Stela of Harsiyotef [Harsiotef]
404-369 BCE)
From the Great Temple of Amun at Gebel Barkal (Cairo JE 48864).

In the year 342 B.C., Egypt was reconquered by the Persians, but by 332 B.C. it was in the hands of Alexander the Great.

On the other hand, reports of conflicts with nomadic peoples run like a red thread through the historical inscriptions of the kings of Kush. These peoples lived in the immediate and surrounding areas of the Nile Valley and even controlled stretches of the river itself. The most important of them were the multi-branched tribes of the Blemmyes, whose homeland was the Eastern Desert. We first encounter them in an inscription of King Anlamani (623-593 B.C.), which records a campaign against them resulting in a booty rich in women, children, and cattle; that only four men could be captured is typical of battles with nomads.

At the time of King Harsiyotef, the same nomad tribes attempted to establish themselves in Lower Nubia. In the third, fifth, and sixth years of his reign, campaigns against the Blemmyes probably involved the possession of Derr and perhaps also of Qasr Ibrim. The enemy's cattle and people ("male and female slaves") were captured and the nomad chieftain finally submitted to the Kushite king: "You are my god! I am your slave! I am a woman! Do not take the field against me!" As a token of submission, he sent earth (?) "in the hands of a man" (Stela -- Cairo JE 48864; above).


Africa in Antiquity: The Arts of Ancient Nubia and the Sudan, Steffen Wenig, Brooklyn Museum, p. 163 (1978)