Archaeological relics and findings of historical research indicate that Sudan has witnessed the rise
and fall of regional civilizations for more than ten thousand years. Of all those civilizations the era
of the Sudanese Napatan Empire was the greatest in sub-Saharan Africa. Napata Empire began to
blossom mid eleventh century BC and survived for a thousand years.
The most prosperous period of the Napatan Empire is represented in Egyptology by the 25th dynasty
particularly during the pharoship of Taharka (690-660 BC) during whose rule extensive pyramids,
settlements and temples were built, the remains of which can still be seen.
with its vast economic and distinctive political organization the Napatan civilization was able to
spread its territory to include Ethiopia east, Darfur west, Upper Nile South and across lower and
upper Egypt thru to Southern Turkey Anatolia. In the seventh century before Christ, the Napatan
army defeated the Assyrians and chased them out of entire Syria and Palestine thus librating the
sacred city. Taharga, the third Napatan pharaoh, was named in the bible as the protector of
By assuming full control over the red sea, the Napatan Empire has played an important role in
international trade connecting Far East to Egyptian ports thus interacting with Southern Europe via
With its vast agricultural and mineral wealth (gold and iron), the Napatan civilization developed a
significant cultural influence which was characterised by the Meroitic language that replaced the
awkward hieroglyphic script with much simpler alphabets of 23 symbols including vowels which the hieroglyphic lacks.
Incidentally this Napatan king has of late been suggested to be personified by Hollywood star
Will Smith who is set to play the Nubian pharaoh Taharqa, Working with a script by Braveheart screenwriter Randall Wallace
THIS IS WHAT THE NAPATAN PRINCE INSCRIBED IN HIS MEMORIAL TABLET AT THE FOOT OF THEIR HOLY MOUNTAIN JABAL AL-BARKAL
I did not make falsehood
I did not rob the lapwing-people. I did not commit a wrong.
My heart did not transgress to the detriment of the humble.
I did not kill a man on false premises when his crime had not happened.
I did not take bribes for wrong-doing.
(I ) did not deliver a servant into the hand(s) of his lord.
I did not copulate with a married woman or a man.
I did not decide a case wrongfully.
I did not slaughter the small cattle of the god.
Rather giving property to all the gods and goddesses.
I gave bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, and clothing to the naked.
Keeping away from their abomination for the sake of a good end
for those who are born after me in this land forever and ever.
M.B. Reisner 1934, Pls IV-VIII.
Text and translation
MIDDLE OF SCENE AT TOP OF STELA
WINGED SUNDISC, OVER SERPENTS, CARTOUCHE OF ASPELTA
RIGHT SIDE OF SCENE AT TOP OF STELA
KHALIUT (FACING LEFT) BEFORE RE-HARAKHTY AND A GODDESS WITH HORNED