Predynastic Period

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Predynastic Period

Post by DIESEL on Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:53 pm

In Predynastic and Early Dynastic times, the Egyptian climate was much less arid than it is today. Large regions of Egypt were covered in treed savanna and traversed by herds of grazing ungulates. Foliage and fauna were far more prolific in all environs and the Nile region supported large populations of waterfowl. Hunting would have been common for Egyptians and this is also the period during which many animals would have been first domesticated.[10]

By about 5500 BC, small tribes living in the Nile valley had developed into a series of unique cultures demonstrating firm control of agriculture and animal husbandry, and identifiable by their unique pottery and personal items, such as combs, bracelets, and beads. The largest of these early cultures in upper Egypt, the Badari, was known for its high quality ceramics, stone tools, and its use of copper.

In southern Egypt, the Naqada culture, similar to the Badari, began to expand along the Nile by about 4000 BC. Over a period of about 1000 years, the Naqada culture developed from a few small farming communities into a powerful civilization whose leaders were in complete control of the people and resources of the Nile valley. Establishing a power center at Hierakonpolis, and later at Abydos, Naqada leaders expanded their control of Egypt northwards along the Nile and engaged in trade with Nubia, the oases of the western desert, and the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean.

The Naqada culture manufactured a diverse array of material goods, reflective of the increasing power and wealth of the elite, which included painted pottery, high quality decorative stone vases, cosmetic palettes, and jewelry made of gold, lapis, and ivory. They also developed a ceramic glaze known as faience which was used well into the Roman Period to decorate cups, amulets, and figurines. During the last phase of the predynastic, the Naqada culture began using written symbols which would eventually evolve into a full system of hieroglyphs for writing the ancient Egyptian language

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