Nubians in the region now northern and southern Sudan are an ethno-linguistic group of indigenous people. They come from the early African people of the Sub Saharan, considered one of the oldest cradles of central Nile valley civilization.
Some of the first African empires were centered in Nubia.
Renowned for its rich gold deposits, Nubia was also the doorway through which luxury products such as incense, ivory and ebony made the journey from their Sub-Saharan African point of origin to Egyptian and Mediterranean civilizations.
Archers of excellent skill assisted Nubian rulers with military strength. Ultimately, for about a century, kings of Nubia invaded and controlled Egypt.
Monuments now exist at the places where Nubian rulers constructed settlements, temples and royal pyramids — in present Egypt and also in Sudan.
The Nubi lived in the central valley of the Nile
African people began moving upwards to the Nile in Nubia by around 5000 BC from what is now the Sahara. They had taken the art of making handicrafts with them. Initially herdsmen and big-animal hunters, they gradually became fishermen and farmers. Over time, new people migrated from the south through the area, so that the inhabitants of Nubia were often a diverse collection of African cultures.
The river was a security guard for Nubians
A variety of Nubians lived along the Nile that flowed through the desert northwards. Farmers were growing wheat, peas, lentils, dates and perhaps melons. But their cattle herds, a measure of wealth and social standing were particularly important. Nubians exploited carnelian and gold, and other natural resources in the deserts. The Nubians exchanged with the Egyptians, their neighbors to the north, for food, vegetable oils, wine, beer, linen, and other capital goods, bartering horses, gold, carnelian, ivory, animal skins, hardwood, incense and dates.
Nubians are identified by archeology and history
Some details on ancient Nubia comes from archaeological finds and temple studies and carvings. However Nubians and modern peoples ‘ art and writing with them also provide valuable proof The history of Nubia is well known through records of ancient Egypt, which document the long and complex connections of the two sides. The Egyptian language of monuments and texts left by the Nubian kings who, around 750 BC, became Pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty of Egypt also has a rich record.
During the Meroitic period, about 200 BC Nubians invented alphabetic writing systems. Nevertheless, a substantial number of documents on Meroitic Nubia can be found in the literature and art of Greece and Rome, whose empires crossed the Nubian frontiers after the 330 years BC.
The Name Nubia
Nubia is a term used during the Roman era
The root of the word of Nubia is mysterious. Some people connected the term to nwb, the ancient word for gold in Egypt. Some relate this to a Greek term called Nubades in the fourth century AD for individuals who have migrated to Northern Nubia.
For 2000 years Nubia had been known as Kush.
In ancient times, Kush was called the area south of Nile’s 1st cataract. The name is known for the classical and the biblical texts of ancient Egyptian. It is not clear if it represents a native word. The Kushites built mighty kingdoms. The first based in Kerma (2000-1650 BC). In Napata (800–270 BC) and Meroes (270 BC–370 AD) the kingdom later had capitals.
Multiple Nubian cultures are defined by historical names.
The names of the archeologist identified in the Nubian cultures are A-group, C-group, X-group and Kerma (a modern city close to the archeological site of the early Kushite kingdom).