Night Watch in Kerma

Kerma Night Watcher

In the alleys of ancient Kerma, this guard on night watch duty is inspecting some seditious graffiti against the King of Kush. She should be careful; there might lurk insurgents in this neighborhood.

Throughout its long history, three capitals have been documented for the kingdom of Kush. The first of these is remembered today as Kerma, near the Nile’s Third Cataract (rapids). In its heyday between 1750 and 1550 BC, the city had a population around 10,000 and presided over an empire that had wrested the status of dominant superpower along the Nile from a fractured Egypt. But once the Egyptians regained unified control of their country under Pharaoh Ahmose, they sacked Kerma and razed most of it to the ground. It was not until the decline of Egypt’s New Kingdom when Kush would resurge with a new capital in Napata.

When it was time to color this drawing in, I opted for shading with harder edges than usual, almost like certain styles of 2D animation. If you’ve seen the Hellboy or Turok: Son of Stone animated work by Tad Stones, you’ll have a close approximation of the effect I was aiming for here. I don’t think of my art as falling into any particular style most of the time, but I have a certain soft spot for 2D animation from the 1990s to early 2000s and wouldn’t mind emulating it more often.

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