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The prehistory of Egypt spans the period from the earliest human settlement to the beginning of the
Early Dynastic Period
Early Dynastic Period
around 3100 BC, starting with the first
Pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the conte ...

Pharaoh
,
Narmer Narmer ( egy, nꜥr-mr, meaning "painful," "stinging," "harsh," or "fierce catfish;" ) was an ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of gover ...

Narmer
for some Egyptologists,
Hor-Aha Hor-Aha (or Aha or Horus Aha) is considered the second pharaoh Pharaoh (, ; cop, ''Pǝrro'') is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2 ...
for others, with the name
Menes Menes (fl. c. 3200–3000 BC; ; egy, mnj, probably pronounced *; grc, Μήνης) was a pharaoh of the Early Dynastic Period of ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along ...

Menes
also possibly used for one of these kings. This Predynastic era is traditionally equivalent to the final part of the
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
period beginning c. 6000 BC and ending in the
Naqada III Naqada III is the last phase of the Naqada culture The Naqada culture is an archaeological culture of Chalcolithic Predynastic Egypt (c. 4000–3000 BC), named for the town of Naqada, Qena Governorate. A 2013 Oxford University radio carbon da ...
period c. 3000 BC. The dates of the Predynastic period were first defined before widespread archaeological excavation of Egypt took place, and recent finds indicating very gradual Predynastic development have led to controversy over when exactly the Predynastic period ended. Thus, various terms such as "
Protodynastic period Naqada III is the last phase of the Naqada culture of ancient Prehistoric Egypt, Egyptian prehistory, dating from approximately 3200 to 3000 BC. It is the period during which the process of state formation, which began in Naqada II, became h ...
", "Zero Dynasty" or "Dynasty 0" are used to name the part of the period which might be characterized as Predynastic by some and Early Dynastic by others. The Predynastic period is generally divided into cultural eras, each named after the place where a certain type of Egyptian settlement was first discovered. However, the same gradual development that characterizes the Protodynastic period is present throughout the entire Predynastic period, and individual "cultures" must not be interpreted as separate entities but as largely subjective divisions used to facilitate study of the entire period. The vast majority of Predynastic archaeological finds have been in
Upper Egypt Upper Egypt ( ar, صعيد مصر ', shortened to , , locally: ; ) is the southern portion of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries lo ...
, because the silt of the
Nile River The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...
was more heavily deposited at the Delta region, completely burying most Delta sites long before modern times.


Paleolithic

Excavation of the Nile has exposed early stone tools from the last million or so years. The earliest of these lithic industries were located within a 30-metre (100 ft)
terrace Terrace may refer to: Landforms and construction * Fluvial terrace, a natural, flat surface that borders and lies above the floodplain of a stream or river * Terrace, a street suffix * Terrace (earthworks), a leveled surface built into the landsc ...
, and were primitive
Acheulean Acheulean (; also Acheulian and Mode II), from the French ''acheuléen'' after the type site of Saint-Acheul, is an archaeological industry:''Not to be confused with industrial archaeology , and a common topic of study for industrial archa ...

Acheulean
,
Abbevillian Abbevillian biface flake from the Douro river region near Valladolid, Spain. It is unretouched and is not distinguishable from Olduwan. The one small spot of smaller flaking on one edge may indicate that it is borderline between Olduwan and Acheul ...
(
Chellean Image:Bifaz abbevillense.png, Abbevillian biface flake from the Douro river region near Valladolid, Spain. It is unretouched and is not distinguishable from Olduwan. The one small spot of smaller flaking on one edge may indicate that it is borderlin ...
) ( 600,000 years ago), and an Egyptian form of the
Clactonian The Clactonian is the name given by archaeologist Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but ar ...
( 400,000 years ago). Within the 15-metre (50 ft) terrace was developed Acheulean. Originally reported as early
Mousterian The Mousterian (or Mode III) is a techno-complex (archaeological industry) of stone tools A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surroundi ...

Mousterian
( 160,000 years ago) but since changed to
Levalloisean File:Levallois Preferencial-Animation.gif, upright=1.25, The Levallois-Perret, Levallois technique of flint-knapping The Levallois technique () is a name given by archaeologists to a distinctive type of stone knapping developed by precursors to mo ...
, other implements were located in the 10-metre (30 ft) terrace. The 4.5- and 3-metre (15–10 ft) terraces saw a more developed version of the Levalloisean, also initially reported as an Egyptian version of
Mousterian The Mousterian (or Mode III) is a techno-complex (archaeological industry) of stone tools A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surroundi ...

Mousterian
. An Egyptian version of the
Aterian The Aterian is a Middle Stone Age (or Middle Paleolithic, Middle Palaeolithic) stone tool Archaeological industry, industry centered in North Africa, but also possibly found in Oman, the Thar Desert, Sahara (Saharan Aterian) and northeast Africa ...
technology was also located.


Wadi Halfa

Some of the oldest known structures were discovered in Egypt by archaeologist
Waldemar Chmielewski Waldemar, Valdemar or Woldemar is an Old High German given name. It consists of the elements ''wald-'' "power", "brightness" and ''-mar'' "fame". The name is considered the equivalent of the Slavic name Vladimir (name), Vladimir, Volodymyr, Ulad ...
along the southern border near
Wadi Halfa Wādī Ḥalfā ( ar, وادي حلفا) is a city in the Northern state of Sudan Sudan (; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a c ...
,
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It borders the countries of Central African Republ ...

Sudan
in Arkin 8 site. Chmielewski dated the structures to 100,000 BC. The remains of the structures are oval depressions about 30 cm deep and 2 × 1 meters across. Many are lined with flat sandstone slabs which served as tent rings supporting a dome-like shelter of skins or brush. This type of dwelling provided a place to live, but if necessary, could be taken down easily and moved. They were mobile structures—easily disassembled, moved, and reassembled—providing hunter-gatherers with semi-permanent habitation.


Aterian industry

Aterian The Aterian is a Middle Stone Age (or Middle Paleolithic, Middle Palaeolithic) stone tool Archaeological industry, industry centered in North Africa, but also possibly found in Oman, the Thar Desert, Sahara (Saharan Aterian) and northeast Africa ...
tool-making reached Egypt c. 40,000 BC.


Khormusan industry

The
Khormusan Khormusan industry was a Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history ...
industry in Egypt began between 42,000 and 32,000 BP.
Khormusan Khormusan industry was a Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history ...
s developed tools not only from
stone A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its chemical composition and the way in which it is formed. Rocks form the Earth's outer solid layer, th ...

stone
but also from animal
bone A bone is a rigid tissue Tissue may refer to: Biology * Tissue (biology), an ensemble of similar cells that together carry out a specific function * ''Triphosa haesitata'', a species of geometer moth found in North America * ''Triphosa dubit ...

bone
s and
hematite Hematite (), also spelled as haematite, is a common iron oxide Iron oxides are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member o ...

hematite
. They also developed small
arrow head An arrowhead or point is the usually sharpened and hardened tip of an arrow, which contributes majority of the projectile mass and is responsible for impacting and penetration (weapons), penetrating a target, as well as to fulfill some special pur ...
s resembling those of
Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
s, but no
bow Bow often refers to: * Bow and arrow The bow and arrow is a ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons ar ...
s have been found. The end of the Khormusan industry came around 16,000 B.C. with the appearance of other cultures in the region, including the Gemaian.


Late Paleolithic

The Late
Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history ...
in Egypt started around 30,000 BC. The
Nazlet Khater Nazlet Khater is an archeological site located in Upper Egypt Upper Egypt ( ar, صعيد مصر ', shortened to , , locally: ; ) is the southern portion of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a ...
skeleton was found in 1980 and given an age of 33,000 years in 1982, based on nine samples ranging between 35,100 and 30,360 years old. This specimen is the only complete modern human skeleton from the earliest Late Stone Age in Africa.


Mesolithic


Halfan and Kubbaniyan culture

The Halfan and Kubbaniyan, two closely related industries, flourished along the Upper
Nile Valley The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile Valley
. Halfan sites are found in the far north of Sudan, whereas Kubbaniyan sites are found in Upper Egypt. For the Halfan, only four radiocarbon dates have been produced. Schild and Wendorf (2014) discard the earliest and latest as erratic and conclude that the Halfan existed c. 22.5-22.0 ka cal BP. People survived on a diet of large herd animals and the Khormusan tradition of fishing. Greater concentrations of artifacts indicate that they were not bound to seasonal wandering, but settled for longer periods. The Halfan culture was derived in turn from the Khormusan, which depended on specialized hunting, fishing, and collecting techniques for survival. The primary material remains of this culture are stone tools, flakes, and a multitude of rock paintings.


Sebilian culture

In Egypt, analyses of pollen found at archaeological sites indicate that the people of the Sebilian culture (also known as the Esna culture) were gathering wheat and barley. The Sebilian culture began around 13,000 B.C and vanished around 10,000 B.C Domesticated seeds were not found. It has been hypothesized that the
sedentary lifestyle A sedentary lifestyle is a lifestyle Lifestyle often refers to: * Lifestyle (sociology), the way a person lives * ''Otium'', ancient Roman concept of a lifestyle * Style of life (german: Lebensstil), dealing with the dynamics of personality L ...
used by farmers led to increased
warfare War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...

warfare
, which was detrimental to farming and brought this period to an end.


Qadan culture

The Qadan culture (13,000–9,000 BC) was a
Mesolithic The Mesolithic (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

Mesolithic
industry Industry may refer to: Economics * Industry (economics) In macroeconomics, an industry is a branch of an economy that produces a closely related set of raw materials, goods, or services. For example, one might refer to the wood industry ...
that,
archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote ...
evidence suggests, originated in
Upper Egypt Upper Egypt ( ar, صعيد مصر ', shortened to , , locally: ; ) is the southern portion of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries lo ...
(present-day south
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
) approximately 15,000 years ago.Phillipson, DW: ''African Archaeology'' p. 149. Cambridge University Press, 2005.Shaw, I & Jameson, R: ''A Dictionary of Archaeology'', p. 136. Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2002. The Qadan subsistence mode is estimated to have persisted for approximately 4,000 years. It was characterized by
hunting Hunting is the practice of seeking, pursuing and capturing or killing wildlife Wildlife traditionally refers to undomesticated animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism ...

hunting
, as well as a unique approach to food gathering that incorporated the preparation and consumption of wild grasses and
grains A grain is a small, hard, dry seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double albu ...

grains
. Systematic efforts were made by the Qadan people to water, care for, and harvest local plant life, but grains were not planted in ordered rows.Darvill, T: ''The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology'', Copyright © 2002, 2003 by Oxford University Press. Around twenty archaeological sites in
Upper Nubia Upper Nubia is the southernmost part of Nubia, upstream on the Nile from Lower Nubia. It is so called because the Nile flows north, so it is further upstream and of higher elevation in relation to Lower Nubia. The extension of ''Upper Nubia'' is ra ...
give evidence for the existence of the Qadan culture's
grain A grain is a small, hard, dry seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double albu ...

grain
- grinding culture. Its makers also practiced wild grain harvesting along the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
during the beginning of the Sahaba Daru Nile phase, when desiccation in the
Sahara The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the African continent Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landma ...

Sahara
caused residents of the Libyan oases to retreat into the Nile valley. Among the Qadan culture sites is the
Jebel Sahaba Jebel Sahaba ( ar, جَبَل ٱلصَّحَابَة, Jabal Aṣ-Ṣaḥābah, lit=Mountain of the Companions; also Site 117) is a prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, ...
cemetery, which has been dated to the Mesolithic. Qadan peoples were the first to develop
sickle A sickle, bagging hook, reaping-hook or grasshook is a single-handed agricultural Agriculture is the practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching televi ...

sickle
s and they also developed
grinding stone Millstones or mill stones are stones used in gristmill A gristmill (also: grist mill, corn mill, flour mill, feed mill or feedmill) grinds cereal grain into flour and middlings. The term can refer to either the grinding mechanism or the b ...

grinding stone
s independently to aid in the collecting and processing of these plant foods prior to consumption. However, there are no indications of the use of these tools after around 10,000 BC, when hunter-gatherers replaced them.


Harifian culture

The
Harifian Harifian is a specialized regional cultural development of the Epipalaeolithic of the Negev Desert. It corresponds to the latest stages of the Natufian culture. History Like the Natufian, Harifian is characterized by semi-subterranean house ...
s (8,800 BC – 8,000 BC) are viewed as migrating out of the
Fayyum Faiyum ( ar, الفيوم ' , borrowed from cop,  ̀Ⲫⲓⲟⲙ or Ⲫⲓⲱⲙ ' from egy, pꜣ ym "the Sea, Lake") is a city in Middle Egypt Middle Egypt () is the section of land between Lower Egypt (the Nile Delta) and Upper ...
and the eastern deserts of Egypt (including Sinai) during the late Mesolithic to merge with the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (
PPNB Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) is part of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic The Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) represents the early Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that ...
) culture, whose tool assemblage resembles that of the Harifian. This assimilation led to the Circum-Arabian Nomadic Pastoral Complex, a group of cultures that invented
nomadic pastoralism Nomadic pastoralism is a form of pastoralism Pastoralism is a form of animal husbandry where domesticated animals known as livestock are released onto large vegetated outdoor lands (pastures) for grazing, historically by nomadic people who mo ...
, and may have been the original culture which spread
Proto-Semitic Proto-Semitic is the hypothetical Linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed proto-language ancestral to the Semitic languages. There is no consensus regarding the location of the Proto-Semitic ''Urheimat''; scholars hypothesize that it may have o ...
languages throughout Mesopotamia.


Neolithic


Lower Egypt


Faiyum A culture

Continued expansion of the desert forced the early ancestors of the
Egyptians Egyptians ( arz, المصريين, ; cop, ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, remenkhēmi) are an ethnic group of people originating from the country of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning t ...
to settle around the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
more permanently and adopt a more sedentary lifestyle during the
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
. The period from 9000 to 6000 BC has left very little in the way of archaeological evidence. Around 6000 BC, Neolithic settlements appear all over Egypt. Studies based on morphological, , and
archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote ...
data have attributed these settlements to migrants from the
Fertile Crescent The Fertile Crescent is a crescent-shaped region in the Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an establishe ...

Fertile Crescent
in the
Near East The Near East ( ar, الشرق الأدنى, al-Sharq al-'Adnā, he, המזרח הקרוב, arc, ܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ, fa, خاور نزدیک, Xāvar-e nazdik, tr, Yakın Doğu) is a geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental ...
returning during the Egyptian and North African Neolithic, bringing
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
to the region. Jared Diamond, in a non-scholarly work, proposes other regions in Africa independently developed agriculture at about the same time: the
Ethiopian highlands The Ethiopian Highlands is a rugged mass of mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit are ...
, the
Sahel The Sahel (; ar, ساحل ' , "coast, shore") is the ecoclimatic and of in between the to the north and the to the south. Having a , it stretches across the south-central latitudes of between the Atlantic Ocean and the . The Sahel part o ...

Sahel
, and
West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania ...

West Africa
. Some morphological and post-cranial data has linked the earliest farming populations at Fayum, Merimde, and El-Badari, to Near Eastern populations. However, the archaeological data also suggests that Near Eastern domesticates were incorporated into a pre-existing foraging strategy and only slowly developed into a full-blown lifestyle, contrary to what would be expected from settler colonists from the Near East. Finally, the names for the Near Eastern domesticates imported into Egypt were not Sumerian or
Proto-Semitic Proto-Semitic is the hypothetical Linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed proto-language ancestral to the Semitic languages. There is no consensus regarding the location of the Proto-Semitic ''Urheimat''; scholars hypothesize that it may have o ...
loan words, which further diminishes the likelihood of a mass migrant colonization of lower Egypt during the transition to agriculture.
Weaving Weaving is a method of textile A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheti ...

Weaving
is evidenced for the first time during the Faiyum A Period. People of this period, unlike later Egyptians, buried their dead very close to, and sometimes inside, their settlements. Although archaeological sites reveal very little about this time, an examination of the many Egyptian words for "city" provides a hypothetical list of causes of Egyptian sedentarism. In Upper Egypt, terminology indicates trade, protection of livestock, high ground for flood refuge, and sacred sites for deities.


Merimde culture

From about 5000 to 4200 BC the Merimde culture, so far only known from a large settlement site at the edge of the Western Delta, flourished in Lower Egypt. The culture has strong connections to the Faiyum A culture as well as the Levant. People lived in small huts, produced a simple undecorated pottery and had stone tools. Cattle, sheep, goats and pigs were held. Wheat, sorghum and barley were planted. The Merimde people buried their dead within the settlement and produced clay figurines. The first life-sized Egyptian head made of clay comes from Merimde.


El Omari culture

The El Omari culture is known from a small settlement near modern Cairo. People seem to have lived in huts, but only postholes and pits survive. The pottery is undecorated. Stone tools include small flakes, axes and sickles. Metal was not yet known. Their sites were occupied from 4000 BC to the Archaic Period.


Maadi culture

The Maadi culture (also called Buto Maadi culture) is the most important Lower Egyptian prehistoric culture contemporary with
Naqada Naqada ( ar, نقادة, translit=Naqāda, , grc, Παμπανίς, translit=Pampanís) is a town on the west bank of the Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian langu ...
I and II phases in Upper Egypt. The culture is best known from the site
Maadi Maadi ( ar, المعادي / transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping letters (thus '' trans-'' + '' liter-'') in predictable ways, such as Greek → , Cyrillic ...

Maadi
near Cairo, but is also attested in many other places in the Delta to the Faiyum region. This culture was marked by development in architecture and technology. It also followed its predecessor cultures when it comes to undecorated ceramics. Copper was known, and some copper
adze An adze (; alternative spelling: adz) is an ancient and versatile cutting tool similar to an axe An axe (sometimes ax in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or ...

adze
s have been found. The pottery is simple and undecorated and shows, in some forms, strong connections to the southern Levant. People lived in small huts, partly dug into the ground. The dead were buried in cemeteries, but with few burial goods. The Maadi culture was replaced by the Naqada III culture; whether this happened by conquest or infiltration is still an open question. File:Egypte louvre 300.jpg, Clapper discovered in Maadi, Louvre Museum File:Ossos de bagre - Maadi.svg, Carved catfish bones, and jar discovered in Maadi File:Battlefield_palette.jpg, Possible prisoners and wounded men of the Buto-Maadi culture devoured by animals, while one is led by a man in long dress, probably an Egyptian official (fragment, top right corner). .


Upper Egypt


Nabta Playa

Nabta Playa Nabta Playa was once a large internally drained basin in the Nubian Desert 280px, Fragment of Nubian Desert seen from space The Nubian Desert ( ar, صحراء النوبة, ''Şaḩrā’ an Nūbyah'') is in the eastern region of the Sahara Des ...
was once a large internally drained basin in the
Nubian Desert 280px, Fragment of Nubian Desert seen from space The Nubian Desert ( ar, صحراء النوبة, ''Şaḩrā’ an Nūbyah'') is in the eastern region of the Sahara Desert, spanning approximately 400,000 km2 of northeastern Sudan Sudan ...
, located approximately 800 kilometers south of modern-day
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in E ...

Cairo
or about 100 kilometers west of
Abu Simbel Abu Simbel (also Abu Simbal, Ebsambul or Isambul; ar, أبو سنبل, Abū Sinbal or ar, أبو سمبل, Abū Simbal) is a village in the Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a tra ...

Abu Simbel
in southern
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
, 22.51° north, 30.73° east. Today the region is characterized by numerous
archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote ...

archaeological
sites. The Nabta Playa archaeological site, one of the earliest of the Egyptian Neolithic Period, is dated to circa 7500 BC.


Tasian culture

The Tasian culture was the next in
Upper Egypt Upper Egypt ( ar, صعيد مصر ', shortened to , , locally: ; ) is the southern portion of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries lo ...
. This culture group is named for the burials found at Der Tasa, on the east bank of the Nile between
Asyut AsyutAlso spelled ''Assiout'' or ''Assiut''. ( ar, أسيوط ' , ''Siōwt'' ) is the capital of the modern Asyut Governorate Asyut Governorate is one of the many governorates of Egypt. It stretches across a section of the Nile River. The cap ...
and
Akhmim Akhmim ( ar, أخميم, ; Akhmimic , ; Sahidic/Bohairic cop, ) is a city in the Sohag Governorate Sohag Governorate is one of the governorates of Egypt For administrative purposes, Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially ...
. The Tasian culture group is notable for producing the earliest blacktop-ware, a type of red and brown pottery that is colored black on the top portion and interior. This pottery is vital to the dating of Predynastic Egypt. Because all dates for the Predynastic period are tenuous at best, WMF Petrie developed a system called sequence dating by which the relative date, if not the absolute date, of any given Predynastic site can be ascertained by examining its pottery. As the Predynastic period progressed, the handles on pottery evolved from functional to ornamental. The degree to which any given archaeological site has functional or ornamental pottery can also be used to determine the relative date of the site. Since there is little difference between Tasian ceramics and Badarian pottery, the Tasian Culture overlaps the Badarian range significantly.Gardiner, Alan, ''Egypt of the Pharaohs'' (Oxford: University Press, 1964), p. 389. From the Tasian period onward, it appears that Upper Egypt was influenced strongly by the culture of
Lower Egypt , the Red Crown of Lower Egypt Image:Lower Egypt Nomes 01.png, 350px, Map of Lower Egypt with its historical nomes Lower Egypt ( ar, مصر السفلى '; ''Tsakhet'') is the northernmost region In geography, regions are areas that are ...
.


Badarian culture

The Badarian culture, from about 4400 to 4000 BC, is named for the Badari site near Der Tasa. It followed the Tasian culture, but was so similar that many consider them one continuous period. The Badarian Culture continued to produce the kind of pottery called blacktop-ware (albeit much improved in quality) and was assigned Sequence Dating numbers 21–29. The primary difference that prevents scholars from merging the two periods is that Badarian sites use copper in addition to stone and are thus
chalcolithic The Chalcolithic (),The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) , p. 301: "Chalcolithic /,kælkəl'lɪθɪk/ adjective ''Archaeology'' of, relating to, or denoting a period in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC, chiefly in the Near East and SE Europe, ...

chalcolithic
settlements, while the
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
Tasian sites are still considered
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology ...

Stone Age
. Badarian flint tools continued to develop into sharper and more shapely blades, and the first
faience Faience or faïence (; ) is the general English language term for fine tin-glazed pottery. The invention of a white Ceramic glaze, pottery glaze suitable for painted decoration, by the addition of an stannous oxide, oxide of tin to the Slip (c ...
was developed.Grimal, Nicolas. ''A History of Ancient Egypt.'' p.24. Librairie Arthéme Fayard, 1988 Distinctly Badarian sites have been located from
Nekhen Nekhen ( egy, nḫn, ); in grc, Ἱεράκων πόλις Hierakonpolis ( either: City of the Hawk, or City of the Falcon, a reference to Horus Horus or Her, Heru, Hor, Har in Ancient Egyptian, is one of the most significant ancient Egypti ...
to a little north of Abydos.Gardiner, Alan, ''Egypt of the Pharaohs'' (Oxford: University Press, 1964), p. 391. It appears that the Fayum A culture and the Badarian and Tasian Periods overlapped significantly; however, the Fayum A culture was considerably less agricultural and was still Neolithic in nature.Newell, G.D. "A re-examination of the Badarian Culture" Academia.edu, 2012


Naqada culture

The
Naqada culture The Naqada culture is an archaeological culture of Chalcolithic Predynastic Egypt (c. 4000–3000 BC), named for the town of Naqada, Qena Governorate. A 2013 Oxford University radio carbon dating study of the Predynastic period suggests a beginn ...
is an archaeological culture of
Chalcolithic The Chalcolithic (),The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) , p. 301: "Chalcolithic /,kælkəl'lɪθɪk/ adjective ''Archaeology'' of, relating to, or denoting a period in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC, chiefly in the Near East and SE Europe, ...

Chalcolithic
Predynastic Egypt The prehistory of Egypt spans the period from the earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period around 3100 BC, starting with the first Pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the vernacular, common title now us ...
(c. 4000–3000 BC), named for the town of
Naqada Naqada ( ar, نقادة, translit=Naqāda, , grc, Παμπανίς, translit=Pampanís) is a town on the west bank of the Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian langu ...
,
Qena Governorate Qena Governorate is one of the governorates of Egypt. Located in the southern part of the country, it covers a stretch of the Nile valley. Its capital is the city of Qena. Overview The rate of poverty is more than 60% in this governorate but rec ...

Qena Governorate
. It is divided in three sub-periods: Naqada I, II and III.


=Amratian culture (Naqada I)

= The Amratian culture lasted from about 4000 to 3500 BC. It is named after the site of El-Amra, about 120 km south of Badari. El-Amra is the first site where this culture group was found unmingled with the later Gerzean culture group, but this period is better attested at the Naqada site, so it also is referred to as the Naqada I culture. Black-topped ware continues to appear, but white cross-line ware, a type of pottery which has been decorated with close parallel white lines being crossed by another set of close parallel white lines, is also found at this time. The Amratian period falls between S.D. 30 and 39 in Petrie's Sequence Dating system.Gardiner, Alan, ''Egypt of the Pharaohs'' (Oxford: University Press, 1964), p. 390. Newly excavated objects attest to increased trade between Upper and Lower Egypt at this time. A stone vase from the north was found at el-Amra, and copper, which is not mined in Egypt, was imported from the Sinai, or possibly Nubia.
Obsidian Obsidian (; ) is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed when lava extrusive rock, extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimal crystal growth. It is an igneous rock. Obsidian is produced from felsic lava, rich in the lighter element ...

Obsidian
Grimal, Nicolas. ''A History of Ancient Egypt''. p. 28. Librairie Arthéme Fayard, 1988 and a small amount of
gold Gold is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elemen ...

gold
were both definitely imported from Nubia. Trade with the oases also was likely. New innovations appeared in Amratian settlements as precursors to later cultural periods. For example, the mud-brick buildings for which the Gerzean period is known were first seen in Amratian times, but only in small numbers.Redford, Donald B. ''Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times''. Princeton: University Press, 1992, p. 7. Additionally, oval and theriomorphic
cosmetic palette Cosmetic palettes are archaeological artifacts, originally used in predynastic The prehistory of Egypt spans the period from the earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period around 3100 BC, starting with the first Pha ...
s appear in this period, but the workmanship is very rudimentary and the relief artwork for which they were later known is not yet present.


=Gerzean culture (Naqada II)

= The Gerzean culture, from about 3500 to 3200 BC, is named after the site of
Gerzeh The Gerzeh culture, also called Naqada II, refers to the archaeological stage at Gerzeh (also Girza or Jirzah), a prehistoric Egyptian cemetery located along the west bank of the Nile. The necropolis is named after el-Girzeh, the nearby contempor ...
. It was the next stage in Egyptian cultural development, and it was during this time that the foundation of Dynastic Egypt was laid. Gerzean culture is largely an unbroken development out of Amratian Culture, starting in the delta and moving south through upper Egypt, but failing to dislodge Amratian culture in Nubia.Redford, Donald B. ''Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times.'' (Princeton: University Press, 1992), p. 16. Gerzean pottery is assigned values from S.D. 40 through 62, and is distinctly different from Amratian white cross-lined wares or black-topped ware. Gerzean pottery was painted mostly in dark red with pictures of animals, people, and ships, as well as geometric symbols that appear derived from animals. Also, "wavy" handles, rare before this period (though occasionally found as early as S.D. 35) became more common and more elaborate until they were almost completely ornamental. Gerzean culture coincided with a significant decline in rainfall,Redford, Donald B. ''Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times.'' (Princeton: University Press, 1992), p. 17. and farming along the Nile now produced the vast majority of food, though contemporary paintings indicate that hunting was not entirely forgone. With increased food supplies,
Egyptians Egyptians ( arz, المصريين, ; cop, ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, remenkhēmi) are an ethnic group of people originating from the country of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning t ...
adopted a much more sedentary lifestyle and cities grew as large as 5,000. It was in this time that Egyptian city dwellers stopped building with reeds and began mass-producing mud bricks, first found in the Amratian Period, to build their cities. Egyptian stone tools, while still in use, moved from
bifacial A hand axe (or handaxe or Acheulean hand axe) is a prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is in ...

bifacial
construction to ripple-flaked construction. Copper was used for all kinds of tools, and the first copper weaponry appears here. Silver, gold, lapis, and
faience Faience or faïence (; ) is the general English language term for fine tin-glazed pottery. The invention of a white Ceramic glaze, pottery glaze suitable for painted decoration, by the addition of an stannous oxide, oxide of tin to the Slip (c ...
were used ornamentally, and the grinding palettes used for eye-paint since the Badarian period began to be adorned with relief carvings. The first tombs in classic Egyptian style were also built, modeled after ordinary houses and sometimes composed of multiple rooms. Although further excavations in the Delta are needed, this style is generally believed to originate there and not in Upper Egypt. Although the Gerzean Culture is now clearly identified as being the continuation of the
Amratian The Amratian culture, also called Naqada I, was a culture of prehistoric Egypt, prehistoric Upper Egypt. It lasted approximately from 4000 to 3500 BC. Overview The Amratian culture is named after the archaeological site of el-Amra, located around ...
period, significant
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
n influence worked its way into Egypt during the
Gerzean The Gerzeh culture, also called Naqada II, refers to the archaeological stage at Gerzeh (also Girza or Jirzah), a prehistoric Egyptian cemetery located along the west bank of the Nile. The necropolis is named after el-Girzeh, the nearby contempora ...
, interpreted in previous years as evidence of a Mesopotamian ruling class, the so-called Dynastic Race, coming to power over
Upper Egypt Upper Egypt ( ar, صعيد مصر ', shortened to , , locally: ; ) is the southern portion of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries lo ...
. This idea no longer attracts academic support. Distinctly foreign objects and art forms entered Egypt during this period, indicating contacts with several parts of Asia. Objects such as the
Gebel el-Arak knife The Gebel el-Arak Knife, also Jebel el-Arak Knife, is an ivory and flint knife dating from the Naqada II period of Egyptian prehistory (3500—3200 BC), showing Mesopotamian influence. The knife was purchased in 1914 in Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, ...
handle, which has patently Mesopotamian relief carvings on it, have been found in Egypt, and the silver which appears in this period can only have been obtained from
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...

Asia Minor
. In addition, Egyptian objects are created which clearly mimic Mesopotamian forms, although not slavishly.Redford, Donald B. ''Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times.'' (Princeton: University Press, 1992), p. 18. Cylinder seals appear in Egypt, as well as recessed paneling architecture, the Egyptian reliefs on cosmetic palettes are clearly made in the same style as the contemporary Mesopotamian Uruk culture, and the ceremonial mace heads which turn up from the late Gerzean and early Semainean are crafted in the Mesopotamian "pear-shaped" style, instead of the Egyptian native style. The route of this trade is difficult to determine, but contact with
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
does not predate the early dynastic, so it is usually assumed to have been conducted over water.Redford, Donald B. ''Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times.'' (Princeton: University Press, 1992), p. 22. During the time when the Dynastic Race Theory was still popular, it was theorized that Uruk sailors circumnavigated
Arabia The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...

Arabia
, but a
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
route, probably by middlemen through
Byblos Byblos ( ar, جبيل ''Jubayl'', locally ''Jbeil''; gr, Βύβλος; phn, 𐤂𐤁𐤋 (GBL) , (probably ''Gubal'') is a city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate french: Gouvernorat du Mont-Liban , native_name_lang = , image_map ...

Byblos
, is more likely, as evidenced by the presence of objects in Egypt. The fact that so many Gerzean sites are at the mouths of
wadi Wadi ( ar, وَادِي, wādī), alternatively ''wād'' ( ar, وَاد), North African Arabic Oued, is the Arabic term traditionally referring to a valley A valley is an elongated low area often running between hills or mountains, ...

wadi
s that lead to the Red Sea may indicate some amount of trade via the Red Sea (though Byblian trade potentially could have crossed the Sinai and then taken the Red Sea).Redford, Donald B. ''Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times.'' (Princeton: University Press, 1992), p. 20. Also, it is considered unlikely that something so complicated as recessed panel architecture could have worked its way into Egypt by proxy, and at least a small contingent of migrants is often suspected. Despite this evidence of foreign influence, Egyptologists generally agree that the Gerzean Culture is still predominantly indigenous to Egypt.


=Protodynastic Period (Naqada III)

= The Naqada III period, from about 3200 to 3000 BC, is generally taken to be identical with the Protodynastic period, during which Egypt was unified. Naqada III is notable for being the first era with
hieroglyphs A hieroglyph (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million ...

hieroglyphs
(though this is disputed by some), the first regular use of
serekh In Egyptian hieroglyphs, a serekh is a rectangular enclosure representing the niched or gated façade of a palace surmounted by (usually) the Horus falcon, indicating that the text enclosed is a royal name. The serekh was the earliest conven ...

serekh
s, the first irrigation, and the first appearance of royal cemeteries. The relatively affluent
Maadi Maadi ( ar, المعادي / transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping letters (thus '' trans-'' + '' liter-'') in predictable ways, such as Greek → , Cyrillic ...

Maadi
suburb of Cairo is built over the original Naqada stronghold. File:Kingscorpion.jpg, The
Scorpion Macehead The Scorpion macehead (also known as the ''Major Scorpion macehead'') is a decorated ancient Egyptian macehead found by British archeologists James E. Quibell and Frederick W. Green in what they called the main deposit in the temple of Horus ...

Scorpion Macehead
,
Ashmolean Museum The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology () on Beaumont Street, Oxford, England, is the world's second university museum (after the establishment of the Kunstmuseum Basel by the University of Basel in 1661) and Britain's first public museum. I ...
. File:Dynastie 0 Stabaufsatz.jpg, Protodynastic sceptre fragment with royal couple.
Staatliche Sammlung für Ägyptische Kunst The Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst (, ''State Museum of Egyptian Art'') is an archaeological museum in Munich. It contains the Bavarian state collection of Art of ancient Egypt, ancient Egyptian art and displays exhibits from both the predyna ...
, Munich File:Fragment of a ceremonial palette illustrating a man and a type of staff circa 3200–3100 BCE Predynastic, Late Naqada III.jpg, Fragment of a ceremonial palette illustrating a man and a type of staff. Circa 3200–3100 BC, Predynastic, Late Naqada III.


Timeline

: (''All dates are approximate'') * Late
Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history ...
, from 40th millennium BC **
Aterian The Aterian is a Middle Stone Age (or Middle Paleolithic, Middle Palaeolithic) stone tool Archaeological industry, industry centered in North Africa, but also possibly found in Oman, the Thar Desert, Sahara (Saharan Aterian) and northeast Africa ...
tool-making ** Semi-permanent dwellings in
Wadi Halfa Wādī Ḥalfā ( ar, وادي حلفا) is a city in the Northern state of Sudan Sudan (; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a c ...
** Tools made from animal bones,
hematite Hematite (), also spelled as haematite, is a common iron oxide Iron oxides are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member o ...

hematite
, and other stones *
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
, from 11th millennium BC ** c. 10,500 BC: Wild grain harvesting along the Nile, grain-grinding culture creates world's earliest stone
sickle A sickle, bagging hook, reaping-hook or grasshook is a single-handed agricultural Agriculture is the practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching televi ...

sickle
blades roughly at end of
Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often referred to as the ''Ice Age'') is the geological Epoch (geology), epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the earth’s most recent period of repeated glaciations. Before a change finally ...
** c. 8000 BC: Migration of peoples to the Nile, developing a more centralized society and settled agricultural economy ** c. 7500 BC: Importing animals from Asia to Sahara ** c. 7000 BC: Agriculture—animal and cereal—in East Sahara ** c. 7000 BC: in
Nabta Playa Nabta Playa was once a large internally drained basin in the Nubian Desert 280px, Fragment of Nubian Desert seen from space The Nubian Desert ( ar, صحراء النوبة, ''Şaḩrā’ an Nūbyah'') is in the eastern region of the Sahara Des ...
deep year-round water wells dug, and large organized settlements designed in planned arrangements ** c. 6000 BC: Rudimentary ships (rowed, single-sailed) depicted in Egyptian
rock art In archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to g ...
** c. 5500 BC: Stone-roofed subterranean chambers and other subterranean complexes in
Nabta Playa Nabta Playa was once a large internally drained basin in the Nubian Desert 280px, Fragment of Nubian Desert seen from space The Nubian Desert ( ar, صحراء النوبة, ''Şaḩrā’ an Nūbyah'') is in the eastern region of the Sahara Des ...
containing buried
sacrifice Sacrifice is the offering of material possessions or the lives of animals or humans to a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as a God (male ...

sacrifice
d cattle ** c. 5000 BC: Alleged archaeoastronomical stone
megalith A megalith is a large Rock (geology), stone that has been used to construct a prehistoric structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. There are over 35,000 in Europe alone, located widely from Sweden to the Mediterranean ...

megalith
in
Nabta Playa Nabta Playa was once a large internally drained basin in the Nubian Desert 280px, Fragment of Nubian Desert seen from space The Nubian Desert ( ar, صحراء النوبة, ''Şaḩrā’ an Nūbyah'') is in the eastern region of the Sahara Des ...
. ** c. 5000 BC:
Badarian The Badarian culture provides the earliest direct evidence of Ancient Egyptian Agriculture, agriculture in Upper Egypt during the Predynastic Egypt, Predynastic Era. It flourished between 4400 and 4000 BCE, and might have already emerged by ...
: furniture, tableware, models of rectangular houses, pots, dishes, cups, bowls, vases, figurines, combs ** c. 4400 BC: finely-woven
linen Linen () is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant. Linen is very strong, absorbent, and dries faster than cotton. Because of these properties, linen is comfortable to wear in hot weather and is valued for use in garments. It also h ...

linen
fragment * From 4th millennium BC,
inventing An invention is a unique or novelty (patent), novel machine, device, method, composition or process. The invention process is a process within an overall engineering and product development process. It may be an improvement upon a machine or p ...

inventing
has become prevalent ** c. 4000 BC: early Naqadan trade ** 4th millennium BC:
Gerzean The Gerzeh culture, also called Naqada II, refers to the archaeological stage at Gerzeh (also Girza or Jirzah), a prehistoric Egyptian cemetery located along the west bank of the Nile. The necropolis is named after el-Girzeh, the nearby contempora ...
tomb-building, including underground rooms and burial of furniture and amulets ** 4th millennium BC: imported from
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part ...

Lebanon
** c. 3900 BC: An aridification event in the Sahara leads to human migration to the Nile Valley ** c. 3500 BC:
Lapis lazuli Lapis lazuli (; ), or lapis for short, is a deep-blue metamorphic rock , a type of metamorphic rock Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock (geology), rock to new types of rock, in a process called metamorphism up ...

Lapis lazuli
imported from
Badakshan Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region File:Badakhshan in Afghanistan.svg, Afghanistan Badakhshan Province Badakhshan is a historic region comprising parts of what is now northeastern Afghanistan, eastern Tajikistan ) File:Tajikistan ant ...
and / or
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
** c. 3500 BC:
Senet Senet or senat ( egy, znt, translation=passing; cf. Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoke ...

Senet
, world's oldest (confirmed)
board game Board games are tabletop games that typically use moved or placed on a pre-marked board (playing surface) and often include elements of Table game, table, Card game, card, Role-playing game, role-playing, and Miniatures game, miniatures games a ...
** c. 3500 BC:
Faience Faience or faïence (; ) is the general English language term for fine tin-glazed pottery. The invention of a white Ceramic glaze, pottery glaze suitable for painted decoration, by the addition of an stannous oxide, oxide of tin to the Slip (c ...
, world's earliest-known glazed ceramic beads ** c. 3400 BC:
Cosmetics Cosmetics are constituted mixtures of chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and take ...
, donkey domestication, (meteoric) iron works,"Iron beads were worn in Egypt as early as 4000 B.C., but these were of meteoric iron, evidently shaped by the rubbing process used in shaping implements of stone", quoted under the heading "Columbia Encyclopedia: Iron Age" at
Iron Age, Answers.com
'' Also, see History of ferrous metallurgy#Meteoritic iron—"Around 4000 BC small items, such as the tips of spears and ornaments, were being fashioned from iron recovered from meteorites" – attributed to R. F. Tylecote, ''A History of Metallurgy'' (2nd edition, 1992), p. 3.
mortar (masonry) Mortar is a workable paste which hardens to bind building blocks such as stones In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned w ...
** c. 3300 BC:
Double reed A double reed is a type of reed Reed or Reeds may refer to: Science, technology, biology, and medicine * Reed bird (disambiguation) * Reed pen, writing implement in use since ancient times * Reed (plant), one of several tall, grass-like we ...
instruments and
lyre The lyre () is a string instrument that dates back to 1400 BC in ancient Greece. It is known for its use in Ancient Greece, Greek classical antiquity and later periods. The instrument was created and used earlier around 2600BCE in the middle ...

lyre
s (see
Music of Egypt Music has been an integral part of culture of Egypt, Egyptian culture since antiquity in Egypt. Egyptians, Egyptian music had a significant impact on the development of ancient Greek music, and via the Greeks it was important to early European m ...
) ** c. 3100 BC: Pharaoh
Narmer Narmer ( egy, nꜥr-mr, meaning "painful," "stinging," "harsh," or "fierce catfish;" ) was an ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of gover ...

Narmer
, or
Menes Menes (fl. c. 3200–3000 BC; ; egy, mnj, probably pronounced *; grc, Μήνης) was a pharaoh of the Early Dynastic Period of ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along ...

Menes
, or possibly
Hor-Aha Hor-Aha (or Aha or Horus Aha) is considered the second pharaoh Pharaoh (, ; cop, ''Pǝrro'') is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2 ...
unified Upper and Lower Egypt


Relative chronology


See also

* 5.9 kiloyear event * Prehistoric North Africa


Notes


References


External links


Information about Ancient Egyptian History''
from This Is Egypt , Information about Ancient Egyptian History
Ancient Egyptian History
- A comprehensive and concise educational website focusing on the basic and the advanced in all aspects of Ancient Egypt



{{Egypt topics
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...