and Demand: As the demand for iron
grew, Kush ran into a problem. To make iron, they needed to wood to
burn. They had used up much of their wood. Their resources were
dwindling. Kush could not produce as much iron as they had in the
past, yet demand for iron was growing. Traders began to look
elsewhere for iron. As trade dwindled, the country began to weaken.
Kush looked around for new avenues of trade.
They had incense. They had ivory. Certainly someone would want these
wonderful products. The leaders of Kush began to turn their eyes
towards the vast Sahara
Desert. What it possible? Could they develop a trade route to
the far away kings of which they had great things?
(Ships of the Desert):
Around 750 CE,
everything changed when Islamic traders began to use camels to
transports goods across the desert. The use of camels made it
possible to get from Kush to West Africa, to literally get from here
Trans-Sahara Trade Route: The
day the first caravan of camels headed west into the Sahara Desert
was the day that marked the opening of the Trans-Sahara
The Kingdom of Kush/Nubia: 3800 BCE to 1400 CE
The Nile River was home to two major civilization - Egypt and Kush.
Is it Kush or Nubia? Kush conquered Nubia. Kush
was conquered in turn. We call the region Kush/Nubia, but the
ancestors of these people think of themselves as Nubian.
Major Export: Iron Weapons and Tools, Ivory,
Natural resource: Nile River, Gold
Industries: Farming, mining, trading,
Agricultural crops: Yams (sweet
potatoes), beans, rice, onions, sorghum, millet, papaya, gourds,
cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, cotton, and peanuts.
Economic specialization: Traders,
miners, farmers, blacksmiths, soldiers
Religion: The same gods and
goddesses as ancient Egypt with a few extra thrown in like the
3-headed Lion God.
Clothing: In the beginning, the same
as Egypt - white, loose, cool cotton clothes. As time went on, the
Nubians began dressing more like the people south of the Sahara,
dressing in colorful cotton clothing, wearing nose plugs instead of
collars and bracelets.
of the Kingdom of Kush/Nubia