The period that followed the collapse of the Kushite Empire in the 4th century AD has traditionally been perceived as `a barbarous dark age'. Welsby, who has directed excavations in Sudan for the last twenty years and is an authority on the most southerly medieval Nubian kingdom of Alwa, argues that this view is largely the result of neglect and uses a wealth of archaeological, epigraphic and documentary evidence to highlight the cultural achievements of communities of all religions. Well-illustrated sections examine the distinct cultures of the region, developments in architecture, art, language and literacy, the impact of Christianity, notably wealthy churches and monastic buildings, and the economy of the Nubian kingdoms until their collapse in the 15th century. This is an authoritative yet accessible study which will be of interest to academic and general readers.
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