Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

Sudan, 1–500 A.D.

Kingdom of Kush, ca. 760 b.c.–350 a.d.
Meroitic Period, ca. 250 b.c.–450 a.d.

Maps

Encompasses ancient Nubia

The Kushites of the Meroitic period manufacture richly decorated textiles, gracefully decorated ceramic vessels, objects of bronze and iron, exceptionally fine gold and cloisonné jewelry, and other luxury items. From Egypt and the Hellenistic world, they import metal and glass vessels, ceramics, and wine.

  • • ca. 250 B.C.–350 A.D. (Meroitic Period) In about 250 B.C., the Kushite king Arkamani I moves the royal necropolis from near Napata to Meroë, a site between the fifth and sixth cataracts. Meroë, already an important center during the Napatan Period, becomes the capital of the Kushite kingdom. Meroë's location at the convergence of a network of caravan roads with trade routes along the White and Blue Nile makes it East Africa's most important center of trade. The Kushites of the Meroitic Period manufacture richly decorated textiles, gracefully decorated ceramic vessels, objects of bronze and iron, exceptionally fine gold and cloisonné jewelry, and other luxury items. From Egypt and the Hellenistic world they import metal and glass vessels, ceramics, and wine. In the fourth century A.D., the Kushite kingdom is overwhelmed by the kingdom of Aksum (Axum), the new center of power that had developed in Ethiopia to the southeast.