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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

clay figurines
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.
Please compare:

Burial customs of Predynastic Egypt

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).

further reading:



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