I make the XML files all use the same PMP file? I noticed a zipped xml is about 10 times smaller. is the community OK with zip files? Map preview images: Download: Path: “C:\users\yourname\appdata\local\0 A.D. alpha\binaries\data\mods\public\art\textures\ui\session\icons\mappreview” In case you are playing this map, please let me know about anything that can be optimized. Thanks a lot in advance. Greetings mimesot
  8. 22 points
    I spent last 2 of my evening on the implementing of the addition light system in the pyrogenesis to find implementing bottlenecks for new objects. And I found some places, but that's not the topic. How additional lighting system looks: Fully dynamic lighting. And all light sources can be attached as props (i.e. to bones): "May the Light be with you..." But what restrictions do we have? We have 2 main: The lights can't throw shadows, because performance (we can implement it, but only few powerful videocards can handle it). There can't be many light sources in one place (at least for low videocards and since we don't support deferred rendering). Because shaders have own restrictions, particularly uniform sizes. But probably it's not the real problem. So I have a question: do we need additional light sources in near releases? Would it be real useful? P.S. I found strange normal values for some model, it should be investigated (probably the shader problem).
  9. 21 points
    0 A.D. Development Report: September 2019 – May 2020 Wildfire Games, the international group of volunteers developing 0 A.D. : Empires Ascendant, is happy to present its latest development report. If you want to find out more about the development of this open-source, cross-platform real-time strategy game or if you are interested in game development in general, it might provide an interesting read. If you want to be part of this project, feel free to visit our forums and join our active community, or just grab a task from our list of open tickets and get right to it. We are currently looking for Programmers, Translators, Historians, MapMakers, Animators and Artistsa. *names written in bold black are Wildfire Games staff and names written in bold grey are community members Summary Programming We have been working on improvements on performance, both graphical and non-graphical, to make the next Alpha run more smoothly. The map editor will no longer be laggy (creation should not be hindered!) when changing the height. You can also now search the entities in a non-strict manner, e.g. “units ptol hlr” would show “units/ptol_support_healer_a” in the list. Art Greeks, Iberians, Celts, Romans, and Carthaginians have received visual updates, with better helmets, shields, and props. Flora has also been improved with better trees, and more variety in plants and props that can be placed over the maps in the scenario editor. The bear and the baby elephants now have animations, and hippopotamuses can now be placed using the scenario editor. Special artillery towers have been added to the game, as well as a new Gaul wonder and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. New sounds for weapons and for some animals have been committed. Balancing Work has been done towards improving gameplay to fix the current balancing issues with the help of some of the best ranked lobby players and some modders. Internationalization 17 languages have reached more than 90% of translation. Programming The whole team would like to welcome Angen as a new member. Angen has been an external contributor since the beginning of 2018 and has done a lot of work towards unit behaviour improvements. He is currently working on improvements on the formation system along with general unit behavior improvements. Angen added the ability to allow cancelling trade routes. He committed some fixes for formations. He implemented the ability to display tools instead of weapons when units are approaching resources. He made the trade gain by garrisoned entities configurable which will allow for a finer balancing a75397425a3774fd.mp4 bb has also been working on various smaller code fixes with the goal to improve consistency and to make unit templates cleaner and he fixed the lag that appears on windows when shift is pressed. elexis committed a patch allowing for map specific placement in the GUI game setup page, continued working on the GUI rewrite and fixed some bugs. He implemented game-setup options for landscape and daytime and added morepreviously uncredited people to the credits. FeXoR and nani have been working on the procedural generation of maps, to allow for more realistic maps. Freagarach made it possible for the same entity in multiple control groups (ctrl + number hotkeys). He allowed for status effects to affect unit speed (e.g. slowing down a unit when hit) this will be particularly useful for mods with magic. He also added a progress bar to show the upgrade status. Mods can now make projectiles deal friendly fire. This is currently unused in the game. He also allowed for some resources to not be barterable in the market, this will also be used in mods such as 0abc (link) and Delenda Est (link) upgrade-animations-and-progress-bar.mp4 Imarok fixed an error warning with AMD CPUs, fixed the display of actions cursors over the minimap and the usage of the patrol action, and did some cleanup in the minimap code. Itms worked on some improvements to the continuous integration system. He also did some library updates for NVTT (NVIDIA Texture Tools), the library we use for our textures, with the help of adrian and s0600204 on a library called FMT (This library is used to print warnings and errors). He also worked on build fixes for Mac OS. Krinkle worked on fixing JavaScript warnings, and submitted a few fixes for MacOS support, as well as some to improve the game’s CI. linkmauve did some cleanup of the rendering engine, by removing old platform specific code which was either deprecated or superseded by SDL2, and worked towards improving multithreaded debugging. Nescio has done a lot toward improving consistency in our files, renaming them to match the same conventions, and making them easier to deal with by simplifying some of them. For example all our map files had inconsistent naming conventions, and the presence of whitespaces in their name caused issues. Stan has created a feature for mods to allow buildings to construct themselves without the need of units. He made some optimizations to the engine, and did some cleaning up of the code. He also improved the scripts that help artists check for mistakes, and made a Blender importer for game objects, reducing the amount of work it requires. He also added the ability to play visual animations when a building is upgrading, and when a tech is being researched. He is currently working with the help of OptimusShepard to fix an issue with recent AMD CPUs. If you have Zen 2 CPU and want to help please head to this forum thread and tell us. Autobuildable video (3D Printing house) Researching animations user1 and Dunedan are working on upgrading the lobby backend to be able to provide new features for the next Alphas. vladislavbelov continued working on the rendering engine to bring improved performance and visuals. The next alpha will feature a FXAA filter, allowing models to look less jagged. He also worked on better tools to debug the renderer and easier access to those through the game. He added an option to use low quality shadows on more modest machines. He also worked on the map editor, allowing it to save the panel size between each session so one does not have to resize them every time, and a non-strict search to the Atlas entity list. He is currently working with Stan to add an option to resize the map with a specific offset. Snapping (1).mp4 Snapping to buildings (video) Screenshots with/without FXAA wraitii has worked on improving the engine, cleaning the code to make it easier to extend and to optimize. He has also been reviewing patches from Freagarach with aim to add gameplay features, such as status effects. Status effects will allow units to deal more realistic damage to others. For instance, it will allow flaming arrows to keep dealing burning damage after a unit has been hit. status-effect-test2.mp4 Art Alexandermb added a Transversal Crested gallic centurion helmet, sheaths, new idle relax animations for the hoplite, and scutum shields. He also made some citizen animations for the slave and siege engine operators. Likewise, there are some new Gaul idles for swordsman and new pikeman attacking animations, new Roman republican and imperial shields, gladiator helmets, Celtic Carnyx, while he finished the bear animations, hippopotamus animations, worked on improving camel animations and gave more options to modders, new animations for siege engines and improved existing ones. He worked on improving the shield textures, allowed elephant turrets to attack by giving them an attack animation, and animated the baby elephant. 5253d395bfdc8c4e.mp4 Bigtiger has worked on some gorgeous new elm trees, new poplar trees and improved the flora LordGood added new Ptolemaic houses, committed Enrique's pines, artillery towers, new unit sounds, Hungarian oaks, bolt tower and amphitheater, updated Ptolemaic sentry tower and added a new obelisk. He has worked on a few beautiful maps and provided screenshots for advertising on social media. Artillery Towers Hungarian oaks Pompeii amphitheatre for Romans in scenario editor New Ptolemaic houses Sahyadri Buttes, a new 5 player Skirmish map Atlas Valleys is a large 8 player skirmish map Samulis created new cattle sounds. Stan added an orange firefly particle and committed new improved berry bushes by BigTiger. He updated outdated icons and cavalry icons to use the new horse assets. There are now new lavender, new bluefin tuna textures and animations. Lately he has developed new icons for the unit actions and for status effects. He created three textures and icons for bears (polar, black, brown), made two hippopotamuses textures and created a model for the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. He also replaced the current Gaul wonder by a more historically accurate one: the sanctuary of Corent. Sanctuary of Corent Fireflies raw2.mp4 bear Mausoleum at Halicarnassus Hippopotamus wackyserious improved textures for Greeks, Iberians, Romans, and Carthaginians. Judean slinger Iberian Spearmen Roman Advanced Cavalry Cretan Archer Iphicrates Roman TRIARII wowgetoffyourcellphone made some Corinthian helmet portraits, worked on some animals portraits and has given feedback on gameplay and icons and has made some of the screenshots in this development report. Miscellaneous Balancing Nescio worked with Stockfish, Badosu, ValirAnt, FeldFeld, and borg- to get some gameplay balancing patches, which were committed by other members. Documentation Beau fixed some mistakes in the documentation.² Beise is currently translating the wiki from English to German. Nescio has also been updating the English style guide, corrected many templates for consistency, and standardized hero aura descriptions and generalised tooltips. Finances Jeru made a new financial report and submitted a development report to SPI our financial sponsor. Thank everyone for all the donations. You can see more information about supporting us financially here: https://play0ad.com/community/donate/. Lobby user1 and elexis continue their work moderating in the multiplayer lobby. user1 created a a special thread on the forums to report all issues regarding the lobby. Interviews Freagarach gave a presentation at Sogyo Stan gave an interview for the Waffling Taylors podcast (https://wafflingtaylors.rocks/). The podcast should be available in June. He gave an interview with Picasoft (in French - you can find an English transcript here). Picasoft is an association at the UTC (a French school) you can read more about it here. He also gave a presentation at Avanade He also held a stand at the Capitole Du Libre in November 2019. You can find a summary here vladislavbelov did a presentation in FOSDEM 2020 about graphics pipelines in 0AD. See this thread for more information. Translations 16 languages have reached more than 90% of translation. If you want to help with your native language head over to Transifex. Gallaecio has been improving and correcting the English descriptions in-game with the help of Nescio Tournaments There has been quite a lot of activity on the competitive side! Most of the replays are available on the forums, so you can see some of the best players in action. derekO organized “double elimination” a tournament fpre organized a “survival” tournament HMS-Surprise organized the Sunday pro games tournament 1v1 commentated between 17/01/2019 and 24/11/2019. This was a competitive community event with very nice graphic designs! marcusAureliu#s organized a tournament rain_ironwolf organized a Hyrule Conquest tournament Stockfish also organized a multiplayer 0 A.D. tournament called the Primus Pilus tournament from 30/03/2020 to 29/04/2020. HMS-Surprise eventually took over to finish it. This report was written by asterix with the help of Thorfinn the Shallow Minded, Stan and Sundiata. For more details, please check wiki:Alpha24 and the roadmap. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
  10. 21 points
    New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 22 Venustas Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of 0 A.D. Alpha 22 “Venustas”, the twenty-second alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source real-time strategy game of ancient warfare. Easy Download and Install Download and installation instructions are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. 0 A.D. is free of charge and always will be. Although you might find some people selling copies of 0 A.D., either over the internet or on physical media, you will always have the option to download 0 A.D. completely gratis, directly from the developers. Moreover, you can redistribute the game and modify it freely as long as you abide by the GPL. You can even use parts of the art and sound for your own projects as long as you abide by CC BY-SA. No “freemium” model, no in-game advertising, no catch. Top New Features Remake of many models, animations and textures, two new music tracks Configuration-free Multiplayer Hosting Capture the Relic Gamemode Aura and Heal Range Visualization Twelve new maps, including scripted enemies, rising water and a tutorial Espionage Technology, Team Bonuses and Hero Auras Petra AI Diplomacy and Attack Strategies Summary Screen Graphs Cinema Path Editing Buddy System A complete list of user-relevant changes can be found in the changelog at https://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/Alpha22. Capture the Relic Mode A relic is a wagon that holds the sacred remains of a great leader. Like to have your armies boosted or construct buildings with a discount? Venture into the unknown and secure these priceless items before they fall into the hands of the enemy! The team that manages to keep all relics for a manually set amount of time wins the match. Spartans guarding a captured relic A Catafalque captured by three enemies (10MB Super-HD) New Graphics Hundreds of models, animations and textures were handcrafted to replace the lower quality art. Together with the improved icons and new main menu backgrounds, both new and experienced players can (re)discover 0 A.D.. Damage Variants and Scaffolding present (only) Carthaginian buildings in new variety: Scaffolding at construction sites (21MB Super-HD) The new unit models bring both visual and gameplay balancing improvements. Here we present the never-seen-before Ptolemian Infantry Champion Pikeman: New Ptolemian Infantry Champion Pikeman (11MB Super-HD) New Music The original soundtrack was extended by the songs "Tale of Warriors" and "Sunrise". You can hear the former in the trailer. Listen to or download the entire 0 A.D. soundtrack at: https://play0ad.com/media/music/ . Lossless quality versions can be found at https://trac.wildfiregames.com/browser/audio/trunk/music/. Configuration-Free Multiplayer Hosting This release of 0 A.D. brings hosting multiplayer matches to the mass of players. It features a new "STUN" option that enables most players to start a match without any prior internet router configuration. STUN option when hosting a lobby match Aura and Heal Range Visualization Mauryan Hero Healer Chanakya (23MB Super HD) Finally players can judge the effect range of aura bonuses and healing abilities of their fighters and supporters. A solid line indicates an aura, while the plus-symbols indicate the heal radius. New Maps Players of the new release will be able to enjoy the game in twelve new worlds! New Tutorial A new tutorial, that can be started from the "Learn to Play" option in the main menu, was put in place to help beginners find their way into the game mechanics. New Economic Walkthrough New Scripted Maps Three new maps come with scripted events that shape the story of each match. On Danubius, teams are separated by the Danube river, which is defended by reoccurring Gallic ships that focus the players fleet and land invasion forces. Each side of the river comes with a Gallic stronghold that spawns attackers until it is wiped out by the players. Danubius (9MB Super HD) On Extinct Volcano, players have about twenty minutes to rush their enemies until the water starts to rise. Attacks and marches will become risky as the water level can rise suddenly anytime. Units below the sea level will drown and buildings become unusable, so you better get the ships ready to evacuate! Extinct Volcano (9MB Super HD) On Polar Sea, there is virtually no vegetation, so players have to use their initial wood treasures and market wisely. Wolf packs reappear from time to time and look for meat. Any kind of meat! Polar Sea (11MB Super HD) Notice that these maps have not been optimized for computer players. New Regular Maps Wild Lake (15MB Super HD) Corinthian Isthmus (4) (8MB Super HD) African Plains (15MB Super HD) River Archipelago (15MB Super HD) India (12MB Super HD) Arctic Summer (13MB Super HD) The Botswanan Haven and Cinema Demo map are not depicted here. To live up to its title, the unique "Survival of the Fittest" map was reworked to spawn heroes, some never-seen units and to become exponentially more difficult in later stages of the game. Espionage Technology After having researched the Espionage technology, players are able to bribe a random trader of a selected enemy, letting it share its vision and thus supply potentially invaluable insights into the enemy's home base. The diplomacy dialog is used to select an enemy and initiate the conspiracy. Team Bonuses Each alliance between players now confers bonuses upon the allies, depending entirely on their choice of civilizations. For example, if you choose to be an ally of the Macedonians civilization, you get 20% more sales when bartering resources at the market. The exact team bonuses can be found in the History section of the "Learn to Play" menu and in the changelog at https://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/Alpha22#TeamBonuses. Hero Auras Many heroes' auras were added and rebalanced that require players to decide more wisely which leader to announce. Wish to see what our "Swag" aura can do? Play Iberians and have a great experience discovering new additions at every corner! The details are revealed in the Structure Tree of the game and in the changelog at https://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/Alpha22#Heroes. Petra Diplomacy and Attack Strategies Like to play single-player games with bots? The AI bot, Petra, became much smarter this release. It can strategically plan attack and defense strategies depending on the different types of victory conditions (Conquest, Regicide, Capture the Relic, Wonder Victory). It also fully takes capturing into consideration. The economy of the AI was improved as well. Petra now avoids establishing trade routes that cross enemy territory and researches economic technologies sooner. Find a complete list of changes at https://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/Alpha22#PetraAI. Team Notifications To improve the cooperation between players, chat notifications have been added that inform allies of tributed resources and researched phases. Summary Screen Graphics The chronology of all military and economic game statistics is now visualized in the summary screen. Track your and your team's progress throughout the game on a graph and derive factors that decided the winner of the game. Summary Graphs Buddy System Keep up with your friends and locate them in-game with this feature. As a host, you can optionally prefer buddies to become players in the match setup and allow only buddies to join running games as observers. Cinema Path Editing With Alpha 22, our map editor Atlas has received new controls to create and edit cinematic camera paths (like the ones seen in the release trailer). Try the Cinema Demo scenario map in the game and in the Atlas to see an example. Consult the Atlas manual for further instructions: https://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/Atlas_Manual_Cinematics_Tab. Cinema Path Editor Under the Hood Creating a custom mod of 0 A.D. has become easier. Hobby developers can now add new resource types and match options with a few keystrokes or debug AI matches by simulating many games in a row. The Windows and macOS helper libraries have been updated to resolve security issues. Several ways to cheat in multiplayer games were plugged. If you couldn't play the game before due to a crash, try this release! Make sure to checkout the options page and hotkeys, since new entries were added there as well. Why "Venustas"? "Venustas" is latin for "attractiveness" and was picked to match both the foremost feature of the release (the new models and animations) and the release numbering (V being the twenty second letter in the alphabet). This time we will not ask the community to find a name for the next release, Alpha 23. We have decided that we will name it after Ken Wood, one of the founders, who passed away in 2006. Support Us The work is still in progress and can use every helping hand. You can support us by translating the game into your language on Transifex, contributing art or code or simply by donating. If you experience a technical problem with the game, please report it at trac.wildfiregames.com. This is also the first address to visit when you wish to dedicate some of your time to help patching the code. Got any further questions or suggestions? Discuss them with other players and developers at the forum or talk with us directly over IRC. (The "C" stands for "chat") . Subscribe Contact info for press, bloggers, etc.: aviv@wildfireCAESARgames.com without the capitalized name of a well-known Roman dictator, whose family claimed to be the descendants of Venus.
  11. 20 points
    Dear players and contributors, As some of you may know, I have been working on integrating the new pathfinder, designed by Philip (Ykkrosh) some time ago. After months of work, I am proud to announce that the new pathfinder has been included in the SVN version of the game. However, you must not think every problem 0 A.D. encounters has been solved. The new pathfinder is in, but a lot of features are still to be implemented and some new bugs have necessarily been introduced. What is the new pathfinder? The new pathfinder is actually a new long-range pathfinder, and the short-range pathfinder has been modified and tweaked a bit to adapt it to the changes. The new long-range pathfinder implements an optimization of the A* pathfinding algorithm, known as JPS (some information here). It also comes with an entirely new "hierarchical pathfinder", which doesn't compute any paths but deals with the connectivity between two points on the map. As a consequence, it is now possible for the pathfinder to know when it is useless to try to compute a path, thus improving the performance. Before, the pathfinder computed a lot of paths before understanding that some point was unreachable. Why is not everything fixed with the new pathfinder? The main thing is that the new pathfinder is designed to solve the big problems that the old pathfinder had (for instance the discrepancies between the long-range and the short-range pathfinder, the fact that the AI couldn't access the pathfinding code, and also performance). However, not all its features have been implemented. There is still a lot of things to do, but now that the new pathfinder is in, this work can be done. On top of that, things that used to work, like formations, are not properly supported yet by the new pathfinder and are currently disabled. A lot of bugs that were fixed in the old implementation are likely to reappear in this new one. What is still to be done? - Already almost ready, but still not in: Improve the grid update performance - Coming soon: Reenable formations JPS cache Remove the AI pathfinder Discover and fix unit motion bugs introduced by the pathfinder change - For the future: A lot of things that are now possible! What else can I learn about the new pathfinder? A PDF, written by Philip and currently being updated by me when I have time, is here. You can also take a look at Philip's progress reports he wrote when working on this new pathfinder here. What can I do? You can help us by testing the game and giving some feedback! Please open Trac tickets only when you are 200% sure it is not already reported (see the list of open problems here), else post in the forums and we will do our possible to file the issue and try to fix it. We would like to have a not-too-buggy A19 despite including this huge change, which is not a simple objective. Please help us!
  12. 19 points
    Horrendously hacky but it works
  13. 19 points
    too big took too long holy crap never again
  14. 19 points
    Hi folk from 0.A.D, This is the surpirse: Proudly present the Retexture (Also remesh) of the horses in 0.A.D. Introducing more colors variety and the alpha channel hair for manes and tails done by @Sundiata: The update comes with a video tutorial of modeling and soon sculpting process for how it was done. Also the update comes with another blend file for allow blender users to bake their own horse textures, (including neon green, red orange any color they desire) Blend File: Blend file will be 2.80, but also 2.79 users could benefit from it anexing the objects and making little adjust to the nodes Baking nodes: color is managed in by a simple slider with multiple tones, or just two if desired, The body color is handed such way by the Vertex painting colors, i have defined a body paint with RGB allowing to move by another 3 sliders the way the colors are influenced by such vertex paint. There is already some predefined colors, once it finished. i would share another video of the process of baking but sadly my pc wouldn't resist such thing and could loose it since my AMD 145 enough battles has won from around 7+ years of life, and so it is my Nvidia GT520 wich already loosed his fan around 5 years ago and had to adapt another one. Some preview of the cavalry updated: Horse mesh comes with little updates to adjust more to the quality of animations, this means better knees and shoulders (meshing speaking) for a better transition of bones when rotating or moving (ie: galloping, promoting) Animations remains the same, just trot, walking and galloping were changed to move legs movements more centered as mentioned before. Blankets and body armors seems to adapt better to the new mesh due to the way the vertex are placed, making a smoother view, yet theres still some props to adapt, and more to do: Also including some distintive genetic details (not everything but at least the most noticeable) for horse fauna variation: Lusitano colors Indian Marwari Ears: Persian - Arabian contexture: Celtic breed face shape: Why suddendly horses? because i was working on updates for Mythology A.D. And realized i will need better textures for a fluid transition when making pegasus and sleipnir. Comparisson from a gameplay distance of a cavalry army Hope you all enjoy it.
  15. 19 points
    I got a head start on the black pines, could benefit from a few more variations. General purpose tree dump thread
  16. 19 points
    I've had a job as a full time construction worker for about a month now, so I think I'm reasonably well qualified to make some construction sites! I dont think a blue plastic porta-potty would fit too well in 0 AD though.
  17. 19 points
    I know you all guy have been waiting with holden breaths. I will synthesize some of Darcreavers ideas, along with comments and suggestions from others, and merge them with some concepts from my mod to propose a new gameplay for 0 a.d. I hope you guy like this. I commend you for reading all the way through. General Concept In general, most think there are structural problems with the game's design. I will not comprehensively rehash them here as there are a dozen threads on this topic. I will simply propose the vision and you guys and accept or reject it. So, in keeping with my mod, Delenda Est, I propose a "weak countryside, strong core" concept, but incoporporating some of what has been said over the past couple weeks. What I propose to do is also keep elements of the citizen-soldier concept, while also creating a hard battalions paradigm that also works with single units. The concept also takes into account many of Darc's criticisms and suggestions from others. Map Control Control of the map is crucial because of a few factors. Most important buildings, like houses and barracks, can only be built in the player's territory, so grabbing more land by building new settlements is important to population growth. These buildings are capped per settlement, so building more settlements and grabbing more land is important for building new buildings. Most resources are usually far away from the starting position of the player and are concentrated in impressive, lucrative depots. The countryside contains beneficial items like herd animals, which act like food relics, and mercenary camps, from which you can train 0-pop, fast-training mercenary soldiers. Grabbing territory or controlling the map deprives your enemy of the benefits of these things as well. Countryside Concept: Weak Countryside, Strong Core Players can now build Storehouses and Farmsteads in neutral territory. Most necessary resources are also placed in the neutral "no man's land" between starting territories of players, so now it's crucial to gather resources away from easy defenses. This is the "weak countryside." Territories now represent city-boundaries instead of national borders. Important buildings like barracks and fortresses and houses and markets must be built in the strong defensible core territory, while resourcing operations, like mining and farming, are done out in the dangerous countryside. This represents the reality of ancient times: the concept of national borders was not well-defined and many times nations and empires were separated by wild frontiers rather than by solid lines on a map. Settlement Phases, Territories, and Provinces Each Civic Center building casts a territory (Civic Centers, Wonders, and Fortresses are the only buildings to cast a significant territory range). This is a province, and each subsequently built civic center dynamically creates its own province, whose territory does not merge with an adjacent Civic Center's territory. So, each Civic Center's province is its own territory, size dictated by the Settlement Phase the province has attained, via the number of buildings built within it. Village Phase Small territory. Economic-focused. Hunt, gather berries, scout the map for herdable animals, treasures, mercenary camps, and neutral settlements. Set the foundation for your home settlement's progress. Food is the most important resource, while Wood becomes increasingly important as the player builds more buildings. Player is probably scouting heavily for farmlands, quarries, and mine shafts. Train Citizens from the Civic Center and Slaves from Storehouse and Farmstead. Citizens can upgrade to soldiers for a short time with the Town Bell for defense. More detail below in the 'Units' section. Palisade walls and wooden defense towers are available for defense. Town Phase Requires 10 buildings built within its province Territory grows by 25%. Unlocks barracks, blacksmith, market, shipyard, cult statue. Train your first citizen-soldiers and light warship. Stone and Iron now become a needed resource, for military buildings and blacksmith teching respectively. Player is probably heavily into farming on farmlands now and has captured a number of herdable animals that can be garrisoned in a corral for a free trickle of food. Stone walls become available and wooden defense towers can be upgraded individually to stone. Player may attempt to capture 1 or more neutral settlements on the map to gain a territorial advantage over the enemy. City Phase Requires 25 buildings built within its province Territory grows another 25%. Unlocks Fortress for heroes, champions, and siege weapons. Trade routes should be set up by now. New civic centers unlocked: Found new settlements now instead of only capturing neutral settlements. Mercenaries become part of the mix as mercenary camps are captured and the coin resource is acquired to hire them. Capital Phase Requires 1 Wonder, which costs 1000 wood, 1000 stone, and 1000 glory. Territory grows a final 50%. Unlocks all remaining special techs, uber techs, and siege techs Units train faster, buildings build faster, citizens and slaves gather faster inside the Capital province. Only one province can be in Capital Phase at once. If the Civic Center is destroyed or captured or the Wonder destroyed or captured, another settlement may be upgraded to Capital by building a Wonder in its province. An example of how it would work: Build 10 buildings within a village phase province and the province territory dynamically grows to reflect the new Town phase, complete with a graphic and sound effect to tell the player this has happened. The Civic Center looks bigger and more ornate, owing to the province's new size and importance. Stone walls can be built in the province now, and the wooden defense towers can be upgraded to stone defense towers. A market can be built in the province now, as well as a blacksmith. Since the barracks is now unlocked, you can train your first dedicated soldiers. Build 15 more buildings and BOING, the province grows again to the City Phase and Fortresses can be built in the province as well as special buildings. Finally, build a Wonder and DOOONG that province becomes the Capital phase, the province gains more territory, additional special techs and abilities can be researched, and things just work faster and better. Just an example of how it can work. Point is, not every province upgrades together as one. Each one can have a different phase of development. Resources As Darc suggests, I propose additional resources used for different things. I maintain that it does not matter how many resources the game has, within reason of course, only that the resources are unique, are used for logical purposes, and entities, which are units buildings and techs, only cost 2 different resources besides time and population, which are quasi-resources. Food: Every unit costs food with a few exceptions. Berries. Keep the berry bushes, but make them more visible somehow, I propose with new decals beneath them to make them stand out. Only need a batch of them at the starting points on the map. Yes, when founding a new colony, food comes from anywhere it can. Snowy maps = no berries or maybe 1 or 2 bushes; desert maps = 5 bushes; temperate, tropic, or mediterranean maps = 2 x 5 bushes. Farmlands are introduced and are usually situated just outside the starting territories of the players and then at nice flat or rolling areas of the map with few trees or rocks. Fields and Farmsteads can be built in neutral territory, so build your fields on the farmlands for a farming boost of 50% or more. Farming near Civic Centers and Temples is penalized. Hunting can be achieved with the free Scout Cavalry unit provided at the beginning of the match or by Citizens. Hunting is only a minor source of food. Fishing is the same as currently. There are Herdable Animals that are easily captured, like in Age of Empires, and can be garrisoned inside Corrals to gain a trickle of food (for sheep, cattle, and goats) or to gain a training bonus (camels, horses, elephants, etc.). These are 0 A.D.'s version of the "relics" seen in Age of Empires or Age of Mythology. Wood: Most economic and civic buildings and citizen-soldiers cost some amount of wood. There are straggler trees and then there are groves. Stragglers have a gather limit of 5 gatherers, and will not prevent the construction of buildings. A building can be build over a straggler and the straggler will be removed from the map. Groves represent sections of forest, so are larger and contain more wood resource, representing many multiples of trees. They have a gather limit of 20 and cannot be built upon. Pathfinding obstruction is removed from all trees. Groves, by representing forests, give a combat bonus to "barbarian" civs like the Iberians and Celts, while also giving a movement rate penalty to siege weapons. So, now we can have combat inside forests and maybe give some kind of ambush feature. Off the top of my head, I can see tasking a battalion of Celtic soldiers directly to a grove and then being given some kind of bonus by doing so. Like, ctrl-right-click the Celtic soldiers to the grove and get a custom cursor telling you they're going into guerilla or ambush mode when they get there, kind of like "garrisoning" the battalion into the grove. A lot easier to do something like that with a large grove object than with a bunch of individual trees. Stone: All military and defensive buildings cost stone. Slingers cost a small amount of stone. Stone is acquired from stone Outcrops and stone Quarries. Outcrops are the stone mines already in the game. 1 or 2 of them can be found near the starting base of each player. But aside hills or in the sides of mountains or cliffs are Quarries. These are large objects that look like open pit granite or marble mines. They have a "slot" on which a Storehouse can be built. Building a Storehouse on the slot claims the Quarry for the player. Gatherers can now gather from it and they don't have to shuttle back and forth to the slotted Storehouse. Iron: Mined from Mine Shafts and used to train sword units and research technologies, especially at the Blacksmith. Like a Quarry, a Mine Shaft has a "slot" on which to build a Storehouse and claim the Mine Shaft for the player. Gatherers can then be garrisoned into the mine entrance to gather the Iron. They will shuttle iron resource into and out of the mine entrance to and from the Storehouse. If the player's Storehouse is destroyed by the enemy, the gatherers inside the mine die. Coin: Call this silver, call this gold, call this coin, call this Precious Metal, I don't care. I'll call it Coin for this presentation. This is primarily gained from Trade, either with yourself or with your allies, and sometimes can be had via Treasure or Loot. Used to train Champions and Heroes and recruit Mercenaries. Coin is also the basis for the Barter system at the Market. By capping the bartering system to a Con-based system, you must now choose to use the Coin to barter or to buy things like Heroes, Champions, special techs, etc. A Coin-based barter system helps prevent resource floating because you can't now use a plentiful resource like Wood to flood the market and get easy iron or easy stone. Glory: Directly from Delenda Est, this is attained by building Cult Statues and by killing enemy units and buildings. Cult Statues are praised by units to gain the Glory resource that is used to train heroes, research special technologies and battalion upgrades, and Wonders. Glory is the only resource Soldiers and Heroes can help you gather, by killing enemy units. Individual hero units can also gather Glory by praising Cult Statues alongside gatherers. Buildings Buildings are largely the same as they are now, with some major and minor changes. The Civic Center, Mercenary Camp, Outpost, Wonder, and Dock are the only capturable buildings. Econ, Defensive, and Military buildings must be destroyed. Not all buildings are listed here, just some of them with some notes. Civic Center Used to train Citizens and create provinces. Besides Wonders and Fortresses, Civic Centers are the only buildings that cast a significant territory. Provincial territories created by Civic Centers do not merge or overlap, but may border one another. Phase techs removed as researchable techs with costs. Instead, they exist in the Civic Center UI to tell the player the prerequisite for phasing up. The tech itself is auto-researched once the required number of buildings is built. Settlement phases can vary per Civic Center/Province. This dictates what the player can build in each province and how large each province's territory is. Capturing a Civic Center immediately transfers control of that's province's ungarrisoned houses, temples, and markets to the capturing player. Dock and Shipyard Civs with more than 1 warship class receive a warship-centered Shipyard, which is separate from the economic-focused Dock. Docks are capturable, Shipyards destroyable. Corral Sheep/Goat training either removed or revamped. Primary purpose is to house Herdable Animals, which act like "relics" from Age of Empires and Age of Mythology. Techs revamped to this new focus. Houses In Village and Town phase houses can be built. City phase unlocks the tenement building or city block building, which is a large "house" structure that gives 2.5x the pop cap bonus as a standard house. Market Can configure to gain a "tax" trickle of coin, and perhaps all other resources besides glory. Set up trade routes between markets or market and civic center, haven't decided, to gain the coin resource. Trade with allies is more lucrative, but trade with other provinces of your empire is possible. Max 5 traders per market, 1 market per province. Bartering is a coin-based system. Sell food, wood, stone, and iron for coin, or buy those resources with coin. Cult Statue Each Cult Statue is more expensive than the last. Building these gives you the Glory resource. Each one gives a slow trickle. Task citizens or slaves or other individual units to the cult statue to praise it and get more Glory. Fighting and killing enemy units and buildings gains the player more Glory. Mercenary Camps Between 1 and 2 of these per player on every map. Hire mercenary battalions, who train fast and cost 0 pop, but are limited to 3 battalions for the first merc camp, and +1 for each new one captured. They're also rather expansive, costing coin and some other resource. Capturing Buildings Capturing is an important feature of the game. Capturing an enemy civic center gains that province for the player and can be devastating to the enemy. Capturing is modified a bit to be a decisive element to the strategy of the game. Soldiers will default to capturing these buildings instead of destroying them, though, with the exception of Mercenary Camps, it is possible to toggle on kill-attack and destroy these buildings instead. Capturable Buildings: Civic Center Capturing a Civic Center also captures all the ungarrisoned houses, markets, and temples in that province. This is a decisive action. Neutral Settlements These are neutral or Gaia civic centers found on the map. The initially cast no territory until captured. Mercenary Camps Capture these to train mercenary battalions. Wonder Capturing an enemy player's wonder removes the Capital phase designation and bonuses from the enemy player's province. Dock Outpost Units Okay, here you have my proposal for units. A way to maintain some citizen-soldier features while implementing a real battalion combat system with cool upgrades. Integrates a lot of what has been talked about on various threads. Gatherers and other support units are individual units, while fighters are battalions. Slaves. These are like Dwarves in Age of Mythology. They do nothing but gather resources and cost 1 pop. Low health, capturable, they can be "Upgraded" to Forced Labor mode, where they gather resources at a much faster rate, but start to lose health in the process. These are your strictly economic units. Trained from Storehouses and Farmsteads. In Delenda Est, I distinguish male and female slaves, which adds a nice twist, but this isn't completely necessary for the concept to work. Citizens cost 2 pop, trained from the Civic Center. Have a "Slave Masters" aura that replaces the female citizen aura. It boosts the production rates of the Slaves. Citizens are gatherers too, but not nearly as good at gathering resources as the Slaves are. Their main benefit besides managing the Slaves is that they build buildings. They are capturable. Now, I propose there be a change to the Town Bell. So that, with the Town Bell, the Slaves run and hide, while Citizens don a militia kit and fight against invaders. For Greco-civs this kit is that of a light-armored hoplite for example. This still makes raids effective, as while they do this they aren't gathering, of course. If the Town Bell isn't rung, then the Citizens only fight back with knives and pitchforks -- would be cool if they fight back with whatever econ tool they were using -- hoes and pitchforks if they were farming, axe if they were wood cutting, mallets and hammers if they were building, etc. Obviously low attack strength, armor low, very weak, easy to kill when not mustered. When Town Bell rings they don armor and true spears after a "Muster Time" which can be reduced with techs. Attack and armor doubled when mustered. But while in this state they are a formidable defensive force, you do not want to keep them in this state for longer than necessary, because you want them to go empower slaves to gather resources, build or repair buildings, etc., basically you want them to go back to civilian life asap. The Town Bell is given to Storehouses and Farmsteads now too, with smaller radius, so that if a resourcing operation is being raided, you can ring the bell for that Storehouse, for example, and the Slaves hide in the Storehouse while the Citizens don their kit after mustering and attempt to defend the site. Citizen-Soldiers are train from the Barracks. They have the Slave Masters aura too, a nod to their citizen status, but they do not gather. They are mustered to fight and are always ready for battle. They can, however, build some select military and defensive buildings, like Fortresses, Defense Towers, and Catapults. These guys are battalion troops. They are trained in battalions, live build fight and die in battalions. They accrue experience and rank up, just like the current Citizen-soldiers do, but on a per-battalion basis. They tend to only cost Food and Wood, your "trash" units, but some like swordsmen can cost small amounts of iron or slingers a small amount of stone instead of wood. Each battalion costs 10 pop. Mercenaries cost 0 pop and recruit quickly, but have a low train limit, something like 2 battalions per captured Mercenary Camp, which are scattered about the map, usually 2 per player. Mercenaries do not contribute to Loot (they keep it themselves), but are trained at the Advanced rank (some elite mercs are trained at the Elite Rank, but are costlier). They are not Slave Masters, since they aren't citizens, but can build military buildings like Citizen-Soldiers. They usually cost Coin and some other resource, depending on their soldier class (e.g., swordsman, spearman, slinger, etc.). Champions. Next up are your professional soldiers. Just like currently, they do nothing but fight and are usually trained from the Fortress or some other strong or special building. Like Citizen-Soldiers, they live fight and die in battalions. They aren't Slave Masters, so have zero economic benefit, but they boost the effectiveness of Citizen-Soldier battalions who fight nearby. Champion battalions guys can be bolstered with battalion upgrades, like Noisemakers and Officers, that give benefits. A Noise Maker, such as a flutist or trumpeter, unlocks the inspiration aura that boosts nearby citizen-soldiers, while the Officer boosts that particular Champion battalion. Champions have a battalion limit determined by gameplay testing, but generally 4 or 5 max, if a typical army ends up being 15-20 battalions of Citizen-Soldiers. Champions are supposed to be the best of the best, your shock troops, while the Citizen-Soldiers are the "rank 'n file" line troops. Champions cost Food and Coin and 15 pop. Heroes can come with guard battalions --usually champions or modified champions -- or as single units, depending on the hero and his historical and gameplay role. For instance, Chanakya, the advisor and teacher, would come as a single unit while Leonidas would train with a battalion of heavy-duty Spartiate Hippeis hoplite champions. Of course, in Atlas for scenarios it's possible to have the individual hero available. Heroes have special abilities and auras. About 10 standard auras and abilities should be decided through testings and debate, and then doled out to the heroes based on history, IMHO, with maybe some minor variations, and of course with custom names. Right now the auras are very scattered and unbalanced. Tighten that up. They cost Coin and Glory. Single heroes cost 3 pop. Heroes with champion guards cost 15 pop. Healers cost Food and Glory, while Traders cost Food and Wood. Healers can heal one soldier or unit at a time or can be attached to battalions, giving all soldiers in the battalion a slow healing effect. Traders are less numerous than currently, capped at 5 for every Market built, which are themselves capped at 1 for every settlement/Civic Center. They trade in the Coin resource, which can be used to purchase other resources at the Market if necessary. By capping the bartering system to a Coin-based system, you must now choose to use the Coin to barter or to buy things like Heroes, Champions, special techs, etc. A coin-based barter system helps prevent resource floating because you can't now use a plentiful resource like Wood to flood the market and get easy iron or easy stone. Scout Cavalry cost only Food and 1 pop. All civs get them. They're weak, but they can hunt and scout very well. Every civ gets at least 1 at the start of the match. Train limit is 2, retrainable from the Civic Center if killed. Movable and packable Siege Weapons are trained from the Fortress, but the Catapult siege weapon is buildable by soldiers in the field, on anyone's territory, including neutral and enemy territory, after researching Ballistics at the Fortress. Bolt Shooter weapons are packable and moveable, and can be stationed/garrisoned atop walls, towers, fortresses, and aboard ships. Siege weapons tend to cost Wood and Iron and around 5 pop. Warships generally cost Food and Wood. Upgrade individual heavy warships with catapults for a cost. Garrison archer battalions or Bolt Shooters aboard for greater firepower. Ram other ships for a devastating attack. Boarding left for 0 A.D. Part 2, unless someone magically comes along and wants to code units fighting atop decks and walls. I feel like garrisoning and ramming is enough naval combat complexity for Part 1. Battalions and Combat Battalions Citizen-Soldiers, Mercenaries, Champions, and some Heroes are no longer individuals, they are part of a group or battalion. Guys, I will give you the rundown of how it would work. Training Soldiers are trained in battalions and live and die in battalions. A battalion of melee infantry would have 24 soldiers for example. They are trained 1 battalion at a time. Shift-train queue up 5 battalions in a row and give a "batch" discount not unlike the batch discount game already has. The soldiers exit the building together as a battalion and head off to the rally point. Cost A battalion of citizen-soldiers (Spear Infantry, 24 soldier) would cost roughly 600 500 10, so 1 large house or 2 small houses have pop for 1 battalion. In a 300 pop match player might have 20 battalions to manage instead of 200 separate units. Reducing the micro-management is okay, because additional management and features are added elsewhere. Continue reading. Extra Units and Upgrades A battalion will have 1 or more extra eye candy soldier to help distinguish each battalion. Default: Bannerman. He comes automatically with each battalion and costs nothing extra. He does not fight and does not die until the last soldier in the battalion dies, then the Bannerman dies. Enemy soldiers ignore him like he is just a ghost actor. This is the Aquilifer for the Romans for example. Champion and Elite Upgrade: Noise Maker. Upgrade battalion with a noise maker dude that increases the effectiveness of nearby citizen-soldier battalions. For example for the Celts this would be the man who blows the Carnyx (intimidation). For the Romans this is the man who plays the Cornūs . Athenians, Spartans, Thebans get a flutist who plays the Aulos. Champion and Elite Upgrade: Officer. Upgrade battalion with an officer unit who fights. He is tenacious, with double or triple the health of other soldiers in his battalion. He is the Centurio for the Roman civs, the Polemarch for the Spartans, etc. His presence in the battalion makes that battalion all-around better at everything until he is killed. Heroes: Some heroes can have a bodyguard so that they are their own battalion (like Octavian Augustus comes within a battalion of Praetorian Cavalry, Leonidas comes within a battalion of Hippeis Spartans, Xerxes come in a battalion of Apple Bearers, etc.), while some heroes train as individuals, depending on each hero. A hero in a battalion is treated by the enemy just like any other soldier in the battalion. The Hero takes his/her place right in front of the bannerman on the right corner of the battalion (the place of the "officer"). Reinforce: If near a barracks a low strength battalion could be reinforced with new free soldiers (they appear behind bannerman and assume their place in line). Can be done with an aura or can implement a new mechanic where a battalion is tasked to a Barracks or Fortress for reinforcement to happen. Promote: Each battalion accrues Experience, or XP, when fighting. When battle is over, the player can promote the whole battalion at once if that battalion has accrued enough XP. Or we can get rid of XP entirely, and just use the new Glory resource. A battalion can be promoted from basic to advanced or from advanced to elite at any time, provided the player has enough Glory resource banked up. Selection and Movement Selecting any soldier in the battalion select whole battalion. Soldiers in battalion will squeeze together to fit the battalion through narrow pathways. When sent over long distance, battalion form into column to snake around obstacles and through narrow paths. User Interface Every battalion that is created gets automatically a ctrl-group icon on left of screen. Ctrl-groups can be made by the player for multiple battalions if player wishes. These get a different icon, along the left of screen. Vision and Range Finding Vision range calculation, aka "Line of Sight", can be performed on a per battalion basis, as can range finding, at least for ranged units. This could significantly help reduce CPU overhead? Formations How do they work? Soldiers fight in formation and generally hold the shape of the formation within parameters. The more men in the formation the closer they hold the formation. As men die, the formation cohesion lessens. Number of formation buttons are reduced (fewer formations than currently in the game; this is okay, you will see) Formations give bonuses and penalties Can be altered with a small number of Formation Modifiers Most civ will only have 3 Formations for their Battalions and then 3 Modifiers There is "frontal" or "directionality", based per battalion not per soldier for simplicity. Frontal armor at 100%, Left and Right armor at 50%, Rear armor at 25% of the given stat Could make this a little more in-depth, by making the hack and pierce armor values different based on directionality of incoming strikes. Formations and uses Column Civilizations: All Unit Classes: All Auto/Manual: Automatic, when distance between waypoints is long, is applied automatically to the battalion Modifiable: Yes Bonus: 1.25x Speed Penalty: .75x All Armor, so more vulnerable to ambush-like attacks Battle Line Civilizations: All Unit Classes: Infantry and Cavalry Auto/Manual: Automatic, this is the DEFAULT battalion formation for these classes of units Modifiable: Yes Bonus: +2 Frontal Hack and Pierce Armor, +1 Frontal Crush Armor Penalty: .9x Speed Wedge Civilizations: All Unit Classes: Melee Cavalry Auto/Manual: Automatic, this is when Melee Cavalry are task to CHARGE Modifiable: Yes Bonus: +1.25x Charge Bonus in addition to regular charge bonus if charge is initiate at "sweet spot" distance, not too far not too close to target Penalty: -2 Pierce Armor, makes the cavalry more vulnerable to missile, which they usually are not Testudo Civilizations: Rome (Republicans and Principates) Unit Classes: Melee Infantry Auto/Manual: Manual Modifiable: No Bonus: +3 Hack Armor, +4 Pierce Armor, +5 Crush Armor Penalty: .25x Speed, Soldiers within it can only respond to direct melee attacks made against them personally Sparabara Wall Civilizations: Persians (Achaemenids) Unit Classes: Archer Infantry Auto/Manual: Manual Modifiable: No Bonus: +5 Frontal Pierce Armor Penalty: Is a stationary formation, will not move when in this formation Abstract: The famous Persian archery shield wall; Great for archery duels Formations Modifier When a formation above is chosen, the Formation Modifiers available for that Formation become available (unavailable modifiers are greyed out) Close Order Civilizations: All Formations: Column, Battle Line, Wedge Unit Classes: All Auto/Manual: Auto, this is the DEFAULT modifier for formations Effect: Units are spaced close together, but their shields do not touch or overlap Open Order Civilizations: All Formations: Battle Line, Wedge Unit Classes: All Auto/Manual: Manual Effect: Soldier are spaced farther apart, with additional space between files and rows Benefit: Helps reduce effects of incoming splash and trample damage Penalty: -1 Hack Armor (but any Crush and Pierce bonuses remain; subject to testing) Locked Shields Civilizations: Athen Spart Mace Sele Ptol Cart Theb Epir Formations: Battle Line Unit Classes: Spear Infantry and Pike Infantry Auto/Manual: Manual Effect: Units are spaced close enough their their shields overlap, creating a shield wall Bonus: +3 Frontal Armor Bonus in addition to regular frontal bonus for Battle Line; Units in 2nd rank can attack through the front for spears, units in 2nd and 3rd rank can attack through front for pikes. Penalty: .75x All Armor from Flanks, .25x All Armor from Rear, .8x Speed Abstract: This is the Hellenic and Hellenistic "phalanx" for hoplite-style spear infantry. It is the "syntagma" for pike-style spear infantry. Later, in Part 2, this is the Shield Wall for the Germanic culture (Sueb, Alamm, Goth, Frank) Army Behavior When 2 or more battalions are selected, Army Behaviors kick in. When sent over long distance, they form a column together and snake to their destination. When the player tasks multiple battalions to an area they will automatically arrange in a classic "battle formation" (melee infantry in middle, cavalry on wings, archer in back) when they arrive, or... We could add Army Formations if we wanted to which show up in place of battalion formations in the UI when multiple battalions are selected. Acies Triplex, Refused Flank, etc. Either way, when move command to somewhere, they end up organized, not a mess. Anyway guys, this is my proposal. Athena bless you, if you read the whole thing. Let me know where the hole lie.
  18. 18 points
    All the members of Wildfire Games wish you a Happy New Year 2018. May it be full of wonderful surprises and of achievements in your projects and personal lives! As for 0 A.D., the year ended with a great recognition from our community of players and followers: we were awarded a Honourable Mention in IndieDB's Indie of the Year competition! This is the best we can achieve considering we already made it to the top 5 in 2012 and cannot be ranked again... unless we enter the Released category! Be sure that we are headed towards that direction. We are looking forward to all the new things happening to the game in 2018 and we thank you, old-timers and newcomers in the community alike, for being a part of it
  19. 17 points
    Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, is happy to announce the re-release of 0 A.D. Alpha 23 “Ken Wood”, the twenty-third alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source real-time strategy game of ancient warfare. This version is a maintenance release. Blocking bugs were fixed and security and legal issues were addressed. The gameplay remained untouched, and both versions of Alpha 23 are multiplayer-compatible; however we advise you to upgrade to benefit from the following fixes. The team wishes to apologize for the delay in re-releasing. We have addressed other issues whenever we couldn't make more progresses on the game itself, so the re-release has not been a completely negative procedure. Easy Download and Install Download and installation instructions are available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. 0 A.D. is free software. This means you are free to download, redistribute, modify and contribute to the application under the same licenses (GPL v2 or a later version for code and Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 for artwork, see license). Although you might find some people selling copies of 0 A.D., either over the internet or on physical media, you will always have the option to download 0 A.D. completely gratis, directly from the developers. No “freemium” model, no in-game advertising, no catch. Improvements Multiplayer lobby Major fixes: Hosting and joining games on the lobby now works reliably on macOS. Lobby lag and freezes have been fixed. Measures have been taken to prevent lobby denial-of-service attacks. STUN cannot be abused to make clients crash anymore. Game start times have been improved (by up to 10s) when no AI players are present. This prevents disconnects on game starts. Quality of life: Lagging players can be reported at game start. Disconnects and quits are better handled during game loading. The "I'm Ready!" status can now be reverted by right-clicking the button. Hosts can no longer start games if some player is not ready. Auto-completion of chat messages in the game setup has been improved. Network synchronization Out-of-sync (OOS) issues arise when the clients of different players compute the simulation differently. Our OOS debunking work flow has been improved. Specific OOS issues on game rejoin have been resolved for the Danubius map and for square maps, as well as after double-clicking on the "Start game!" button. Kushites in-game text During the Alpha 23 release, Transifex (our translation platform) had not updated a few resources, resulting in some localized in-game text relating to the Kushites not appearing in the game, despite the hard work of our translators. The missing strings now appear in the game. GDPR compliance The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on May 25th, 2018, just as we were releasing Alpha 23. We decided to take the bull by the horns and to continue working on the re-release by making 0 A.D. compliant and more secure. All the sub-services that collect personal data from you now feature a Privacy Policy and updated Terms of Service and of Use. To continue playing the game, you will have to accept all future modifications of those policies. In a few days, we will release the Privacy Policies of our websites to make them GDPR-compliant as well. New privacy policies For more information, now and in the future, please see the related wiki page: https://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/UserDataProtection Security The lobby server was upgraded to the latest versions of its distribution and software. The lobby client now supports the TLS cryptographic protocol. Lobby authentication is now required (new feature of A23). Secure HTTPS links are now used wherever possible in the game. Miscellaneous Lobby buddies are no longer printed in the main application log. A build issue on Arch Linux has been resolved. Support of biomes in map previews has been fixed. mod.io status update Alpha 23 saw the launch of mod.io, a platform for hosting and sharing mods, which allowed us to build a mod downloader inside 0 A.D. A few months later, we can say that this launch was a massive success! We went over the 10k downloads milestone, and at the time of writing, we are steadily headed towards the 50k one. We warmly thank the modders for their incredible work of making their mods work with A23, and uploading them to mod.io. It is thanks to them and the players that 0 A.D. is #1 on the platform! Don't hesitate to subscribe there if you want to receive notifications about new mods and secure our place on the platform. Support us The work is still in progress and can use every helping hand. We are looking for programmers, especially those interested in improving our game engine (written in C++), and most notably its graphics pipeline. Javascript programmers are also welcome to help develop the game mechanisms. Artists are always needed: in particular good animators and environment artists who could give our terrain textures a boost, and create more eye-candy. You can also help with translating the game in your language at Transifex, by donating, or simply by spreading the word around you. If you experience a technical problem with the game, please report it at trac.wildfiregames.com. This is also the first address to visit when you wish to dedicate some of your time to help patching the code. Got any further questions or suggestions? Discuss them with other players and developers at the forum or talk with us directly in the IRC chat. Subscribe Contact info for press, bloggers, etc.: aviv@wildfireAETHIOPIAgames.com without the capitalized name Herodotus used to designate the Kingdom of Kush.
  20. 17 points
    Sorry to be a snitch/not sorry, but there is a limit to things. I ignore this type of unprovoked bigotry and racism in the vast majority of cases. But it's a bit different if it's deemed acceptable for a regular visitor of the Multiplayer Lobby to use the crowded lobby to espouse overt religious extremism, spamming out any normal discussion people might be having, and then out of the blue turns it into a heavy racial rant as well. Read pesem's messages. There's a limit... I want to clarify very clearly that this is only a small part of a much larger rant that went on for a while. It wasn't provoked either. He just joined the lobby and started ranting about how only Jesus can save us. I guess he saw me online, and decided to go all anti-African... What kind of Christianity is that? I had one previous encounter with him, the time before last, when he was ranting even longer about Jesus, and that women in tight dresses were the devil trying to tempt us and blablabla... I asked him if he always does that in the lobby and the ranting became even worse. @Hannibal_Barca eventually muted him this time because he launched personal attacks. But here's my second problem. I originally asked if there were moderators online and @user1 responded. I asked him to ban the account based on the considerable rant he could read for himself, but he just ignored me and left again. The racist ranting continued unabated, and I notified user1 again, and told him that kids play this game. His astonishing answer was that you needed to be at least 13 years old to play, and promptly left again, further ignoring me. The racist ranting continued. So what is he saying? 13 year olds aren't kids? Hardcore racism is perfectly fine in the lobby? I should stop bothering him? How long has this nonsense been going on? Kids play this game... Africans play this game... Other non-supremacists play this game... I don't know if Pesem is a schizophrenic mad man or if he's just a super troll. I honestly don't care. This behaviour should never be tolerated, and I feel embarrassed to have to make a post about this. I'm disappointed that such behaviour is deemed acceptable, and expect this to end. Religious extremism, racism and sexism have no place in a multiplayer lobby where people get banned/muted for way less. I have to deal with Christian extremist neighbours in real life, and faced more racism (actual violence) than anyone should have to in their life. I'm going to throw one hell of a tantrum if I have to tolerate it in the lobby as well. I go there to relax. Not to find out that in fact, I'm a soulless monkey created by satan.
  21. 17 points
    We welcome the constructive approach chosen by the creators of Fork AD. We didn't, indeed, agree on the design of the development environment, on the communication methods, and on how to ultimately make the process enjoyable for all team members. We are happy that they can still contribute to 0 A.D. as a project, even if it is as a separate group. We are grateful for their many past contributions and we hope that the new situation brings balance to both teams. Nevertheless, Wildfire Games wishes to clarify that we have been making progress on the game continuously and continue doing so. Much of the recent work was either administrative, or targeted at the future Alpha 24, thus could not be directly seen in the number of commits made. Members of the community have expressed a desire to be more involved and informed, so we are taking measures to open up some internal discussions. This will allow our hard work to be more visible. On behalf of the team,
  22. 17 points
    Thank you All! For those of you that haven't realized yet, "The Kushites" will feature in the next release of the vanilla version of 0 A.D.: Empires Ascendant. Naturally, I couldn't be be more excited about this It is the culmination of 16 months of research and development. An epic collaboration between many esteemed (volunteer) members of the Wildfire Games Forum. This mammoth task would absolutely not have been possible without the contributions, support and interest from the community, and for this I will be forever grateful! It has been an absolute honor to collaborate with you all, and I sincerely hope to continue this collaboration on other projects as well. I would like to take the opportunity to formally thank the following people, who were instrumental in getting this project off the ground (apologies for tag-spam): @LordGood: The Master Modeler... Miracle Man... The Virtual Architect... The Guru... Imhotep Himself! @wowgetoffyourcellphone: The Master Modder... The Bringer to Life of the first playable incarnation of the Kushites... The man with a million good ideas! @stanislas69: The dude that made the major commit. The Tireless Fixer of Things. The skilled texture and modeling artist. The organizer! @elexis: The Code Charmer, Maker of Worlds (maps), also a tireless fixer of things, getting things done! @wackyserious: Commander of the Wardrobe, The Digital Fashion Designer, Maker of Units! @Hannibal_Barca: The Statistician, Master of the Tightrope, balance is his game! @Alexandermb: Maker of all sorts of Things, Lord of the Horses, The Virtual Weapon Smith... @Lion.Kanzen: Spanglish Man, Fashioner of Emblems, your enthusiasm should inspire us all! @balduin: Maker of the first Github, Organizer of Info, Asker of Questions @Skhorn: The City Planner, Major of Napata, Builder of the Great Temple Complex at Jebel Barkal @Sundiata: The Man That Just Tagged Himself, Knower of Things, the "could-you-maybe-do-it-like-that"-guy In addition to that list, a number of individuals contributed significantly behind the scenes in fields I honestly barely understand (code/balancing/testing) and provided invaluable feedback: @mimo @temple @Imarok @Grugnas @borg- @s0600204 @Itms @feneur @Pureon Thank you all!!! And thank you for the many likes and kind words of support for this topic: @Servo, @shieldwolf23, @GunChleoc, @av93, @fatherbushido, @Loki1950, @tuk0z, @Palaxin, @Prodigal Son, @Enrique, @Desophaeus, @AgamemnonPhlemnon, @Zophim, @Juli51, @SDM, @Nescio, @niektb and others. I sincerely apologize to anyone I may have left out (let me know) The second reason I tagged you all is because: In preparation for the next release and future reference purposes, the original post that started this whole journey has been completely and comprehensively re-written and updated. All images have been replaced by higher quality versions (directly uploaded to the server) and hundreds more have been added. Almost everything that was used as a reference in the creation of this new faction can be seen there, and so much more. I wished to update it further and eliminate some spelling mistakes and awkward sentences + more detail (I tried), but alas, I am no longer able to edit it any further. A more comprehensive and updated pdf version will be made available in the coming months. Feel free to give it a read and provide feedback. Maybe you might get some future ideas / see something I missed / improvements for the Kushites in-game: Maybe some of you reading might be wondering, what makes the addition of this civ so special? Why is the research so important to this guy? Simply put, it was a labor of love. Kushite history has been unduly obscured for a very long time, but times have changed. This is the most historically accurate representation of the Kushites in a computer game ever, and one of the first times that the Kushites even feature at all. Only Rise of Nations features the "Nubians" in the standard version and there are a few mods and DLC's (for Civilization VI (Nubians) and Total War), but they are not all that historically accurate... In fact, the Kushites in 0 A.D. may be the first truly historically accurate African civilization in a game ever. The original research post has become the most richly and accurately illustrated history of Kush ever published on the internet and has formed the backbone for the references of models, units and gameplay. This is the most important Sub Saharan civilization of Antiquity and one of the longest lasting civilizations anywhere. A forgotten powerhouse that should really be remembered. By adding the Kushites, 0AD has also added the only civilization in-game that was invaded by Rome, and successfully maintained their territorial and political integrity. They also stood their ground against Persians and Ptolemies, while reaching high levels of culture in almost every respect, making this new civ a formidable and well fleshed out faction. Diverse, and absolutely beautiful! Once again, thank you all! And most importantly, have fun playing!
  23. 17 points
    Hi everyone, I'm trying to improve cinematic camera code. I think the adding cutscenes in scenarios maps makes them more exciting. After trompetin17 AtlasUI2 merging, you can find patch with UI tool at #3301. Cutscene starts when path has added to playlist from map triggers, and after every path end triggers are receiving an event: which path was ended. I want to share with you for some results. Example of camera movement: And camera path for that: UPDATE0 Camera movement with target movement:
  24. 17 points
    (available as a mod here: https://github.com/AlexanderOlkhovskiy/0ad-space)
  25. 17 points
    Well, i'm starting to make new animations for every type of unit in the game. It's a slow work so i'll be uploading every progress on the animation proposal. if something doesn't look good or can be improved please tell me, that's why i made this topic. FEMALE CITIZEN
  26. 17 points
    (No, I'm not trying to 're-envision' how techs work in 0ad, don't worry!) A while ago, Pureon showcased some of the icons the art team had been working on (http://www.wildfiregames.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=17025) and along with a selection of icons, he also displayed a Tech/Structure tree concept: I liked the idea (as did the commenters in that topic) and so I decided to attempt to implement it - with a little interpretation. After months of on/off development (mostly off than on) and various revisions, I have got it to a point where I'm happy to share it with the community. Here's a screenshot: A live interactable version can be found here: http://s06eye.co.uk/0ad/techtree-v2 And the code is on github here: https://github.com/s0600204/0ad-techtree-v2 Please note that this is no more finished than 0ad is. There are changes to come, efficiency improvements, appearance tweaks and such. But I thought I'd share my progress and get some (hopefully favourable) feedback. Enjoy! Update! It is now possible to see this in-game. See this post for details! Code Updates: 21st October : Tooltip positioning is better. 22nd October : Stats are now loaded from parent templates properly 23rd October : Tooltips now have the same descriptions used in-game; and for units and structures, attack and armour stats are shown where applicable. 3rd December : Three more community mods available for comparison, rewrite much of the data parsing code. 30th March : Big update to mods' simulation data, and modifications to permit aristeia's phase-pair techs
  27. 16 points
    Just a work in progress for the mod I'm making. It's a storehouse for the Mali Empire
  28. 16 points
    Hey everyone, Several years ago I was considering creating a sci-fi RTS here in 0AD. Due to my other project taking up too much time, I sort of set it off to the side. After getting fed up with the Medieval 2 engine I'm considering porting that big project, Hyrule Total War to 0 A.D. now. I've started some preliminary work, porting a few of the static buildings over from Medieval 2 into 0AD: I just have a few questions before I make the decision: I thank anyone for their replies, and I hope I can come back to 0AD soon.
  29. 16 points
    Hello everyone, I have been interested in making it possible to explore applications of machine learning in 0 AD (as some of you may have gathered from https://trac.wildfiregames.com/ticket/5548 ). I realized that I haven't really explained very thoroughly my interest and motivation so I figured I would do so here and see what everyone thinks! tl;dr - At a high level, I think that adding an OpenAI gym-like interface* could be a cool addition to 0 AD that would benefit both 0 AD (technically and in terms of publicity) as well as the research community in machine learning and AI. I go into the specifics below as well as discuss other potential avenues for integrating/leveraging machine learning: Potential Machine Learning Problems/Applications Intelligent unit control (micromanagement) I have an example where an AI learns to kite with cavalry archers when fighting infantry at https://github.com/brollb/simple-0ad-example. This is probably one of the easiest problems to explore as it can be done progressively starting with small, clearly defined scenarios using the functionality added in the beforementioned ticket. That said, there are still some of the standard challenges present with machine learning around ensuring that the AI has been trained on sufficiently diverse scenarios so that it doesn't ever encounter something new and behave incorrectly. As far as potential impact on the game, automatic micromanagement could be interesting for either a component in an otherwise scripted AI such as Petra or as a way to make the units more intelligent as they gain experience. That is, I could imagine that as the units gain more experience, they could also start having improved tactical behavior, such as kiting, automatically. Enemy AI Trained Entirely with Reinforcement Learning This is actually very difficult although it has been recently done in StarCraft 2 (https://deepmind.com/blog/article/alphastar-mastering-real-time-strategy-game-starcraft-ii). Although I think this could be fun for people to try to do, I wouldn't have high expectations on this front for awhile because it is a very hard problem for ML to solve - especially given the large number of different civilizations, maps, resource types, etc. Enemy AI with Scripting and Learned Components This is referring to a generic version of what I mentioned under "intelligent unit control". Essentially, there are a lot of opportunities to incorporate learned components into an otherwise scripted AI. From a technical perspective, this makes the machine learning problem much easier/tractable while still enabling more intelligent behavior from the built in AI. There are many different examples of intelligent components that could be incorporated. For example, it could try to predict the outcome of a battle (to determine if we should retreat) or try to imitate various high-level human strategies (such as predicting what a human might target for an attack). Quantitative Game Balancing This is a very interesting problem and I find 0 AD to be a particularly unique opportunity for exploring it. Essentially, the idea is that there are many different parameters in a game (such as attack damage for each unit, etc) which are quite difficult to tune without making the game imbalanced and one of the civilizations/strategies OP. (I don't think I need an example for this community but I enjoyed watching https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1012211/Design-in-Detail-Changing-the.) This problem is nontrivial since detecting overpowered strategies really requires an understanding of the way various aspects of the game can be exploited. Although this is a nontrivial problem, I find it to be an exciting opportunity for 0 AD to gain publicity and for researchers to have a sandbox in which they can explore this research question in an actual game (rather than a trivial, toy environment). That is, many of the other environments used in reinforcement learning research are either open source toy environments (eg, CartPole) or proprietary games which cannot be modified (eg, StarCraft 2). There has been a bit of related research in detecting imbalance in complex games like StarCraft 2 as well as balancing simpler games but as proprietary games will not be exposing the parameters used for the units (and other aspects of the game), automatic game balancing approaches are limited. Being an open source game that people actually play, 0 AD provides a really exciting opportunity for research in this direction as the parameters of the game are not proprietary and could be modified programmatically enabling researchers to explore this rather complex problem. For the 0 AD community, enabling researchers to conduct this type of research in the game itself should make it much easier to be able to incorporate any results of such research into the game making 0 AD more fun and an even better game! Imitation Learning Training the AI to imitate humans is worth mentioning although the impact on the game is likely to be in one of the beforementioned ways. Imitation learning, unlike reinforcement learning, is training the AI using expert demonstrations of gameplay. It is often used as a method for essentially initializing the AI to something reasonable before training it further with reinforcement learning (ie, training the AI using a reward rather than example). Imitation learning can arguably be more valuable for game development given that it can more directly instill various human-like behaviors (hopefully making the gameplay more engaging and interesting) rather than simply trying to maximize some reward or score in the game. Techniques to Train and Understand AI Agents This is more of a general research direction that I find interesting (and is similar to research that I have done in the past). Essentially, this is exploring the means by which the game developer can use the various methods of instilling behavior into an AI (programming, reinforcement learning, imitation learning) to create the desired behavior (and game experience). This is a bit of both a human-computer interaction (HCI) and machine learning question (also related to machine teaching). To give a more concrete example, this would include exploring the behavior of a trained RL agent in the game, correcting these behaviors, and perhaps trying to detect potentially incorrect behaviors to raise to the user automatically. 0 AD is well suited for this type of research for the same reasons that it is well suited for exploring game balance - most games used in research are either proprietary or not something people would actually play. Optimizing Existing Game Parameters (Relatively Easy) There are some existing machine learning tricks that could be used to make other sorts of improvements to the game rather than explore research questions. A while back, I was playing around with CMAES (a machine learning technique to optimize a set of parameters given a "fitness function") to improve some of the sort of magic numbers used within Petra such as "popPhase2" and "armyMergeSize". Essentially, this made it possible to find values for these parameters which would improve the AI's ability to win when playing against the standard Petra agent (on the hardest difficulty). Although I don't find this as interesting as the other areas, it is a useful tool that could be nice to apply to other aspects of the game. Overall, I think it would be really exciting to be able to explore some of the research questions in 0 AD as I think it could be beneficial both to researchers but also would make it easier to incorporate the results of this research into 0 AD (making it an even better game!). Of course, this is only true if the functionality required to be added to 0 AD is easy to maintain and doesn't add overhead taking away from the development of the core game features and functionality. I am also hopeful that incorporating some of these machine learning capabilities could also be beneficial to the community and raise awareness of 0 AD! As far as technical requirements, I made an RPC interface for controlling the AI from Python (because the majority of machine learning tools are in Python). This makes it possible to explore 1, 2, and 3 as well as provides necessary functionality for 4, 5, and 6. As mentioned above, I have an example of #1 on GitHub and I think this could make for really interesting undergraduate projects (as well as potentially interesting integrations into the game). However, I think 0 AD is a particularly unique opportunity for exploration of 4 and 6. Game balancing (#4) still requires the ability to programmatically edit the unit parameters which I have explored a little bit but haven't added to the game. If this is something that others find interesting (and wouldn't mind me asking a few questions ), I would be open to adding this as well. Anyway, I find these machine learning problems and applications quite exciting both for 0 AD and for AI/ML research but I want to know what the rest of the community thinks! Let me know what you think or if you have any questions/comments! * I say *OpenAI gym-like* because a gym environment requires an observation space (numerical representation of the world for the AI), action space (numerical representation of the actions the AI can perform), and reward function to be defined. It isn't clear what the most appropriate choices for these would be (and they could vary based on the specific scenario) so I would prefer making more of a "meta-gym" where it is basically an OpenAI gym that needs the user to specify these values.
  30. 16 points
  31. 16 points
    abandoned village and date orchard by a dried up oasis. merchant caravan spending the night
  32. 16 points
    A mysterious civilization inhabits the jungles of 0 AD...
  33. 16 points
    For all of you ruin enthusiasts
  34. 16 points
    Hi all, Im making a new map, the siege of Halicarnassus. This is the very first preview, it is still in progress, but i would like to receive some feedback. Yes, it has a lot of props, i like detail, i'm just trying to make it more "vivid". This is the reference im using, i didn't make it exactly as is shown there, i forgot to add some things while making it, but now that is that advanced it may be a pain! http://www.discusmedia.com/maps/turkish_city_maps/5594/ v1.1 v1.2 1.3v This is what it seems to be the end of the map. Perhaps i could release as a 4 player maps (3v1), but, believe me, you cant play it (It lags without unit around, imagine it with units) Anyways, I had to improvise the Mausoleom, with walls and ground elevation. It has some greeks buildings, as i understood while i was reading, they had some multicultural life. I tried to make it, the most accurate possible, obviously, for many reasons there a lot things that cant be made, but in the other hand, i forgot many others . Hope you enjoy it! 1.4v
  35. 15 points
    I've just committed the building snapping feature. I'd like to here some feedback: does it behave like you expect, would you like to change something (like adding an option to enable it by default)? To use the building snapping you need to select a building, press Ctrl and move your mouse. When a preview of the new building is near to other structures it`s trying to snap to their edges (while Ctrl is pressed). Snapping (1).mp4
  36. 15 points
    A friend recommended 0AD to me three says ago. I've been dipping into it. I'm pretty impressed. I speak as a former senior dev on Battle For Wesnoth, so I have a better idea than most what's required to produce a game like this. Some of you might recognize me for...other things. Well done, everybody. I partiicularly like the attention to historical detail; I can recognize authenticity in the costumes and architecture. This kind of collaboration - attracting more talent than any single proprietary shop can afford to hire - is one of the strengths of open source. I'm expecting great things of the eventual 1.0 version.
  37. 15 points
    i wanna to wish 0 a.d. community and developers beautiful chrismas and a good time at next year. watch forward and keep ur work amazing
  38. 15 points
  39. 15 points
    I am deeply honored to become the new Project Leader after Erik, who has been an incredible source of motivation since I first started to contribute to 0 A.D. As a programmer of the game, you should expect my first objectives to be related to the technical side of things. I would like to improve the environment of the programming team, in order to make the development less difficult and stressful; and I also plan to focus my programming activity on the libraries we use, and on communicating with the teams who create those. If we improve that environment, we can recruit new people and have more workforce to push the game towards Beta. However, I also want to be an actual leader for the project and its community as a whole, so feel free to contact me if you think something is needed in some area. I will be far more active in the forums than before, and I'm eager to discuss with you all! Finally, I would like to thank everyone for being part of such a great community. The game would be nowhere near its current state without you, and we can accomplish even more great things together!
  40. 15 points
    Here's the product of today's stream. Keep an eye on this thread since I'll be streaming more during this week. (sorry, big gifs)
  41. 15 points
    Hooray I got it to glow, it looks like postproc = true was the culprit. Thank you very much for helping me figure that out:
  42. 14 points
    Well, about 1 month I started working with 3ds max. I had no idea until then, I started from 0, only some youtube videos to help me. I know it's pretty simple and I still need to learn lots of new things, but I think it would be interesting for us to use this topic to share our arts. What u think guys?? Cya
  43. 14 points
    Hello everyone, This year and for the past three years 0 A.D. was holding a stand at the FOSDEM. Like every time, it was a very great experience for me, and I was happy to be able to join @Itms, @plumo, @implodedok, @FeXoR, @bb_, @Imarok, @vladislavbelov and @fabio in this adventure. This year was a bit special because I got to co-host a game dev room with the guys at Godot thanks to Akien and Straton and of course to all the people I convinced to give talks and the people that attended said talks. I think the dev room was an overall positive experience so it's great! You can find the videos here. Our room was K.3.201. Some videos might not have been uploaded yet. There were a lot of interesting talks, especially the one about the Spring engine going to Steam. I got to talk a bit with the guys at the GSOC stand and they apparently knew us, so maybe we'll be more lucky this year. I got to meet a lot of people for the first time, some of the above team members, but also @Krinkle, @balduin. I also met @oSoMoN with who we discussed a potential better usage of the Snap Packages for 0 A.D. The idea would be to offer special features to be tested as snap packages on something like Kiwit CMS. By using this specific platform we would be able to set up test scenarios for things not covered by CI and unit tests. I also had the great honor to meet with Ton Roosendal (the CEO of Blender) and Dalai Felinto. We had an informal chat at our stand about our usage of Blender. Bernard Tyers asked me to give a talk at the design dev room next year and I think I'm gonna deliver. The Raspberry Pi 4 I brought had quite a nice success as it caught the eye and people were amazed that it could run on such a low end device. A few people were interested in helping out. We are looking forward to hearing from them. Thanks for all the people who gave us donations! For those who paid for music CDs I hope you'll enjoy them. For those that could not get one you can grab it here. See you all next year, or at the next FLOSS event that we will attend which will likely be JDLL in Lyon, France.
  44. 14 points
    The First Punic War Campaign Project Guide I: Presentation of the Project This project aims to create a campaign for the main game which lack of it. This campaign will be, it's in the title, "The First Punic War". I've started a map named "Siege of Agrigentum", which is about a siege of the first Punic war, in August 2016. I've had no time to pursue making the map but now I have more time. And I decided to put this a step further last week by creating a team to start this great project. Team members: @Hannibal_Barca, @shieldwolf23, @Skhorn, @stanislas69 and me. II: Objectives First of all, the overall goal of the campaign is to be the most historically accurate possible, yet being playable and enjoyable. So, you will have noticed that there are 3 main goals that give pride of place to the playing experience being the least inaccurate possible. However, talking about historical accuracy, it should not ( and it has not to) affect the playability by for example, making a scenario where the player is put in a freaking impossible situation. This means that we will have to make evenly balanced scenarios, against historical accuracy because the vast majorities of sieges and battles were unbalanced. This goes the same for natural resources which aren't equally spread in reality. Having specified these 3 major goals, we can now go into the heart of the matter. III: References We're going to use as references: Wikipedia for the summaries and of course ancient contemporary (even better, witness) sources such as Polybius's "General History" which makes alone quite a bunch of very detailed describing pages. IV: Modifications or Additions to Vanilla Art At first, we will use civilization present in the game because all civilizations present here are all cousins to some that are present in the vanilla. We're going to use Athenians either Spartans to represent the different Greek cities that took part to this war. And for the Mamertines (literally "Sons of Mars") were a group of mercenaries from an Italo-Celtic tribe in Campania (they were hired by Agathocles, Tyrant of Syracuse during the third Sicilian war, and some have stayed because they liked the climate and the place, these ones have conquered Messana and ruled it for 20 years using it as a fortified pirate basement for coastal and in-land raids) can be represented by Gauls because this is the civilization they are the closest to. But we will need some new unique buildings to be made. so we will need some people to do this. V: Mapping Each member of the project is going to choose a event (siege or battle) and make a map on it. He will present regularly his work to be criticized by the other members of the team in order to be the closest possible to the best. by the way mapping in a collaborative way, meaning here everyone working on the same map, would obviously not be practical for multiple reasons. VI: The Use of Triggers We're of course going to use quite a lot of triggers all the way through this campaign. I had the idea of creating (because I don't think it exists) a trigger to reduce the amount of HP, the attack damage and the speed of the units of the player who would play a besieged city unless he manages to create a trade line with his ally outdoors. VII: Introductions of scenarios We will try to make cut-scenes by using the cinematic camera. Otherwise, we can make introductions in the AoE II style, meaning pretty drawings with a text scrolling and a voice-over recording of someone reading it. It could be an English native speaker or me in the absence of one because I can reach the perfect accent (believe me or not, I'm not overestimating my language ability, no self-celebration) with the help of the phonetic dictionary and I have a quite deep voice like you hear in many voice-over recording. VIII: The Perspective We're going to make the campaign with the Roman perspective because a player does not want to lose at the end of a campaign. What I've just said involve that we should make alternative scenarios to make the player win with Carthage which is obviously not what we came for. So, during the campaign the player is going to stick to Romans or their allies for the scenario in which they aren't present (because all the battles were not Carthage versus Rome). In the campaign the player will have to stick to Romans or their allies but we will unlock the other belligerents in each map played alone. There will be a version of each map for the campaign and for the random playing of any map (the sole difference being the playability of everyone on the map by players). IX: Possible List of the Scenarios 264 B.C.: Battle of Messana (Romans vs Syracusans then Romans vs Carthaginians) 263 B.C.: Siege of Syracuse (Romans vs Syracusans) 262-261 B.C.: Siege of Agrigentum (Romans vs Carthaginians) 260 B.C.: Battle of the Lipari Islands (Romans vs Carthaginians) (maybe) 260 B.C.: Battle of Mylae (Romans vs Carthaginians) (maybe) 259 B.C.: Siege of Aleria (Greeks vs Carthaginians) (maybe as an extra) 258 B.C.: Battle of Sulci Tyrrhenica (Romans vs Carthaginians)(maybe) 257 B.C.: Battle of Tyndaris (Romans vs Carthaginians) (maybe) 256 B.C.: Battle of Cape Ecnomus (Romans vs Carthaginians) 256 B.C.: Battle of Clypea (Romans vs Carthaginians) 256 B.C.: Battle of Adys (Romans vs Carthaginians) 256 B.C.: Siege of Tunis (Romans vs Carthaginians) 255 B.C.: Battle of Tunis (Romans vs Carthaginians) 254 B.C.: Siege and Battle of Panormus (Romans vs Carthaginians) 251 B.C.: Siege and Battle of Panormus (again) (Romans vs Carthaginians) 251 B.C.: Reconquest of Agrigentum (Romans vs Carthaginians) 249 B.C.: Battle of Draepanum (Romans vs Carthaginians) (maybe) 249 B.C.: Conquest of Eryx (Romans vs Greeks) 242 B.C.: Siege of Draepanum (Romans vs Carthaginians) March 10 241 B.C.: Battle of the Aegates (or Egadi Islands) (Romans vs Carthaginians) This has not been decided yet so it's just for example. For now, maximum 7 maps in the campaign and maybe some extras later. X Conclusion There's a lot of work and we'll need more volunteers for things out of our skills (like coders for new triggers and artists for new buildings and pictures). P.S.: Want to join the team? Then contact me by PM EDIT : github page of the project : https://github.com/0ADMods/campaign_first_punic_war
  45. 14 points
    I started working on a feature that allows sheep to gain more food over time, and make animal's food decay over time, when being left out (rotting) I was wondering if that's something you guys would like to see in the game which would have a positive impact, or if you think that's better for a mod. @borg- @wowgetoffyourcellphone @Nescio @Hannibal_Barca https://code.wildfiregames.com/D1718
  46. 14 points
    Hi all, yesterday I gave an ~1 hour presentation about 0 A.D. at the IT company I do my traineeship. It was very nice since there were many positive reactions from the attendees I attached the presentation for those who are interested. Presentation0ad-Sogyo2020-ForForum.pdf
  47. 14 points
  48. 14 points
    fluffy north african forests
  49. 14 points
    Why should we? If we did you'd have to find something new to complain about, some of us might take over the world or worse, someone else might pick up where we left (in which case you'd have to voice your complaint again), etc. But most of all because we are doing this because we want to. (Locked, since people already started feeding the troll.)
  50. 14 points
    I have for quite some time felt that 0 A.D. deserves a more passionate and active project leader than me. I still care for the project and its progress, but I don't have the same interest in it any more. That might be fine for a semi-regular contributor, but it's not ideal when you're the project leader. Now I've found the perfect replacement: Nicolas Auvray, also known as Itms on the forums and in the IRC channels. He has been a part of the project for several years now, and has proved to be a valuable contributor, a sensible and thoughtful leader, and a good friend. I asked him whether he wanted to take over the leadership, after careful consideration he said yes and we presented the possibility to the team who agreed it was a good choice to move forward with Nicolas as the leader. I have confidence he will revitalize the team and work to guide 0 A.D. through the Alpha process and into Beta and beyond. I will still be around to help out with administrative tasks, being a part of Wildfire Games is too great to miss out on completely. Please also welcome Imarok who just became a part of the team! He's been an active and skillful contributor for quite some time now, so it's nice to be able to encourage that by welcoming him into the team.
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