Bracelet with the image of Hathor, 250-100 BC, Harvard University-Boston, Museum of Fine Arts Expedition, © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Following the recent successful exhibition displaying treasures from Iran, from 16 December 2018 the Drents Museum in Assen will present a large international archaeological exhibition called Nubia – Land of the Black Pharaohs. We all know the Egyptian pharaohs. But what is not so well known is that to the south of Egypt – in the Nile region of today’s Sudan – there were also kings and pharaohs whose might equalled that of the Egyptians. In this exhibition the Drents Museum uncovers the mystery of the ancient Nubians and reveals some of their treasures. The Assen display contains around 300 objects, on loan from the Nubian collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

The fascination of Nubia

The exhibition Nubia – Land of the Black Pharaohs presents a fascinating overview of Nubia in the period between 2400 BC and about 350 AD. Taken together, the finds provide a splendid introduction to the rich culture of this part of Africa. Scientists from the museum in Boston were involved in excavating these finds from 1907 to 1928. That is why the Boston museum has one of the world’s largest Nubian collections. The objects on display have only rarely been seen in Europe.

Black pharaohs

At the heart of the exhibition is the period between 750 and 664 BC. In this period the Nubians conquered Egypt and the black pharaohs ruled over the Egyptian Empire. The history of the Nubian region is closely connected with that of the Egyptian pharaohs. Among the top items on display are the finds from the pyramid of King Taharqo from 664 BC and magnificent gold jewellery from other Nubian pyramids, including those of the Nubian queens of the two Kings Pianhky and Shebitka.

Nubia – Land of the Black Pharaohs is the tenth in the series of great international archaeological exhibitions in the Drents Museum. The exhibition is open from 16 December 2018 until 5 May 2019. An accompanying book with the same title, priced at € 24.95, will be published on 16 December by WBOOKS (Zwolle) and will be available in the Museum shop.

Crystal pendant with the head of Hathor, 743-712 BC, Harvard University-Boston, Museum of Fine Arts Expedition, © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Offering table of Prince Tedeken, 200-100 BC, Harvard University-Boston, Museum of Fine Arts Expedition, © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Statue of King Senkamanisken, 643–623 BC, Harvard University-Boston, Museum of Fine Arts Expedition, © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

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