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BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: PHARAOH TAHARQA-THE BIBLICAL “TIRHAKAH” KING OF ETHIOPIA (KUSH/NUBIA) β€οΈπŸ’›πŸ’š

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

EARLY LIFE

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.

HIS REIGN

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).

TAHARQA IN THE BIBLE

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).

ANCIENT ARTIFACTS OF PHARAOH TAHARQA

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


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PHARAOH PIYE: THE BLACK KING WHO RULED BOTH ANCIENT KUSH/NUBIA AND EGYPT

Pharaoh Piye: The Black King Who Ruled Both Ancient Kush/Nubia and Egypt

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Early Life

Piye, also known as Piankhi, was the king of the kingdom of Kush, also known as Nubia (modern-day Sudan). He ruled from about 750 BCE to around 719 BCE.

The Holy Conqueror

During his reign as ruler of the people of Nubia, (a people who shared a cultural-connection to the people of Egypt), Piye knew of and took advantage of the inner-conflict of Egypt at the time.

He expanded Nubia’s territory beyond Thebes, in Southern Egypt, and eventually he moved his army north and achieved military victories in Memphis and Hermopolis , just to name a few.

Hear what I have done in exceeding the ancestors. I am the king, the representation of god, the living image of Atum, who issued from the womb marked as ruler, who is feared by those greater than he, [whose father] knew and whose mother perceived even in the egg that he would be ruler, the good god, beloved of the gods, the Son of Re, who acts with his two arms, Piye, beloved of Amon ....— Victory Stele of Piye

“Hear what I have done in exceeding the ancestors. I am the king, the representation of god, the living image of Atum, who issued from the womb marked as ruler, who is feared by those greater than he, [whose father] knew and whose mother perceived even in the egg that he would be ruler, the good god, beloved of the gods, the Son of Re, who acts with his two arms, Piye, beloved of Amon ….”

— Victory Stele of Piye

Egypt at the time was very chaotic and instead of being one unified kingdom, it consisted of several fragmented smaller states, all of which never stood a chance against the mighty and unified kingdom of Nubia, which was at it’s peak at the time. Several kings of the Delta region, including Iuput (also spelled Auput II)of Leontopolis, Nimlot of Hermopolis, and Usermaatre Osorkon IV of Tanis, all eventually submitted to the throne of Piye. Pharaoh Piye viewed his conquest of Egypt as not only a military one, but a religious one. In fact, he believed that Egypt had lost much of its shared cultural and religious identity with Kush due to the fact that Egypt had been invaded by various peoples by this time, who inevitably mixed their cultural, religious and racial identities into the fabric of Egypt. As Pharaoh, Piye wasn’t only responsible for ruling over the people of the Kingdom (soon to be empire) of Kush, but he was also responsible for commanding its military and as Pharaoh he was considered divine and an intermediary between the gods and the people. Making Pharoah Piye the most important religious figure in the nation. Which is why he commanded that his soldiers ritually cleanse themselves (similarly to what a modern-day Muslim does before prayer) before they went into battle. Piye, himself offered sacrifices to the god of Amun. His uniting the two Kingdoms would be seen as an African renaissance.

His Reign

His exact time on the throne is unknown, some reseachers suggest he ruled as Pharaoh for 24 years, others suggest it could of been upwards of 31 years.

NUBIAN PYRAMIDS

PHARAOH’S Tomb

The Tomb of Piye was located in El-Kurru, which was one of the cemeteries of the Nubian/Kush royal family. The tomb site is located in Northern State, Sudan.

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