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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)

Learning Objectives
V​ictory Stele of Piye, founder of the 25th Dynasty. Click on the picture for an article on Piye's Victory Stele.

The Twenty-Fifth Dynasty originated in Kush, or (Nubia), which is presently in Northern Sudan. The city-state of Napata was the spiritual capital and it was from there that Piye (spelled Piankhi or Piankhy in older works) invaded and took control of Egypt. Piye personally led the attack on Egypt and recorded his victory in a lengthy hieroglyphic filled stele called the "Victory Stele." Piye revived one of the greatest features of the Old and Middle Kingdoms, pyramid construction. An energetic builder, he constructed the oldest known pyramid at the royal burial site of El Kurru and expanded the Temple of Amun at Jebel Barkal. Although Manetho does not mention the first king, Piye, mainstream Egyptologists consider him the first Pharaoh of the 25th dynasty. Manetho also does not mention the last king, Tantamani, although inscriptions exist to attest to the existence of both Piye and Tantamani.

After conquering Egypt, Piye simply went home to Nubia and never returned to Egypt. He is portrayed as a ruler who did not glory in the smiting of his adversaries, as did other kings, but rather preferred treaties and alliances. He left the rule of the country largely in the hands of his vassals, but recorded his victories on a stela (called the Victory Stela, now in the Egyptian Museum) at Napata. He left few monuments in Egypt, other than an expansion of the Temple of Amun at Thebes (current day Luxor). Later, Tefnakhte would again claim kingdom and as the founder of the 24th Dynasty, rule at least the western Delta. However, later successors to Piye would consolidate their control over Egypt, at least for a time.

Upon Piye's death, he was buried at El-Kurru, where he erected a small pyramid resembling the tall, narrow structures that had been built above many private tombs of Egypt's New Kingdom.

Shebaka (Shabaka)

Shabaka (Shabataka) or Shabaka Neferkare, 'Beautiful is the Soul of Re', was the second Kushite pharaoh of the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty of Egypt, between (721 - 707/706 or 716 - 702 BC).

Shabaka is thought to be the son of King Kashta and Pebatjma, although a text from the time of Taharqa could be interpreted to mean that Shabaka was a brother of Taharqa and hence a son of Piye. Shabaka's Queen Consort was Qalhata, according to Assyrian records, a sister of Taharqa. Shabaka and Qalhata were the parents of King Tantamani and most likely the parents of King Shebitku as well. 

Shabaka succeeded his brother Piye on the throne, and adopted the throne name of the 6th-dynasty ruler Pepi II. Shabaka's reign was initially dated from 716 BC to 702 BC by Kenneth Kitchen. However, new evidence indicates that Shabaka died around 707 or 706 BC because Sargon II (722-705 BC) of Assyria states in an official inscription at Tang-i Var (in Northwest Iran) - which is datable to 706 BC - that it was Shebitku, Shabaka's successor, who extradited Iamanni of Ashdod to him as king of Egypt.

Shabaka's reign is significant because he consolidated the Nubian Kingdom's control over all of Egypt from Nubia down to the Delta region. It also saw an enormous amount of building work undertaken throughout Egypt, especially at the city of Thebes, which he made the capital of his kingdom. In Karnak he erected a pink granite statue of himself wearing the twin crowns of Egypt. Shabaka succeeded in preserving Egypt's independence from outside foreign powers especially the Assyrian empire under Sargon II.

The most famous relic from Shabaka's reign is the Shabaka stone which records several Old Kingdom documents that the king ordered preserved. Also notable is the Shabaka Gate, a large stone door unearthed by archeologists in 2011 and believed to have guarded the room where the king's treasures were stored.

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.
People To Know
Shabaka, 2nd Pharaoh of the 25th Dynasty, reign: 721–707 or 706 B.C.E. Shabaka is the father of the Tantamani, the last Pharaoh of the 25th Dynasty. 
Related Artifact
The "Shabaka Stone:" provides the details of the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, and the creation story that establishes Ptah as the creator of all things, including gods. This is also referred to as the Memphis Theology.  

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