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The Standing on the Shoulders of Giants "Teach & Learn" Black History Curriculum​​

Specially designed for Parents, Teachers, Homeschool, or Independent Study, grades 5+

Where Black
History Lives!​

Unit 1: Ancient Africa - The Cradle of Civilization
(200,000 B.C. - 476 B.C.)

Unit 1: Class 14: Ancient Kemet (Egypt): The 25th Nubian Dynasty & Late Period (760 B.C. – 332 B.C.) 

The 25th Dynasty of Ancient Kemet (Egypt)

People To Know
Pharaoh Shebitku, 25th Dynasty. Recent research by Dan'el Kahn suggests that Shebitku was king of Egypt by 707-706 BC. This is based on evidence from an inscription of the Assyrian king Sargon II, which was found in modern day Northwestern Iran (then a colony of Assyria) and dated to 706 BC. This inscription calls Shebitku the king of Meluhha, and states that he sent back to Assyria a rebel named Iamanni in handcuffs. Kahn's arguments have been widely accepted by many Egyptologists including Rolf Krauss, and Aidan Dodson and other scholars.
Despite being relative newcomers to Egypt, Shabaka and his family were immensely interested in Egypt's past and the art of the period reflects their tastes which harked back to earlier periods. Shabaka would grant refuge to king Iamanni of Ashdod after the latter fled to Egypt following the suppression of his revolt by Assyria in 712 BC.

Shabaka conquered the entire Nile valley, including Upper and Lower Egypt, around 710 BC. Shabaka had Bocchoris of the preceeding Sais dynasty burned to death for resisting him. After conquering Lower Egypt, Shabaka transferred the capital to Memphis. Shabaka restored the great Egyptian monuments and returned Egypt to a theocratic monarchy by becoming the first priest of Amon. In addition, Shabaka is known for creating a well preserved example of Memphite theology by inscribing an old religious papyrus into the Shabaka Stone.

The Shabaka Stone is a relic from the Nubian Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt incised with an important Egyptian religious text, the Memphite Theology. It is a stone slab measuring 66 cm in height and 137 cm in width. The text claims to contain the surviving content of a worm-ridden, decaying papyrus that was found as pharaoh Shabaka was inspecting the temple of Ptah in Memphis, Egypt.

Shabaka, concerned about the loss of the information on the papyrus, had the rest of the text written into this stone. However, in later years, the stone was used as a millstone and so some of the hieroglyphics were damaged. Nevertheless, it has been a fruitful source of insight into the culture and religious doctrines of the ancient Egyptians.

The Shabaka Stone is also noteworthy in that it places Ptah as the center of existence and as the creator god. It is the principal surviving source of these traditions about Ptah.

Shabaka is assumed to have died in his 15th regnal year based on BM cube statue 24429, which is dated to Year 15, II Shemu day 11 of Shabaka's reign.From the evidence of the Tang-i Var inscription, Shabaka was already dead by 707 or 706 BC. He was buried in a pyramid at el-Kurru and was succeeded by his nephew Shebitku, Piye's son, following the Kushite tradition of succession from brother to brother, to son of the first brother. Shebitku would eventually be succeeded by Tantamuni - a son of Shabaka.

Taharqa

Taharqa was the third pharaoh of the Ancient Egyptian 25th dynasty and king of the Kingdom of Kush, which was located in Northern Sudan. Taharqa was the son of Piye, the Nubian king of Napata who had first conquered Egypt. Taharqa was also the cousin and successor of Shebitku. The successful campaigns of Piye and Shabaka paved the way for a prosperous reign by Taharqa. Taharqa's reign can be dated from 690 BC to 664 BC.

Evidence for the dates of his reign are derived from the Serapeum stela, catalog number 192. This stela records that an Apis bull who was born and installed (4th month of Peret, day 9) in Year 26 of Taharqa died in Year 20 of Psammetichus I (4th month of Shomu, day 20), having lived 21 years. This would give Taharqa a reign of 26 years and a fraction, in 690-664 B.C. Taharqa explicitly states in Kawa Stela V, line 15, that he succeeded Shebitku with this statement: "I received the Crown in Memphis after the Falcon (ie: Shebitku) flew to heaven."

Although Taharqa's reign was filled with conflict with the Assyrians, it was also a prosperous renaissance period in Egypt and Kush. When Taharqa was about 20 years old, he participated in a historic battle with the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib at Eltekeh.


Related Artifact
Donation Stela of Shabaka, on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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