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Nubia: Jebel Moya: site 100

Site in the Sudan. Excavations were carried out from 1909-1914. About 3000 tombs and a great quantity of settlement debris were found. These remains indicate a perhaps only visited seasonally population focus (maybe nomads - till about 500 BC). There is evidence for domesticated cattle. There are some datable finds suggesting that the settlement later became permanent and flourished around 500 to 100 BC. These datable finds are mainly objects imported from the Napatan/Meroe empire (see the faience beads). At present it is not clear whether Jebel Moya was part of the empire or not.

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Beads are often made from ostrich eggs. Faience beads are imported from the Napatan empire.

bead necklaces
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Pottery was always found very much broken; a few examples were found in graves but most were in the settlement debris. Most pots were decorated.

Earliest pottery (about 4500 BC); buff or ochre to pink in colour. There are impressed patterns on the surface (Geharz 1994: 125-126).

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There are other types of decoration, used in later phases:

1. designs, incised with a sharp instrument (Geharz 1994: 126-128)

design is also typical for Meroitic pottery
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2. designs in dots, impressed (Geharz 1994: 134-136)

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3. designs incised most probably after firing (Geharz 1994: 136-138; Phase III)

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4. incised strings (not very common; Geharz 1994: 126-128)

5. barbotine decoration (Geharz 1994: 140)

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6. painting (Geharz 1994: 138)

Painted pottery is not very common; red-brown lines on a buff ground is the usual pattern. They appear in Phase III.

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Iron objects

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Geharz 1994 (general monograph on Jebel Moya; research on the chronology, dividing the finds into three phases: Phase I, about 4500 BC; Phase II about 3000 - 800 BC, the classical Jebel Moya culture; Phase III about 800 - 100 BC; in German with English summary)


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