Ancient Egypt / Third Intermediate Period / 25th Dynasty /
Ancient Sudan / Nubia / Cush /
Other spellings: Piankhi; Piye
Piy inherited a united Lower and Upper Nubia from his father, Kashta. He ruled from Napata next to the sacred Gebel Barkal. Kashta had undertaken expeditions into Egypt, establishing his daughter as heiress to the office God's wife of Amon at Thebes, which soon emerged as the leading religious (and political) institution, replacing the High Priest office. Either from imperialist and material reasons, or from a religous motivation, Piy would around 730 send an expedition into Egypt, reaching Memphis. Egypt was weak at this time in history, and local rulers chose to aid Piy, since Libyans (seen upon as infidels) was the only other option. The 23rd Dynasty rulers of Upper Egypt paid homage to Piy, and it appears that the 24th Dynasty rulers of Lower Egypt also did.
Piy's expedition led to a shift of power from the 23rd Dynasty to Piy's new 25th, but how and when is not possible to reconstruct. Piy's expedition created a Cushite influence over much of Egypt that would last 60 years, of which half of the period involved control over all of the country.
Piy's influence over his native Cush is little known. But it appears that he both brought home rich wealth and skilled workers. While it is uncertain that the direct effects on the general population was strong, Piy was at least central in bringing forth a Cushite civilization with strong Egyptian elements, a civilization that would last more than 1000 years.
It is generally assumed that Piy became the first Cushite king to build a pyramid in Nubia, located to al-Kurru. His pyramid was between 15 and 20 metres high, with steep slopes. Still, it must be noted that his father is also attributed with a pyramid (see Nubian pyramids).
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