N is for Nubia: An Ancient African Kingdom

Hi everyone! I’m thrilled to participate in The ABCs of Ancient History here at To the Moon and Back!

Today, I’ll be highlighting the letter N with “N is for Nubia”!

N is for Nubia

What was Ancient Nubia?

Ancient Nubia was an early African kingdom located in parts of modern-day Egypt and the Sudan. Historians are undecided about when this kingdom actually existed. Some say it followed the founding of ancient Egypt, others say it preceded Egypt, and still others think the two kingdoms existed side by side.

Either way, Nubia was a kingdom in its own right – primarily because it was so rich in gold, ivory, and other precious natural resources. By the way, Nubia was also referred to as “Kush” or “Cush” during the height of its influence. (The actual name “Nubia” came from the Romans.)

Like Egypt, Nubia had royal rulers called Pharaohs. These monarchs even commissioned pyramids to be built as kingly tombs, though they were not on the scale as those built in Egypt. Several of these pyramids still exist today, most notably the ruins at Meroe. Eventually, Nubia was integrated into the Egyptian empire around the year 1500 B.C. One of the most famous Egyptian tombs, Abu Simbel, is actually located in Nubia.

Teaching Kids about Ancient Nubia

We decided to make our study of Nubia as fun as possible, so we focused on learning about the geography of the Nile River. We completed a fun Nile River craft featuring indigenous animals in the area. Then we did a little make-shift fashion designing and practiced headdresses and tunics. Naturally, we had to have a fashion show. 🙂

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In our study of Ancient Nubia, we also used several children’s books. Here are some of the great kids’ books we found that helped us learn more about this ancient kingdom.

1. Nubia: Lost Worlds and Mysterious Civilizations by Adam Woog

2. Stencils: Ancient Egypt and Nubia by Bartok

3. African Beginnings by James Haskins and Kathleen Benson

4. History Pockets: Ancient Civilizations by Evan-Moor Educational Products

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Resources about Ancient Nubia

The University of Chicago Oriental Institute: The History of Ancient Nubia – An excellent overview of the history, scope, and culture of ancient Nubia, including its people, its language, and its geography.

Sam Houston State University:Kush, Meroe, and Nubia – A comprehensive look at the history of Kush/Nubia, from its establishment as a kingdom to its development into a Christian, and later Muslim, city.

PBS Black Kingdoms of the Nile: Racism and the Rediscovery of Ancient Nubia – A difficult and pointed examination of attempts to discredit the Africans who lived in Ancient Nubia and constructed its architecture.

Our study of Nubia was just part of our educational trek into African History. For even more of our experiences, check out our 10 Days of African History series over at Look! We’re Learning!


Selena - head shotSelena Robinson is a homeschooling graduate, an English major, and a veteran homeschooling mom to four. She, her husband, and three of their kids are all living with ADHD, so the family’s life is pretty interesting! You can read about their adventures each week at Look! We’re Learning! To connect with Selena, follow Look! We’re Learning! on FacebookTwitterPinterestG+, or Instagram.





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