Historical Overview Section
Ancient Egypt conquered Nubian territory in various eras, and incorporated parts of the area into its provinces. The Nubians got their own back when they conquered Egypt under its 25th Dynasty. In a development which was more Farmville than FoG, relations between the two peoples however also show peaceful cultural interchange and cooperation, including mixed marriages. The Medjay is the name Ancient Egyptians gave to a region in northern Sudan where the ancient people of Nubia lived. They became part of the Ancient Egyptian military as scouts.
During the Middle Kingdom "Medjay" no longer referred to the district of Medja, but to a tribe or clan of people. It is not known what happened to the district, but, after the First Intermediate Period, it and other districts in Nubia were no longer mentioned in the written record. Written accounts detail the Medjay as nomadic desert people. Over time they were incorporated into the Egyptian army. In the army, the Medjay served as garrison troops in Egyptian fortifications in Nubia and patrolled the deserts as a kind of gendarmerie, but without the funny hats This was done in the hopes of preventing their fellow Medjay tribespeople from further attacking Egyptian assets in the region. They were even later used during Kamoseâ€™s campaign against the Hyksos and became instrumental in making the Egyptian state into a military power. By the 18th Dynasty of the New Kingdom period the Medjay were an elite paramilitary police force. No longer did the term refer to an ethnic group and over time the new meaning became synonymous with the policing occupation in general. Being an elite police force, the Medjay were deployed in small units which were able to sustain quite high base losses without beaking and were often used to protect valuable areas, especially royal and religious complexes. Though they are most notable for their protection of the royal palaces and tombs in Thebes and the surrounding areas, the Medjay were known to have been used throughout Upper and Lower Egypt.
Various pharaohs of Nubian origin are held by some Egyptologists to have played an important part towards the area in different eras of Egyptian history, particularly the 12th Dynasty. These rulers handled matters in typical Egyptian fashion, reflecting the close cultural influences between the two regions. The XIIth Dynasty (1991â€“1786 B.C.E.) originated from the Aswan region. As expected, strong Nubian features and dark coloring are seen in their sculpture and relief work. This dynasty ranks as among the greatest, whose fame far outlived its actual tenure on the throne. Especially interesting, it was a member of this dynasty that decreed that no Nehsy (riverine Nubian of the principality of Kush), except such as came for trade or diplomatic reasons, should pass by the Egyptian fortress at the southern end of the Second Nile Cataract. Why would this royal family of Nubian ancestry ban other Nubians from coming into Egyptian territory? Because the Egyptian rulers of Nubian ancestry had become Egyptians culturally; as pharaohs, they exhibited typical Egyptian attitudes and adopted typical Egyptian policies. (Yurco 1989).
In the New Kingdom, Nubians and Egyptians were often so closely related that some scholars consider them virtually indistinguishable, as the two cultures melded and mixed together. It is an extremely difficult task to attempt to describe the Nubians during the course of Egypt's New Kingdom, because their presence appears to have virtually evaporated from the archaeological record.. The result has been described as a wholesale Nubian assimilation into Egyptian society. This assimilation was so complete that it masked all Nubian ethnic identities insofar as archaeological remains are concerned beneath the impenetrable veneer of Egypt's material; culture.. In the Kushite Period, when Nubians ruled as Pharaohs in their own right, the material culture of Dynasty XXV (about 750â€“655 B.C.E.) was decidedly Egyptian in character. Nubia's entire landscape up to the region of the Third Cataract was dotted with temples indistinguishable in style and decoration from contemporary temples erected in Egypt. The same observation obtains for the smaller number of typically Egyptian tombs in which these elite Nubian princes were interred
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