The civilization of Kush was not merely derivative from Egypt but represented an indigenous culture which also incorporated elements borrowed from deeper into the South of the African continent. While knowledge of Kush begins from contact with Egypt, the culture predates this and can be traced archeologically back as far as 3,000 B.C.E. and may actually have initially stimulated Egyptian culture, not vice versa. Legend has it that the Kush were the oldest race on earth and Nubia is regarded by some as the location of the Garden of Eden.
The Kush developed their own language, and eventually their own cursive script (initially they did borrow hieroglyphics). Their wealth was from mining. Kush kings were often succeeded by their Queens. Kings were chosen or elected by members of the nobility, although from the royal family. The king was not law-maker, but upheld customary law that was interpreted by the priests. Shillington suggests that there was a greater degree of consent between ruler and the ruled than ‘ever existed in Ancient Egypt’.