History of Sudan

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The history of Sudan extends from antiquity, and is intertwined with the history of Egypt, with which it was united politically over several periods. It is marked by influences (military and cultural) on Sudan from neighboring areas (e.g. Egypt, Arabian Peninsula, Ethiopia, Congo, Chad) and world powers (e.g. United Kingdom, United States). As the largest country in Africa, it has also seen internal conflict, notably between north and south.


Prehistoric Sudan

By the eighth millennium BC, people of a Neolithic culture had settled into a sedentary way of life there in fortified mud-brick villages, where they supplemented hunting and fishing on the Nile with grain gathering and cattle herding. Anthropological and archaeological research indicate that during the predynastic period Nubia and Nagadan Upper Egypt were ethnically, and culturally nearly identical, and thus, simultaneously evolved systems of pharaonic kingship by 3300 BC. [1] .


Northern Sudan's earliest historical record comes from Egyptian sources, which described the land upstream from the First Cataract, called Kush, as "wretched." For more than two thousand years after the Old Kingdom (c.2700-2180 BC),

Over the centuries, trade developed. Egyptian caravans carried grain to Kush and returned to Aswan with ivory, incense, hides, and carnelian (a stone prized both as jewelry and for arrowheads) for shipment downriver. Egyptian governors particularly valued gold in Nubia and soldiers in the pharaoh's army. Egyptian military expeditions penetrated Kush periodically during the Old Kingdom. Yet there was no attempt to establish a permanent presence in the area until the Middle Kingdom (c.2100-1720 BC), when Egypt constructed a network of forts along the Nile as far south as Samnah, in southern Egypt, to guard the flow of gold from mines in Wawat.

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