Beyond the Nile: Long Term Patterns in Nomad-State Interactions across Northeast Africa


  • Julien Cooper United International College-Beijing



Ancient Egypt, Nubia, Nomadism, States


The history of Northeast Africa is dominated by a “Nile Narrative”, a common story that places the urban and riverine cultures of Egypt and Nubia at its centre. While the various iterations of Egyptian and Nubian (Kushite) territorial states shaped the macro-history of the region, this enduring narrative often homogenizes and reduces a much more complex world which consisted of a milieu of nomadic peoples. Indigenous to the vast deserts east and west of the river, these nomads are a vital element in the macro-history of the Nile basin, constantly interacting with their urban neighbours, forming diasporas, conducting trade, and preventing exploitation of their homelands. While these patterns endured for millennia, pronounced episodes of conflict, subjugation, and even state formation abound in the record. This analysis takes a macro-historical view to nomads in Nilotic history, proposing a new model for nomadic polities and Nile states in ancient Northeast Africa.


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Biografia do Autor

Julien Cooper, United International College-Beijing

Julien Cooper holds a PhD in Egyptology from Macquarie University (2016). He is Egyptologist and Archaeologist at the Research Centre for History and Culture at United International College-Beijing Normal University and director of a fieldwork mission, the Atbai Survey Project (Sudan).


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Como Citar

Cooper, J. (2022). Beyond the Nile: Long Term Patterns in Nomad-State Interactions across Northeast Africa. Mare Nostrum, 13(1), 37-86.