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The Badarian Civilisation

The Badarian culture was first recognized in 1923:
"During our 1923 excavations in the great cemetery of the Dynastic age at Qau el-Kebir (Etmanieh), more especially in the region known as Cemetery 400, adjoining the houses of Ezbet Ulad el Hagg Ahmed, a few sherds of hand-made pottery with a peculiar rippled or combed surface had turned up from the rubbish of that much used piece of ground. This pottery was unlike any, so far, found in Egypt and could not be assigned to any known period..." (Brunton/Caton-Thompson 1928: 1).

The Badarian culture is the first farming culture in Upper Egypt. The Badarian people already used metal and they produced the first glazed objects. They lived in small villages in Upper Egypt. Settlements seem to be occupied only for a short times. The huts seem to be built from very lightweight material. (Hendrickx/Vermeersch 2000: 43) About 600 tombs are excavated and recorded.

The exact dating and the chronology of the Badarian culture is still a problem. C-14 dates suggest that it spanned the period of about 4400-4000 BC. The relation to the Naqada culture is not entirely clear. The Badarian culture might be partly contemporary with the oldest Naqada culture, because the earlier stages of the Naqada culture are not attested in the area where the Badari culture is well-known.

The Badarian culture is so far only well attested from several sites and tombs in the Badari-Qau area. These are the only well excavated and recorded sites. Occasional characteristic Badarian finds further south (Mahgar, Denderah, Armant, Elkab, Hierakonpolis and in the Wadi Hammamat) show that the culture was established also in other parts of Upper Egypt (Trigger 1983: 28; Midant-Reynes 1992: 148; Hendrickx/Vermeersch 2000: 41).

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