Former African country now divided between Egypt and Sudan; it gives its name to the Nubian Desert S of Lake Nasser. Ancient Egypt, which was briefly ruled by Nubian kings in the 8th–7th centuries bc, knew the north as Wawat and the south as Kush, with the dividing line roughly at Dongola. Egyptian building work in the area included temples at Abu Simbel, Philae, and a defensive chain of forts that established the lines of development of medieval fortification. Nubia’s capital about 600 bc–ad 350 was Meroe, near Khartoum. About ad 250–550 most of Nubia was occupied by the X-group people, of whom little is known; their royal mound tombs (mistaken by earlier investigations for natural mounds created by wind erosion) were excavated in the 1930s by W B Emery, and many horses and attendants were found to have been slaughtered to accompany the richly jeweled dead.
Cloud; lady's fleecy head-wrap.