Culture: Naqada / Gerzean
Setting: Late Neolithic, Pre-dyanstic Egypt 3400-3100 BC
Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)
* Mark 1997 p18-19
"The Naqada I period is followed by the Naqada II or Gerzean period, which can be divided into an early (ca. 3500-3300 B.C.) and a late phase (ca. 3300-3200 B.C.). The distribution of Naqada IIa/b sites is similar to that of the Naqada I period. The quantity and quality of ivory, stone, ceramic, and metal artifacts from Naqada II sites and graves indicate a society that enjoyed greater wealth, population, technical innovation, division of labor, and social stratification than earlier Egyptian cultures. ...
"During the Naqada IIc/d period, the Maadi settlements, except for Buto, disappeared and were replaced by others reflecting Upper Egyptian culture at Sedment, Harageh, and Busir el Meleq in southern Lower Egypt and Minshat Abu Omar in the eastern Delta. Buto appears to have survived until the end of the Naqada II period, yet after Naqada II sites had become established in the eastern Delta it experienced a transitional period during which local Lower Egyptian pottery was slowly replaced by Upper Egyptian pottery. This transition occurred before the unification of Egypt.
"Thomas von der Way explains this transition by speculating that a chieftain from Upper Egypt seized control of Lower Egypt, but, because of the presumed importance of Buto, killed only the ruling class, after which the commoners were slowly assimilated into the new culture. The Narmer palette, von der Way contends, may represent the conquest of this last Naqada chiefdom."
* Capwell 2011 p12
"The earliest Egyptian flint knives date from the Early Dynastic Period (c.3100-c.2780BC). These weapons are easily recognizable by their broad, curved blades. On some examples the flaking pattern has been left over the whole surface of the blade, while others have been polished smooth. Grips were made of wood, horn or bone, and glued firmly in place. On rich examples this handle was sometimes covered with gold foil or carved with battle scenes. Shorter versions, at less than 30cm (12in) in length, were probably serviceable as fighting weapons, but the longer ones, 38cm (15in) or even longer, would have been quite fragile and may only have been used for ritual purposes."
* Coe/Connolly/Harding/Harris/LaRocca/Richardson/North/Spring/Wilkinson 1993 p9 (Anthony Harding, "Stone, bronze and iron" p8-19)
"[M]asterpieces of the knapper's art ... occur in pre-and proto-Dynastic Egypt. From Gebel el-Arak north of Luxor comes a dagger with a bone handle decorated with elaborate scenes of human and animal figures. Another example has gold hilt plates, with snake motifs on one side and animals on the other. However the overall appearance of these weapons, with their flat, broad blades, suggests that they were for ceremonial use rather than hand-to-hand combat."
* Darnell/Manassa 2007 p74
"Discoidal and pear-shaped stone maceheads are well attested in the Predynastic Period, and by the dawn of pharaonic history, the mace with pear-shaped head had already become an important symbol of royal power in Egypt. The heraldic pose of the mace-wielding Egyptian ruler about to smite an enemy appears already during the Predynastic Period and survives well into the Roman Period."