The Age of Kush (1000 – 656 BC) and the Age of Napata (656 – 300 BC)
In the shadow of the holy rock
The Egyptian city of Napata started at the foot of the Jebel Barkal which at the time was believed to be the dwelling of the god Amon. When in the 11 th century BC Egypt definitely lost control over its Nubian territories, the throne of Napata was taken over by a domestic Kushite dynasty, whose representatives were buried in small Egyptian-style pyramids at nearby el-Kurru. It was then that there took place one of the greatest phenomena in the history of the Nile valley: over just a few centuries the small Napata kingdom developed into a powerful monarchy, with frontiers reaching Elephantine under the rule of Kashta (8 th cent. BC), who styled himself the Lord of Lower and Upper Egypt.

The black pharaohs
The conquest of Egypt finalized by kings Pije (Pianchi) and Shabaka, considered to be the true founders of the 25 th Dynasty. The new pharaohs, though retaining their exotic dress and many Nubian customs, were fascinated by Egyptian tradition and culture, and to them the country owed a period of unparalleled renaissance in art and writing. The last great ruler of the dynasty, Taharqa (690 – 664) was expelled by an Assyrian invasion from Egypt to Nubia and there he soon died. He was buried in a new cemetery in Nuri with splendor worthy of the heir of the pharaohs. In the following centuries the Kush kingdom in Central Sudan continued, even though in 593 BC Napata was to be completely sacked by the Egyptian army of pharaoh Psamtik II.