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Origin of the State. Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt

(Cracow, Poland: 28th August - 1st September 2002)
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Abadiya 2, a Naqada I Site near Danfiq, Upper Egypt


Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven (Belgium)


The Belgian Middle Egypt Prehistoric Project of Leuven University excavated in 2001 parts of a predynastic site at El Abadiya, near Danfiq, Upper Egypt. Only small test surfaces, less than 30 mē have been excavated. The predynastic remains are incorporated in a very loose grey sandy deposit of about 0.5 m thick, rich in charcoal and ashes. The different excavated localities have produced high amounts of flint artefacts, potsherds, charcoal en bone. In order to differentiate the material according to the elevation we have subdivided it into three successive "layers", the upper, the middle, and the lower. No structures were identified.

Flint artefacts comprise in decreasing order of importance burins, endscrapers and bifacial axes. The raw material is of local origin. Technology is mainly hard hammer debitage, producing large rather thin flakes from cores, mostly with a single platform. Such an assemblage is similar to that collected at the nearby El Khattara sites (Holmes 1989: 201).

Pottery consists of sherds from black-topped, red-polished and rough ware. Rough ware cooking vessels are very well represented. Among the characteristic types are a number of (large) black-topped beakers. Lip rims are completely absent. The best comparisons are to be found among the ceramics from the Naqada IA-IB period.

Among the faunal remains are shells, fishes, reptiles, birds, wild mammals such as ass, hippo, dorcas gazelle, hartebeest and hare, but also domestic animals such as dog, cattle, pig and ovicaprids.

C14 dates on short living seeds provided two dates suggesting an occupation between 3630 and 3980 cal BC, confirming an attribution to the Naqada I period.


HOLMES, D.L., 1989.
The Predynastic Lithic Industries of Upper Egypt. A comparative Study of the Lithic Traditions of Badari, Naqada and Hierakonpolis. BAR 469. Oxford.


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