Nubian Threats to the Egyptian Middle Kingdom Term Paper by scribbler

A look at the threat the Nubians posed to Middle Kingdom Egypt.
# 152002 | 1,852 words | 10 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on Nov 11, 2012 in History (African) , History (Middle Eastern)

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This paper analyzes the actual threat the Nubians posed to pharaonic interests during the Middle Kingdom era in ancient Egypt. First, the paper discusses how Nubia was one of the few geographical threats to ancient Egypt. Then, it addresses how scholars have until recently discounted Nubia as a military challenge to Middle Kingdom Egypt. Despite this, the paper notes that most writers acknowledge that, compared to Egypt, Lower Nubia, in particular, was probably unable to field the resources and military organization to project power northward. Next, the paper describes the Egyptian northern outpost of Buhen and why it was maintained. Finally, the paper explores the significance of Kerma, and its place in upper Nubian culture. This also includes a discussion about contacts between Egypt and Kush, especially in trade. The paper concludes by stating that the threat posed by the Nubian kingdom was fleeing for ancient Egypt.

From the Paper:

"Linguistic evidence also supports this reading of a relatively "strong" Nubian adversary alongside a weak or nomadic tribal culture challenging Egyptian interests on the Upper Nile. The word used on the Semna stelae is "nehesyw," which refers to the agricultural peoples living along the river itself; the nomads of the Eastern desert whom Adams assumes posed the primary danger to Egyptian caravans were the "medjayw" (Flammini 53). As such, the "nehesyw" remain a perceived threat throughout the Middle Kingdom under the guise of Kush; the "medjayw" were never considered a valid reason to fortify the Nile above the First Cataract to begin with.
"With the heavily fortified buffer zone interposed between it and Egypt proper, the power of Kush to make a serious strike against the Middle Kingdom seems marginal at best. There is little or no evidence of attacks on the Lower Nubian outposts or other resistance to Egyptian hegemony throughout the period. If anything, some archaeologists have argued that the Kushite capital of Kerma itself was reduced to an Egyptian trading post, but most now agree, it would be a mistake to suppose, as the excavator originally did, that Kerma was under Egyptian political or military..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Adams, William Y. "The First Colonial Empire: Egypt in Nubia, 3200-1200 B.C." Comparative Studies in Society and History 26.1 (1984) 36-71. Web. 28 Nov 2009.
  • Emery, Walter. Egypt in Nubia. London: Hutchinson, 1965. Print.
  • Flammini, Roxana. "Ancient Core-Periphery Interactions: Lower Nubia During Middle Kingdom Egypt (CA. 2050-1640 B.C.)." Journal of World-Systems Research 14.1 (2008) 50-74. Web. 20 Mar 2010.
  • Harkless, Necia Desiree. Nubian Pharaohs and Meroitic Kings: The Kingdom of Kush. Bloomington IN: AuthorHouse, 2006. Print.
  • Kemp, B. J. "Imperialism and Empire in New Kingdom Egypt (c. 1575-1087 B.C.)." Imperialism in the Ancient World: The Cambridge University Research Seminar. Ed. P.D.A. Garnsey and C.R. Whittaker. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978. 7-58. Print.

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Nubian Threats to the Egyptian Middle Kingdom (2012, November 11) Retrieved March 31, 2023, from

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"Nubian Threats to the Egyptian Middle Kingdom" 11 November 2012. Web. 31 March. 2023. <>