Victory Stela of Piankhi

(725 BCE)


The campaign detailed on the Victory Stela of Piankhi was a major milestone in the fight for Nubian control over Egypt, and the stela itself is one of the most extensive military documents dating to this time period. Before the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, the Nubians were generally under Egyptian control, as is evident in Middle Kingdom Egyptian forts in the region as well as a statement placed on the boundary stela of Sesostris III, of the nineteenth century bce. These forts were intended to house branches of the Egyptian military, which was in Nubia to maintain control over the country. The boundary stela states that no one—that is, no Nubian—is permitted to cross the border without permission. However, at the onset of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, the Nubians took advantage of unstable political conditions in Egypt and moved to conquer the land to the north. Following his victory, Piankhi returned to Nubia and began...