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Burial customs of Predynastic Egypt
(Badari -Naqada about 4400-3000 BC)

In the Badarian period the dead are placed in shallow holes. Burial goods include some vessels (food provision for the afterlife), jewellery (status symbols) and slate palettes (for preparing eye paint).
Burial customs of the Naqada I period are still quite similar to the Badarian period. The dead are placed in shallow holes, with some burial goods around them (jewellery, pottery, slate palettes).
In the Naqada II period some tombs are quite large and well equipped. The elite of the time is buried in these. Burial goods are often precious and well made objects. The range of objects is similar to those of the poorer tombs: pottery, jewellery, status symbols, cosmetic palettes. The afterlife seems to have been considered a copy of life on earth.


Most burial goods seem to represent daily life objects, mirroring the belief that the afterlife is similar to the life on earth. However a number of objects might be connected with special religious beliefs or rituals only performed at tombs. Painted vessels might have been made especially for the tomb. Other objects do not appear very often (compare the models of garlic - below). Their specific role in the context of the burials is not clear. Were these too produced for tombs?

Naqada tomb 260 contained several clay models of garlic. They might have played some part in a funerary ritual.
Tomb Hierakonpolis 100 was decorated with paintings. It might have belonged to a local leader.
Tomb Qau 1629 was lined with wooden boards. It seems to be a forerunner of coffins.
Tomb Naqada 624 contained a number of painted vessels.



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