Kerma culture

The Kermakultur is a prehistoric culture in Upper Nubia.

The Kingdom of Kerma has developed from the Kerma culture, which in turn can be divided into several phases: pre-, early - and middle - Kerma Kerma as well as the classic and late - Kerma. The Kermakultur is occupied in the north to the second Nile cataract. Your Südausdehnung is still undetermined. Typical is the fine, red - brown ceramic with black top. The ceramic was initially done by hand, but later formed on the potter's wheel ( since the Classic Kerma ). Livelihoods were agriculture and especially livestock.


George Andrew Reisner examined in 1913 and 1916 at Kerma the remains of the capital of that culture. The findings were unexpected rich, which made relatively quickly known that culture. After this first important discovery long time there was only small sporadic excavations at sites of Kerma culture in Sudan, which only changed in recent years with an increased interest in Nubia. Also at the site of Kerma itself has been researched intensively again. Matthieu Honegger sat here from 2005, continuing the work of Charles Bonnet.


Pre- Kerma

Pre- Kerma (ca. 3500-2500 BC) is about the same time closely related to the A group in Lower Nubia and with this. It has even been suggested that it is identical with the latter. In Kerma there is probably a large settlement that time step. However, it is still assumed by a semi- nomadic lifestyle.

Early Kerma

The phase of the Early Kerma (ca. 2500-2000 BC) is not very well documented. She mixed in part with the C group. There are few imports from Egypt. The graves with different equipment ranging suggest a certain amount of social differentiation.

Central Kerma

The Middle Kerma (about 2000-1700 BC) had its centers in Sai and Kerma.

Classic Kerma

In this phase (ca. 1700-1550 BC) came to the state-building: the kingdom of Kerma. The center was located in the city of Kerma in Upper Nubia and was one of the greatest cultural centers during this period in Nubia. In Kerma there was a city, a temple and a cemetery, which had many tumuli. In the largest grave systems human sacrifices were offered. Common weapons offerings suggest a warlike nature of Kermaleute this time.

George Andrew Reisner believed that Kerma was the seat of an Egyptian ruler. His theory was based on the Egyptian statues found in the large tombs, which would have been built especially to honor distinguished persons. Reisner misinterpretations were, however, in the many stereotypes and prejudices of the 1920s. Archaeologists tended at that time to downplay the findings of a black high culture.

The number of discoveries shows the power of Kerma, especially when it threatened the imperial borders of Egypt in the Second Intermediate Period. This has been confirmed by a recently found inscription in a grave in Elkab. This reported on by an attack of Kermaleute and a foray into Egypt. From this foray also found in most of the Kerma Egyptian Statues and objects probably originated. The Kermaleute now controlled the Egyptian fortifications in Nubia. From there is also the name of a Kermaherrschers, which is called in the biographical inscription of an Egyptian known: Nedjeh.

The site Gism el- Arba is located north of the 3rd cataract between Dongola and Kerma. Set in a 6 x 8 km area previously exposed 20 villages were settled by the middle of the 3rd to the middle of the 2nd millennium. From the beginning of the Middle Kerma rectangular, about 4 x 6 m large buildings were built of mud bricks. The settlements and some cemeteries lying east of it were abandoned at the beginning of the Late Kerma.

Partly Kermagräber have also been found in Egypt in the Second Intermediate Period. These tombs like soldiers come, who died in the Egyptian campaign in this country, like next to a part of the Kermakeramik that were found in Egypt, also have been traded.

Late Kerma

The Late Kerma dated about 1550-1450 BC Thutmose I. Under the Egyptian army moved in several campaigns southward, which led to annexation of Nubia by Egypt and the history of the kingdom of Kerma put an end to. The Kermakultur can be detected in some places for some time, but then has been largely overshadowed by the Egyptian culture.