Nubia region

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Nubia is the region to the south of Egypt, along the Nile and Sudan, with a history going back 5,000 years in time. Its rich material culture and tradition of languages are seen in archaeological sites.

Most of Nubia is situated in Sudan with about a quarter of its territory in Egypt. It is defined as the Nile area between Aswan of Egypt and Khartoum, capital of Sudan, bordered by the Red Sea in the east and the Libyan Desert in the west. In ancient times Nubia was an independent kingdom named Kush. Nubia was a land of great natural wealth, of gold mines, ebony, ivory and incense which was always prized by her neighbors. Its rich material culture and tradition of languages are seen in archaeological records.
Nubia's capital about 600 BC–AD 350 was Meroe, near Khartoum. A famous episode in the history of Meroe is the coming of Alexander the Great’s intent to conquer the mineral-rich region. He was confronted with the brilliant military formation of their warrior queen, Candace of Meroë, who was leading the army from atop an elephant, and Alexander withdrew his forces. The Kentakes is a term used to describe the long tradition of leadership in Nubia by warrior queens.
More than fifty ancient pyramids and royal tombs rise out of the desert sands at Meroe. The pyramids are an awesome sight, where the traveler can soak up their ancient atmosphere in solitude. From time immemorial the pyramid represented the rising sun and the resurrection, and people believed that a tomb in this shape would offer the dead king the chance of rising out of death. Ruins of the Merotic temple at Musawwarat es-Sufra called the "Great Enclosure", lie south of Meroe near the Sixth Cataract. It may have been a pilgrammage center or a royal palace. The immense structures known as the two temples of Abu Simbel are among the most famous monuments in the world. Built nearly 3,000 years ago, it was hewn from the mountain which contains it as a dedication to King Ramses and his wife Nefertari. Superb reliefs on the temple detail the Battle of Kadesh.
In the 1960's, constructed at Aswan, Egypt, dam created a 500 mile long lake which permanently flooded ancient temples and tombs as well as hundreds of modern villages in Nubia. 24 temples, as well as fortresses and tombs, were menaced by the waters of the High Dam, including Dendour, Ellessiya, Amada and Wadi al-Sebowa. Some have been moved, most notably Philae, Kalabsha and Abu Simbel.The Nubian Museum is being built near Aswan to house rescued artefacts.

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map: Nubia

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