Director: Ibrahim Omer
Head statue of Kushite king Tanwetamani from
Kerma, Sudan. Uncovered by the Swiss archaeological expedition, 2003.
Ancient Sudan Nubia
Meroe gallery

History: The Medjay
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History: The Land of Punt
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Updated articles: The Kushite Kingdom at Kerma, Early Statehood in Sudan, The Expansion of Kerma: A-Group and C-Group.

Art History: Observations on the Deffufas of Kerma , Remarks on Kushite Temples Dated to the Napatan-Meroitic Period, Remarks on Palace Architectures, and Drawing Reconstructions

The work is a reconstruction attempt of Gebel Barkal as a cultural and an architectural site of historical value. The work depicts ... (Read more)

New article added to the Burials section: The Pyramids (of Sudan)
The Sudan Day,
at Monterey Bay

Questions from Readers

Ancient History of Western Sudan
by Ibrahim.B.Musa

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Where is the land of Kush?

Kush is located in Northeastern Africa, within the political boundaries of modern Sudan.

Alternative Names for Kush:

Three terms are used in literature to refer to the land of Kush; these are Ethiopia, ancient Nubia, and recently Sudan. Click here for more on each name.

Who are the Kushite?

The Kushites are the ancestors of the people of North Sudan today. The people of Kush practiced agriculture along the Nile Valley building one of the very early world civilizations. According to the Biblical Table of Nations, the Kushites are the descendants of Ham, the son of Noah. According to the classification system in linguistics, the modern Nubian language is defined as a Nilo-Saharan language, though other studies classify it as Afro-Asiatic.

After the intensified migration of Arab populations into Sudan, starting from the fourteenth century CE, many Arab tribes settled and intermarried with the local population. As most of the immigrants were men, and since Arabs follow a patreliniar tradition (i.e. the children take the identity of their fathers), a majority of Sudanese today define themselves as Arabs.

Groups of nomads, closely related to the Kushites, have inhabited the eastern and western deserts relieng on subsistent agriculture. Th nomads of the east were known to the Kushites as "Meded", to the Egyptians as "Medjay", to the Arabs as "Beja," and to the Romans as "Blemmyes." Since ancient times, the inhabitants of the western deserts have practiced pastoralism, side by side with the Libyans.

Intermarriages with other foreigners took place at different times and in other parts of Sudan, which caused the Kushite identity to disappear and the Nubian identity to wither greatly. For example, in Western Sudan, some of the indigenous nomads, who inhabited those regions since ancient times, had intermixed with West- African immigrants, as well as with Arab settlers. A minority of Sudanese today along the Nile still identify as Nubians.

Today, the language and culture of the bulk of Sudanese people is obviously an Arabic one. Yet, the physical features and genetics of today's Sudanese population proved to be mainly native. The Anthropological studies of mummies from ancient Sudan and the sharp and clear colored drawings of people found inside Kushite burials that go back as far as 3000 years, prove that the ancient people of Kush looked typically like the modern people of North Sudan with their dark-red complexion and curly or wavy hair.

The primary material of the website is authored by Ibrahim Omer © 2008.