The Nubians, a people almost disappeared by the Nile

Many peoples of ancient civilizations with the passage of time have almost disappeared, it is the case of the Nubians. We are talking about a town of Ancient Egypt of which there is very little left to remember, but which still exists and is worth knowing. Would you like to come with us?

let’s meet the Nubians

The Nubians lived in southern Egypt and their lands were bordered to the west by the Nile and to the east by the Red Sea. This race was characterized by its black complexion and it is believed that the first invasion they suffered took place in 1920 BC, which was led by King Senuseret.

Kalabsha Temple – Rich Jacques /

The determination to obtain these lands by the Egyptian king was based on the great wealth they hid, for example gold. Since then, the incursions were severalthe Egyptians stole their gold and the Nubians managed to recover it or steal other Egyptian treasures that they took back to their lands.

Kush, as the region in which the Nubians lived was known, was powerful. Something that was reflected in the form of ostentation and luxury. This was demonstrated when an American archaeologist found a castle and a royal cemetery.

When they were besieged by the Assyrians, a people noted for their cruelty and violence, the Kushites had to retreat to the south and leave their land. The new kingdom would rise in Napata. A kingdom with Egyptian influences, as shown by the fact that they began to build pyramids.

The problem was that the chosen area to move was very close to Egypt, which made it impossible not to be taken in by its influence. The Nubians did not want to lose their essence and after a new Egyptian incursion, they moved their kingdom to Meroe.

Your stay in Meroe

Pyramids of Meroe – Scott D. Haddow /

Little by little, despite the fact that Meroe was not so far from Egypt and was connected to Napata by a caravan route, the Nubians began to form their lives there. Gradually they were rejecting the Egyptian influence and making their life in this place.

Castles, pyramids and temples dedicated to different gods are architectural works that have left evidence of what this civilization was and believed. Also, thanks to the proximity of the Nile they managed to live off the cropsbecause they used a system of waterwheels with which to activate the water and irrigate the fields.

But the happiness did not last forever. The mighty kingdom of Askum destroyed the city shortly after the Nubians fled, due to the ravages that the Roman domain made in the area.

Can you know the people of the Nubians today?

Mohammed Moussa / Wikimedia Commons

The Nubians were surviving as a people, but little remains of that ancient civilization. In the 20th century, after the construction of the Aswan High Dam, they were forced to abandon the land they occupied.

Many Nubians then migrated to the cities, such as the capital, Cairo, but those who stayed kept their customs and traditions. Today Nubian villages can be found north of Aswan on the banks of the Nile River and on Elephantine Island.

a surprising visit

Sara Nabih /

To get to know them, you can board a fisherman’s boat that will take you to the village where you will meet the Nubians, sailing down the river. Once you’re getting closer, there will be no doubts, well its white houses and blue windows and doors stand out. A stairway from the port is the main entrance of this town.

The town is full of surprises: houses wide open, shops on the street and the smiles of the people. You will realize that it seems another world, a place where people live apart from the problems of society.

In their houses there is a unique feature:they have crocodiles as pets! Living so close to the Nile, the connection between the crocodiles and the Nubians has been such that they coexist naturally. For this reason, the symbol of many of their homes is a stuffed crocodile on the door.

Schools, doctors and shops. This town is totally independent and lives quietly. If you plan to take a trip to Egypt, be sure to meet the Nubians, people who will make you fall in love with their kindness and hospitality.

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