Egyptian Imports

Objects imported from Egypt were found in Nubian A-Group tombs

Tombs of rulers and officials often contained Egyptian imports, which Nubians obtained by trading gold from Nubia and other products like ebony and ivory that they had acquired from regions to the south. Made of materials or by techniques not available in Nubia, imports from Egypt included faience and vessels made from Egyptian alabaster.


Many Egyptian imports were storage vessels

Egyptian pottery exported to Nubia was made of dense clay that produced vessels capable of holding liquids for long periods. Originally imported for their contents, which are not known, such jars were also reused for storage.

A-Group rulers also imported pottery stands and ceramic objects like the hippopotamus displayed here, which in Egyptian mythology symbolically represents enemies of the ruler. The symbolic meaning of the hippopotamus to Nubian rulers is not established.


Hippopotamus Head and Foot from Statue
Naqada III (A-Group, 3200–3000 BC)

Qustul, Cemetery L, tomb 17
OIM 23845 (head)
Qustul, Cemetery L, tomb 11
OIM 30901 (foot)