Nubian pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty
Map of Ancient Egypt, with Nubian Desert marked

Nubia (-/) was a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between Aswan in southern Egypt and Khartoum in central Sudan. It was the seat of one of the earliest civilizations of ancient Africa, with a history that can be traced from at least 2500 BC onward with the Kerma culture. The latter was conquered by the New Kingdom of Egypt under pharaoh Thutmose I around 1500 BC. Nubia was home to several empires, most prominently the kingdom of Kush, which conquered Egypt during the 8th century BC during the reign of Piye and ruled the country as its Twenty-fifth Dynasty (to be replaced a century later by the native Egyptian Twenty-sixth Dynasty).

The collapse of Kush in the 4th century AD after more than a thousand years of existence was precipitated by an invasion by Ethiopia's Kingdom of Aksum and saw the rise of three Christian kingdoms, Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia, the last two again lasting for roughly a millennium. Their eventual decline initiated not only the partition of Nubia into the northern half conquered by the Ottomans and the southern half by the Sennar sultanate in the 16th century, but also a rapid Islamization and partial Arabization of the Nubian people. Nubia was again united under the Khedivate of Egypt in the 19th century. Today, the region of Nubia is split between Egypt and Sudan.

The primarily archaeological science dealing with ancient Nubia is called Nubiology.


The name Nubia is derived from that of the Noba people, nomads who settled the area in the 4th century CE following the collapse of the kingdom of Meroë. The Noba spoke a Nilo-Saharan language, ancestral to Old Nubian. Old Nubian was mostly used in religious texts dating from the 8th and 15th centuries. Before the 4th century, and throughout classical antiquity, Nubia was known as Kush, or, in Classical Greek usage, included under the name Ethiopia (Aithiopia).

Historically, the people of Nubia spoke at least two varieties of the Nubian language group, a subfamily that includes Nobiin (the descendant of Old Nubian), Kenuzi-Dongola, Midob and several related varieties in the northern part of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan. Until at least 1970, the Birgid language was spoken north of Nyala in Darfur, but is now extinct. However, linguistic evidence indicates that the languages spoken in the ancient Kerma Culture (present-day southern Egypt and northern Sudan) in Nubia, belonged to the Cushitic branch of the Afroasiatic languages.[1][2]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Nubië
العربية: النوبة
asturianu: Nubia
azərbaycanca: Nubiya
беларуская: Нубія
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Нубія
български: Нубия
bosanski: Nubija
brezhoneg: Nubia
català: Núbia
čeština: Núbie
dansk: Nubien
Deutsch: Nubien
eesti: Nuubia
Ελληνικά: Νουβία
español: Nubia
Esperanto: Nubio
euskara: Nubia
فارسی: نوبه
français: Nubie
한국어: 누비아
հայերեն: Նուբիա
हिन्दी: नुबिया
hrvatski: Nubija
Bahasa Indonesia: Nubia
íslenska: Núbía
italiano: Nubia
עברית: נוביה
Basa Jawa: Nubia
ქართული: ნუბია
қазақша: Нубия
Kiswahili: Nubia
Кыргызча: Нубия
Latina: Nubia
latviešu: Nūbija
lietuvių: Nubija
magyar: Núbia
македонски: Нубија
მარგალური: ნუბია
Bahasa Melayu: Nubia
Nederlands: Nubië
日本語: ヌビア
Nordfriisk: Nuubien
norsk: Nubia
occitan: Nubia
polski: Nubia
português: Núbia
română: Nubia
русский: Нубия
shqip: Nubia
Simple English: Nubia
slovenčina: Núbia
slovenščina: Nubija
српски / srpski: Нубија
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Nubija
suomi: Nubia
svenska: Nubien
Türkçe: Nubiya
українська: Нубія
اردو: نوبیا
vèneto: Nubia
Tiếng Việt: Nubia
中文: 努比亚