Historical overview

Early period

  • Middle of the 6th cent. (official Christianisation) — 2nd half of the 7th cent.

The art of three independent kingdoms of Nubia. Visible differences between Egyptian influences in Nobadia, Byzantine aspirations in Makuria and strong indigenous tradition in Alwa (what can be only supposed on the basis of the esthetics of the painted decoration of pottery)

  • end of 7th — 9th cent.

The merger of Nobadia and Makuria. Definition of the unified style, most probably created in Dongola. Visible impact of the role of the Makurian capital also in Alwa (on the basis of architecture, fragments of plaster and pottery).

Classic period

  • end of 7th — 9th cent.

Nubian “Renaissance”. The re-appearance of Nubian indigenous tradition in many aspects of art, from iconography to style.

  • 11th — 12th cent.

Style changes under the influences of oriental aesthetics, following general tendency in the eastern Mediterranean.

Late period

  • end of 13th — 14th cent.

Slow decline, caused by limited financial possibilities (limited technologies and scale of investments), nevertheless still surprising by vivid creativity.