• Geography
  • Nubia and Upper Egypt

  • Comparison between Upper Egypt and Nubia

    Criteria Nubia Region Upper Egypt
    Images Nubian Temple Collosi Statues
    Location - The land of ancient Nubia was bounded on the north by the First Cataract of the Nile River, located just south of Elephantine, and on the far south by the Sixth Cataract, located north of modern Khartoum.
    - Most of Nubia is situated in modern Sudan with only a quarter of its territory in Egypt.
    - A narrow strip of land that extends from the 1st cataract in the south to Memphis in the north
    Ethnic Groups - Sub-Saharan African race - black skin and woolly hair
    - Nubia is the homeland of Africa's earliest black culture from 3000 BC
    - North African race - medium toned similar to that of northern Indians
    Human settlements - Smaller settlements such as Napata, Meroe and Dongola
    - The fertile belt along the Nile is much more narrow than in Egypt. Hence there never was the chance of extensive agriculture with surplus large enough to sustain the development of cities and religious centers.
    - A population of around 400,000 during ancient times
    - Important cities such as Thebes and Aswan
    - Egypt had a population of 4 million in ancient times - ten times greater than Nubia
    Historical Development - Early Dynastic Period - Nubia consisted of various small ethnic tribal groups or chiefdoms
    - Old Kingdom - Egyptians imported gold, incense, ebony, ivory, and exotic animals from tropical Africa through Nubia, which became an important trade route
    - Middle Kingdom - Governed by larger and more politically complex kingdoms, the various Nubian cultures flourished and enjoyed their political and economic independence, often formulating kingdoms of great dynamism that were competitive with the Egyptian state.
    - New Kingdom - Politically dominated by the Egyptian state, which was able to maintain a permanent presence starting from the reign of Seti 1 who completed the occupation of the area up to the Fourth Cataract. By the end of the reign of Thutmose 1 in 1520 BC, Egyptians had annexed all of northern Nubia.
    - Late Kingdom - The height of the political power of Nubia. In the 25th Dynasty Egypt was reunified by the Nubian Pharaoh Piye, who invaded and took control of Egypt
    - Upper Egypt played an essential role in the formulation of the Egyptian Civilization as we know it
    - Early Dynastic Period - Egypt unified by Upper Egyptian rulers from Hierakonpolis
    - New Kingdom - The height of the political power of Upper Egypt, with the capital city at Thebes
    Arts - Superiority in Minor arts such as ceramics and pottery, which was produced since 6000 BC, and valued greatly by Nubian culture. - Colossal Architecture and statues
    Natural Resources - Egyptian quarried gold in ancient Mines located at the eastern deserts of Nubia
    - The name "Nubia" comes from the Egyptian word "nub", meaning gold
    - Building stones such as granite and sandstone