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 5: Ancient Nubia/Kush (6000 B.C. – 1500 A.D.) Part 2


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 Nubia: Ancient Kingdoms of Africa, Boston Museum of Fine Art )pp. 25-59) 

1. True or False? It is believed that the idea of “divine kingship,” whereby the king rules as a god, came originally from ancient Egypt.

2. True or False? It was only through the royal men that Nubian rulers inherited the throne.

3. What was the relationship between the priests and rulers of ancient Nubia?

4. What happened when the priests told King Arkamani that god expected him to commit suicide?

5. Who was Piye (pee-ye)? What does the great stone stela at the temple of Amun at Jebel Barkal say about Piye’s conquests?

6. Who was Taharka? What did the Bible say about him?

7. True or False? Women held a very low status in ancient Nubia.
Answer: False. Women held very high status in the Kushite culture (fig. 26). They played an important role in establishing who was going to be the next king or queen. Women could also be the rulers themselves, and many queens ruled the Kushite kingdom (fig. 27).

8. What does the name Candace refer to?

9. True or False? In ancient Nubian cultures, women with full figures were considered poor and unhealthy.

10. Who was Amanitore?

11. What is known about early Nubia and Egyptian religion?

12. True or False? Did the Nubians and Egyptians “share” similar religious beliefs and practices?

13. What was the Deffufa?

14. What are the two most famous colossal temples built in Nubia by Egyptian kings?

15. What type of activities occurred at temples such as Jebel Barka?

16. Name two other gods that the Nubians worshipped besides Amun.

17. When did the Nubians stop worshipping Amun as the supreme god? What was the name of the new “great god” that they begin to worship with equal status to Amun?

18. What was the dramatic new element discovered in Kerma burials?

19. What changed occurred after the location of the royal Nubian cemetery shifted south to Meroe about 270 B.C.?

20. How did Nubians live on a day-to-day basis? How were Nubian dwellings constructed?

21. What was the primary “occupation” in ancient Nubia?

22. When did ancient Nubians develop their own written language? When was this language deciphered?

23. How did jewelry figure into Nubian society?

24. What type of clothing did the ancient Nubians wear?

25. How was Nubian furniture constructed?

26. What function did pottery serve in ancient Nubia?

27. What type of food did Nubians eat?

28. True or False? Did the ancient Nubians wear make-up/cosmetics?

29. How did the Trans-Atlantic slave trade impact the history of Africa and Nubia?

30. Over the last three decades, what are some of the important new perspectives that have emerged regarding African history?
Homework Assignment
Read/View the Following:

Nubia: Ancient Kingdoms of Africa, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (pp. 25-59, 30-40 min)

“Neither Goddesses Nor Doormats: The Role of Women in Nubia” [Excerpt], by Tara L. Kneller (10-15 min)

The Candaces of Meroe (10 min)

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.

proliferation  - rapid increase in numbers.

colonization - the action or process of settling among and establishing control over the indigenous people of an area.

preliminary - denoting an action or event preceding or done in preparation for something fuller or more important.

smiting - strike with a firm blow.

equivalent - equal in value, amount, function, meaning, etc.

province - a principal administrative division of certain countries or empires.

monarchy - a form of government with a monarch (king and queen) at the head.

tumulus - an ancient burial mound; a barrow.

subjugating - bring under domination or control, especially by conquest.

ad - a member of a people having no permanent abode, and who travel from place to place to find fresh pasture for their livestock.

brusquely - abrupt or offhand in speech or manner.