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Map of Nubia and the extent of the Kush kingdom

The complex political systems In Nubia, as well as the domination periodically by other cultures created one of the most dynamic political systems at the time. The Egyptian domination gave significant influence to the political systems to follow, and shared new blood in the royal families of the Nubians. The politics began involving chiefdoms of royal families on the Kush kingdom and later began to involve Egyptian overlords and officers overseeing the land. After the fall of Egypt the Nubian native royal families regained power in the Meroe kingdom and ruled all of Egypt for a time. The assyrian retaliated to this stretch of Nubian dominance in 701 B.C.E driving the Nubian monarchs back to their original land where they resided. Women played a significant role in the government of Nubia, an influence of sub-Saharan Africa. The king was often succeeded by the son of his sister, and Nubian queens often ruled without a male counterpart.

Women played a significant role in the social structure of Nubia. Unlike the Egyptians, and many other cultures of the time, Nubian women not only played a significant role in government, but in the military and the royal society structure. Men and women were both involved with increasingly complex marriage strategies as wealth played a larger and larger role in marriage. Social hierarchies were not only determined by the royal blod and marriage arrangements, but those who earned vast wealth through trade. By selling the natural goods of the land Nubians collected vast wealth. This significant accomplishment for one of the only African civilizations placed the Nubian people much higher above many of the other natives of the area. The Nubians were a black african society who in fact possessed black slaves. This massive trade not only promoted economic wealth but provided huge labor supply to the Nubian people.

The Temple of Dendur. Later period but an excellent example of the structure of monumental architecture of Nubia. Displays clay brick system and hieroglyphics.

The Nubian culture was strongly influenced by the 500 years of Egyptian domination which it was subjected to. The writing system of Nubia was the hieroglyphic system adopted directly from Egypt. The influences also extended into art, architecture, and religion. The adoption of Egyptian gods blended with the native deities of Nubia created the hybrid religion. The stone temples to Egyptian gods, such as Amon, mimicked the architecture of Egypt as well as the miniature pyramids for burials of elders. The rulers of the Nubian societies retained their names, but in almost all other ways adopted the cultural customs of the Egyptian, including monumental architecture of mud and bricks based on Egyptian influences. The specialization in the crafts and arts in Nubia was exceptional. Due to the agricultural surplus accounted for by the vast agricultural planes and the excess of precious commodities such as gold, jewels and ivory artists had ample allowance and materials. Arts were promoted not only as a suitable profession hut as a desirable skill a the crafts played a significant role in the trade of the time.
Humans and the Environment-
The vast agricultural systems of Nubia were supported by the continuous fertility of the Nile. The massive fields provided for the Nubians allowed for innovations in irrigation systems and the mass-production of food. The creation of large-scale citys also impacted the environment significantly. The massive urban center of Meroe revolutionized the impact the Nubians had on the Nile river area. This urban center had to be provided with sustainable food as well as hosting one of the premere centers of trade at the time. The trade within the Nubian society had to function around the six massive cataracts on the Nile river (large sections of rapids and rocks, impossible to pass with the boats of the time) thus forcing trade to be switched between river and land to move around the obstacles. The mining undertaken by the Nubians and Egyptian overlords had extensive and long-lasting effects on the environment as well. The well-endowed land around the Nile, scattered with Gold and precious metals lead to the large-scale mining projects to get at the these desirable raw materials. The Egyptian rule was significantly for the purpose of accessing these metals and lead to destruction of much of the land to get access.

Nubian Gold Ram's Head Amulet. 712-657 B.C.E Worn by the Kushite kings.

Nubia was one of the premere economic centers of the time. With a surplus of gold, jewels, ebony, slaves, exotic animals, precious metals and other desirable commodities such as ivory, Nubia was the place of the age to trade. Serving as the bridge between the southern Asian and the Mediterranean civilizations people flocked to Nubia to partake in the vast economic center that resided there. The substantial reward that the Nubians (and the Egyptian rulers) received for this trade allowed for vast wealth and a social hierarchy to emerge within those who sold goods. The complex political and economic strategies of the Kush and Meroe kingdoms urbanized the centers of commerce in Nubia. The skilled craftsman sold high-quality metalworking, weapons, jewelry and pottery. The urban center of Meroe was knows for iorn-smelting and the distribution of gold, among others, and drew traders and merchants bridging the civilized world in trade.

Key Concepts
-Trade (gold, Ivory, slaves etc)
-Influence of Egyptian culture after 500 years of domanance
-Major role of women in government
-Specialized labor and craftsmanship
-Major mining in surrounding area (specifically gold and precious metals)
-Massive Urban centers of economics and agriculture (Kush and the city of Meroe)
-Black african civilization with black slave trade
-Natural resources of land