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The history of predynastic Egypt

An EU team examined the formation of Egyptian civilisation via period ceramic artefacts from four main sites. Work yielded a translation table allowing comparison of previous coded terms, and chronological details of Egyptian society.
The history of predynastic Egypt
Ancient Egyptian society strongly affected both Greek and Roman civilisations, through which the Egyptian influence remains with Europeans to this day. Although recent decades have revealed considerable new information about the early stages of Egyptian civilisation (the predynastic period), much remains unknown.

The EU-funded CASEPS (Comparative archaeological study of Egyptian predynastic settlements) project investigated the period via analysis of the variability of archaeological artefacts.

Researchers first created a digital archive of comparable data sets, drawn from published sources and the project's excavations. Data mostly related to ceramics from Upper Egypt, including two of the most important predynastic sites: Naqada and Hierakonpolis. Two sites from Lower Egypt were included as well. The team created translation tables, which allowed easy comparison of various codes and terms used in previous studies.

The team quantitatively compared ceramic artefacts from all sites, particularly regarding shape, type and function. The comparison yielded patterns of chronological meaning, and insights into Egyptian social dynamics preceding formation of the state. Results were tested against current theories of Egyptian social organisation.

Researchers presented the findings at a number of seminars and conferences. Two monographs were in preparation as of the project's conclusion. Project staff also undertook career development and research skills training.

CASEPS helped reveal historical factors in the formation of Egyptian civilisation. The work advanced current understanding of the predynastic period, and developed European Research Area (ERA) standing in the field.

Related information


Predynastic, Egyptian civilisation, ceramic artefacts, CASEPS, archaeological
Record Number: 188597 / Last updated on: 2016-09-20
Domain: Industrial Technologies
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