Aspelta was a ruler of the kingdom of Kush (c. 600 - 580 BCE). More is known about him and his reign than most of the rulers of Kush. He left several stelae carved with accounts of his reign. He was the son of Senkamanisken and brother of Anlamani, who immediately preceded him.

According to his inscriptions, Aspelta was selected as ruler by a committee of twenty-four religious and military leaders. He then set out north to Napata to be selected as king by the gods and crowned. Another stele that might date from Aspelta's reign recounts how a group of priests were put to death, likely for conspiring against the king. In 592 BC, Kush was invaded by an Egyptian military expedition initiated by Pharaoh Psamtik II perhaps because Aspelta posed a threat to this pharaoh's authority over Upper Egypt. The invaders sacked Napata, and some historians believe that because of this attack, Aspelta decided to move the Nubian capital to the more secure city of Meroe.

Aspelta's tomb was located at Nuri and is the second largest burial structure here. His tomb was excavated by George A. Reisner in 1916 and many items were discovered within it, most of which are now in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The palace built by him and his brother was excavated by Reisner in 1920.


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