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The Kingdom of Kush: A proper introduction [Illustrated]

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Musawwarat es Sufra, and Temple 300

In the first of a series of reference updates, I'll be revisiting the site of Musawwarat es Sufra, central Sudan. Most of you will be familiar with the site, but I present here an updated post, which will include some fresh photographic delights. Temple 300, located in Musawwarat, and featured in the new Kushite home screen for 0AD, was recently the source of contention for one of our community members. It was supposedly depicted "unreasonably huge", "near-complete fiction" or perhaps even really Egyptian... This post will address those concerns in detail. 

Firstly, some history on Musawwarat es Sufra:

Musawwarat es-Sufra was a large temple complex and cult center in the Western Butana, 25km from the Nile, 16km to the North of the Royal City of Naqa and 71km to the south-west of the capital city, Meroë. It’s located in the Wadi es-Sufra, a dry riverbed that can turn into a rapid stream during the yearly rains. The complex features temples, courtyards, a large water-reservoir, long walled corridors and possible workshops, kitchens, store-rooms, royal residences as well as a smaller secular enclosure. The Kushites themselves called this place "Aborepi" (believed to mean “place of the elephant” in Meroitic). Depictions of elephants and other animals, especially lions are a common theme in the reliefs, graffito and statuary 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 a depth reaching 11- 12 meters, it is the largest ancient 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 in the Wadi es-Sufra, dating to the Meroitic period. The absence of Meroitic graves in the valley also indicate that burial at this site was not allowed.

Almost all the standing monuments date to the Meroitic Period. The Lion Temple of the Meroitic King Arnekhamani dates to the later 3rd century BC. The standing remains of the Great Enclosure date to the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, partly overbuilding Napatan Period foundations. The enclosure measures about 237 meters by 203 meters. “Archaeological investigations have revealed that the courtyards east and north of the Central Terrace once contained gardens with carefully laid-out planting beds”.

The exact 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 because of Ptolemaic expeditions "sometimes numbering hundreds of men", coming to this area to acquire war elephants during the 3rd century BCE. 
  • A royal palace, because of the idea that at least some of these structures were (seasonal) 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 a regular basis.

Google maps: 16.412878, 33.323855 
https://www.google.com/maps/place/16°24'46.4"N+33°19'25.9"E/@16.4134602,33.3246782,332m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d16.412878!4d33.323855

 

A layout of the main site:

602768997_musawwaratessufralayoutmapplanKingdomofKushKushiteMeroiticruins.thumb.jpg.e53c327e363b9c723e41c9bb6837078c.jpg

Detail of the Great Enclosure (Temple 300 is on the far right):

1759032653_MusawwaratesSuframappalnofGreatEnclosure.thumb.jpg.1a0f1f912182864bd4586d87e9418ae3.jpg

Naming conventions:

greatenclosurelayout1-593x768.thumb.jpg.196720094d869653a0c3fb7615959f9b.jpg

 

An aerial shot of the Great Enclosure:

1239552755_MusawwaratesSufraAerialshotKingdomofKushKushitemeroitic.thumb.jpg.2d3bb21c6449a548be9442fd46c5a8f3.jpg

 

Now, for the contentious depiction of Temple 300:

1838328220_KingdomofKushMusawwaratesSufratemple300in0ADhomescreen.thumb.jpg.eae27858e311f90fc1082a3ca8115864.jpg

 

To examine wether it's unreasonably huge, we should first figure out how big the temple in this artistic render really is. Luckily for us, Pedro Blanco was kind enough to actually place a man standing in between the two pillars of the entrance. We shall henceforth refer to this man as "Dude". This Dude will give us an excellent frame of reference for the actual size of the temple depicted here. The average height for men around the world today is 1,75m. You could argue that people were smaller back then, as you could also argue that Kushites were tall people based on historical records and modern population heights of Nilotic people. For the sake of simplicity, we'll say that both considerations cancel each other out. We conclude that the Dude is 1,75 meters tall, and shall be our height unit. Using this highly scientific method... ... we can now measure the size of the temple in Dudes. 

 

671406797_KingdomofKushMusawwaratesSufratemple300in0ADhomescreen.thumb.jpg.0ab6dd233bf07560dec2928237dc125b.jpg

As we can see, the temple in this artistic render measures roughly 6 Dudes by 13 Dudes, which translates to about 10,50 meters by 22,75 meters. 

And then I'm even being a little generous (it's really more like 5,8 Dudes by 12,7 Dudes, but no stress, we'll just call it 6 by 13 dudes).

[of course, I know, perspective... But the Dude is standing dead center in the temple, which we'll say cancels out any warping of the measurements. Also, the size of the temples was questioned in relation to the puny looking humans, so the Dude is really the best unit of measurement for this exercise]

So how does this measurement compare to the actual Temple 300 in Musawwarat? Let's see:

1891605072_MusawwaratesSufraTemple300groundplanplanmapKingdomofKushKushiteMeroiticNubiaSudanButana.thumb.jpg.88fe9d984e2afdd6e22767d01580831f.jpg

 

According to this ground plan, The main structure of Temple 300 measures c. 20,5 meters by 13,5 meters, with walls nearly 2 meters thick, all round. 

This can be corroborated with Google Maps:

1577378180_MusawwaratesSufratemplecomplexsatelitetemple300lengthmeaasurment.thumb.jpg.2b3a7c197da1433f556269d6e1516540.jpg

 

This means, that in order to be completely historically accurate, the temple in the render should be 3 meters wider, or 22% more wide, and 2,25 meters shorter, or 10% shorter. 

In terms of surface area, the temple in the render is c. 239m² while the temple in real life is c. 277m², or 14% larger!

It is now clear, using very meticulous Dude measurements, that the temple in the render is in fact smaller than its real world inspiration, Temple 300. The only thing that can be said is that the platform or terrace on which Temple 300 was built measures roughly a meter in height, while in the render, it's almost 2 meters. So the platform is roughly 1 meter too high.    

The funny thing is that the size of Temple 300 is nowhere close to the size of the largest Kushite temples. It's not even the largest temple in Musawwarat. That honor would go to Temple 100 (built on a higher terrace), the beautiful peripteral temple at the centre of the complex, which in itself, isn't particularly huge to Kushite standards either.  

 

Check out the official website of the Archaeological Mission to Musawwarat: http://www.musawwarat.com 

The Zamani Project has also done a lot of work in Musawwarat: https://www.zamaniproject.org/site-sudan-Musawwarat-es-Sufra.html 

For scholarly discussion of the site: Musawwarat es-Sufra: Interpreting the Great Enclosure by Steffen Wenig: https://issuu.com/sudarchrs/docs/s_n05-wenig 

For a 3D scan of the entire temple: https://skfb.ly/6OSqp  

 

The remains of Temple 300, in all its glory, c. 2200 years after construction:

614991932_MusawwaratesSufratemple300nubiasudanKingdomofKushKushiteMeroitic.thumb.jpeg.a868995369e45bf85d978f193c56f613.jpeg

1408124170_MusawwaratesSufratemple300aerialsudannubiabutanakingdomofKushKushitemeroiticperiodruins.thumb.jpg.3955c803344eb17c0b356b3c4235d922.jpg

760299498_MusawwaratesSufratemple300aerialsudannubiabutanakingdomofKushKushitemeroiticperiodruins2.thumb.jpg.8a1275caf7144d006ba96d3a8625772f.jpg

369641974_MusawwaratesSufratemple300frontalKingdomofKushKushiteNubiaSudan.thumb.jpg.73dd986db5cb95021d2b926be346d752.jpg

1439418801_MusawwaratesSufratemple300frontal1sudannubiabutanakingdomofKushKushitemeroiticperiodruins.thumb.jpg.ac959ff8ab7b687730732db281b0c227.jpg

1467110607_MusawwaratesSufratemple300frontcloseKingdomofKushKushiteNubiaSudan.thumb.jpg.e12f7d758c043b26cff54d1be3c6945e.jpg

18870437_Temple300MusawwaratesSufracloseupMeroiticKingdomofKushKushite.thumb.jpg.75d952156a729842af2b7eee46b7788c.jpg

616369377_MusawwaratesSufratemple300sideKingdomofKushKushiteNubiaSudan.thumb.jpg.4dceab62322da0c5770fe2698e255913.jpg

 

The actual height of the structure, as proposed by K.-H. Priese in this reconstruction is based on the recovered blocks from the excavations, and extrapolated from the size of the door, and statues (of which there are many direct parallels with which to compare), further supported by the 2 meter thick walls and rather beefy columns.  

293617496_KingdomofKushKushiteTemple300inmusawwaratesSufra.thumb.jpg.a4e3d1a778457bad29b70c88c43aa3ff.jpg

If the structure reached a height of c. 7,5 meters, as in this reconstruction, and the height/width ratio of the model in-game is about 9 to 11, which would make the model about 8,6 to 9,6 meters in the artistic render, then we can indeed say that the temple in the render is about 1,1 to 2.1 meters too tall. As I said earlier, the terrace of the temple is indeed c. 1 meter too high...

Again, I need to emphasize that this is nowhere near the tallest structure ever built by Kushites. The tallest pylons constructed for the Amun Tempel at Barkal by Piye, reached a spectacular 21 to 33 meters in height. Likewise, the pylons of the Meroitic Amun Temples of Meroë and Dangeil would have reached between 15 and 21 meters in height. The largest Napatan Pyramid was in excess of 30 meters in height. Just to name a few examples. More on these figures (which did not require Dude Measurements) in a future post. 

 

The rest of Musawwarat:

The first picture is Temple 100, perhaps not as tall as Temple 300, but definitely bigger:

145277762_MusawwaratesSufratemplecomplexsudannubiabutanakingdomofKushKushitemeroiticperiodruins6.thumb.jpg.85938a60fc534a6fd881a06da5e48ac0.jpg

917853363_GreatEnclosureMusawwaratesSufraKingdomofKushKushiteNubiaSudan.thumb.jpg.8ddc546f8dff0add68335410d6fc1ab7.jpg

520192954_MusawwaratesSufratemplecomplexsudannubiabutanakingdomofKushKushitemeroiticperiodruins5.thumb.jpg.c0003b659cfb24625b8984e6080827cc.jpg

1935104547_MusawwaratesSufraSudanmeroitictemplesKingdomofKushKushiteNubia.thumb.jpg.7271d5ad7d6d23a0198ab431fd7f4b2e.jpg

1325476240_MusawwaratesSufratemplecomplexsudannubiabutanakingdomofKushKushitemeroiticperiodruins2.thumb.jpg.79e751ffaf30775196083f04df1c57af.jpg

237874579_MusawwaratesSufratemplecomplexsudannubiabutanakingdomofKushKushitemeroiticperiodruins3copy.jpg.403ff5ab089488e2bddfb9c34cab1fce.jpg

1953805846_MusawwaratesSufratemplecomplexsudannubiabutanakingdomofKushKushitemeroiticperiodruins3.thumb.jpg.938bf9ad0939e1e2161b5801acfe3ea7.jpg

1918001607_MusawwaratesSufratemplecomplexsudannubiabutanakingdomofKushKushitemeroiticperiodruins4.thumb.jpg.b32196f6e2fab22a8138b682f8774da3.jpg

2039399087_MusawwaratesSufratemplecomplexsudannubiabutanakingdomofKushKushitemeroiticperiodruins.thumb.jpg.090402b9c4378e17a3f9ebf1442167d2.jpg

401876780_MusawwaratesSufratemplecomplexsudannubiabutanakingdomofKushKushitemeroiticperiodruinscopy.thumb.jpg.bd559a8526f8ed1d34bd3a38773a72a3.jpg

 

 

Even the "small" Lion Temple at Musawwarat really isn't actually that small when you see people standing next to it...

27892286_189247541674888_4229618866080186368_n.thumb.jpg.7a349fe904d555f30e906db7623cebde.jpg

72102625_2738174322883155_6825358925564947675_n.thumb.jpg.88b3f4bc88c9bfbb8d16a64864361384.jpg

1057105615_Liontemplemusawwaratsize.thumb.jpg.f60ca95af38ca5eef9e3beb76a08b3a6.jpg

Edited by Sundiata
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Kerma, capital of the First Kingdom of Kush, c. 2500 BC - 1500 BC

As with the previous post, most of you will already be familiar with the site. Kerma was the seat of a Nubian state that the archaeologists refer to as the Kerma Kingdom, or the Kingdom of Kerma, and the associated culture as Kerma Culture. The capital was located in Upper Nubia, between the 3rd and the 4th Cataract (close to the third) This is the first Sudanese Kingdom that the Egyptians referred to as the Kingdom of Kush (k3š), a name which stuck for almost 3 millennia. These people were contemporaneous to the Middle Kingdom, the Akkadian Empire, the first Kings of Babylon, the Minoans, the Indus Valley Civilization and Stonehenge. They even predate the Mycenaeans. Its predecessor, Pre-Kerma began around 3500 BC, itself the culmination of even earlier sedentary traditions in Northern Sudan.

The Kerma Period of Kushite history is important with regard to understanding the origins of advanced material culture, architecture, monumentalism, religion, state-hood and militaristic expansionism that predates the Egyptian conquest of Kush by more than a millennium! Kush, usually conflated with vague concepts of "Nubia", has often been seen as an irrelevant "adjunct" to Egypt. This outdated narrative is being entirely abandoned by modern Egyptologists and Nubiologists alike.     

Kerma Kushites actually ransacked the Middle Kingdom. The Egyptian Middle Kingdom fortresses in Lower Nubia, including Buhen, widely regarded as the most impressive fortifications in the world at that time, were all conquered by these Kerma Period Kushites in their earliest recorded march on Thebes. Elaborate Egyptian statuary which was looted during the campaigns were placed in the tombs of Kerma rulers, and testify to these early military incursions with relative success, as do the inscriptions in the tomb of Sobeknakht, an Egyptian official who recounted the counterattack against Kushites at Elkab, a mere 65 km south of Thebes, the embattled Egyptian capital. Incredibly, a looted vessel belonging to Sobeknakht was actually found in a Kerma tomb, illustrating that Sobeknakht's already finished tomb had already been looted by the Kushites prior to the Egyptian counterattack, and the inscription in the tomb was made after the counterattack, and the refurbishment of Sobeknakht's tomb.   

Here's something incredible to think about: The most famous of the looted Egyptian statues in Kerma Period Kushite tombs is the elegant statue of Lady Sennuwy, found in Kerma, Tumulus K III, hall A, a large 70 meter diameter mound with many rows of halls (often called "apartments") filled with burial goods and sacrificial offerings including humans (the largest tumuli reached a diameter close to 130 meters). This statue of Sennuwy comes from Asyut, Upper Egypt, a whopping 216 km NORTH of Thebes on the border of Middle EgyptThe implications are potentially far more significant than the inscriptions from Sobeknakht's tomb, but most academics have so far been shy to draw any conclusions. The Kerma Tumulus K III, dates to c. 1786 BC -1650 BC, which directly abuts the beginning of the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt: c. 1650 BC – 1550 BC! There's definitely still some untold history here... 

I did some compositing of other people's work :P Kerma:

813592750_KingdomofKushcapitalcityKermaPeriod2000BCAfricaSudanNubia.thumb.jpg.8dd6be5e10e746f41e28046a49a73d01.jpg

 

"making of"

I watched a nice video on an exhibition on Kerma period Kush:

 

Took screenshots of the panoramic shot of the city:

740166425_Kermadocumentaryshot.thumb.jpg.ee67eb63281483ac5cc4de827a119be0.jpg

 

Stitched them together:

672337562_Kermarawtestcopy.thumb.jpg.00656a5dd19a8f28df96ed5fece2210b.jpg

 

Cut out the city. Did some color corrections. Separated the front part of the city from the back part. Applied blur to the back to emphasize sense of distance and scale. Worked in a panoramic savannah shot as the background, and blurred it a little more than the back part of the city. And some other random stuff. Tadaaaa:

813592750_KingdomofKushcapitalcityKermaPeriod2000BCAfricaSudanNubia.thumb.jpg.8dd6be5e10e746f41e28046a49a73d01.jpg

 

@LordGood, I was like:

ed2.thumb.png.0dc25a11a80f75f462435244b33ce515.png

:) I aLsO mAdE tHiS mEmE [insert upside down smiley]

 

Map of central Kerma (This site was walled, and surrounded by more palaces/royal/elite compounds, agricultural villages and huge cemeteries with monumental chapels. 

495926401_FirstKingdomofKushkushiteSiteplanmapoftheroyalcityofkermasudanafricanancienturbancomplex.thumb.jpg.56260d4713546bf6f0519f73738da907.jpg

 

 

Kerma is obviously important for many reasons. One of the things which Kerma tells us is that Kushite monumental architecture had started in Sudan more than a millennium before the Egyptian conquest of Kush. The Western Deffufa still stands to a height of 18 meters today! 

66674184_1285317238299254_947382000204910188_n.jpg.b7b4ade5a74dbe3285191e5ef892bc52.jpg

stock-photo-in-africa-sudan-kerma-the-antique-city-of-the-nubians-near-the-nilo-and-tombs-1295270002.thumb.jpg.93ddbc7a75e7f888e872f189c4164b26.jpg

 

The Eastern Deffufa (Temple K II) is usually overshadowed by the larger one pictured above. But the Eastern Deffufa has it's own charm, if you realize that you're looking at a 3750 - 3480 year old monument:

738372085_EasternDeffufaKermafirstKingdomofKush.thumb.jpg.6bcc9d74062a0fccb5dbd7de5caa12ef.jpg

 

The magnificent faience lion-inlays come from this mortuary temple.

869279972_KushKushiteclassicKermafaiencewallinlayoflion120cmlongfromthefacadeoftheEasternDeffufa.thumb.jpg.f271fafac6a17e91bcb4e82b0080e3e3.jpg

 

So does this sandstone ceiling block with faience rosette inlays:

1638118353_CeilingblockwithrosettepatternSandstoneandfaienceClassicKerma17001550B.C.KermaTempleXI.thumb.jpg.9cf1ec40be05a43d056046224aeac9df.jpg

 

Temple K II, the Funerary Chapel, a.k.a the Eastern Deffufa during the excavations of George A. Reisner:

587768495_KermacemeteryChapelKIIKingdomofKushKushite.thumb.jpg.34c2471656f14cb8cc99571da0740bee.jpg

1933769214_KermaTempleKII.thumb.jpg.f11ad412f3c50b39ec42bf8a2f853040.jpg

 

Another similar chapel on the map next to some of the biggest Tumuli (Temple K XI):

918059084_PlanoftheroyaltombKXandthefunerarytempleKXIexcavatedbyGeorgeReisneratKerma.thumb.jpg.bd80c7dfca14b3815a14982552207efe.jpg

 

As you can see, some of these "mudbrick" temples were actually encased in sandstone! The insides were plastered and painted, sometimes with addition of elaborate faience inlays! Note the staircase, probably leading to the roof, just as in the Western Deffufa.

Temple K XI

632021423_PlanofClassicKermaroyalFuneraryChapelKXI.thumb.png.68108a294bcde0f8235cfb81132006da.png

 

Take note of the use of cut stone columns! This is very significant as it shows us that columned structures, just like so many architectural features were already a feature of Kushite architecture centuries before the Egyptian occupation of the area (and centuries before columned structures appeared anywhere on the European mainland). 

 

43384319_KermaTempleKXIChapelKingdomofKushKushite.thumb.jpg.71f6000f23ae07a3f2d19b505858c719.jpg

1653739662_KermaTempleKXIChapelKingdomofKushKushitee.thumb.jpg.247346ee9b4e81071e75a10eb2375108.jpg

151275782_KermaTempleXIEasternCemeteryKingdomofKushKushite.thumb.jpg.ebc667f0f30d37516bf8d8a956dbf877.jpg

 

 

 

Plan of the Eastern Cemetery:

Plan-of-the-Eastern-Cemetery-at-Kerma-with-the-location-of-the-excavated-sectors.thumb.png.97ffd5199cbbffd8dbd779fc21db52d7.png

 

There are c. 30.000 tumuli in the cemeteries of Kerma...

I have the distinct pleasure of presenting you with the highest quality pictures of some of the largest Kushite Tumuli ever to be indexed by Google :) I have looked for these pictures for almost 3 years! They're incredibly rare. I finally found them in the original excavation reports by George Andrew Reisner himself! The largest of these Royal Tumuli were absolutely huge! Probably not very tall, but huge nonetheless. 

Reisner, George A.
Excavations at Kerma
Vol II, Cambridge, Mass. 1924

http://sfdas.com/publications/ouvrages-specialises-en-ligne-ouvrages/article/excavations-at-kerma?lang=en

Enjoy!

Kerma Tumulus K IV

1138418487_KermaTumulusKIVKingdomofKushKushitetomb3.thumb.jpg.e1245a05033d916b837a30c7e6b939eb.jpg

1893017848_KermaTumulusKIVKingdomofKushKushitetomb2.thumb.jpg.279c3f992163591abb105cbc4c1a9b8e.jpg

1327951163_KermaTumulusKIVKingdomofKushKushitetomb.thumb.jpg.8f521679621286e80f56993914e743b1.jpg

 

 

Kerma Tumulus K III (The one where the looted Egyptian statue of Lady Sennuwy was found):

1314971531_KingdomofKushKushitekermatumulus_i-iii_1_part2b.thumb.jpg.8310bb59e83fed3159bf5613ce736909.jpg

207767683_KingdomofKushKermaTumulusKIIISennuwystatueexcavatedhere2.thumb.jpg.bd38901d0ac9a28f8bdd639078cce105.jpg

688842227_KingdomofKushKermaTumulusKIIISennuwystatueexcavatedhere.thumb.jpg.e3d7b273c77ae135ced563d5bd332b01.jpg

1216732610_KIIIKerma.jpg.b1539a98b26baee9fd34a422c79d851a.jpg

310-Figure4.29-1.thumb.png.9354ffaaa806b4ce57ee743d80ec275c.png

 

The stolen damsel herself appears. Lady Sennuwy still located in the land of her captors, more than 3500 years later. 

485689585_LadySenuwy.thumb.png.4ad161712675e4e701f7b7e0fdd2e87f.png

 

Fully excavated statue in situ:

1558750870_kerma_i-iii_1_part3d.thumb.jpg.d6f9181fff96629521f9c877fffe373c.jpg

 

Funnily, the Egyptian statues of Sennuwy and the less well preserved example of her husband Djefaihapi, aren't even the only Egyptian funerary statues in Tumulus K III. Other Kerma tombs also contained Egyptian statuary. Kushites were even known for looting Ptolemaic and Roman statues in later times as well. Stealing statues seems to have been a national pass time... Definitely an expression of power by Kushite rulers. From K III:

2044166790_KermaKIIILootedEgyptianstatuettesinKushiteTomb.thumb.jpg.924762456be38d0213f59098d7ff0613.jpg  

 

 

Kerma Tumulus K X

104007161_ViewofthesacrificialcorridorKXHallBlookingwest.thumb.png.28a157fe824e1025919573255d4a3834.png

 

612566233_PlanofClassicKermaroyalTumulusKX.thumb.png.042c11cdbc1e18c8e1bb3f1a619676f3.png

 

 

And here's a museum restauration of a much more modest tumulus:

stock-photo-ancient-egyptian-temple-sesebi-in-sudan-1381588454.thumb.jpg.4baaf86ba0a61a1c94755cbdc5ff08e8.jpg

 

This one is a family affair:

2089167773_PrivateClassicKermasubsidiarygraveK425.thumb.jpg.eb92e4fb58b784ee882c83672490d837.jpg

 

Kushite bronze daggers, some of them the size of short swords, from the tumuli at Kerma.

1885226132_ClassicKermadaggersandswords.thumb.jpg.d66e4221063a5ac0e080fe060b214cea.jpg

149911366_ClassicKermaDaggers.thumb.jpg.3eb419e8eb901869e29e62093329896c.jpg

 

Kushite Ivory inlays of Taweret, an Egyptian goddess, illustrating very early forms of syncretism:

1235630631_Kermaivoryinlays.thumb.jpg.8ede23e0f90d0d4576e2664b31bc8a10.jpg

1688759065_KermaivoryinlaysKushiteTaweret.thumb.jpg.fa95569891f30e1164d79dac2d61f362.jpg

 

Take note of the knife/sword she is holding:

680758055_IvoryinlayofTaweretwithaknifeorswordClassicKermaKingdomofKushKushite.thumb.jpg.07da0264a0a340975d8b91b65b4c53d7.jpg

 

Actual examples of such knives/swords from the tumuli at Kerma:

237975380_KushiteknivesbronzeKermaPeriod.thumb.jpg.472c7e194010ce96c4c42679f901efb3.jpg

 

photographic example:

482976540_KingdomofKushKushiteknifefromKermawithlionhandleandarrowheadsfromMeroB.thumb.jpg.1cc811fdd4de5c519a482a900fd77a32.jpg

 

Lions were already central to the symbolism of Kush since the kerma period. Bronze lion inlays from Kerma:

1886082215_KermaBronzeinlaysoflions.thumb.jpg.5c056a3c061aa86d26d5253b68011991.jpg

 

Incredibly well preserved sandals from Kerma, essentially identical to the later Napatan and Meroitic sandals (which often aren't as well preserved)

972916307_KermaperiodsandalsKingdomofKush.thumb.jpg.b947d2665a803defec6e70332dda4272.jpg

 

 

Oddly appropriate artwork of Kerma Kushites "appropriating" articles from an Egyptian tomb during one of their raids or campaigns. The original Tombraiders. Perhaps not as sexy as Lara Croft, but at least as interesting... What is that guy doing with that axe??? 

nubian_soldiers_robbing_a_tomb__5__by_victoria_poloniae_da1irjy-pre.thumb.jpg.8a8fe0689b55625c56e3e4f633d2d60b.jpg

 

Kushite burial customs:

1612143449_KingdomofkushkushiteburialkermaperiodpangraveculturebyTayoFatunla.thumb.jpg.a5fffab7179c808f3eb0b6c1efafad0c.jpg

 

Raid on Buhen:

1761375201_KermaKushiteattackontheEgyptian12thdynastyfortressofBuhen.thumb.jpg.652436b6cecec3a6291af615cee11809.jpg

Edited by Sundiata
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New Hero Portrait: King Nastasen 

By Sundiata (Malcolm Quartey)

King Nastasen Kushite Pharaoh Kush Hero Portrait Nubia Sudan Africa Malcolm Quartey Sundiata D.jpg

King Nastasen, a late Napatan Period ruler of the Kingdom of Kush, Sudan (4th Century B.C.).

King Nastasen Ankhkhare was a Napatan Period ruler of the Kingdom of Kush (Sudan), ruled c. 335 B.C. - 315/310 B.C. His mother was Queen Pelkha and his father may have been King Harsiotef. Married to Queen Sekhmakh, and succeeded by King Aryamani. Nastasen is noted for defeating an Upper Egyptian invasion of Kush by Khabbash "taking many fine boats" and putting down many rebellions, thereby consolidating Harsiotef's earlier conquests. Most of what we know about Nastasen comes from the rather lengthy, and well preserved Stela of Nastasen.

The submerged tomb underneath his pyramid at Nuri (Nuri 15) is currently under excavation by the Nuri Archaeological Expedition. Early results (remnants of gold) are indicating the real possibility that his tomb has not been looted, and his sarcophagus may still be intact! Because of high water levels the tomb is currently under water and archaeologists have to resort to underwater excavations with scuba gear, a first in Sudan. @OptimusShepard, I started this portrait exactly one day before you shared that documentary in the above post, half of which is about those very excavations! So that was really an incredible coincidence! Watching that docu was a bit surreal for me. And also a great source of inspiration!

Nastasen's Pyramid Nuri 15

ngnews-1906-nuri-pyramid-maps-diagram_ai2html-desktop-small copy.jpg        Nuri 15 pyramid of Nastasen Kushite King Kingdom of Kush Nubia Sudan.jpg

 

The Nastasen Stela:

Nastasen Stela.jpg

 

 

Some translated excerpts from the Nastasen Stela:

Quote

Horus: Mighty bull, Beloved-of-the-Ennead, Appearing-in-Napata,

the bull who tramples those who rebel against him under his sandals,

the great devouring lion,

who establishes every land,

son of Amun;

whose khopesh is great;

who widens every land;

son of the gods;

the powerful one

who knows every word like Thoth does,

son of Isis;

the powerful one,

whose birth the gods decided;

who protects Two-lands;

Son-of-Rê: Nastasen.

Clearly, humility was not a thing Kushite kings were concerned with... :P 

Funnily, Nastasen is mounted on a horse in-game. From the stela we actually find this excerpt: "I went off on a great horse and I reached the Great House. They made obeisance' to me, all the notables and priests of Amun". Got to love 0 A.D....

The rest of the Stela is about Nastasen slaughtering rebels, taking loot, defeating an invasion from Egypt, bigging up his mom, listing his donations to the temples etc, etc...

@Stan`, here is a perfectly square PNG version for you:

Spoiler

Nastasan Hero Portrait Icon Kushites.png

 

 

 

Also, I just registered a personal ArtStation account. Please feel free to head on over there to check out some of my other art and give me some views :):P   

https://www.artstation.com/malcolmquartey

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Is Harsiotef the same person as Nastasen?

No, Harsiotef is his predecessor, and possible father of Nastasen (there was probably at least one ruler between Harsiotef and Nastasen)

The Harsiotef stela is quite similar both in style and execution, but distinct. Harsiotef was also a badass... Conquered in all directions, from Southernmost Egypt (Lower Nubian border with Ancient Egypt) to the desert lands and what is believed to be the borders of modern day Ethiopia: the stela mentions a successful campaign against "Habasa", believed to be one of the earliest mentions of "Hebesha" (a.k.a. Abyssinia, the original name of modern day Ethiopia). The term "Habesha" is still widely used by Ethiopians and Eritreans as the self-appellation for Afro-Semitic peoples like the Amhara, the Tigrayans and the Beta Israel. 

Harsiotef Stela:

Harsiotef stela.jpg 

I don't know where the stela is located today so I can't find a picture :( The translations are also available in the Fontes Historiae Nubiorum though :) 

 

42 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Arakamani could also use a proper portrait.

Absolutely. But painting Nastasen took me 5 days, so I can't tell when I'll be able to do Arakamani.

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1 hour ago, Sundiata said:

No, Harsiotef is his predecessor

In that case the template has to be corrected. What would be the correct specific name?

  • Amanirenas : Amnirense qore li kdwe li
  • Arakami : ‘Irk.‘Imn
  • Harsiotef :
  • Nastasen : Nastasen Ankhkhare
1 hour ago, Sundiata said:

Absolutely. But painting Nastasen took me 5 days, so I can't tell when I'll be able to do Arakamani.

There is plenty of time, A24 is unlikely to be finished anytime soon.

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39 minutes ago, Nescio said:

In that case the template has to be corrected. What would be the correct specific name?

I'm sorry, I don't follow? Which template? What does the template currently say? 

43 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Harsiotef :

The Kings have many names/titles, often quite similar to previous Kushite Kings and/or New Kingdom Pharaohs. For Harsiotef, just copy pasting from wikipedia:

Quote

Horus name: Kanakht Khaemnepet ("Mighty Bull appears in Napata")
Nebty Name: Nednetjeru ("Who seeks the council of Gods") 
Golden Horus Name: Uftikhesutnebut ("Subduer given all the Desert Lands") 
Prenomen: Sameryamun ("Beloved son of Amun")  
Nomen: Harsiotef ("Horus Son of his Father")

But where is Harsiotef in the game? I thought there are only 3 heroes per faction and Nastasen was chosen over Harsiotef? 

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19 minutes ago, Sundiata said:

I'm sorry, I don't follow? Which template? What does the template currently say? 

The Kings have many names/titles, often quite similar to previous Kushite Kings and/or New Kingdom Pharaohs. For Harsiotef, just copy pasting from wikipedia:

But where is Harsiotef in the game? I thought there are only 3 heroes per faction and Nastasen was chosen over Harsiotef? 

kush_hero_harsiotef.xml:

Spoiler

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Entity parent="template_unit_hero_cavalry_spearman">
  <Auras datatype="tokens">
    units/heroes/kush_hero_nastasen_1
    units/heroes/kush_hero_nastasen_2
  </Auras>
  <Identity>
    <Civ>kush</Civ>
    <GenericName>Nastasen</GenericName>
    <SpecificName>Nastasen Ankhkhare</SpecificName>
    <Icon>units/kush_hero_harsiotef.png</Icon>
  </Identity>
  <VisualActor>
    <Actor>units/kushites/hero_cavalry_spearman_harsiotef_m.xml</Actor>
  </VisualActor>
</Entity>

 

Only three trainable heroes, yes, but civilizations can have additional unproduceable entities. There are also two versions of Amanirenas present (infantry and chariot).

Edited by Nescio

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1 hour ago, Nescio said:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <Entity parent="template_unit_hero_cavalry_spearman"> <Auras datatype="tokens"> units/heroes/kush_hero_nastasen_1 units/heroes/kush_hero_nastasen_2 </Auras> <Identity> <Civ>kush</Civ> <GenericName>Nastasen</GenericName> <SpecificName>Nastasen Ankhkhare</SpecificName> <Icon>units/kush_hero_harsiotef.png</Icon> </Identity> <VisualActor> <Actor>units/kushites/hero_cavalry_spearman_harsiotef_m.xml</Actor> </VisualActor> </Entity>

Yeah, that doesn't make sense to me either... Nastasen and Harsiotef are different people, but I don't know anything about templates, or why Harsiotef is there. :unsure: Back when the Kushite civ was being prepared for integration, I argued for Harsiotef as the main cavalry mounted hero, but didn't get a positive response and people stuck with Nastasen. Maybe there was some sort of a mixup. I'm now obviously committed to Nastasen, and the fact that they're excavating his tomb right now means that there is also more public interest in Nastasen. He's the more famous of the two, and had a more direct military conflict with Egypt making him more interesting than Harsiotef who focused more on regional campaigns. 

 

1 hour ago, Nescio said:

There are also two versions of Amanirenas present (infantry and chariot).

@Stan`, from your screenshot I can see that Amanirenas is still on foot. Could you please change her to the chariot version. Queens wouldn't be walking on the battlefield if they have a perfectly usable chariot. Especially not if they're overweight :) 

Thanks for pointing this out @Nescio

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When committing the Kushites I kept harsiotef as a scenario unit in case we ever needed him :)

As for amanirenas using a chariot that's a balancing change so....

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4 minutes ago, Stan` said:

As for amanirenas using a chariot that's a balancing change so....

Kushites are an underpowered civ. I don't think anyone is going to complain about Amanirenas being a little bit swifter. Nobody even recruits her as is... 

Why would it be an issue? Have you played them competitively before? Who would I need to talk to, to get this change through? 

 

9 minutes ago, Stan` said:

When committing the Kushites I kept harsiotef as a scenario unit in case we ever needed him :)

Ah, so does the template matter? Or is it something the end user will never notice? 

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17 minutes ago, Sundiata said:

Ah, so does the template matter? Or is it something the end user will never notice? 

It will only matter if someone makes a custom map using it in the scenario editor :)

17 minutes ago, Sundiata said:

Why would it be an issue? Have you played them competitively before? Who would I need to talk to, to get this change through? 

@ValihrAnt @borg- maybe @Nescio

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Templates should always be correct, regardless whether they're used or not.

I can correct the template, but to do so I need a proper specific name (i.e. native language), which is why I listed the names of the other Kushite heroes earlier. Consistency matters, so one hero using a Horus name and another a Golden Horus name won't fly.

2 hours ago, Sundiata said:

Why would it be an issue? Have you played them competitively before? Who would I need to talk to, to get this change through? 

Ultimately you need to convince a team member to commit something. Because there are no dedicated people for gameplay, anything that reeks of a potential balance change is extremely hard to get reviewed, even if it's as trivial as adjusting footprints.

That said, I have no objections to making the chariot version the default.

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23 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Ultimately you need to convince a team member

I've been trying since November 2018 :down:

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7 hours ago, Sundiata said:

I've been trying since November 2018 :down:

In case you find someone, there is now a patch available for it: D2622

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4 hours ago, Nescio said:

In case you find someone, there is now a patch available for it: D2622

Thank you very much for the effort! I really appreciate it :) 

Fingers crossed.

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15 hours ago, Sundiata said:

Thank you very much for the effort! I really appreciate it :) 

Fingers crossed.

Uploading patches is easy. Getting them reviewed is much harder.

Other minor Kushite-related patches include: D1863, D2022, D2534, and D2536.

Anyway, what would you recommend for the specific name of Harsiotef?

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1 hour ago, Nescio said:

I never understood why they didn't get archery tradition... Thanks again.

 

1 hour ago, Nescio said:

Anyway, what would you recommend for the specific name of Harsiotef?

Since you like consistency, we should use the throne name like we did with Nastasen. 

So it would become "Harsiotef Sameryamun" (Harsiotef Beloved-son-of-Amun) 

Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 15.06.20.png 

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36 minutes ago, Sundiata said:

Since you like consistency, we should use the throne name like we did with Nastasen. 

So it would become "Harsiotef Sameryamun" (Harsiotef Beloved-son-of-Amun) 

However, Amanirenas has <SpecificName>Amnirense qore li kdwe li</SpecificName> and Arakamani has <SpecificName>‘Irk.‘Imn</SpecificName>.

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   51 minutes ago,  Nescio said: 

Arakamani has <SpecificName>‘Irk.‘Imn</SpecificName>.

For Arakamani (aka Arkamaniqo, aka Ergamenes I), see:

Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 16.13.00.png

So that would be "Arakamani Khnem-ib-Re"  

Arakamani heralded the beginning of the Meroitic period (supposedly slaughtering the priests of Amun), by moving the royal burial grounds of the Kings to Meroë. He probably committed some sort of coup d'état, beginning a new Dynasty. 

He took the same throne name as the late 26th Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Amasis II, aka Ahmose II, a commoner who also took the throne in some sort of coup d'état, apparently inspiring Arakamani 300 years later. 

 

   51 minutes ago,  Nescio said: 

Amanirenas has <SpecificName>Amnirense qore li kdwe li</SpecificName>

That's because she's a Meroitic Period ruler and her Stela is written in the Meroitic language which is significantly different from the Late Egyptian used in the Nastasen and Harsiotef stelae. Not much to be done about that. I suspect she would have had an Egyptian style name as well, like her successors Amanitore and Natakamani, who used both Meroitic and Egyptian, but we don't have any inscriptions to show for it...

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