To the Egyptians, Sudan was known as the land of Cush: the source of ivory, incense, ebony, gold and slaves. Sudan was subjected to numerous Egyptian trading and raiding forays until the 8th century BC. Then Cush grew to be a great power, and under their King Piankhi the Cushites conquered Egypt in 712BC. The Assyrians later invaded and seized Egypt from Cushite control in 671BC.
The influences of Egypt, Greece, Rome and India are evident in the temples, tombs and pyramids built in Northern Sudan. The cursive Meroetic script of the Cushite kingdom still remains undeciphered and so most of its history remains mysterious.