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Ancient History and Classics
AHCL 2201
James Cook

January 21, 2014 The Prehistoric - Period • Lower Paleolithic • Middle Paleolithic • Upper Paleolithic • Late Paleolithic • Epilithic Paleolithic Period • Ca. 700,000 - 7,000 BP • Primarily hunter-gatherers • Pre-pottery, no settlements • What was produced has not survived well o Problem with preservation • In Lower Nubian region we have many different Paleolithic sites o In Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt we have very few known sites - a question of preservation • An issue of the fluvial transfer Lithic and Dating • Our best sites for possible sites is out in the desert o Back then, these sites would not have been so dry • No organic material has survived - we are left with only the assemblages of lithics • Most lithic were produced from chert o Chert nodules used for production • The desert has deflated o The finer, lighter materials have been carried away with the wind • Leaving the heavier stones and tools flat on the surface The Lower Paleolithic • Does not begin until 500,000 - 250,000 years ago in Egypt • There is a an early Acheulean industry of Handaxes o We presume that this was a technology utilized by Home erectus Middle Paleolithic • From ca. 250,000 - 50,000 years ago • The disappearance of the handaxe industry was replaced by the Levallois method flakes - part of the Mousterian industry o Used by Home sapiens sapiens • We have more examples of these in the Western Desert, just the same as the handaxes • Our first Egyptian burial can be found in the Middle Paleolithic period o The burial of a child - Taramsa-1 found near Dendera • Child, buried near a cobble quarry, ca. 55,000 years ago Upper Paleolithic • Ca. 33,000 - 21,000 years ago • The technology furthers - the advancement of blade technology o The tool industry begins to become more standardized • Complex, and first, mine found at Hazlet Khader o Dating to 35,000-30,000 years ago o A rather complex system of ditches, shafts • This was a means of getting at the chert nodules for tool production Late Paleolithic • Ca. 21,000-12,000 years ago • All sites are found in Lower Nubian and Upper Egypt - for the most part • Further shift in lithic technology - the development of bladelets (microliths) o Likely Hafted, some argue bow and arrow • We also find mortar and pestle development - suggesting the milling of cereals • In the site of Quota we find early rock art dating to ca. 15,000 - 14,000 BCE o The rock art is depicted on the cliff sides overlooking the flood plains • When it was created the area likely overlooked herds of animals • We get a higher degree of evidence of humans receiving bodily harm from other humans Epipaleolithic • Ca. 10,000 - years ago • Two major cultures o Qarunian in the north - at Fayum lake • Higher amount of cattle hunting o Elkabian in the south - southern Upper Egy
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