In 2003, a Swiss archaeological team working in northern Sudan uncovered one of the most remarkable Egyptological finds in recent years. At the site known as Kerma, near the third cataract of the Nile, archaeologist Charles Bonnet and his team discovered a ditch within a temple from the ancient city of Pnoubs, which contained seven monumental black granite statues. Magnificently sculpted, and in an excellent state of preservation, they portrayed five pharaonic rulers, including Taharqa and Tanutamun, the last two pharaohs of the "Nubian" Dynasty, when Egypt was ruled by kings from the lands of modern-day Sudan. For over half a century, the Nubian pharaohs governed a combined kingdom of Egypt and Nubia, with an empire stretching from the Delta to the upper reaches of the Nile. The seven statues, with their exquisite workmanship, transform our understanding of the art of this period. In particular, the colossal statue of Taharqa - almost certainly done by an Egyptian sculptor - is a masterpiece of stone artwork. Beautifully illustrated with 190 color photographs, "The Nubian Pharaohs" illuminates the epic history of this little-know historical era.
Combining the latest archaeological research with stunning photography, Charles Bonnet and Dominique Valbelle narrate the incredible story of their discovery - one that will change our understanding of Egypt and Africa in the ancient world.
Charles Bonnet is professor emeritus at the University of Geneva and former president of the International Nubiology Association. Since 1977, he has been the director of the Kerma site. Dominique Valbelle is president of the French Egyptology Association and professor at the Sorbonne.