Aspects of Egyptian Religion: Prehistoric period
Sources: Depictions in art.
For the following and similar images a religious meaning is often assumed. Only contexts and combinations can provide direct evidence for meaning; indirect evidence may be supplied from later periods (see below) and from the parallels
figurines in other materials
paintings on pottery
Sources: temple buildings
At some places predynastic structures have been found, which have been interpreted as temple buildings. The most important examples are the structures recently found at Hierakonpolis (Friedman 1996).
Compare: Hierakonpolis-online, the temple
Sources: burial customs
A major source for religious beliefs in the afterlife is the burial customs.
Sources: Parallels to Ancient Egypt
It is possible to draw many parallels between features in predynastic Egypt and Ancient Egypt. Temple sites occupied continually from the Prehistoric to the Pharaonic Period might have housed the same gods from the beginning (Koptos). Certain symbols shown in art, are very similar to hieroglyphic signs. However, identity cannot be guaranteed: history is full of reinterpretation of forms from one period to the next.
This sign (left) on a Naqadan vessel looks very similar to the hieroglyphic sign for the god 'Min' (right).
Copyright © 2003 University College London. All rights reserved.