The birth or death date of Kandake (the word for queen in the Meroitic language) Amanishakheto is not known; however, it is believed that she reigned in the first century somewhere between 10 BC to 1 AD after succeeding Queen Amanirenas. It is important to note that exact dates of the Kushites are uncertain until the Middle Ages.
Most recognise Amanishakheto by her jewellery collection found in her pyramid at Meroë (present-day Sudan) in 1834; Italian treasure hunter Giuseppe Ferlini was the one to discover the tomb and jewels. It appears he had no concern for preserving history as he destroyed the pyramid while searching for the treasures. His discoveries are now housed in Germany at the Egyptian Museum of Berlin and Egyptian Museum of Munich. One of the pieces of jewellery is a golden bracelet with intricate blue details. Ten bracelets, two armbands, nine shield rings and 67 signet rings were just some of the artefacts in her tomb.
Moreover, others may recognise Amanishakheto from various monuments in Egypt. These include inscriptions in the ancient Kush town of Wad ban Naqa in one of her palace buildings, Amun-temple of Kawa, and stelas at Qasr Ibrim and Naqa.
Queen Amanishakheto has been called the ‘Warrior Queen of Nubia’ by some scholars due to her defeating the Roman army after Emperor Augustus sent his troops to conquer Kush. She was known to be extremely wealthy and held a significant amount of power. She was responsible for the construction of many of the pyramids at Meroë, and her ancient 60 room palace in Wad ban Naqa has been one of the largest ever discovered. Regarding religion, it has been assumed by historians that she practised a religion that was very similar to her neighbours to the north in Egypt.
The Kingdom of Kush, also referred to as Nubia by some, was established in 1070 BC and was situated at the junction of the Atbarah River and the Blue Nile and White Nile. The latter two are one of the two largest tributaries of the Nile River. The Blue Nile has also been claimed as the River Gihon mentioned in Genesis 2 near the Garden of Eden. Kush came to be after the collapse of the Bronze Age and the fall of the New Kingdom of Egypt. However, the kingdom ceased to exist in 350 AD. Dan Morrison in National Geographic explained, “Kush was one of the first civilisations to take hold in the Nile River Valley.”
Amanishakheto was succeeded by her daughter, Queen Amanitore, born in c. 50 AD, in 1 AD. Amanitore was also mentioned in the Bible in Acts 8:27.