Dynasties of Ancient Egypt
The Badarian culture provides the earliest direct evidence of agriculture in Upper Egypt during the Predynastic Era. It flourished between 4400 and 4000 BCE, and might have already existed as far back as 5000 BCE. 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 mostly based 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.
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, British School of Archaeology in Egypt, London, 1928.
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