Nubians (not to be confused with Nuba) are descendants of the hunter-gathering culture near the site of modern Khartoum, c. 4000 BC, with much admixture from the Egyptian population to the north. Nubians have a very long history linked to the rise of agriculture, ancient states and urbanism, which parallels their association with ancient Egypt. Nubia was a source of gold, slaves, cattle skins, ivory, ebony, ostrich feathers, gum and incense which played a very important role in the basic accumulation of Egyptian wealth and power. When the Nubian kingdom was defeated by the Axumite kingdom it reorganized as three Christian kingdoms. This delayed the arrival of Islam until the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Some Nubians fled to remote locations in Darfur and Kordofan; other groups stayed in Nubia, retaining a tradition of religious scholarship and teaching.
Updated June 2018
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