Piye of Piankhy (747-721 BC) is the King of Kush who invaded Egypt when it had fallen into a period of disunity, conquering most of the country up to the northern city of Herakleopolis (near modern Beni Suef). His brother and successor Shabaka finished his work by taking control of northern Egypt. The famous Taharqa, who would defend this extended Kushite empire from the Assyrians, was Piye’s son.
Artists along the Nile Valley preferred to portray their kings as physically idealized. In spite of this, I decided to give Piye an advanced case of vitiligo (Michael Jackson’s skin disease) because, well, who’s to say he or any other Nile Valley ruler didn’t have it?
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