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Table of Contents
Kingdom of Kush, also spelled Cush, was a powerful ancient civilization that ruled a region in Northeast Africa, the south of Ancient Egypt. It ruled over Egypt and the main cities were situated along the Nile River, White Nile River and Blue Nile River. The region ruled over was then called Nubia and now is a part of the country of Sudan.
See the fact file below for more information on the Kingdom of Kush or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Kingdom of Kush worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
ETYMOLOGY & ORIGINS
- Some relate the name of the civilization to the Bible saying that it came from the Old Testament where Cush was one of the sons of Ham, son of Noah, who resided in Northeast Africa.
- The bible also referred to Cush or Kushite in a number of passages.
- Egyptian inscriptions refer to the name as Kus, Kas, and Kash.
- Nubia, on the other hand, is thought to be derived from the Egyptian word ‘nub’ which means gold.
- The Kush region was the main source of gold for the Egyptians.
- Another theory stated that ‘Nubia’ is from the people called ‘Noba’ or ‘Nuba’ who settled in the region.
- The independent Kingdom of Kush was developed when the Middle Kingdom of Egypt ended around 1070 BCE.
- The Kush civilization was centered in the region of Nubia.
- It became a major power in Northeast Africa.
- By 727 BCE, Kush was in control of Egypt and ruled until the Assyrians arrived.
- In about 1500 BC, Egyptians went southward and won against many city states that are not able to be recognized by Historians.
- The region of Nubia was colonized by Egypt under the control of Thutmose I, thereafter the region supplied Egypt with its resources.
- The Kingdom lasted for over 1400 years.
KERMA & EARLY KUSH
- The first kingdom of the Kush civilization is known as the Kerma, one of the oldest African states outside of Egypt.
- Kerma emerged around 2400 BC during the Egyptian Old Kingdom and became the capital of Kush Kingdom by 2000 BC.
- According the some Egyptian inscriptions, the city was powerful because it threatened Egypt and had the ability to build forts to repel raids coming from the south.
- Kings of Kerma and Egypt took advantage of its resources and relied on Kerma for the import of gold, exotic animals, ivory, ebony, and other luxury items.
- Kerma’s rich resources was because it had access to gold mines that enabled them to trade extensively with the neighbors from the north, thus, generating wealth and power.
- Kerma city was centered around a structure called deffufa which means pile or ‘to mass’.
- It was a religious fort created from mud brick and stands 59 feet or 18 meters.
- At deffufa, interior passageways and stairs led to the altar located on a flat roof where ceremonies were held.
- The largest known deffufa as of today is called the Western Deffufa.
- It is believed that these formed a triad of religious centers around which the city then rose and was enclosed by walls.
- The culture of Kerma flourished between c. 2400 to c. 1500 BCE.
- During the beginning of the Middle Kingdom, Egyptian King Mentuhotep II conquered the region, but Kerma remained to thrive as a metropolis and survived through the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt and was still in power.
- At the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt, the region threatened Egypt in conjunction with the people called the Hyksos.
- Hyksos were also powerful in politics and military in Egypt’s northern Delta region.
- The end of Kerma period was around 1500 BCE when Thutmose I attacked the city.
- After the attack, Thutmose III founded the city of Napata.
THE SECOND KINGDOM OF KUSH
- New Kingdom Egypt arose in around 1550 to 1069 BC and was able to control as far south as the fourth cataract (shallow stretches along the Nile river) and created the post of Viceroy of Kush that governed in Nubia as a separate region.
- But by the 11th century BC, the Viceroys of Kush had become independent kings upon the decline of Egyptian control over Nubia.
- A new Kushite kingdom emerged during the Egyptian Third Intermediate Period. By 730 BC Kush conquered Egypt up to the shores of the Mediterranean.
- The Kushite Pharaoh Piya established the 25th Dynasty in Egypt.
- Most of Kush culture was established during the second kingdom.
- They were able to build pyramids, started worshipping many Egyptian gods, and called its rulers Pharaohs.
- The art and architecture of Kush was still heavily influenced by Nubian characteristics.
- The fusion of the first and second kingdom resulted in many differences and some similarities, thus some called the Kushite rule the “Ethiopian Dynasty”.
- The Second Kingdom did not last because they were invaded by the Assyrians in 671 BC.
- By 654 BC, Egyptians were driven back into Nubia.
- After moving back to Nubia, Kush remained safe at the south of Aswan where they developed a separate language and architecture, but they continued to observe a pharaonic tradition.
- The capital of Kush civilization was moved from Napata south to Meroe where they established a ‘Meroitic’ kingdom.
- The Meroitic Kingdom also did not last and was in decline by 100 AD and was destroyed by Axum in 400 AD.
CULTURE & OTHER INTERESTING FACTS
- The priests were also the most important social class aside from the Pharaoh and the ruling class.
- Priests made laws and communicated with the gods.
- They were so powerful that they could decide when it was time for a king to die.
- Artisans worked with the most important resource of the Kushite economy which was the iron and gold.
- Religion played an important role in Kushites’ lives.
- They believed in the afterlife.
- Women could be leaders in the Kush civilization. In fact, many of the Kushite leaders were queens.
- Aside from artisans, farmers were also important in the Kush civilization because they grew primary crops such as wheat, barley, and cotton to make clothing.
- The pyramids of Kush can still be seen today but they were smaller than the usual pyramids of Egypt.
- Burial chambers were also located below the pyramids.
- The average Kushite was expected to live for only 20 to 25 years.
- Other important trade items were slaves, incense, feathers, and wild animal hides.
Kingdom of Kush Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Kingdom of Kush across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Kingdom of Kush worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Kingdom of Kush, also spelled Cush, which was a powerful ancient civilization that ruled a region in Northeast Africa, the south of Ancient Egypt. It ruled over Egypt and the main cities were situated along the Nile River, White Nile River and Blue Nile River. The region ruled over was then called Nubia and now is a part of the country of Sudan.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Kingdom of Kush Facts
- Kingdom Vicinity Map
- Jumbled Origins
- First and Second Kingdoms
- Art and Architecture
- Kushite Culture
- Nubian Profile
- Kush or False
- Different Periods
- Be-Kush Of…
- Egypt Then and Now
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Link will appear as Kingdom of Kush Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 8, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.