A major regional power with vast resources derived from its trade in gold, jewels and exotic hides, Kush has been overshadowed by its more powerful and famous northern neighbour, Egypt.
In the early 3rd century BC, king Ergamenes decided to wrest power away from the priests of Amun, and moved the capital from Napata to Meroe. The priests would no longer decide the fate of the kings and queens.
The shift of capital also marked something of a break from Egyptian culture with Hellenistic, Indian, Persian and African influences making their way through the trade routes. The kings and warrior queens would sit on the throne and rule with authority and conviction to protect the riches of Nubia. Even the Romans could not conquer Meroe, and preferred to trade instead.