Before the widespread use of stone, Nubian architecture utilized perishable materials such as wattle-and-daub, mud brick, reeds, hides, and other perishable materials. The settlements have left marks in the landscape where they appear as mounds, built up over by the successive construction in the same place by subsequent tions. The actual structures have vanished with the passing of time, evidence for hearths, particularly from the Neolithic Period, survives.


The Nubians of the C-Group culture initially did continue to live in circularly designed structures. These took the form of stone-floored edifices framed with wooden or other pliant poles and sheathed with hides, wattle-and-daub, or other material. There is also evidence of structures relying on a central pole, which have been alternatively described as either huts or tents. Gradually mud brick gained currency as the building material of choice, and settlements became larger in size, such as that of this period at Wadi es-Sebua, which occupied a natural rise in the landscape covering an area of 40 meters.

Pharaoh Amenemhet I

The collapse of the Old Kingdom plunged Egypt into the first (about 2145-2020 B.C.E.) of three intermediate periods precipitating the rise of competing elites warring for control over the country. These competing Egyptian elites also waged war against the Nubians, but the motivation for these campaigns is difficult to ascertain. Some of these campaigns against the Nubians, dated to Dynasty XI (about 2119-1976 B.C.E.), may be regarded as episodes in the Egyptian dynastic struggles of the period, whereas others appear to be specifically waged against the Nubians. Moreover, one cannot overlook the fact that the C-Group Nubians served as mercenaries in the Egyptian armies and that at least one local Egyptian governor reported the dispatch of Egyptian grain to alleviate a famine in Nubia during the First Intermediate Period. This picture is further complicated by the suggested interpretation of the following passage from The Prophecy of Neferti. This is a literary composition known from a single manuscript of Dynasty XVIII date (about 1550-1292 B.C.E.), set in the time of Dynasty IV, in which the sage whose name appears in the work's title predicts the rise of the Middle Kingdom.

Then a king will come from the South
Ameny, the justified, by name, son of a woman of Ta-Sety, child of Upper Egypt
He will take the White Crown
He will wear the Red Crown
He will join the Two Mighty Ones,
He will please the Two Lords with what they wish,
Rejoice, o people of his time,
The son of man will make his name for all eternity!
                                                        (Mirian Lichteim. Ancient Egyptian Literature, Berkeley: University of California Press

Although another example of Egyptian fiction, clearly composed as a prophecy after the event, scholarly consensus maintains that its narrative may contain a germ of historical truth. The mother of the future king is undoubtedly a Nubian, and research has unequivocally established that her son's name, Ameny, is in fact that of Pharaoh Amenemhet I (about 1976-1947 B.C.E.). If this tale is taken as historical evidence, Amenemhet I, the founder of Dynasty XII, may be shown to be of Nubian descent.
Reference and additional facts:
C Group: Head of Female Figurine

Fired clay
From Aniba, Tomb N 133
Ernst von Sieglin-Expedition 1914

Leipzig, Agyptisches Museum 4396

Photo from the book Sudan: Ancient Kingdoms of the Nile, by Dietrich Wildung (1997)
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