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  • Maria Dolores Fernandez

    The fall of Egypt in pictures. Left, the white Egyptian Pharaoh Tuthmosis III, circa 1450 BC. Center, the black Nubian Pharaoh Shabako, circa 710 BC., and right, the last Nubian pharaoh Taharka, who ruled Egypt from 690 to 664 BC. He was the son of Piye, the Nubian king who had conquered Egypt in 760 BC. The last white Egyptians had vanished prior to 800 BC, physically integrated into the mass of Nubian and Semitic peoples who had come to dominate that land.

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Roof of Hypostyle hall Dendera Temple, Egypt. Dendera Temple complex is one of the best-preserved temple complexes in Egypt. Dendera was a site for chapels or shrines from the beginning of ancient Egypt. Pharaoh Pepi I (ca. 2250 BC) built on this site & evidence exists of a temple in the 18th dynasty (ca 1500 BC). But the earliest extant building in the compound today is the Mammisi raised by Nectanebo II, last of the native pharaohs (360–343 BC).

About 760 BC, the Nubians of the Kush Empire invaded and conquered Egypt beginning the period of the Black Pharaohs. They made Meroë (pronounced mayor-way) their capitol. They built Jebel Barkel (or Napata) as a sign that Egypt belongs to Nubia. And for their Kings and Queens, who ruled equally, they built these distinctly Nubian pyramids. Their kingdom would last longer than the Egyptians and would end with their defeat by another African empire, the Kingdom of Axum in 656 BC.

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Louvre Museum - Great Sphinx of Tanis by *Checco*, via Flickr The sphinx is a fabulous creature with the body of a lion and the head of a king. This one was successively inscribed with the names of the pharaohs Ammenemes II (12th Dynasty, 1929-1895 BC), Merneptah (19th Dynasty, 1212-02 BC) and Shoshenq I (22nd Dynasty, 945-24 BC). According to archaeologists, certain details suggest that this sphinx dates to an earlier period - the Old Kingdom (c. 2600 BC).

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