Problems with The Chronology Of Nubia

The current Nubian chronological framework is unreliable as Nubian sub-cultures and historical phases are known only by the letters archaeologists assigned to them, such as A- Group, C-Group, and X-Group, and there are Kushite kingdoms mixed in with the Nubian chronology (such as Kerma and the 25th/Napatan dynasty). This is the mainstream historical outline of Nubian history presented by archaeologists:

  • A-Group: 3800-3100 BCE
  • B-Group
  • C-Group, the Pan Grave Culture, and Kerma: 2500-1550 BCE
  • Napatan Dynasty 750-270 BCE
  • Meroe: 270 BCE – 350 CE
  • X-Group (post-Meroitic): 350-550 CE
  • Medieval Nubia: 270 BCE – 1500 CE

This historical framework and classification scheme was created by George Reisner more than three-quarters of a century ago and, with the exception of the “B Group” which did not seem to have existed, archaeologists still use this framework today. The problem with this classification is that Reisner had trouble recognizing that he was excavating and discovering independent African civilizations, because of his racial bias outlined in the previous unit. Further, he did not view the civilization of Kush as distinct from Nubia, and thus he mistranslates texts and substitutes the name “Nubia,” even when the inscriptions clearly reads the kingdom of “Kush.”

Ampim, Manu. “History Of African Civilizations, History 110 Course Reader.” Unit 4: Classical African Civilizations (Nubia). Oakland, CA: Advancing The Research, 2016. 70-71.

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