Weinberg Lecture of Egyptology: Powerful Queens of Ancient Nubia
The kingdom of Kush (ancient Nubia) provides an amazing attestation of female power. Dr. Solange Ashby, UCLA, discusses a series of sole-ruling queens (one of whom led her army in battle against the invading Romans) who ruled ancient Nubia in the first century BCE and first century CE.
Temple images, funerary chapels, and stone sculptures depict these ruling queens, often in the company of the gods (Egyptian: Isis and Horus, Meroitic: Apedemak and Amesemi). Texts written in the Egyptian and Meroitic scripts accompany scenes in temples and tombs. Golden jewelry and exquisite funerary offerings demonstrate the wealth and power of Meroitic queens during a time when Ptolemaic Greeks and then Romans ruled Egypt.
Photo: Caroline Rocheleau