Coordinates: The Naqada culture is an archaeological culture of Chalcolithic Predynastic Egypt (ca. 4400–3000 BC), named for the town of Naqada, Qena Governorate. A 2013 Oxford University radio carbon dating study of the Predynastic period, however, suggests a much later date beginning sometime between 3,800-3,700 BC.
William Flinders Petrie
The Naqada period was first divided by the British Egyptologist William Flinders Petrie, who explored the site in 1894, into three sub-periods:
- Naqada I: Amratian (after the cemetery near El-Amrah)
- Naqada II: Gerzean (after the cemetery near Gerzeh)
- Naqada III: Semainean (after the cemetery near Es-Semaina)
Petrie's chronology was superseded by that of Werner Kaiser in 1957. Kaiser's chronology began c. 4000 BC, but the modern version begins slightly earlier, as follows:
- Naqada I a-b-c (about 4400–3500 BC)
- Naqada II a-b-c (about 3500–3200 BC)
- this culture represented throughout Egypt
- first marl pottery, and metalworking
- Naqada III a-b-c (about 3200–3000 BC)
- more elaborate grave goods
- cylindrical jars
Monuments and excavations
Predynastic Egyptians in the Naqada I period traded with Nubia to the south, the oases of the western desert to the west, and the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean to the east. They also imported obsidian from Ethiopia to shape blades and other objects from flakes. Charcoal samples found in the tombs of Nekhen, which were dated to the Naqada I and II periods, have been identified as cedar from Lebanon.
Dental trait analysis of Naqada fossils found that they were closely related to other Afroasiatic-speaking populations inhabiting Northeast Africa and the Maghreb. Among the ancient populations, the Naqada people were nearest to other ancient Egyptians (Badari, Hierakonpolis, Abydos and Kharga in Upper Egypt; Hawara in Lower Egypt), and C-Group and Pharaonic era skeletons excavated in Lower Nubia, followed by the A-Group culture bearers of Lower Nubia, the Kerma and Kush populations in Upper Nubia, the Meroitic, X-Group and Christian period inhabitants of Lower Nubia, and the Kellis population in the Dakhla Oasis. Among the recent groups, the Naqada makers were morphologically closest to the Shawia and Kabyle Berber populations of Algeria as well as Bedouin groups in Morocco, Libya and Tunisia, followed by other Afroasiatic-speaking populations in the Horn of Africa. The Naqada skeletons and these ancient and recent fossils were also phenotypically distinct from those belonging to recent Negroid populations in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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- Shaw, Ian (2002). The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. 61. ISBN 0-500-05074-0.
- Barbara G. Aston, James A. Harrell, Ian Shaw (2000). Paul T. Nicholson and Ian Shaw editors. "Stone," in Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, Cambridge, 5-77, pp. 46-47. Also note: Barbara G. Aston (1994). "Ancient Egyptian Stone Vessels," Studien zur Archäologie und Geschichte Altägyptens 5, Heidelberg, pp. 23-26. (See on-line posts:  and .)
- Barbara G. Aston, James A. Harrell, Ian Shaw (2000). Paul T. Nicholson and Ian Shaw editors. "Stone," in Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, Cambridge, 5-77, pp. 46-47. Also note: Barbara G. Aston (1994). "Ancient Egyptian Stone Vessels," Studien zur Archäologie und Geschichte Altägyptens 5, Heidelberg, pp. 23-26. See on-line posts:  and .
- Parsons, Marie. "Egypt: Hierakonpolis, A Feature Tour Egypt Story". www.touregypt.net. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
- Haddow, Scott Donald. "Dental Morphological Analysis of Roman Era Burials from the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt" (PDF). Institute of Archaeology, University College London. Retrieved 2 June 2017.