Arts of Ancient Nubia
Ancient Nubia was home to a series of civilizations between the sixth millennium B.C. and A.D. 350 that produced towering monuments, including more pyramids than in neighboring Egypt, and artifacts of enduring beauty and significance. Nubia’s trade network reached across the Mediterranean and far into Africa. At the time that Nubian kings conquered Egypt, in the middle of the eighth century B.C., they controlled one of the largest empires of the ancient world.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has the most extensive and important collection of ancient Nubian art outside of Khartoum, mostly gathered during the pioneering Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition in the first half of the twentieth century. The objects highlighted in this volume include refined early ceramics, monumental statues and relief carvings made for royal pyramids, exquisite gold and enamel jewelry, playful decorations for furniture and clothing, and luxury goods traded from around the Mediterranean world. Together they provide a fascinating introduction to a sophisticated cultural tradition and a rich history that are still being revealed today.