The Meroitic empire: trade and cultural influences in an Indian ocean context
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The Meroitic Empire was a powerful Kushite state in the Middle Nile region of the Sudan, lasting from the fourth century BCE to the fourth century CE. In the early phase from the ninth century BCE, the seat of power was in the north at Napata. Influences from Egypt clearly dominated symbolic expressions of royal power in this early phase, but over time, elements linked to different cultural traditions occurred. Here, I explore the possibility that some of these new elements (e.g. the lion god Apedemak and elephant imagery) may be related to interactions across the Indian Ocean involving trade, migrations of craft specialists and the diffusion of ideas.