The kingdoms of Kush, especially Meroe (300 BCE–450 CE), present the opportunity to observe the result of continual relations between a land positioned far south in northeastern Africa and a multi-thousand-year-old Egypt to its north. Kushites used scenes of triumph and massacre to reinforce their royal ideology and political position in the same way that ancient Egyptians did. Warlike representations in the traditional repertoire of New Kingdom Egypt allow one to identify the iconographic codes reinvested with meaning by the Kushites and the features specific to Meroitic imagery. Paying attention to these cultural transfers contributes to elucidating the treatment of violence and to understanding military expressions in Meroitic civilization, as well as their origins, inspirations, and connections with ancient Egypt and the Mediterranean world. The objective here is to illustrate this well-known theme through lesser-known artifacts, but offering additional details to the famous architectural scenes, and to explain how this iconography has resisted change over time until merging with the Meroitic culture.
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