Clever Girl…or Boy?

Clever Girl

This raptor looks like one clever girl. Or would that be a clever boy?

Regardless, I had the Early Cretaceous dromaeosaurid Utahraptor in mind when doodling this in my sketchbook, although the lower jaw should probably bend more downward than what I ended up with.

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Nebta the Wawatian Warrior

These are drawings of a character named Nebta, who is a mercenary warrior from the ancient kingdom of Wawat (which was situated along the Nile River between the Egyptian and Kushite kingdoms, in the area now covered by Lake Nasser). I created her with the intention of her being a supporting character in my alternate-history novel, but first I need to figure out how she fits into the larger plot.

Moros intrepidus

Moros intrepidus

Moros intrepidus was a meat-eating dinosaur that hunted in North America a little over 96 million years ago, near the beginning of the Late Cretaceous Period. Although nimbly built and weighing 172 lbs (similar to a modern-day leopard), Moros would have belonged to the group of theropod dinosaurs known as Tyrannosauroidea, and it could very well have been ancestral to the famous Tyrannosaurus rex and other larger tyrannosaurids. Since it may represent the arrival of tyrannosaur ancestors into North America from eastern Asia, it was named after an embodiment of impending doom in Greek mythology.

T. rex Head On

T. rex Head On

Tyrannosaurus rex looks at you head on with an open maw. Those are indeed big teeth in there, ranging as long as one foot in length! Combine that with the most powerful jaws of any land carnivore, and you have a recipe for dealing death to almost any creature with a single bite!

The Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania

The Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania

A woman of ancient Mauretania visits her country’s Royal Mausoleum to pay respect to her ancestors.

Not to be confused with the modern West African country of Mauritania, the region known as Mauretania to the Romans would have covered the region of north-central Algeria and Morocco all the way south to the Atlas Mountains. One of their kings, Juba II, was buried with his wife Cleopatra Selene II (who was actually the daughter of the famous Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony) in a monumental Royal Mausoleum located in the area of modern Tipaza, Algeria.

Although the Ionic columns mounted along the Mausoleum’s circumference betray an obvious influence from Greek or Roman architecture, I thought the structure’s general shape (a stout cylinder with a conical roof) reminded me of a traditional African mud hut. Maybe that was the foundation for the design underneath the superficial Hellenic decor?

Numidian Queen

Numidian Queen

This would be a queen of ancient Numidia, a civilization in northwestern Africa that covered parts of what are now Algeria and Tunisia between 202 and 40 BC (they should not be confused with the Nubian people of Sudan further east).

I couldn’t find any primary sources showing how Numidian women would have dressed, and of course modern North African fashions are heavily influenced by the Islamic Arab culture which arrived into the region well after Numidia’s annexation by the Romans. That left a lot to my imagination when depicting my subject. Her funnel-shaped hairstyle is inspired by those worn by women of the Mangbetu people in the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Last King of Numidia

The Last King of Numidia

Arabio (d. 40 BC) was the last independent ruler of the Numidian people in northwestern Africa. The name “Arabio” may actually be derived from a Phoenician term meaning “leader”, whereas his native name would have been the same as his father Masinissa II.

Whatever Arabio called himself, he only got to rule for four years. After getting caught up in the civil wars of the late Roman Republic, the Numidian king found himself assassinated by his former ally Titus Sextius on suspicion of disloyalty, thereafter forcing what remained of the Numidian territory into Roman control. From that point on, Numidia would be a Roman imperial province addressed by the name of Africa Nova.