In 760 B.C. the 'Black Pharaohs' decided that Egypt needed saving - from itself.
It was time for an intervention.
For thousands of years the Egyptian empire seemed indomitable. Its pyramids, Great Sphinx and dazzling temples were the stuff of legend for the surrounding kingdoms.
In the early 18th Dynasty, ca. 1500 B.C., Egyptians troops marched on the Nubian kingdom beyond their southern border and claimed the territory for Egypt. For the next 500 years the area's gold reserves and rich trade routes swelled the Egyptian treasury.
Then, around 800 B.C., something that once would have been considered impossible, happened. The Nubian kings from the south rose up and conquered Egypt, enthroned themselves as true Egyptian pharaohs and ruled for nearly 100 years.
These were the so-called 'Black Pharaohs' of what is today Sudan.
The Nubian kings considered themselves the true heirs to the spiritual traditions of the great pharaohs like Ramesses II and Thutmose III. They were born in the shadow of a mountain considered sacred to the Nubians and Egyptians alike - Gebel Barkal - believed to be the southern home to Amun.
Egypt had become preoccupied with internal rivalries and, from the point of view of the Nubian rulers, had lost its way. An intervention was needed.
Armed with a divine mandate from Amun, combined with a powerful sense of entitlement, the Nubians marched on and captured Thebes, the spiritual capital of Egypt. There, King Piye became the first of a succession of five 'black pharaohs' who founded Egypt's 25th Dynasty and ruled the country for the better part of a century.
Although the Nubian rulers carried the titles and trappings of the native Egyptian royalty, they were clearly proud of their southern identity, and images of the 25th Dynasty royals are distinctly Nubian.
This bronze statuette of a Nubian woman, most likely a royal princess, is a great example. It is now housed in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, .
The 'Black Pharaohs' were eventually driven back south by powerful Assyrian forces, but maintained the Egyptian way of life. Although they were exiled from their beloved 'homeland', the Nubian kings continued to worship Amun and built the first royal pyramids anyone had seen in nearly 1000 years.