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Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
Course Code
M.A.Pouls- Wegner

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September 27, 2011
Neolithic Cultures (Predynastic Period):
- Middle Egypt:
Faiyumian: (Faiyum region: great agricultural productivity, seasonal
lake); excavated by Gertrude Caton-Thompson
Faiyum A: oldest habitation site, partly contemporary with
Badarian, seasonally occupied settlement, large component still
dependent on hunting & fishing, found shells from Mediterranean
and the Red Seatrade
Pottery shows connection with Nabta Playa, one of the earliest
sites with domesticated cows, nomadic people
Serrated sickle (top) and hollow-based pointsregional variant
separate from Upper and Lower Egypt
Faiyum B: before A
- Lower Egypt:
Merimda (west Delta): some domesticated animals, fully settled,
partly contemporary with Badarian, growing density in population
during Predynastic period, individual storage of grain, pits in the
ground as houses
Pear-shaped macehead, sites in Upper Egpyt has disc-shaped
Sophisticated culture: ritual objects
Graves are simple pits with few goodsl;ate dynastic period,
difference in grave goods (cemetery site separate from settlement
El-Omari (near Cairo): partly contemporary with Amratian/Naqada I,
semi-subterranean houses like Merimda, separate cemetery sites
from settlement and different tomb size/structure
Maadi (south of Cairo (Heliopolis): most important, trade with Syro-
Palestine, stone house, semi-subterranean, storage for grain is a
communal system, large public building, a wall around the site
Appeared during the second part of Naqada I and continued into
Naqada II
Pottery is globular with a broad flat base, narrow neck, flared
rims, not decorates, less standardized, a lot rougher
Urban site divided into functional sectors (buildings, industrial
sites, etc.)
Very large site (~1300 sq. m)
Situated on trade route with Syro-Palestine, probably an
important trade center
Bulk of finds are not used for grave goods, these are used

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Many stone vessels using basalt (very hard stone, copper is too
soft to work them)
Cannanite blades
Disc-shaped maceheads
Traded everywhere, to Upper Egypt
Copper: main sources in Syro-Palestine
Trade with Upper Egypt, found in tombs
Culture was pastoral-agricultural and sedentary
Domesticated many animals, the donkey for transporting goods
Cemetery shows increasing differentiation, but much more
gradual by late Predynastic Period, most grave goods are from
Upper Egypt, did not survive into early dynastic period (ceased to
exist around Naqada II)
Buto (west Delta): capital of Lower Egypt in later time, probably
important early in history
Mixture of Ma'adian & Gerzean pottery - gradual influx of UE
Wavy handled wareincreasing prevalence of black topped red
ware (Gerzean)
Decorated ware (D-ware) first found in south then in north
Relatively large site ~1sq. km
Dominance of Upper Egypt goods in late Predynastic period
(assimilation of culture)
Ceramic nails: 12 found from domestic context from Hierakonpolis,
contact with Mesopotamians? But ones found at Buto have
different forms and no color
Possible connections with Mesopotamia and Northern Syria
Minshat abu Omar (east Delta)
Tell Ibrahim Awad (east Delta)
Naqada III:
- Naqada was politically insignificantpolity vanquished by late
- Abydos was the most important centre for the cult of the dead
Royal burials (Cemetery T, tomb U-j, excavated by de Morgan)
- Herakonpolis remained the important cult centre of the living king, Horus
Cemetery of high officials
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