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

September 27, 2011 Neolithic Cultures (Predynastic Period): - Middle Egypt:  Badarian  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 Seatrade  Pottery shows connection with Nabta Playa, one of the earliest sites with domesticated cows, nomadic people  Serrated sickle (top) and hollow-based pointsregional 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 macehead  Sophisticated culture: ritual objects  Graves are simple pits with few goodsl;ate dynastic period, difference in grave goods (cemetery site separate from settlement site)  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  Ma’adi (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 everyday  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 traits  Wavy handled wareincreasing 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 insignificantpolity vanquished by late Predynastic - 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 Suggestions now questionable: Lower Egypt (North) Upper Egypt (South) - pigs eaten - no pigs eaten - intersite burials - separate cemeteries - large settlements - small settlements - taken over by South - took over North Foreign Connections during Predynastic & Early Dynastic Periods - Lower Egypt:  Semi-subterranean dwellings also found in Syro-Pal
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