chapter  4
The Unity of Africa
Pages 16

This chapter examines some issues around a very important aspect of Nubian history: the rise of an independent Kushite Kingdom following nearly 500 years of Egyptian domination of Nubia, the origins of its ruling family and how Egyptologists have explained these changes. The archaeological and textual evidence for the emergence of the Napatan Kingdom is actually quite limited. It comprises a few inscriptions, mostly from the temples dedicated to the god Amun at Gebel Barkal, and the archaeological evidence from the royal cemetery at el-Kurru. Scholars have always explained Napatan origins within a framework of assumptions about specific details of archaeology, and chronology, and broader assumptions about Egypt, Nubia and Africa. The earliest Egyptologists to consider Napatan origins did not have the evidence from the el-Kurru cemetery: they relied solely on textual material. Brugsch argued for the priestly origin of the Napatan kings by claiming they were direct lineal descendants of the Theban High Priests of Amun, Herihor and Piankh.