Naqada culture

Naqada culture

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The Naqada culture is an archaeological culture of Chalcolithic Predynastic Egypt
Predynastic Egypt
The Prehistory of Egypt spans the period of earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt in ca. 3100 BC, starting with King Menes/Narmer....

 (ca. 4400–3000 BC), named for the town of Naqada
Naqada
Naqada is a town on the west bank of the Nile in the Egyptian governorate of Qena. It was known in Ancient Egypt as Nubt and in classical antiquity as Ombos. Its name derives from ancient Egyptian nub, meaning gold, on account of the proximity of gold mines in the Eastern Desert.Naqada comprises...

, Qena Governorate.

Its final phase, Naqada III
Naqada III
Naqada III is the last phase of the Naqada culture of ancient Egyptian prehistory, dating approximately from 3200 to 3000 BC. It is the period during which the process of state formation, which had begun to take place in Naqada II, became highly visible, with named kings heading powerful...

 is coterminous with the so-called Protodynastic Period of Ancient Egypt (Early Bronze Age, 3200–3000 BC).

William Flinders Petrie


The Naqada period was first divided by the British Egyptologist William Flinders Petrie, who explored the site in 1894, into three sub-periods:
  • Naqada I: Amratian
    Amratian
    Amratian, or Naqada I, is an era during Predynastic Egypt that lasted from c.4000-3500 BCE.See:*Amratian culture*Naqada*Predynastic Egypt...

     (after the cemetery near El-Amrah)
  • Naqada II: Gerzean (after the cemetery near Gerzeh
    Gerzeh
    Gerzeh, also Girza or Jirzah, was a predynastic Egyptian cemetery located along the west bank of the Nile and today named after al-Girza, the nearby present day town in Egypt. Gerzeh is situated only several miles due east of the lake of the Al Fayyum.The Gerzean culture is a material culture...

    )
  • Naqada III: Semainean (after the cemetery near Es-Semaina)

Werner Kaiser


Petrie's chronology was superseded by that of Werner Kaiser in 1957. Kaiser's chronology began c. 4000 BC, but the modern version begins slightly earlier, as follows:
  • Naqada I a-b-c (about 4400-3500 BCE)
    • black-topped and painted pottery
    • trade with Nubia
      Nubia
      Nubia is a region along the Nile river, which is located in northern Sudan and southern Egypt.There were a number of small Nubian kingdoms throughout the Middle Ages, the last of which collapsed in 1504, when Nubia became divided between Egypt and the Sennar sultanate resulting in the Arabization...

      , Western Desert
      Libyan Desert
      The Libyan Desert covers an area of approximately 1,100,000 km2, it extends approximately 1100 km from east to west, and 1,000 km from north to south, in about the shape of a rectangle...

       oases and Eastern Mediterranean
      Eastern Mediterranean
      The Eastern Mediterranean is a term that denotes the countries geographically to the east of the Mediterranean Sea. This region is also known as Greater Syria or the Levant....

    • obsidian
      Obsidian
      Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock.It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimum crystal growth...

       from Ethiopia
      History of Ethiopia
      This article covers the prehistory and history of Ethiopia.-Prehistory:Lucy, discovered in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar region, is considered the world's second-oldest, but most complete and best preserved, adult Australopithecine fossil...

  • Naqada II a-b-c (about 3500-3200 BCE)
    • this culture represented throughout Egypt
    • first marl
      Marl
      Marl or marlstone is a calcium carbonate or lime-rich mud or mudstone which contains variable amounts of clays and aragonite. Marl was originally an old term loosely applied to a variety of materials, most of which occur as loose, earthy deposits consisting chiefly of an intimate mixture of clay...

       pottery, and metalworking
  • Naqada III
    Naqada III
    Naqada III is the last phase of the Naqada culture of ancient Egyptian prehistory, dating approximately from 3200 to 3000 BC. It is the period during which the process of state formation, which had begun to take place in Naqada II, became highly visible, with named kings heading powerful...

     a-b-c (about 3200-3000 BCE)
    • more elaborate grave goods
      Grave goods
      Grave goods, in archaeology and anthropology, are the items buried along with the body.They are usually personal possessions, supplies to smooth the deceased's journey into the afterlife or offerings to the gods. Grave goods are a type of votive deposit...

    • cylindrical jars
    • writing

Monuments & excavations


Predynastic Egypt
Predynastic Egypt
The Prehistory of Egypt spans the period of earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt in ca. 3100 BC, starting with King Menes/Narmer....

ians in the Naqada I period traded with Nubia
Nubia
Nubia is a region along the Nile river, which is located in northern Sudan and southern Egypt.There were a number of small Nubian kingdoms throughout the Middle Ages, the last of which collapsed in 1504, when Nubia became divided between Egypt and the Sennar sultanate resulting in the Arabization...

 to the south, the oases of the western desert
Libyan Desert
The Libyan Desert covers an area of approximately 1,100,000 km2, it extends approximately 1100 km from east to west, and 1,000 km from north to south, in about the shape of a rectangle...

 to the west, and the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean
Eastern Mediterranean
The Eastern Mediterranean is a term that denotes the countries geographically to the east of the Mediterranean Sea. This region is also known as Greater Syria or the Levant....

 to the east. They also imported obsidian
Obsidian
Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock.It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimum crystal growth...

 from Ethiopia
History of Ethiopia
This article covers the prehistory and history of Ethiopia.-Prehistory:Lucy, discovered in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar region, is considered the world's second-oldest, but most complete and best preserved, adult Australopithecine fossil...

 to shape blade
Blade
A blade is that portion of a tool, weapon, or machine with a cutting edge and/or a pointed tip that is designed to cut and/or puncture, stab, slash, chop, slice, thrust, or scrape animate or inanimate surfaces or materials...

s and other objects from flake
Lithic flake
In archaeology, a lithic flake is a "portion of rock removed from an objective piece by percussion or pressure," and may also be referred to as a chip or spall, or collectively as debitage. The objective piece, or the rock being reduced by the removal of flakes, is known as a core. Once the proper...

s. Charcoal samples found in the tombs of Nekhen
Nekhen
Nekhen was the religious and political capital of Upper Egypt at the end of the Predynastic period...

, which were dated to the Naqada I and II periods, have been identified as cedar from Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

.