1. Title 1

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 Civilation
(200,000 BC - 476 BC)

CLASS 4: Ancient Nubia/Kush (6000 B.C. – 1500 A.D.) Part 1


Learning Objectives
After completing this lesson, students 
will be able to:

  • Recognize the cultural contributions of Ancient Nubian civilization, including those that predate Ancient Kemet/Egypt, and the Nubian-ruled 25th Dynasty.

  • Identify the Nile Valley region on a map including the Nile River and the major cities and religious sites of Egypt, Nubia, and surrounding African countries.

  • Understand the complex relationship between Nubia and Kemet/Egypt including trade, mutual cultural customs, and conquer.

Study Questions!

From Racism and the Rediscovery of Ancient Nubia
1. What did Greek traditions have to say regarding the Ancient Nubians?

2. Who were Karl Richard Lepsius and Bayard Taylor? What race did they say the ancient Nubians belonged to? Why?

3. Why do you think no Black or African historian was involved with any of the major early excavations of ancient Nubia?

4. Today, who are considered the “first Egyptologists?”

From Nubia: Ancient Kingdoms of Africa, Boston Museum of Fine Art
5. What were the dates of Ancient Nubia’s Prehistoric Period and where was it located?
6. What are the dates of the A-Group, C-Group and Kerma Culture and what do their names refer to?
7. What city is Nubia’s northern border located? What city is Nubia’s southern border located?

8. Why was the Nile river so important the growth and development of ancient Nubia?

9. How does the landscape of ancient Nubia differ from that of ancient Egypt? Why is this significant?
10. Why was Nubia called “The Gateway to Africa?
11. What did the Greeks and the Romans call the territory south of Egypt? What did it mean?

12. How did the ancient Nubians and Egyptians represent their skin color? (Correction of text needed. Read below!)
13. What was the name of the oldest Nubian culture that developed during the prehistoric period? What items did this culture create that are among the oldest in the world?

14. What advances did the Nubians make during the Neolithic Period (5000 – 3100 B.C.E)?
15. What is the name the Egyptians gave for the area of Nubia? What did it mean?
16. How did the treasure inside the tombs of Nubia’s A-Group (3100 – 2800 B.C.E.) kings compare with that of Egyptian pharaohs of the time?

17. When did the Egyptians first conquer parts of Nubia?

18. What was the name of the southern area of Nubia?

19. What was the Pan Grave culture (2200-1700 B.C.) known for?
20. True or False: The Kerma Culture (2000 – 1500 B.C.) was one of the most powerful states in Nubian history?
21. The Kerma Culture joined forces with what group to conquer Egypt during the 16th Dynasty?
22. How long did Hyksos and Nubians from the Kerma Culture rule ancient Egypt?
23. What was the result of the war between Egypt and the Hyksos/Kerma Culture in 1550 B.C.E.
24. What was the great achievement of the Kingdom of Kush during the Napatan Period (750 – 270 B.C.E.) under Kushite king Piye?

25. How did the 25th Kushite Dynasty fall?

26. What became of the Kushite Empire after they were defeated and pushed out of Egypt following the 25th Dynasty?

27. What caused the decline of the Kingdom of Kush during the Meroitic period?
28. What are some of the Ancient References to Nubia from the Bible and ancient historians?

Suggested Vocabulary
Randomly ask students the definition of one of the following words. Then ask them to put the word in a sentence. This is a great exercise for the beginning or end of a class, or if you finish a class early.

piety - the quality of being religious or reverent.

inconceivable - not capable of being imagined or grasped mentally; unbelievable.

distortion - the action of giving a misleading account or impression.

predominate - present as the strongest or main element.

retard - delay or hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment.

excavation - the action of excavating something, especially an archaeological site.

deciphered - convert (a text written in code, or a coded signal) into normal language.

monarch - a sovereign head of state, especially a king, queen, or emperor.

deduction - the action of deducting or subtracting something.

appalled - greatly dismay or horrify.

unabashed - not embarrassed, disconcerted, or ashamed.

pervasive - (especially of an unwelcome influence or physical effect) spreading widely throughout an area or a group of people.

osteologist - a person who practices the scientific study of bones. 

usurping - taking (a position of power or importance) illegally or by force.

inscriptions - words inscribed, as on a monument or in a book.

virulent - (of a disease or poison) extremely severe or harmful in its effects.

belated - coming or happening later than should have been the case.

vaunted - boast about or praise (something), especially excessively.

exponent - a person who believes in and promotes the truth or benefits of an idea or theory.

transcend - be or go beyond the range or limits of (something abstract, typically a conceptual field or division).