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Nubia is 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 (Kerma culture), and was home to several mighty empires, most prominently the kingdom of Kush, which for a while even ruled over Egypt.

Its collapse in the 4th century AD after more than 1000 years of existence saw the rise of three Christian kingdoms, Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia, the last two again lasting 1000 years.

Nubia was again united under the Khedivate of Egypt in the 19th century, and it remains united since then.

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.Nubia was divided into two major regions: Upper and Lower Nubia, so called because of their location in the Nile river valley, the 'lower' being further downstream than the 'upper'.Lower Nubia lay between the First and Second Cataracts of the Nile river, spreading into modern southern Egypt and northern Sudan, while Upper Nubia extended between the Second and Sixth Cataracts, in modern central Sudan.Modern scholars typically refer to the people from this area as the "A-Group" culture.Fertile farmland just south of the Third Cataract is known as the "pre-Kerma" culture in Upper Nubia, as they are the ancestors.The Neolithic people in the Nile Valley likely came from Sudan, as well as the Sahara, and there was shared culture with the two areas and with that of Egypt during this period.By the 5th millennium BC, the people who inhabited what is now called Nubia participated in the Neolithic revolution.Saharan rock reliefs depict scenes that have been thought to be suggestive of a cattle cult, typical of those seen throughout parts of Eastern Africa and the Nile Valley even to this day.This complexity as observed at Nabta Playa, and as expressed by different levels of authority within the society there, likely formed the basis for the structure of both the Neolithic society at Nabta and the Old Kingdom of Egypt.

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