History of Sudan: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Angela Burke

Angela has over ten years of teaching experience in Special Education, classroom teaching and GT. She has a master's degree in Special Ed with an emphasis in Gifted.

Find out what Lost Boys, pyramids and imperialism have to do with Sudan! In this lesson, you will learn interesting facts about this country's rich history.


Did you know that Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt? And because people have lived in Sudan for 5,000 years, there are plenty of treasures that are still waiting to be discovered by archaeologists, or scientists who study ancient remains. Let's take a journey through the history of Sudan!

Where Is Sudan?

Sudan is located on the continent of Africa, between the Tropic of Cancer and the equator. Egypt is its neighbor to the north. Did you know that Sudan is almost three times the size of the state of Texas? The famous Nile River, which is the longest in the world, stretches across Sudan.

Map of Sudan

The Kingdom of Kush

Imagine finding an ancient African city that was built around 1500 BC! Inside of a temple, you discover seven black granite statues, known as the Nubian Pharaohs. A pharaoh is an Egyptian ruler. What a find! This is exactly what happened to a Swiss archaeologist. And the ancient city he found was part of the Kingdom of Kush, also known as Nubia. The Nubians conquered Egypt and had their own dynasty until 350 AD. Nomads, which are wanderers looking for pastures for their animals, raided Kush from the east and south. Eventually the capital of Kush was burned down by the Kingdom of Axum in Ethiopia. This ended the Kingdom of Kush.

The pyramids of Sudan are steeper and more pointed than those found in Egypt.
Sudan pyramids

British Rule

If you're a Star Wars fan, you might be familiar with the term 'imperialism.' In the movies, the stormtroopers were part of the Imperial Army and served the Emperor. Imperialism is when a strong nation takes over a weak nation or region. This is what happened to most of Africa by the Europeans between 1870 and 1900.

Sudan was ruled by Britain. Unfortunately, instead of rebelling against British Imperialism, the people of Sudan began to fight one another. British rulers didn't want a rebellion, so they instilled fear and distrust between the different tribes of Sudan. This is known as the divide-and-rule policy. Sudan finally gained independence from Britain in 1956, but this was only the beginning of a new era of conflict.

Civil War

A civil war is when people of the same nation fight each other. The first civil war in Sudan broke out in 1955 and lasted 17 years as the north and south regions fought.

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