Badari culture

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For the town in The Gambia, see Badarri.
Ancient Badari figure of a woman with incised features (c. 4000 BC), carved out of hippopotamus ivory, held at the British Museum. This type of figure is found in burials of both Badarian men and women, the earliest identifiable culture in Predynastic Egypt.[1]

The Badarian culture provides the earliest direct evidence of agriculture in Upper Egypt during the Predynastic Era. It flourished between 4400 and 4000 BCE,[2] and might have already emerged by 5000 BCE.[3] It was first identified in El-Badari, Asyut.

About forty settlements and six hundred graves have been located. Social stratification has been inferred from the burying of more prosperous members of the community in a different part of the cemetery. The Badarian economy was based mostly on agriculture, fishing and animal husbandry. Tools included end-scrapers, perforators, axes, bifacial sickles and concave-base arrowheads. Remains of cattle, dogs and sheep were found in the cemeteries. Wheat, barley, lentils and tubers were consumed.

The culture is known largely from cemeteries in the low desert. The deceased were placed on mats and buried in pits with their heads usually laid to the South, looking West. The pottery that was buried with them is the most characteristic element of the Badarian culture. It had been given a distinctive, decorative rippled surface.

Ancestral origins[edit]

The Badarian culture seems to have had multiple sources, of which the Western Desert was probably the most influential. Badari culture was probably not restricted to solely the Badari region, because related finds have been made farther to the south at Mahgar Dendera, Armant, Elkab and Nekhen (named Hierakonpolis by the Greeks) and to the east in the Wadi Hammamat.


  • Guy Brunton and Gertrude Caton-Thompson: The Badarian Civilisation and Predynastic Remains near Badari, London: British School of Archaeology in Egypt, 1928.


  1. ^ Ivory figure of a woman with incised features, British Museum, Accessed June 10, 2008.
  2. ^ Shaw, Ian, ed. (2000). The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press. p. 479. ISBN 0-19-815034-2. 
  3. ^ Watterson, Barbara (1998). The Egyptians. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 31. ISBN 0-631-21195-0. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 27°00′N 31°25′E / 27.000°N 31.417°E / 27.000; 31.417