Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Sundiata

The Kingdom of Kush: A proper introduction [Illustrated]

Recommended Posts

19 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

Since the Kushite faction has already a very diverse roster, maybe the pikemen can be moved to a champion unit or to a reform to research by the player as suggested by Sundiata.

I don't think having a Kushite pike champion is a good idea. They had pikes, but they shouldn't be better than Hellenistic ones...

 

22 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

However, I found suspicious that nobody clearly expressed their use of the phalanx. Maybe it is only a long spear like in the case of the Cherusci.

I've never actually come across any source discussing their formations, except for maybe a little in Heliodorus' Aethiopica, which is a romance, and not a work of history. It's written to a semi-historical backdrop, with fictitious characters featuring a war between the Persians (under Oroöndates) and Kushites (under King Hydaspes). Herodotus and Strabo both actually talk about a failed Persian invasion into Kush by Cambyses, who actually reached Lower Nubia. Kush was ruled by King Amaninatakilebte at this time. This event may have been the inspiration for Heliodorus' battle, which also takes place in Lower Nubia:

Quote

With such a band of horsemen and the Persian army thus appointed the governor set out against his enemies, keeping the river ever behind him; for as he was far inferior in numbers to the Ethiopians he planned that the water should be instead of a wall that he might not be surrounded. Hydaspes likewise brought on his army and placed the soldiers of Meroe, who were skilled to fight hand in hand with heavy swords, against the Persians and the Medes on the right wing. The Troglodytes and those who come from the country where the cinnamon grows, light harnessed soldiers and cunning archers and very swift of foot, he set against those who were on the enemy’s left wing. But against their centre, which he heard was the strongest, he set himself and his elephants with towers on their backs, together with the men-at-arms of the Blemmyes and the Seres, whom he instructed what they should do when they came to fight. When the signal was given for battle, among the Persians by 274trumpet, with the Ethiopians by drum and timbrel, Oroöndates with a shout led on his men to the charge. Hydaspes for his part advanced as slowly as possible step by step, by this means providing that the elephants should not be far from their supports and that the enemies’ cavalry in the centre should be weary before they came to blows. When they were within shot, and the Blemmyes saw that the mailed cavalry were calling on their horses for a charge, they did as Hydaspes had commanded. Leaving the Seres to protect the elephants they ran out from the line against the horsemen, so that those who saw them might have thought that they were mad, who being so few durst encounter so many and so well armed. Thereupon the Persians spurred their horses to go faster than before, thinking that the enemy’s boldness was their gain, and that they would at the first dash overcome them without ado.

But the Blemmyes when they were almost come to hand strokes and in a manner stuck by their spears, suddenly all together fell down and crept under the horses kneeling with one knee upon the ground and sheltering their heads and shoulders beneath, without any harms save that they were trodden a little by their feet. And then they themselves did a strange and unexpected thing. As the horses passed over them they thrust with their swords and wounded them in the belly, so that many of their riders fell, by reason that the horses could not be governed because of their pain and so threw them. Whom, as they lay in heaps, the Blemmyes stabbed under the thighs; for the Persian horseman is not able to move unless he has some one to aid him. Those who escaped with their horses whole then charged against the Seres. But they, as soon as they came near, stepped behind the 275elephants, as though behind some great tower or hill of refuge. Then there was a great carnage and the horsemen were almost all slain. For their horses, being afraid of the greatness and strange sight of the elephants, thus suddenly revealed, either turned back or ran aside, and caused the main battle to break its array. They who were upon the elephants — six men upon each, two fighting from every side save the behind — shot steadily at the mark from their tower as from a castle, so that the number of their arrows was to the Persians like a cloud. The Ethiopians aimed especially at their enemies eyes, as though they were shooting not for life but to see who were the better archers, and hit their mark so exactly that those who were stricken ran here and there in panic with arrows, as if they had been pipes, piercing their eyes. If any of them against their wills rode out from their ranks, because their houses could not be checked, they fell among the elephants; where they died, being either overthrown and trodden under foot by them or else killed by the Blemmyes and Seres who ran out from behind the elephants as from an ambush, and wounded some with arrows and slew others at close quarters when their horses had cast them to the ground. To be short, those who escaped did nothing worthy of recounting nor hurt the elephants a whit, since the beast is covered with iron when he comes to battle, and if he were not, he hath of nature scales so hard over his body that no spear can enter thereinto.

At last, when all who remained alive were put to flight, the governor with shame enough forsook his chariot and mounting a horse from Nysa fled the battle. The Egyptians and the Libyans who were on the left wing knew nothing thereof, but fought on 276manfully, though they received many more wounds than they gave; marry they held out valiantly. For the soldiers of the cinnamon country being set against them pressed them hard and drove them to such shifts that they knew not what to do. If they set upon them, these would flee and running ahead would turn their bows behind them and shoot as they fled. But if they retired, then would they pursue them closely and either with slings or little arrows poisoned with dragon’s blood send upon them a swift and grievous death. For in their archery they are more like men at play than at serious work. They wear a round wreath upon their head in which the arrows are set, the feathers turned inwards and the points hanging out like the beams of the sun. In skirmish they take out the arrows therefrom as readily as from a quiver, and leaping and dancing in and out like naked satyrs, they shoot at their enemies. They have no iron heads upon their shafts, but take a bone out of the dragon’s back, whereof they make their arrows an ell long. This done, they sharpen it as well as they can and make a self-barb arrow, so called perhaps from the bare bone.

For some time the Egyptians maintained the battle and received the arrow upon their shields, being stubborn by nature and men who boast — not so much profitably as proudly — that they care not for death: and perhaps also they feared punishment if they left their ranks. But when they heard that the horsemen, their chief strength and hope in battle, were put to flight, and the governor gone, and that the much praised soldiers of the Medes and Persians had done no noble feat, but after hurting the men of Meroe a little and being themselves hurt much more had followed after the rest, they also began to leave 277fighting and turned in rout. Hydaspes seeing this notable victory from his tower, as from a high hill, sent heralds to them that followed the chase not to kill anyone but to take as many as they could alive, and above all other Oroöndates. Which indeed was done. The Ethiopians drawing their main battles to the left, and extending their deep formation lengthwise, turned their wings round about and so inclosed the Persian army, leaving them no place to flee but across the river: into the which many fell and were in great danger among the horses and scythed chariots and the turmoil of the multitude. Then they perceived that the policy which the governor had used in the conduct of his army was very foolish and to no purpose; because at the first, when he had feared lest his enemies should surround him and led his army so that the Nile was ever at their backs, he marked not that he left for himself no place whereby he might flee.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Genava55 said:

However, I found suspicious that nobody clearly expressed their use of the phalanx. Maybe it is only a long spear like in the case of the Cherusci.

Exactly!

9 hours ago, Sundiata said:

I was in favor of having a non-champion axe-infantry unit, because axes were probably one of their most used melee weapons after spears, indicated by Strabo, depicted in Kushite relief and Ptolemaic figurines and a variety of them has shown up in the archaeological record. Apedemak is almost always either depicted with a spear or a bow and arrows. The choice to give the axe to the Apedemak temple guard was a compromise. 

Thanks! Then I'll add a non-champion axeman and remove the champion. One temple guard is enough. By the way, was the khopesh still used in the 3rd C BC?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/27/2017 at 9:35 PM, Sundiata said:

The Kingdom of Kush: The Stela of King Harsiotef (404-369BCE)

Anyone up for some more reading? I present the English translation of the Stela of King Harsiotef. Harsiotef was a Kushite king and possible father to King Nastasen and King Akhraten. He is known from the inscription on his stela, dated to his thirty-third regnal year, making him the longest known ruling King of Kush.

As with the Nastasen stela, this stela is written in a Napatan adaptation of Egyptian Hieroglyphs, and is therefore translatable, unlike the many stelae written in Meroitic script, from the third century BCE going. The Harsiotef stela has many stylistic similarities to the Nastasen stela, and has many similar peculiarities, owing to the Napatan dialect it was written in, and differentiating them from the earlier 25th dynasty inscriptions of Piye and Taharqa, which follow more orthodox Egyptian styles.

The text explains Harsiotef's divine right to rule, by a dream or a vision, and Amun of Napata, giving him the crown. It talks about his sacred duty to repair the collapsed temples and chapels. His endeavours to build new temples. It lists the large amounts of offerings to the Amun temple at Napata, including gold, silver, bronze, acacia wood, jewellery, decorated vessels and even a stall for long horned oxen. It states that "there was no town that I did not do work", and lists the many processions in different towns and cities where he let the gods "appear". The text also shows that well after the 25th Dynasty, these kings still considered themselves "Lord of two Lands", "King of upper and Lower Egypt", if only in title...  

The text is noteworthy for the many military campaigns listed by Harsiotef, in all directions, as far as Aswan in the North, and the borders of Ethiopia to the South. Against the lands of Rehrehsa, Metete and Mehkty and against the rebels of Mekhuf... The most noteworthy military detail, is the extensive use of cavalry. No less than 4 times, does Harsiotef explicitly mention sending his cavalry against his enemies in 4 different campaigns. For example: "I sent my infantry and my cavalry against the rebels of Metete. They acted against 3 towns of Anreware to fight against, and made a great slaughter of it. They even took its lord prisoner and killed him". This is a clear, first hand account, written record of the use of cavalry in at least 4 campaigns of a single Kushite king. I'm surprised this hasn't been quoted more often.

Another interesting aspect, is the the word scimitar, which sees use twice in the text. For example:

"He came, the chief of the desert people Rehrehsa , Arawe, with his lord, right into Birawe (Meroe). I had battle joined and had him slaughtered a great slaughter; and he was defeated, and was driven off. I had him killed, Shaykara, when he came to plead for himself. Your awesomeness is good. Your scimitar is victorious. The chief at my side made him withdraw. He made my army and my cavalry safe"

What could this scimitar (sword with a curved blade) refer to? We're in luck once again! The text gives us the phonetic values for the entire hieroglyphic text, together with the translation. From this we can see that "Scimitar" is the translation of the Egyptian word ḫpš. Yes, you've guessed that correctly, it is more commonly written and pronounced as Khopesh! This is the second independent, first hand, written record of the khopesh in Kush, during 0AD's timeframe. (I've also found what I believe to be a crude depiction of the Khopesh in the stela of king Tanyidemani (around 100BCE), but more on that later)

 

The stela of King Horsiotef:

59a31b46ae9cd_Harsiotefstela.thumb.jpg.77433bdd706bf181e120c0220383df18.jpg 

 

 

The actual translation, and interpretation:

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Fontes Historiae Nubiorum II: The Annals of Harsiotef, English translation:

 

Either download the following pdf:

FHN Harsiyotef.pdf 2.53 MB · 98 downloads

 

 

Or read online here:

http://www.earlheinrich.com/Ancient Nubia/_Private/FHN Harsiyotef.pdf

 

 

 

Ps: @wowgetoffyourcellphone, I love this, it's adorable!

  Reveal hidden contents

Untitled-1.jpg.75c1ffa8f3cf5789cee8c18131fb4688.jpg

 

 

On 8/28/2017 at 1:43 PM, Sundiata said:

The Stelae of Kush

In this post I'll provide images of some of the many stelae of Kush, found outside temples, palaces and tombs. In the Napatan period, they were written in Hieroglyphic script, and in the Meroitic period they were written in the unintelligible Meroitic script. Full of religious invocations and symbology, they often also leave behind a record of the person that commissioned them, the specific amounts and types of offerings to temples they made, military campaigns, building works and even their genealogy.   

These stelae will be an important prop, that needs to be modelled for the game. They will flank the doorways of temples, the CC and wonder. Anyone up for that? They're round topped, rectangular stealae, varying in height from about 30 cm, to 2,5 meters! I think for the game, a 1,5m tall stela, slightly shorter than a doorway, will do. The meroitic script will be too small to see in game (represented by some faint lines perhaps), but one important element needs to be seen, which is a semi circular winged solar disk, flanked by uraei, at the rounded top of the stela. Most of these examples feature these wings of Horus, solar disk, and cobras hanging from the disk. It is called Behedeti

The stelae of Kush:

  Hide contents

 

The funerary stela of King Aspelta:

59a3f86003ca3_FunerarystelaofKingAspelta.thumb.jpg.d7834e6baca347889cacb99b8f234262.jpg

 

The Stele of Prince Tedeken:

Stele_of_Prince_Tedeken.thumb.png.378fa0cbdf1bd1157058eee1a9a3a996.png

 

The famous Hamadab stela. 45 Rows of incised, cursive Meroitic inscriptions mentioning Queen Amanirenas, "King" Akinidad, and even the conflict with Rome. Once The Meroitic script is translated, this stone will provide a wealth of information, and a different perspective on the war with Rome:

59a3f86a7b1e2_Hamadabstela45rowsofincisedcursivemeroiticinscriptionmentioningqueenamanirenaskingakinidadandeventheconflictwithrome.thumb.JPG.0bda7632a9952094543da4bdfc336f35.JPG

 

Stela of Queen Amanishakheto and the goddess Amesemi, in an intimate embrace, carved from sandstone, from the Amun temple at Naqa:

59a3f86d91599_StelaofQueenAmanishakhetoandthegoddessAmesemicarvedfromSandstoneAmuntempleNaqa.thumb.jpg.09688af333581deb357bc63e1034fb71.jpg

 

Upper fragment of a stele inscribed stone in Meroitic script, found at a lion temple in 1910. In this example the solar disc is replaced by a scarab, holding the disk:

59a3f891dc96b_UpperfragmentofasteleinscribedstoneinMeroiticscriptfoundattheliontemple1910.thumb.jpg.5dba39da89a7452b7042c19ddee9ca31.jpg

 

Amanibakhi stela, featuring Mut and Osiris:

59a3f85a1d3d1_Amanibakhistela.thumb.jpg.d0b26b1f876905af90de5a86ad85b62e.jpg

 

Rare, Unfinished rectangular stele in the form of a false door, showing king Anlamani before the seated god Osiris, with a table of offerings between them:

59a3f88dae83c_UnfinishedrectangularsteleintheformofafalsedoorshowskingAnlamanibeforetheseatedgodOsiriswithtableofofferingsbetweenthem.thumb.jpg.096a14b918b1ea4c12ee368ea19aef3d.jpg

 

Victory stele of King Tanyidemani:

59a3f89a400e6_VictorysteleofKingTanyidemanifront.thumb.jpg.df0a2899876c2ff4993d30bc3c002dff.jpg

 

Victory stele of King Tanyidamani (c. 100BCE), detail of the top part. Particularly interesting piece in regard to the Khopesh. It's written in Meroitic, so we don't know the exact content of it. But if its anything like the stelae written in Hieroglyphics, and the top scene featuring the King with Amun and Mut suggests it is, there's good reason to believe there's going to be something in there about the mighty Khopesh of Amun, how he gives it to Tanyidamani, and how Amun made Tanyidamani's Khopesh crushing, and so on... If you look closely at the relief on the top (right half), you will actually see Amun, handing a slightly curved blade, bent at the top, and slightly offset from the handle (with a symbolic(?) circle), to King Tanyidamani, and the king subsequently using the same slightly curved blade, and bent at the top, to execute a prisoner. I believe this is an artistic, stylised depiction of the Khopesh! A third, independent, period reference of the Khopesh in Kush, during 0AD's timeframe. It's also interesting for the depiction of a dog, at the Kings' side, tearing away at his enemy. Together with the plaque showing Arikankharer and his dog mauling a prisoner, it's the second clear illustration of dogs in this militaristic/ritual context.

59a3f89edac59_VictorysteleofKingTanyidemanitopdetail.thumb.jpg.c21e7c2fbc560528560532cd6b31d761.jpg

 

Back of the victory stele of King TanyidAmani. This is interesting for two reasons. It shows both the human form of Amun (Amun of Thebes) and the Ram-headed form of Amun (Amun of Napata). It also shows the King wearing an entire leopard cloth, legs, tail, head and all, draped across his shoulder, hanging down his side, as well as a longer, almost ankle length garment, popular among Meroitic nobles. And those sandals of course... 

59a3f896d25ec_VictorysteleofKingTanyidemanibackdetail.thumb.jpg.4bb0192f6bc083e6eb101684212fd3ed.jpg

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/24/2019 at 9:25 AM, Nescio said:

Exactly!

As I said, I've not come across any primary sources that describe any Kushite formations in any detail, so it's not strange, not to be able find info on this specific formation. But phalanx formations were first developed by the Sumerians and were employed by the professional armies of the Egyptian New Kingdom over half a millennium before being attested in Greece. For c. 500 years during the New Kingdom, and then c. 100 years during the 25th Dynasty Egypt and Kush was one country with one military, and Kushites formed a significant component of that military. I've not seen any evidence for the phalanx falling out of use. In fact from the early 6th century BC Greeks and Carians were employed by Psamtik II in his invasion of Kush, which means Kushite armies were facing hoplites using the Greek phalanx for the first time in 592 BC, and from the time of Alexander the Macedonian phalanx became the king of the battlefield, something the Kushites probably faced many times in their various engagements with the Ptolemies. The idea that these tight, long and deep heavy infantry formation somehow fell out of use, in the face of enemies who continued to use and develop the technique is a strange one, also considering an array of Sub Saharan Africans depicted in art from Classical Greece and Ptolemaic Egypt wearing Greek armaments, suggests they weren't strangers to the developments of the Mediterranean (the rich Hellenistic imports found in Kush confirm this).

Spoiler

New Kingdom phalanx from Thebes. Note how their shields are also strapped to their shoulder or arm, to free up both hands, similar to the round shields strapped to the shoulders of those Kushite warriors from one of the previous posts. 

XGP5_070_3b41603f-fc09-492a-8e66-f9e5a457729d-1.thumb.jpg.9c694da2b54ca9dca4d7bef08c61cb3c.jpg

 

Theban infantry from the tomb of Mesehti

191b3969cdb0b888ae5c903d1a23124e.thumb.jpg.65b51ad7695610bcd93de247c86bf035.jpgegyptian-loincloth.thumb.jpg.afe7f714fafd4f8629f822c0ab173f94.jpg

 

Blacks in military context outside of Kush wearing Greek, or Greek influenced attire, indicating a level of familiarity with Greek military customs through service in Persian and Ptolemaic armies:

gm_00774701_1300.thumb.jpg.984cb587caa7ac1448cbd0593628e195.jpg1874594935_AnEthiopiansoldierinthePersianarmy.Atticblack-figurewhite-groundalabstronca.480BCB.thumb.jpg.e29466f4bfa0a4e4b133b9d98cac0837.jpg

400437974_KushiteaxemenEgyptPtolemaicandRomanera.thumb.jpg.7620892ae9cb4604b649757519936f20.jpg

 

 

Throughout the Napatan period there is no indication of a dramatic shift from New Kingdom tactics and equipment. Not until the Meroitic period can you expect stronger changes to occur, but much of those changes occurred due to Ptolemaic influence, making it even less likely to drop these types of heavy infantry formations. 

 

What I can glean about Kushite military structure from reading their stelae is their hierarchy. The King, the priests, and the overseers on top. Then generals, commanders and chiefs. All split into their respective branches: infantry, navy, cavalry, chariotry. There's also things like commanders of the fortresses, district commissioners and governors, which all undoubtedly had military duties as well. We just don't have many details about any of it. They distinguish between things like bowmen, footmen, companions, auxiliaries, sailors, guardians, elite troops and a royal army. They also have things like agents, and in one stele an entire unit was referred to as "mutilators"... They're just vague about specifics because these stelae weren't military documents. They served a totally different purpose from the Greco Roman writings of people like Arrian. The sources aren't comparable, so looking for the same level of detail in descriptions from Kushite royal dedication stelae and the like is a little bit ridiculous. 

 

On 8/24/2019 at 9:25 AM, Nescio said:

One temple guard is enough.

Sure, remove the warriors from the temple of the god of war... 

 

On 8/24/2019 at 9:25 AM, Nescio said:

By the way, was the khopesh still used in the 3rd C BC?

Genava quoted the relevant pieces. The Khopesh is closely associated with Amun, so that would explain why they maintained the weapon. King Aryamani, 3rd century BC is literally referred to as "Lord of the Khopesh", in his donation stele at Kawa... 

Again, I don't think there is any evidence for scimitars ever falling out of use in Sudan, rather indications that they evolved into, or influenced the development of a number of later regional African Iron Age swords, especially the Ethiopian/Eritrean Shotel (also used in Sudan) and the Central African/Southern Sudanese Mambele/Makraka are taken as examples: 

Spoiler

Makraka/Mambele:

6Mmbeli.thumb.jpg.3867bb740ff815d93b277577fcad8fa3.jpg

c45072836a3a2e3c97a1077311d730f3.jpg.8e0ac342651ad8408803fb1ce47d4a2d.jpg9f9622de987065285aa7cf3145f2d8db4babb8868c861a52ee99de4794d618ac.jpg.5f2c9653ce0e504dd4c451c679bb305b.jpg

1884_25.6_b.jpg.c7612a4202aa95d24a77a8d66f8e31ab.jpg1401266399_Makrakacentralafricansickleshapedswordsharpenedontheinside.jpg.70755ee125a031e3e23d6a44dc09ee5a.jpgAzandeKnife2.jpg.ce8297b5b85d038776e292e49a868916.jpg

 

Shotel

A_nobleman_of_Tigre_colour.thumb.jpg.4549c6f230f34dd51bf8687cdeea4b99.jpga950d72bee1f6e574df402ad9156d39b.thumb.jpg.cf2bd16c4f29a36250eecd270d3fb9db.jpgs1658.thumb.jpg.85780fbe06a50caa3cc6f93dc2e07f0b.jpg1868290652_Ethiopianshotel.thumb.jpg.4e970de4c1eee4c8e7005a1d0c660f06.jpgshotel-1.jpg.b4887cd9c54083e4af2e09276c8020c1.jpg

 

Edited by Sundiata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Greek mercenaries served in Egypt long before it was conquered by the Persians, as described by Herodotus and confirmed by archaeological finds. I'm certainly not suggesting Kush was a stranger to Mediterranean or Near Eastern tactics.

15 minutes ago, Sundiata said:
  Reveal hidden contents

New Kingdom phalanx from Thebes. Note how their shields are also strapped to their shoulder or arm, to free up both hands, similar to the round shields strapped to the shoulders of those Kushite warriors from one of the previous posts. 

XGP5_070_3b41603f-fc09-492a-8e66-f9e5a457729d-1.thumb.jpg.9c694da2b54ca9dca4d7bef08c61cb3c.jpg

 

Theban infantry from the tomb of Mesehti

191b3969cdb0b888ae5c903d1a23124e.thumb.jpg.65b51ad7695610bcd93de247c86bf035.jpgegyptian-loincloth.thumb.jpg.afe7f714fafd4f8629f822c0ab173f94.jpg

 

Blacks in military context outside of Kush wearing Greek, or Greek influenced attire, indicating a level of familiarity with Greek military customs through service in Persian and Ptolemaic armies:

gm_00774701_1300.thumb.jpg.984cb587caa7ac1448cbd0593628e195.jpg1874594935_AnEthiopiansoldierinthePersianarmy.Atticblack-figurewhite-groundalabstronca.480BCB.thumb.jpg.e29466f4bfa0a4e4b133b9d98cac0837.jpg

400437974_KushiteaxemenEgyptPtolemaicandRomanera.thumb.jpg.7620892ae9cb4604b649757519936f20.jpg

 

 

Throughout the Napatan period there is no indication of a dramatic shift from New Kingdom tactics and equipment. Not until the Meroitic period can you expect stronger changes to occur, but much of those changes occurred due to Ptolemaic influence, making it even less likely to drop these types of heavy infantry formations. 

 

Those all look like spearmen to me.

18 minutes ago, Sundiata said:

Sure, remove the warriors from the temple of the god of war... 

In 0 A.D. this one is trainable at the generic temple and the Kushites already have five champions, so dropping one isn't unreasonable.

Currently I'm contemplating the following roster in my 0abc mod:

Spoiler

Village phase:

  • infantry archer
  • infantry spearman
  • cavalry javelineer

Town phase:

  • infantry axeman
  • infantry swordsman
  • infantry pikeman (maybe)
  • cavalry spearman
  • battering ram

City phase:

  • infantry archer champion
  • infantry sabreman champion
  • cavalry spearman champion
  • chariot archer (will have to wait for A24)
  • war elephant

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Those all look like spearmen to me.

 

? You were reacting to genava questioning the use of phalanx this time, remember? I didn't say those weren't spearmen, lol...

 

36 minutes ago, Nescio said:

In 0 A.D. this one is trainable at the generic temple and the Kushites already have five champions, so dropping one isn't unreasonable.

Again, it's up to you, so no worries. Although Kushite royal family members emulated the look of various gods for various reasons, having an entire army of lion-headed axemen is probably the least historical unit you could theoretically spam. But because they're expensive champions I've never seen people spam them before, so it didn't look like a concern to me. It would probably be more realistic to see 1 or a handful supporting a main force, organized under the temple. Something like this Ramesside chariot driver in the form of Re Horakhty:

22589147_Egyptianpharaohchariotslionsegypte-guerre.jpg.be5cbf7fa73823f8263a7a3dc8caef24.jpg

 

Maybe you could re-use the lion-dude as the Chariot driver for Amanirenas?

 

Your roster seems to remove all Nuba and Blemmye mercenaries. Now the army is composed entirely of people from the Kushite heartland. You remove character and context by doing this. If calling them levies makes you more comfortable, go ahead, but it's like you're trying to hollow out the roster just because..    

Edited by Sundiata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Sundiata said:

Your roster seems to remove all Nuba and Blemmye mercenaries. Now the army is composed entirely of people from the Kushite heartland. You remove character and context by doing this. If calling them levies makes you more comfortable, go ahead, but it's like you're trying to hollow out the roster just because..

Those mercenaries still exist, I just haven't decided whether to keep them civ-based or make them map-based. Gauls, Mauryas, Romans don't have mercenaries either, though they easily could.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Those mercenaries still exist, I just haven't decided whether to keep them civ-based or make them map-based. Gauls, Mauryas, Romans don't have mercenaries either, though they easily could.

I see. Why choose? Civ-specific mercs and map-specific mercs could coexist peacefully... Well maybe not peacefully, but you get my point... 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/27/2017 at 9:35 PM, Sundiata said:

Another interesting aspect, is the the word scimitar, which sees use twice in the text. For example:

 

"He came, the chief of the desert people Rehrehsa , Arawe, with his lord, right into Birawe (Meroe). I had battle joined and had him slaughtered a great slaughter; and he was defeated, and was driven off. I had him killed, Shaykara, when he came to plead for himself. Your awesomeness is good. Your scimitar is victorious. The chief at my side made him withdraw. He made my army and my cavalry safe"

What could this scimitar (sword with a curved blade) refer to? We're in luck once again! The text gives us the phonetic values for the entire hieroglyphic text, together with the translation. From this we can see that "Scimitar" is the translation of the Egyptian word ḫpš. Yes, you've guessed that correctly, it is more commonly written and pronounced as Khopesh! This is the second independent, first hand, written record of the khopesh in Kush, during 0AD's timeframe. (I've also found what I believe to be a crude depiction of the Khopesh in the stela of king Tanyidemani (around 100BCE), but more on that later)

Out of curiosity, what is the attested word for an ordinary sword?

E.g. true sword (double-edged) – sabre (single-edged) in other languages:
Chinese: jian – dao
Greek: akinakes (Persian), xiphos – kopis, makhaira
Latin: ensis (epic), gladius, spatha – falcata (modern), sica

(Indians also distinguished between the two, but my Sanskrit vocabulary is non-existent.)

Edited by Nescio
ce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Out of curiosity, what is the attested word for an ordinary sword?

The Rosetta stone displays the word "Khopesh" (ḫpš) in Demotic Egyptian but the translations are inconsistent with "sword" in English and "Sichelschwert" in German. Sadly the Greek part is not helpful since they had translated it as ΟΠΛΟΝ (silly Greeks lol). Since the text is very religious and mythological, it is difficult to know if there are some outdated legacies inside. So it is not helpful.

However, it seems on the wikitionary that the Greek word ξίφος (xíphos) could comes from the Egyptian zefet (zft), which has continued in Demotic Egyptian as sefy (sfy), which designate both a knife and a straight sword.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Nescio said:

Out of curiosity, what is the attested word for an ordinary sword?

Not sure, those typical short swords only appear in the Meroitic period, to my knowledge (Meroitic not being understood). Previous iterations of blades approaching the size of a short sword during the Napatan and even Kerma period look like oversized daggers evolved from Kerma-Period designs. I suspect they'd be referred to as knives or daggers:

Kerma Period daggers:

1239555163_Kermaperiodbronzedaggersivoryhiltskushblades.thumb.jpg.f567d90f8c48661676c4be9543cf8d21.jpg

 

At 52 cm, the one on the left is the largest one I've seen so far

335122967_KingdomofKushKushiteKermaperiodswordsandspearheadbronzecopper.thumb.jpg.7b702cbe5cad7241a9859a4fd905c609.jpg 

+30 cm Napatan period blade: 

1312415450_Napatanperiodblade30cm.thumb.png.561192ffe82dc392198cb91d5706154b.png

 

From the stele of Taharqa in Kawa, we have the term "ḥmt sft", among his donations to the temple, which means "copper knife", "sft" meaning knife. 

 

The Adoption Stele of Aspelta refers to the knife of Amen-Re, as "šꜥd n Imn-Rꜥ". I suspect this refers to the smaller type of curved blade also sometimes referred to as khopesh.

 

New Kingdom example of what I think "the knife of Amen-Re" refers to (human form of Amun on the left):

vintage-ancient-egyptian-artwork-PKKTM9.thumb.jpg.f920d25e2495a58057ca9e5c6140d4ff.jpg

 

Here's another example of a type of bronze knife, from Kerma. I don't know it's date though:

625081258_KingdomofKushKushiteknifefromKermawithlionhandleandarrowheadsfromMeroB.thumb.jpg.957f6e6d90f84b074b88a5551889670c.jpg

 

Also, if you're wondering, khopesh refers specifically to a curved blade:

Quote

The word 'khopesh' may have derived from 'leg', as in 'leg of beef', because of their similarity in shape. The hieroglyph for ḫpš ('leg') is found as early as during the time of the Coffin Texts (the First Intermediate Period).

So yeah, my best guess for straight, double edged short swords would be "knife": "sft"

 

52 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

However, it seems on the wikitionary that the Greek word ξίφος (xíphos) could comes from the Egyptian zefet (zft), which has continued in Demotic Egyptian as sefy (sfy), which designate both a knife and a straight sword.

How interesting... So yeah, "sft", "zft", "zefet", "sfy", or "sefy", your choice ;) 

Edited by Sundiata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Nescio, I just noticed something, and I wanted to share it with you. It's not directly relevant to your question about straight swords, but it's still interesting. 

I get the feeling sometimes that you're not the biggest fan of comparative history, which is understandable. A healthy dose of skepticism is good, and drawing conclusions from comparisons between disparate societies separated by space and time is definitely questionable. What I'm trying to say is that this isn't the case when comparing the 2nd Kingdom of Kush (Napatan and Meroitic Period) with New Kingdom Egypt. In fact the parallels are sometimes direct. I try to draw as much as I can from primary period Kushite sources (written, archaeological and pictorial). Then more secondary sources, like written accounts and depictions by foreigners (Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Assyrian, Persian and Aksumite). But these don't always suffice to create a complete picture of Kushite society. This is where I start comparing, and looking for potential parallels in New Kingdom, Late Period and Ptolemaic Period Egypt to the north, Nuba and other South/South-West Sudanese populations, and Beja/Blemmye in the East. Sometimes there is simply nothing to compare. But sometimes you end up staring at exactly the same thing, and the argument for incredible levels of cultural continuity in Sudan become all the stronger, and all the clearer.

In my last post I referenced a New Kingdom image of Ramesses II, smiting his enemies, while Amun stands next to him offering him a sickle type blade. The image is from Abu Simbel, c. 1264 BC. I did this to quickly illustrate a type of blade I hadn't seen in Kushite art yet, but seemed to be the "knife of Amen-Re" that the Kushite King Aspelta was referring to in his stele. Here it is again:

vintage-ancient-egyptian-artwork-PKKTM9.thumb.jpg.ab75fa29c089e868a0a9507f10f08623.jpg

 

Here's the actual relief from Abu Simbel:

1846328455_rs1_330-ramses-ii-crushing-enemies-02AbuSimbel.jpg.9a31b1949b3b9495670e684275f012f1.jpg  

 

Well,

I recently found myself staring at a partially reconstructed facade of Temple 200 from Naqa, built by the Kushite King Amanikhareqerem in the 1st or 2nd century AD (Meroitic), at least 1300 years after Ramesses' relief was commissioned at Abu Simbel. Open and download image and zoom in for detail. 

2077824243_rekonstruktion_tempelwandtemple200Naqa.thumb.jpg.c19ba6208329624d0a2e3ce5a286f9a4.jpg  

It's the same scene! Especially the panel on the left is basically an inverse image of Ramesses' scene, created well over a millennium after the original source of inspiration was created. This is an example of a direct parallel between the New Kingdom and the 2nd Kingdom of Kush, well into the Meroitic period. Which is a little crazy... You might wonder what is the value of the Kushite version of the scene, if it's just a copy? Well, it's not a carbon copy. Kushites remixed everything and gave it their own spin. In this scene, Amun of Thebes seems to be replaced with Amun of Napata. There are lions at the feet of the king, unlike the Ramessede scene. Lions in such scenes aren't unknown in Egypt of course, but the style in which the lions are depicted is totally different. Amanikhareqerem is also wearing a similar, but more elaborate outfit than Ramesses in the left scene. The same type of outfit seen on Natakamani from his relief on the pylon of the lion temple in Naqa. Amanikhareqerem in the left panel is also wearing the same crown as Ramesses II. On the right scene the King is wearing a full body scale armor from his torso and arms, down to his knees. This type of armor isn't present in similar Egyptian scenes, but it's the same type of scale armor seen on a relief of Kushite King Tarekeniwal on the pylon of his pyramid chapel at Meroë. Also, the king is holding prisoners by their hair, while a spear with a massive blade can be seen sticking out vertically above the prisoners' head. Again, this confirms that the large blade sticking out above the head of prisoners in a variety of Kushite reliefs isn't a sword as some assumed, but the immense blade of a spear, whose shaft is obscured by the prisoners. Very similar spears with blades between c. 50 and 70 cm were actually found in the royal graves of El Hobagi (Post Meroitic). These types of spears are not known in Egypt to my knowledge. So basically, we're looking at the same scene as the Ramessede scene, adapted to a Kushite reality, with the king wearing typical Kushite versions of royal attire and armor, while holding at least one typically Kushite weapon. But not all the weapons in the scene are different from their Egyptian counterparts. The sickle shaped blade in the hand of Amun can be seen on both sides of the pylon. Essentially the same type as the one in the Ramessede scene. This is the blade that I believe the Kushites referred to as "šꜥd n Imn-Rꜥ" or "the Knife of Amen-Re", which is apparently distinct from the Khopesh of Amun. Note that just above the sickle shaped blade of Amun on the right panel, there is a circle (I assume to denote the holiness of Amun's weapon). The victory stele of King Tanyidamani (c. 100 BC), which I believe features a stylized full sized khopesh also has this circle above Amun's blade, which is much larger than the small blade in Amanikhareqerem's relief. 

451205645_VictorysteleofKingTanyidemanitopdetailKushiteKhopesh.thumb.jpg.c49190ad431d52bd4a8bf7e12cb437a9.jpg  

 

Close up of one of the lions from Amanikhareqerem's temple. Lions aren't an uncommon depiction in Egyptian smiting scenes, but this Kushite style is totally different.

709520237_NaqaNagaTemple200lionreliefKingdomofKushKushite.thumb.jpg.0e3ee6a49ae9fa2e2ae90b05a4ac80cd.jpg1829578636_Amanakarekheremascaleends.jpg.0039ae20210d7a2825abc3f35a1367dd.jpg

1856268686_Naqareliefrulerlioncopy.thumb.jpg.ddf25dd95f414c235b4c8e46b198875c.jpg

 

The temple in question, in Naqa, right next to the Amun temple

1849714714_NaqaTemple200.thumb.png.60bbc5cb9539ae0a557a16da18eea736.png916611299_KingdomofKushKushitetempleN200inNaqa.thumb.jpg.9decd87f188247c50fbad0531f26c896.jpg

377276236_KingdomofKushKushitetemple200Naqa.thumb.jpg.202ac6350477182b3a48d217d820f152.jpg

 

 

One example of an area where a comparative approach was necessary was Kushite boats/ships. There was very little to go on for a while, until discovering the crude graffito that depict a number of types of vessels similar to Egyptian models. I originally provided the following New Kingdom example of the ships of the King's son of Kush in a Theban scene:

1145406070_EgyptianKushiteshipboatshuycopy.thumb.jpg.6c30a5ca3548a8770e7ae2d17b4e4940.jpg

 

Well, I just came across a crude Meroitic period graffiti from Philae, depicting a ship which looks quite similar, more than a thousand years later. Typical high, upward and inward curving stern, elevated prow, cabins, double rudder, and this one also has a central mast.

217258385_Meroiticshipgraffitiphilae.thumb.jpg.359d94311310600f872fd08f91e98d3f.jpg

Of course there are many, many parallels that can be drawn between the two civilizations, and the ones mentioned here are simple illustrations of a concept that can be expanded to almost every aspect of their respective societies (with caution), including military. There were many differences as well, and that's why sticking to purely Kushite sources when and where possible is always the best approach. But where this isn't possible, for specific things like military formations or details in ship-design, looking at the New Kingdom is the closest you're going to get, for now. And this isn't a bad approach as long as you're already intimate with all the Kushite sources on the respective subjects first.  

So basically when it comes to comparing the New Kingdom to the Napatan and Meroitic periods, many aspect can be summed up as follows: same same, but different.

This is also why I thought it was a bad idea to remove Nuba and Blemmye mercenaries, because you'll essentially end up with a Kushite faction that's pretty much just a rebirthed Iron Age New Kingdom, which is kind of how the Kushites viewed themselves, but it's also not the full story. What differentiates Kush from Egypt is the Kushite periphery, a tribal wild land, a savannah biome full of exotic people plants and animals, as opposed to the Egyptian periphery, which was just sand.

Edited by Sundiata
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Sundiata said:

@Nescio, I just noticed something, and I wanted to share it with you. It's not directly relevant to your question about straight swords, but it's still interesting. 

I get the feeling sometimes that you're not the biggest fan of comparative history, which is understandable. A healthy dose of skepticism is good, and drawing conclusions from comparisons between disparate societies separated by space and time is definitely questionable.

Actually I highly appreciate comparative history (and comparative linguistics even more). Civilizations don't exist in isolation and history consists of continua. However, a critical attitude towards sources is healthy; also, what they actually say is far more important than what a modern reader wants them to say.

As an example of the value of comparative history: looking at Swiss pike squares or Renaissance wargalleys greatly helps understanding the Macedonian syntagma or Hellenistic polyremes. (That doesn't mean they identical, or that the former is a continuation of the latter: they're reinvented independently; pikemen and polyremes clearly disappeared during the Principate, when Rome was the only remaining Mediterranean power.)

As an example of the value of being critical at sources: the Iliad is by far the most quoted work throughout Antiquity; nonetheless, the Homeric descriptions of warfare are not reflective of the actual situation in Hellenistic times, certainly not. Even though potentates (e.g. Alexander) liked to model themselves after Homeric heroes and were depicted heroically naked in hunting or fighting scenes, they wore body armour and rode horses in practice.

8 hours ago, Sundiata said:

So basically when it comes to comparing the New Kingdom to the Napatan and Meroitic periods, many aspect can be summed up as follows: same same, but different.

Yes, I fully agree with that!

That something was the case in 13th C Egypt doesn't mean it applies to 3rd C Kush.

8 hours ago, Sundiata said:

This is also why I thought it was a bad idea to remove Nuba and Blemmye mercenaries, because you'll essentially end up with a Kushite faction that's pretty much just a rebirthed Iron Age New Kingdom, which is kind of how the Kushites viewed themselves, but it's also not the full story. What differentiates Kush from Egypt is the Kushite periphery, a tribal wild land, a savannah biome full of exotic people plants and animals, as opposed to the Egyptian periphery, which was just sand.

Don't worry, the Kushites can still build the Nuba village in my mod; I don't implement everything I contemplate. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Nescio, @Genava55, dudes, I just casually bumped into a Nubian Khopesh! 

453529095_KhopeshCopper-alloy(gilded)scimitarfromKhorAliKarrarinez-ZumaNubiaSudanKushKushite.thumb.jpg.c24738a30eb57381e54190720bcafe56.jpg

It's from Zuma, an archaeological site 40 km downstream from Napata/Jebel Barkal and 10 km south of El Kurru, deep in Kushite territory. The archaeological site is associated with post-meroitic to early Christian Nubian tumuli graves, but the khopesh may have come from an as of yet undiscovered Kushite or perhaps even Egyptian gravesite. Personally I think the most attractive tentative explanation is that these Post-Meroites may have supplemented their own grave goods with items looted from the nearby royal Kushite cemeteries (both Napatan and Meroitic period). Weapons are frustratingly rare finds in Sudanese archaeology, and the khopesh in general is a rare find anywhere, so finding a khopesh, intact no less, in the archaeological record, so close to Kushite royal cities and cemeteries is pretty cool... 

 

 

SARS_SN06_Zurawski.thumb.jpg.a62c924c41af08f6c26a2accc32d82fb.jpg

https://issuu.com/sudarchrs/docs/s_n06_zurawski/16

 

Edited by Sundiata
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/27/2019 at 2:03 AM, Sundiata said:

One example of an area where a comparative approach was necessary was Kushite boats/ships. There was very little to go on for a while, until discovering the crude graffito that depict a number of types of vessels similar to Egyptian models. I originally provided the following New Kingdom example of the ships of the King's son of Kush in a Theban scene:

1145406070_EgyptianKushiteshipboatshuycopy.thumb.jpg.6c30a5ca3548a8770e7ae2d17b4e4940.jpg

 

Well, I just came across a crude Meroitic period graffiti from Philae, depicting a ship which looks quite similar, more than a thousand years later. Typical high, upward and inward curving stern, elevated prow, cabins, double rudder, and this one also has a central mast.

217258385_Meroiticshipgraffitiphilae.thumb.jpg.359d94311310600f872fd08f91e98d3f.jpg

 

Another Meroitic period graffiti, from the Gate of Hadrian at Philae

1596008053_MeroiticShipgraffitiphilaeKushKushiteboat.thumb.jpg.338ad4ef3745a80d5826dd1d1556facd.jpg

Compare this 2nd century AD (or later) Meroitic representation of a ship to the 14th century BC New Kingdom Period Ship from the Theban tomb of Amenhotep called Huy, Viceroy of Kush under Tutankhamen (first image). c. 1500 years of cultural continuity.

 

CALLING OUT TO ISIS: THE ENDURING NUBIAN PRESENCE AT PHILAE

https://www.academia.edu/26548898/Calling_Out_to_Isis_the_Enduring_Nubian_Presence_at_Philae?auto=download

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I still have a lot of references and sources that I gathered over the past few months. I guess it's time to start sharing them in a new series of reference updates. 

For today, I'm just going to share a few videos, including a talk by Prof. Dr. Dietrich Wildung, an Egyptologists essentially turned Nubiologist, former director of the Staatliche Sammlung für Ägyptischer Kunst, Munich, former director of the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, Berlin, and has since 1995 been leading excavations at the the Royal City of Naqa (Königsstadt Naga), in central Sudan.  

When I started sharing my references on the Kushites, I was actually being very conservative. I definitely didn't want anyone to think that I was overstating or misrepresenting things, and tried to be as meticulous as I could/can. Mistakes were definitely made along the way, and if you followed the 36 pages of discussions on this thread (as well as all the other threads on Kush), you'll have noticed quite a bit of back and forth, questions, criticisms, corrections and nuances. It's been quite a journey, and I can tell you, we're still very much on our way towards a deeper and more tangible understanding of Kushite history. It's an exciting time to be a Nubiologist!  

Dr. Wildung seems to have shed any semblance of conservatism when it comes to the history of ancient Kush/Nubia/Sudan (and isn't the only one), and he clearly speaks with a lot of authority on the subject, as well as well as a genuine love.

For a little more background info on Dr. Wildung (since one or two of his claims might sound a little bold to the ears of some):

Quote

Dietrich Wildung studied Egyptology, Classical Archeology and Ancient History at the University of Munich and in Paris. 1967 [1] awarded with a doctorate for a dissertation on the historical consciousness in ancient Egypt: "The role of Egyptian kings in the consciousness of their posterity. Posthumous sources on the kings of the first four dynasties ". He worked between 1968 and 1974, first as a research assistant at the Institute of Egyptology at the University of Munich, after his habilitation in 1972 on "Imhotep and Amenhotep. Gottwerdung in Ancient Egypt "as Privatdozent. In 1975, Wildung became director of the Staatliche Sammlung Ägyptischer Kunst Munich and remained in this position until 1988. In addition, Wildung 1979 became an associate professor at the University of Munich. In 1989, following Jürgen Settgast, he moved to the post of Director of the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection Berlin and became honorary professor at the Free University of Berlin. From 1990 to 2000, he formed a double top in the position of museum director together with Karl-Heinz Priese until his retirement, after which he headed the museum alone. Dietrich Wildung retired in July 2009, his successor as museum director was Friederike Seyfried.

Since 1978 Wildung leads the Munich "Ostdelta-excavation", since 1995 an excavation project in the Sudanese Naqa. From 1976 to 1989 he was Vice President, from 1992 to 1996 President of the International Association of Egyptologists (IAE). Wildung is holder of the Federal Cross of Merit, the Order of the Two Nile of Sudan and is "Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" in France and a full member of the German Archaeological Institute.

[translated from: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Wildung]

 

From Ägyptisches Museum, the official youtube channel of the Staatliche Sammlung für Ägyptische Kunst, Munich. 

 

These sentiments are being increasingly adopted by many Egyptologists, who have been continually readjusting their understanding of the ancient civilizations of the Nile. "Nubia Now", the latest exhibition of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is actively trying to address these question (possibly because they're also partly responsible for disseminating some of the misinformation that separated Egypt from Africa, and obscured Nubia from public view during the 19th and 20th centuries). 

These two short talks from the MFA help to understand a bit of the history behind the history, and why many of us have barely ever heard of Kush or Nubia as great centers of civilization in their own right. 

 

 

Race and Nile history is an unpleasantly controversial subject, but almost unavoidable when dealing with Egyptian, Kushite and Nubian history. This talk illustrates something on the futility of talking about "race" in this context, as in many other contexts, and how it sometimes does still affect even academia.

 

  

Bonus 1: a flyby of relatively recently excavated temple at Naqa:

 

 

Bonus 2: 3D Animated flyby of the Apedemak Temple at Musawwarat es Sufra

 

By now, even the Japanese are starting to get into Kushite history :) 

 

Edited by Sundiata
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Stan` said:

@Sundiata Have you tried to contact these people to showcase this thread? Perhaps it would be good for us to be actually visible to the academic world?

Nope, I haven't directly contacted them. Something tells me a few may have seen the thread though. 

I've had contact with some youtube historians though :P They love my stuff :P I even saw one guy claiming to have a PHD using images from this thread.

I'm still hard at work collecting sources, reevaluating details, factoring in new information. I'm still planning to write a more extensive piece, but I'd like it to conform to academic standards, which means there's still a lot of work for me to do. When I've finished my own compendium on Kushite history, I want to contact every specialist I can think of to see if any of them are willing to proof-read and provide feedback and corrections. Then I'll release it to the world. I'd basically want to write an illustrated narrative history book on Kush one day. 

In the meantime I'll just keep updating my state of knowledge here. 

Funny tangent:

Spoiler

So, I shared I really interesting museum talk from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in this post. 

Truly, a good presentation. But at the end, a controversial question was raised by a member of the audience, when she asked if there was no pressure to return these artefacts to Sudan. Mr Bermen, one of the speakers and senior curator of the Nubian Art at the MFA, was visibly annoyed and casually dismissed the question, saying that everything was acquired legally through the Sudan Antiquity Services. Basically parroting the official stance of the museum. The thing is, I'm familiar with the history behind the history, so I very politely formulated a question in the comment section of the video (luckily I saved it). I said:

"A very interesting presentation. I enjoyed watching it... I have one follow up question in response to the statement by Mr Berman that there is no pressure to return any of these 20.000+ items back to Sudan and that the excavations were done with the permission of the Antiquity Service of Sudan.

I assume that the Antiquity Service of Sudan at the time (1907-1930's, when the excavations happened) was run by the de facto British Colonial Government of Sudan, misleadingly referred to as the Anglo-Egyptian condominium. Even during the presentation itself, at the 1 hour mark Mr Berman shows a picture of Sir Herbert William Jackson Pasha, the British governor of Dongola province and veteran of the British reconquest of Sudan, fighting in the Mahdist war (a rather bloody affair). Berman even elaborates on how William Jackson Pasha facilitated the excavations and that they would have been nearly impossible without his support. Isn't it rather easy to argue that British colonials in Sudan issuing "licenses" and offering support to other Europeans and Americans to ship large quantities of priceless antiquities out of the country, in fact constitutes an act of plunder? 

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to discount the work that the MFA has done with regard to preservation, documentation and study of these items, and I'm not trying to discuss the merits of returning such a large quantity of gold and other priceless antiquities to Sudan in its current state of turmoil. It just seems rather odd to brush over the obviously sketchy ways in which these items found their way into collections halfway around the world, where they are not always understood in their proper Kushite context, reducing their perceived significance and obscuring their very existence. The MFA has done a lot to make their collection available, and I very much appreciate that, but I hope that they understand that these artefacts will always belong to Sudan."

I was getting upvotes y'all... On a very academic youtube channel. But no official response. Not really surprising. But since then, the video has been made private. Unavailable. Gone...

What's interesting though, is that the official museum stance has since changed! lol...

From the official MFA site on "Ancient Nubia Now":

"The MFA played a key role in bringing ancient Nubia to light, undertaking excavations at sites in southern Egypt and northern Sudan between 1913 and 1932, when both countries were under British colonial control. As a result, the MFA’s collection of ancient Nubian art is the largest and most important outside Khartoum, but the Museum’s possession of the objects is complicated by the far-reaching impact of European colonialism, and its history of displaying and interpreting them has at times been based on incorrect assumptions."

Lol. That's quite a bit different than what they were saying only a few months ago. Now, I'm not saying my youtube comment made the difference, as I'm sure other people must have noticed that these items were shipped around the world by the British during the colonial period, but I'm pretty sure mr Berman, saw my comment, and realized he was maintaining an untenable position. The mentality towards Kush and Nubia has changed quite a lot over the past 50 years, but the past couple of years specifically, it's seems to be snowballing. Over the next 10 years, I see the Kush becoming common knowledge... And 0AD has been a real part of that :)   

 

By the way, I was able to go through the entire archive of 20.000+ items in the MFA online collection a while a go. I literally examined every single entry... This is no longer possible... It seem that they made a large part of it private again. But the pictures were licensed under CC0 and I took almost everything I wanted when I still could, hahahaha.... Nobody's hiding nothing from me, I'll sniff it all out! :P 

 

 

Edited by Sundiata
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Stan` said:

Kudos :)

I forgot this part:

Quote

By the way, I was able to go through the entire archive of 20.000+ items in the MFA online collection a while a go. I literally examined every single entry... This is no longer possible... It seem that they made a large part of it private again. But the pictures were licensed under CC0 and I took almost everything I wanted when I still could, hahahaha.... Nobody's hiding nothing from me, I'll sniff it all out! :P 

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess for the images it won't matter much, since the license is CC0. Pick whichever has the better search function? It just came to mind since they also have scans of old books and thinks like that, so my brain associated archive.org with the subject matter.

Edited by GunChleoc
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...