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Ancient Egypt
1. Introduction
2. People
3. Life styles
4. Culture
5. Education and Science
6. Society
7. Economy
8. Government
9. Cities and Villages
10. Language
11. Religion
12. Kings / periods
13. History
14. Map

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Open map of Ancient EgyptAncient Egypt / Third Intermediate Period / 25th Dynasty /
Ancient Sudan / Nubia / Cush /
Other spellings: Taharka; Taharqo; Tarku; Tarakos; Tirhaka
Throne name: Nefertemkhure

Sphinx of King Taharqa

King of Cush and Ancient Egypt 690-664 BCE, 36 years, the 4th ruler of the 25th Dynasty of Egypt. Taharqa is referred to as King of Ethiopia in the Bible.
Taharqa was the nephew or brother of the previous king, Shabitqo. All information indicate that the succession was a peaceful one.
Taharqa was involved in rebuilding the temple at Kawa, across from Dongola (in modern Sudan), making it both an important political and religious centre. In addition to a number of other projects in Nubia, he also ordered restoration work at the Temple of Amon at Karnak, as well as Medinet Habu.
Taharqa helped the Jewish kings in their resistance against Assyria. Taharqa was defeated, and the Assyrian army under the leadership of Esarhaddon marched into Egypt, where they took control over Memphis and the royal harem. Taharqa had to escape to Upper Egypt.
As Esarhaddon left Egypt, he set up garrisons and made local chiefs leaders tax collectors. He made Neko 1 a ruler at Sais, thereby paving the ground for the 26th Dynasty. But Taharqa soon returned from his asylum, and defeated the Assyrian garrisons.
But the Assyrians returned under the leadership of Esarhaddon's son, Ashurbanipal. Taharqa fled once again, this time seeking safety in Nubia. Here he died, and was buried at Nuri. He was succeeded by his nephew Tanutanami, son of Shabitqo.

Second half 8th century BCE: Born as son of King Piy.
701: Battle of Eltekh, where Taharqa represents his brother, Shabitqo, the reigning king.
690: Succeeds Shabitqo as king, being crowned in Memphis.
674: Assyrian attack by Esarhaddon, on Cushite territories in Egypt, but Taharqa manages to defeat them.
671: New Assyrian attack, again by Esarhaddon, in which Memphis is conquered and sacked. Taharqa is forced to flee to Thebes. Esarhaddon aids the establishment of a vassal kingdom centered to Sais.
Around 670: Taharqa reestablishes Cushite control over Lower Egypt.
668: New Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal defeats Taharqa, bringing the Nile Delta back under Assyrian influence.
664: New Assyrian attack, this time taking control of Memphis, and marching on Thebes.
— Dies in Nubia, and is buried in a pyramid at Nuri, the largest of all Nubian pyramids.

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By Tore Kjeilen