Daily Life of the Nubians, Robert Steven Bianchi, 2004, pp. 102-103
The repertoire of grave goods associated with the Pan Grave culture is limited, but does include certain types of jewelry, such as two-stranded necklaces. These consist of faience disk beads threaded onto an upper and lower string, the strings themselves connected by a series of rectangular plaques, to the lower strand of which were attached rudimentarily formed pendants of ostrich eggshell and mother-of-pearl. These Nubians also appear to have favored earrings, worn in a pierced lobe and crafted of either silver or copper wire formed into hoops with overlapping ends or twisted in numerous spirals. It has been cogently suggested that the ancient Egyptian custom of wearing ear ornaments for the first time in their history during the Second Intermediate Period is due to their adoption of this Nubian practice, which during the course of the New Kingdom became an ancient Egyptian unisex fashion. That the Medjay are desert-Nubians is certain.

Their presence has been detected in Old Kingdom contexts, but the Medjay are more frequently encountered as a distinct group during the Middle Kingdom when their designation, Medjay, appears among the named Egyptian foes in the Execration Texts of the Middle Kingdom. On the other hand, the Medjay like the Nubians of the C-Group culture interacted favorably with the Egyptians. In the case of the Medjay, they appear to be reliable allies and formed, therefore, part of the Egyptian army under Kamose in his campaigns against the Hyksos. Some have suggested that a Medjay contingent may have played a primary role in Kamose's interception of the Hyksos embassy en route to Nubia. Members of the Medjay community continued to be of service to the Egyptians of the New Kingdom, during which time they served in Egypt as the equivalent of policemen. They continued to serve in this capacity well into the reign of pharaoh Rameses IV (about 1152-1144 B.C.E.), during which time they accompanied an expedition into the Wadi Hammamat.

Nubians, like the one in the relief, swelled the ranks of Egypt's armies and left a strong mark on it's culture.
Photo is from the book The Horizon: History of Africa, American Heritage Publishing Co, 1971, p. 92.
Temple Relief

Painted limestone; H. 33 cm, W. 39 cm
From Deir el-Bahri, Temple of Hatshepsut
Acquired in 1898

New Kingdom, Eighteenth Dynasty, 1480 B.C.
Berlin, Agyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung

The march of these elite troops formed part of a festival procession represented on the walls of the uppermost terrace of Queen Hatshepsut's temple. The soldiers are equipped with bows and arrows in their right hands and hand axes in their left. They wear tiered locks that are gathered in a ball at the neck. The skin color appears to be a dark grayish-brown. That the hairstyle, skin color, and weaponry are Nubian is also confirmed by the facial features: the lower portions of the faces extend forward, the nasolabial furrows are deeply impressed, folds are cut beside the nostrils, and the lips are full.

From the book Sudan: Ancient Kingdoms of the Nile, Dietrich Wildung, 1997, p. 146

The Medjay in the ancient Egyptian documents, or Pan Grave culture Nubians, by archaeologists, because of the characteristic shallow, oval configuration of their graves. Graves of this type have been discovered over a wide geographic area from Nubia as far north into Egypt as Saqqara.
Stela of the Nubian soldier Nenu Egypt (Jeblein),
First Intermediate Period, 2250-2035 B.C.
40 Nubian Archers
Painted Wood
Asyut, Tomb of Prince Mesehti
Eleventh Dynasty, 2134-1991 B.C.
Ancient Egypt
Model Depicting the Counting of Livestock
Painted Wood, Height 55 CM, W 72 CM,
Length 173 CM

Tomb of Meketre, Eleventh Dynasty (2134-1991 BC)

Vivid glimpse of one of the activities associated with agricultural life in Egypt.  Master of the house is supervising the counting and inspection of his livestock as theya re driven in front of him by his workers.  Meketre & other functionaires are seated in a pavilion in the shade, which has a roof supported by flur fluted columns painted light blue and white.

Scribes hold an open papyrus scroll, with tables for pens and inks. Clothing of the men is partically made of real cloth.

Model of a Weaving Workshop
Painted wood
H 25 CM, W 42 CM, Length 93 CM

Tomb of Meketre
Eleventh Dynasty (2134-1991 BC).

A rectangular room, a hive of activity of various activities connected with weaving. Horizontal looms, spinning thread, tools and baskets.

Female workers dominated in weaving.
Model of a Carpentry Workshop, Painted Wood
H 26 CM, W 52 CM, L 93 CM, Tomb of Meketre, Eleventh Dynasty (2134-1994 BC).

Shows activity in a workshop, the working conditions of skilled labourers. Range of tools, including chisels, axes, and saws and blades.
Finishing planks, tempering tools in a hearth
The Beja People
- the Bugiha of Leo Africanus
- the Blemmyes of the Greco-Roman Historians
- the Bugas of the Auximite inscriptions
- the Buka of the Egyptian Hieroglyphs
- the Bugiens of the 17th century cartographers . . . and since medieval times has been known to the world as the Beja.

The Beja of the deserts of Eastern Sudan are among the country's longest-established peoples. The Beja are nomadic people group with over two million members living in southern Egypt, northeastern Sudan and northern Eritrea. This area along the Red Sea has been the homeland of the Beja since the days of the pharaohs 4,000 years ago. The Beja have lived in this area for some 6000 years.
Many scholars believe the Beja to be derived from early Egyptians because of their language and physical features. They are the indigenous people of this area, and we first know of them in historical references in the Sixth Dynasty of ancient Egypt. The Beja have a uniquely huge crown of fuzzy hair, first recorded in Egyptian rock paintings (circa B.C. 2000). Over the centuries, they had contact and some influence from Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Turks. The Romans and Byzantines called them Blemmyes, and the Axumites called them Bega, Bougaeiton and as "Bugas" in Axumite inscriptions in Ethiopia.

Rudyard Kipling's "FUZZY-WUZZY"
Kipling, Rudyard (1865-1936)
(Soudan Expeditionary Force)


We've fought with many men acrost the seas,
An' some of 'em was brave an' some was not:
The Paythan an' the Zulu an' Burmese;
But the Fuzzy was the finest o' the lot.
We never got a ha'porth's change of 'im:
'E squatted in the scrub an' 'ocked our 'orses,
'E cut our sentries up at Suakin,
An' 'e played the cat an' banjo with our forces.
So 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your 'ome in the Soudan;
You're a pore benighted 'eathen but a first-class fightin' man;
We gives you your certificate, an' if you want it signed
We'll come an' 'ave a romp with you whenever you're inclined.

We took our chanst among the Khyber 'ills,
The Boers knocked us silly ata mile,
The Burman give us Irriwaddy chills,
An' a Zulu impidished us up in style:
But all we ever got from such as they
Was pop to what the Fuzzy made us swaller;
We 'eld our bloomin' own, the papers say,
But man for man the Fuzzy knocked us 'oller.
Then 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, an' the missis and the kid;
Our orders was to break you, an' of course we went an' did.
We sloshed you with Martinis, an' it wasn't 'ardly fair;
But for all the odds agin' you, Fuzzy-Wuz, you broke the square.

'asn't got no papers of 'is own,
'E 'asn't got no medals nor rewards,
So we must certify the skill 'e's shown
In usin' of 'is long two-'anded swords:
When 'e's 'oppin' in an' out among the bush
With 'is coffin-'eaded shield an' shovel-spea,
An 'appy day with Fuzzy on the rush
Will last an 'ealthy Tommy for a year.
So 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, an' your friends which are no more,
If we 'adn't lost some messmates we would 'elp you to deplore;
But give an' take's the gospel, an' we'll call the bargain fair,
For if you 'ave lost more than us, you crumpled up the square!

'E rushes at the smoke when we let drive
An', before we know, 'e's 'ackin' at our 'ead;
'E's all 'ot sand an' ginger when alive,
An' 'e's generally shammin' when 'e'sdead.
'E's a daisy, 'e's a ducky, 'e' a lamb!
'E's a injia-rubber idiot on the spree,
'E's the on'y thing that doesn't give a damn
For a Regiment o' British Infantree!
So 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your 'ome in the Soudan;
You're a pore benighted 'eathen but a first-class fightin' man;
An' 'ere's toyou, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, with your 'ayrick 'ead of 'air --
You big black boundin' beggar -- for you broke a British square!

Beja pastoralist from 12th Dynasty Tomb Mier.
From the book A Modern History of the Sudan, P.M. Holt, 1961.
Modern Beja pastoralists, men are known for their large natural hair styles.


"'We have come from the Well of Ibhet': Ethnogenesis of the Medjay." in Journal of Egyptian History 4 (2011): 149-171

The Rescue of Jerusalem: The Alliance Between
Hebrews and Africans in 701 B.C.
by Henry T. Aubin

From Library Journal

Aubin argues that the Kushite rescue of Jerusalem from certain annihilation in 701 B.C.E. instigated the Jewish concept of being God's "elect" and was therefore a seminal event in the development of Zionism. Dealing competently with the biblical and historical sources despite what some might see as a lack of formal training in this area (he is a journalist instead of a historian, though he did do graduate work in history at the University of Strasbourg), Aubin asserts that the Kushites black Africans who ruled Egypt at this time saved the city from destruction by the Assyrians. According to Aubin, historians accepted this view until the late 19th century, when colonialism impinged on the European perception of these events; suddenly, the theory that an epidemic weakened the Assyrian army rose to prominence. Aubin asserts that this was one of the most important battles in history; had the Assyrians wiped out Jerusalem, there would have been no Christianity or Islam. Whether or not one accepts his conclusions, this work is a wonderful exercise in historiography. Recommended for all academic libraries. Clay Williams, Hunter College Library, City University New York

The tomb of Mesehti in Asyut, from the Middle Kingdom, had two detailed models of soldiers. Mesehti was the provincial governor in the 11th Dynasty Asyut and these models have provided much of the details about Egyptian soldiers.

This is a painted wooden model of Nubian archers (40). They are shown wearing a bright red and green loin-cloth, possibly leather not linen. They are carrying three arrows in their right hand and a recurved bow in their left.

Note the individuality of the figures.

Cairo Museum, Egypt

The Medjay were herdsmen and warriors.

This painted decorations on this cattle skill from a pan-Grave burial in Egypt include a figure of the deceased. The Hieroglyphs apparently write his name, Qeskaant.

The Medjay were a semi-nomadic people whose homeland was in the eastern desert ranging from Egypt to the Red Sea. They are mentioned as early as 2400 BC, when Egyptian texts recorded them as warriors serving with the Egyptian military. Later Egyptian texts also document their presence as soldiers at fortresses built along the Nile in Nubia. Their role serving the forces of authority was so enduring that by the time of the Egyptian New Kingdom the name Medjay had become a word for police of any ethnic or cultural background.

The Inscription of Weni: Weni the Elder was a court official of the 6th dynasty (Old Kingdom ca. 2332–2283 BC).

Part of the inscription is carved on a monolithic slab of limestone which formed one wall of his single-room tomb-chapel.

"When his majesty took action against the Asiatic Sand-dwellers, his majesty made an army of many tens of thousands from all of Upper Egypt: from Yebu in the south to Medenyt in the north; from Lower Egypt: from all of the Two-Sides-of-the-House, and from Sedjer and Khen-sedjru; and from Irtjet-Nubians, Medja-Nubians, Yam-Nubians, Wawat-Nubians, Kaau-Nubians; and from Tiemeh-land.

His majesty sent me at the head of this army, there being counts, royal seal-bearers, sole companions of the palace, chieftains and mayors of towns of Upper and Lower Egypt, companions, scout leaders, chief priests of Upper and Lower Egypt, and chief district officials at the head of the troops of Upper and Lower Egypt, from the villages and towns that they governed and from the Nubians of those foreign lands. I was the one who commanded them while my rank was that of overseer of 'royal tenants' because of my rectitude, so that no one attacked his fellow, so that no one seized a loaf or sandals from a traveler, so that no one took a cloth from any town, so that no one took a goat from anyone.

This army returned in safety, It had ravaged the Sand dwellers' land." - Source

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Source: Photos from old Sudanese