Ancient Kush rivaled Egypt, experts say

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Archeologists have unearthed a 4,000-year-old gold-processing center along the middle Nile in Sudan that suggests the ancient kingdom of Kush was much larger than scholars previously believed and would have rivaled the domain of the Egyptians to the north.

Kush, which was called Nubia by the Greeks, was the first urban civilization in sub-Saharan Africa. The discovery of the gold center and a related graveyard is providing new information about the relationship between rulers in the capital city, Kerma, and its peripheral subjects, said archeologist Geoff Emberling of the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute, who is announcing the find today.

Believed to have flourished from about 2400 BC until the 2nd century AD, Kush "is gradually coming out of the shadow of Egypt," said archeologist Derek A. Welsby of the British Museum, who was not involved in the excavation.

"We didn't know that Kush extended into the 4th Cataract zone" of the Nile, Welsby said, referring to the region where Emberling excavated

Much new information is emerging about Kush because of the salvage archeology being conducted ahead of next year's opening of the Merowe Dam, also known as Hamdab, which will flood thousands of archeological sites...

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