The Nubia Museum, located in Aswan.
The Nubian Museum (officially the International Museum of Nubia) is an archaeological museum located in Aswan, Upper Egypt. It was built to a design by architect Mahmoud El-Hakim for an estimated construction cost of LE 75 million (approximately $22 million at the time). Dedicated to Nubian culture and civilization, it was inaugurated on November 23, 1997, and was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2001.
Three thousands pieces of antiquities, representing various ages; Geological, Pharaonic, Roman, Coptic and Islamic, were registered. The open-door exhibition includes 90 rare monumental pieces, while the internal halls contain 50 invaluable pieces dating back to pre-historic times, 503 pieces belong to the Pharaonic period, 52 to the Coptic era, 103 to the Islamic age, 140 to the Nubian era, in addition to 360 pieces reflecting the history of Aswan.
"With a history that can be traced from at least 2000 B.C. onward (through Nubian monuments and artifacts, as well as written records from Egypt and Rome), and was home to one of the African empires."
In 2300 BC, Nubia was first mentioned in Old Kingdom Egyptian accounts of trade missions. From Aswan, right above the First Cataract, the southern limit of Egyptian control at the time, Egyptians imported gold, incense, ebony, copper, ivory, and exotic animals from tropical Africa through Nubia.
Early settlements sprouted in both Upper and Lower Nubia. Egyptians referred to Nubia as "Ta-Seti," or "The Land of the Bow," since the Nubians were known to be expert archers.
The name Nubia is derived from that of the Noba people, nomads who settled the area in the 4th century following the collapse of the kingdom of Meroë. The Noba spoke a Nilo-Saharan language, ancestral to Old Nubian. Old Nubian was mostly used in religious texts dating from the 8th and 15th centuries AD. Before the 4th century, and throughout classical antiquity, Nubia was known as Kush, or, in Classical Greek usage, included under the name Ethiopia (Aithiopia).
The Nubia Museum occupies a 50,000 square-metre site on the banks of the Nile at Aswan, 7,000 square metres of which are given over to the Museum building.
One of the results of international efforts made during the UNESCO International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia from the rising waters of Lake Nasser behind the Aswan High Dam, the Nubia Museum showcases one of Egypt’s many civilizations.
It also functions as a community museum for the Nubian people, having an important education programme and raising local, national and international awareness of Nubian history and culture.
The Nubia Museum in Aswan hosts a research and documentation centre on Nubian archaeology, history and culture, as well as materials relating to the UNESCO International Campaign. It is surrounded by landscaped grounds that integrate it into the local topography and serve as an outdoor exhibition area on the Nubian environment.