By:Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare


Taharqa was a Pharaoh of the 25th Dynasty of Egypt and a Qore (King) of the Nile Kingdom to the south, Kush (Nubia). He was the son of Pharaoh Piye, the ancient Nubian king who conquered Egypt and created the 25th Dynasty of Egypt. Taharqa was also the cousin of Pharaoh Shebitku, whom he succeeded as Pharaoh.


Pharaoh Taharqa’s time on the throne is estimated to be between the time period of 690 BC to 664 BC. Although Taharqa’s united Kushite/Egyptian empire was in constant bloody conflict with Assyrians (early on in his reign, Pharaoh Taharqa supported Palestine ’s resistance against King Sennacherib of Assyria), the time of his reign also saw a flourishing renaissance in Kushite/Egyptian civilization. Pharaoh Taharqa and the other Pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty resuscitated Nile Valley culture, religion, architecture and arts. It is believed that Pharaoh Taharqa and the 25th Dynasty helped restore the Egyptian society, culture and architecture to that of its glory days of the Old, Middle and New Kingdom levels. Pharaoh Taharqa would build new temples and restored old Temples to their previous glory. The 25th Dynasty also saw massive construction of new pyramids, especially in the Kush/Nubia region (modern-day Sudan).


Many scholars believe that Pharaoh that Pharaoh Taharqa is the Ethiopian (Kush/Nubian) known in the bible as “Tirhakah”. The King who waged war against Sennacherib, who was king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah (2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 37:9).


The Shrine of Taharqa, Ashmolean Museum
Taharqa (left) embracing Horus (Re-Horakhty) on the Kawa shrine
King Taharqa and the gods of Thebes. Standing on the left, he offers “a white loaf” to his father Amun-Re, who is accompanied by Mut, Khonsu and Montu, Kawa shrine.

Taharqa in the Temple of Mut
Taharqa and the gods of Gematen (the Temple of Kawa). He makes an offering to the ram-headed god Amun-Re. Kawa shrine.
Stele commemorating the death of an Apis bull enthroned in “Year 26 of Taharqa”. Found in the Serapeum of Saqqara, Saqqara. Louvre Museum.

Chapel of Taharqa and Shepenwepet in Karnak
Taharqa’s kiosk. Karnak Temple

Taharqa before the god Amun in Gebel Barkal (Sudan), in Temple of Mut, Jebel Barkal

Taharqa under a sphinx, British Museum
Shabti of King Taharqa
Relief of Taharqa on the shrine

External Resources

Britannica article on Taharqa

Wikipedia article on Taharqa