Nubkhas the Egyptian Mercenary Princess

Nubkhas the Mercenary Princess

Nubkhas got her start as a princess of Egypt, daughter of Pharaoh Mentuhotep IV of the 11th dynasty (that’s during the Middle Kingdom period). However, after the treacherous vizier Amenemhat deposed her father in a bloody coup, Nubkhas fled the country and has since lived her life as a traveling mercenary and adventurer. She’s a skilled martial artist, hunter, and diplomat as a result of her royal education, but she retains a fierce and haughty spirit worthy of an Egyptian princess.

Hair Protection for Nubkhas

In my previous drawing I had Nubkhas’s hair all grown out after years of life outside the comfort of her palace (the usual practice of Egyptian nobility was to shave their heads and wear wigs). But then it occurred to me that an African woman wandering across the ancient world would probably have to deal with all kinds of curious foreigners trying to touch her tightly curled hair. As a precaution against this unwanted hair molestation, Nubkhas wears this headwrap whenever she’s in a big city (outside of Africa itself, of course).

Macaroni Grill Doodle

Macaroni Grill Doodle

Last weekend I ate out with my family at Macaroni Grill, and I doodled this with the crayons and paper tablecloth they were kind enough to provide us with. Unfortunately there were only three crayons available at our table, two red ones and one green, so I had a very circumscribed color palette to work with. Still proud of what I could achieve though.

Baryonyx

Baryonyx

Baryonyx walkeri, a smaller European cousin of the Spinosaurus, lunches on an Early Cretaceous lizard. I was originally going to make the prey animal a primitive mosasaur, but I think the mosasaurs evolved sometime after the Baryonyx became extinct. But since the mosasaurs were essentially marine lizards, maybe the one being eaten here is among their ancestors?

Medusa

Medusa

In Greek mythology, Medusa was one of three sisters, known as the Gorgons, who hailed from the African continent (which the Greeks called “Libya”). She was originally a very beautiful maiden who fell victim to the sea god Poseidon’s sexual violence in a temple to Athena. In a senseless and appalling example of rape culture at work, Athena punished not Poseidon but Medusa, transforming her into a snake-haired monster so hideous that men would turn to stone upon the mere sight of her. Poor Medusa never found justice. Instead her fate was for the demigod Perseus to slay her and use her severed head as a weapon.

Honestly, Medusa’s story is one of the saddest Greek tragedies I’ve ever read about, even if in this case it was unintentional.

King Solomon of Israel

King Solomon of Israel

Solomon was one of the kings of ancient Israel made famous through the Old Testament in the Bible. A son of King David, he is said to have taken the throne around 967 BC, ruling a kingdom that stretched from the Euphrates River to the north and Egypt to the south. He became known for his building projects (including the Holy Temple in Jerusalem), the great wealth and wisdom he accumulated, and for a harem of reputably 700 wives and 300 concubines (yeah, he was quite the player). Unfortunately, archaeological and historical evidence for his reign outside the Biblical accounts are few and far between, so it’s possible he—like many other characters in the Bible—is a mythical character rather than a real historical ruler.

Many portrayals of King Solomon that you see in Western art, going back to the Middle Ages, portray him as more or less a stereotypical medieval European monarch. For my own rendition, I opted instead to emphasize his Middle Eastern roots by giving him a more sultan-like getup. I believe the trousers he’s wearing are called sirwal, which are worn in a number of Islamic and northern Indian countries (they’re the bagging trousers the characters are wearing in Disney’s Aladdin).

Aida and Radames

Aida and Radames

Aida, a fictional princess of Kush (pictured left), is the titular protagonist of an opera composed by the 19th century composer Giuseppe Verdi. In the opera an Egyptian warrior name Radames (right) captures her in one of the many wars between Egypt and Kush, but nonetheless they fall in love even as Aida’s people plot a rebellion against Egypt and the Pharaoh’s daughter has her own eyes on Radames. It’s almost like an Egyptian take on Romeo and Juliet hybridized with a love triangle and Stockholm Syndrome. Oddly enough, not even the latter aspect prevented the opera from being adapted into a Disney musical in the modern day.

Ahmanet Attacks

Ahmanet Attacks

This is my interpretation of Ahmanet, the mummified Egyptian princess who’s going to be the titular monster in the upcoming Mummy reboot (the one with Tom Cruise). Originally I thought she was going to be Mesopotamian since certain sources said the reboot would place her in Iraq (another name for the Mesopotamian region), but one of the more recent trailers indicates she’ll be ancient Egyptian after all. But then, I’m not aware of Mesopotamians mummifying their dead the way Egyptians did.

Neolithic Jericho Man

Neolithic Jericho Dude

Recently the 9,500-year old skull of a man from Jericho, in what is now Israel, had forensic reconstruction techniques applied to it to show how his facial features may have looked in life (see left). I wanted to “complete” this reconstruction with a little color and dressing-up, so I drew my own version of it with colored skin, hair, and a little clothing and jewelry attached. As for the original skull, it had a plaster coating and seashells inserted into its orbits (eye holes) for unknown (but probably religious or ritualistic) reasons.

Source of original image:

Neolithic FaceTime

Croc Face for T. rex

Croc Face for T. rex

Sketch of a Tyrannosaurus rex portrait, in response to recent findings that tyrannosaurids would have possessed sensitive, scaly crocodile-like faces. Normally I don’t draw all the individual scales on my dinosaurs of course, but I did want to give this rex a clearly crocodilian resemblance with the bumpy “lips”.