Succession in the Kingdom of Napata, 900-300 B.C

Samia Dafa'alla
1993 International Journal of African Historical Studies  
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more » ... tend access to The International Journal of African Historical Studies. The excavations of the Napatan royal tombs at Elkurru and Nuri and of the royal monuments in the regions of Napata and Kawa have established, with a great degree of certainty, the chronological order of all the Napatan kings. The same excavations have uncovered a respectable corpus of inscribed royal material. In addition to this, there is also a considerable quantity of Napatan archaeological material discovered in Egypt. Most of this dates to the period between Kashta and Tanwetamani. It includes a few tombs, inscribed royal statues and statuettes, and inscribed stelae. The greatest part of the textual material from Egypt and the Sudan has been admirably organized and explained by M.F.L. Macadam in his pioneer and valuable study, "The Relationship of the Ethiopian Royal Family."l His inquiry, however, stopped at the time of Aspelta. He correctly pointed out that family relationships after Tanwetamani would be conjectural.2 His joint work with D. Dunham gave all the royal cartouches known until that time, thus extending the scope of the royal relationships to the time of Nastasen.3 All these sources have been available for a long time; nevertheless, the subject of the system of succession to the office of king has received very little attention from the experts on Napatan history. Although his main objective was to construct a royal genealogy, Macadam did make some general remarks about the Napatan succession. To summarize briefly, he stated that the system practiced was matrilineal, that the order of kings was from brother to brother, and then to the children of the eldest son in the same manner.4 It is evident that Macadam had in mind the order of the following kings: Kashta (father), Piankhy (the eldest son of Kashta), Shabako (second son of Kashta), Shabitku (the eldest son of Piankhy), and Taharqo (second son of Piankhy). However, one finds it difficult to understand how such an order could
doi:10.2307/219190 fatcat:tjobgglzkvbljnbnafgzzye2nq