The metal workers of Meroe had in fact turned their city into one of the biggest iron founding centre’s of the ancient world in Meroe, they (the Kushites) supplied iron weapons and a large possession of horses these contributed to the military superiority of the Kushite against the troublesome nomadic pastoralist living to the east and west of the Nile. Military power served not only to defend the kingdom but also to control the trade routes that led to Egypt and to the red sea coast. However, Kush had many other resources of which gold and iron were the most important.


In 500BC, the land of Kush was rich enough to support great herds of cattle and the rainfall was probably sufficient to allow a flourishing agriculture. All thanks for river Nile, fishing and much agriculture was possible to provide the Kushites with an annual produce that helped them survive and make a decent living. The Kushites used the animal driven water wheel to increase productivity and create a surplus, particularly during the Napatan-Meroitic kingdom.

Decline of the Kush

Towards the end of the Kushites Empire, the people of Kush experienced many difficulties.

Kush decline is directly linked to their reliance on the income brought to them by trade. In the third century AD it was faced with a declining market in Egypt, Kush trade market went straight down causing its source of income to take a real turn.

For a long time, Kush seen as a threatening, powerful, rich society and this constant fierceness kept many other civilizations away for a surprisingly long time. Because of the sudden downfall in its economy, Kush had nothing to hang onto and was very vulnerable to attack by roman exploitation and a powerful competitor in its eastern neighbour, Axum.

The pastures were overgrazed because the farmers would overfeed their cows. The grass that once covered the soil was uprooted and the soil was free to move around and out of the ground. The crops would not grow which led to starvation without the crops to feed people, the trade level went low and so did the money.

Kush’s military power was not strong as it used to be because the acquisition of horses and iron weapons by neighbouring people reduced, it must have rendered the trade routes, Kush’s lifelines to the outside world increasingly insecure. Kush was the center of the iron trade in the ancient Africa world

The iron markers used up all the forest (wood). To produce iron from ore, Kush needed to burn wood so Kush had to turn their attention to other trade goods to survive.

By the 300AD, Kush had lost much of its wealth and military might. The king of Axum took advantage of his former trade rival’s weakness. In about 350AD, the Axumite Army of king Ezana (Ay-zah-nah) destroyed Meroe and took over Kush with the collapse of the capital and nearly capital, Kushite civilization faded.

In Conclusion

Towards the end of the Kushite Empire, the people of Kush experience many difficulties there were both food and military changes for example the farmers would overfeed their cows. The grass that once covered the soil was uprooted and the soil was free to move around the crops would not grow which led to starvation. The people weakened and could not works strong jobs like mining the precious metals without the crop to feed people and so with money the military was not as strong as use to be another was Egypt’s was Kush main trading partner and because of Egypt’s fall; bronze was difficult to come across.


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