Found in tomb 16 dated to Naqada III:
The charcoal retrieved from the overburden and construction pit of Tomb 16 suggest that a large quantity of timber was slowly burned in this area....
Charcoal samples found in the upper levels of the tomb fill were analyzed by our archaeobotanist, Dr. Ahmed Gamal Fahmy, and identified as fragments of cedar of Lebanon. This is the first time this imported wood has been discovered at Hierakon-polis. If there were any questions as to the high status of the individuals interred in the HK6 cemetery, this discovery certainly lays them to rest. The import from Lebanon of apparently large pieces would have required great expense and effort to transport as far south as Hierakonpolis....
The period of abandonment in Naqada IICD, when elite graves, including the famous Painted Tomb, were placed on the far southeastern border of the site may be linked to climatic change or to reasons yet to be revealed. The return to this area 300 years later for the construction of large mudbrick-lined Protodynastic tombs reinforces the traditional elite nature of the Locality 6 necropolis....
These might be more of the unprecedented funerary masks and animal models, elegant figurative lithics, fine pottery vessels, rare painted pottery, stone vases in local and Lower Egyptian stone, or imports from the Near East as we have already found.
Regarding dental studies made of numerous individuals found at the cemetery from this period:
However, based on a qualitative inspection of the dentitions, it appears that:
1) dental phenetic homogeneity was prevalent among the Hierakonpolis inhabitants; and 2) they exhibit dental traits that ally them with other post-Pleistocene populations in greater North Africa. Prior work shows North Africans have
morphologically simple, mass-reduced teeth. This dental pattern was shown to be ubiquitous among samples, regardless
of distance—from the Canary Islands to Egypt and Nubia—or time—from 8,000 year-old Capsians to recent Berbers in western North Africa. This pattern, termed the “North African Dental Trait Complex,” includes high frequencies of several traits such as an interruption groove on UI2, M3 agenesis, and rocker jaw, plus a low occurrence of LM2 Y-5 groove pattern. All of these features are also present in Europeans and West Asians to some degree, but are uncommon in subSaharan peoples. Craniometric indicators appear to support these results, and European-like discrete traits, such as alveolar orthognathism, dolichocephaly, rhomboid orbits, narrow nasal aperture, and nasal sill, are prevalent.
At present, my qualitative inspection of the 14 crania appears to support the preliminary dental findings: 1) Hierakonpolis inhabitants appear to be uniform in cranial size and form, and 2) they show some resemblance to other post-Pleistocene populations of North Africa, as well as Europe and West Asia. They appear distinct from post Pleistocene sub-Saharan Africans.
It may look like an overgrown golf tee, but the “clay nail” has been at the forefront of discussions about Mesopotamian influence in early Egypt for over a decade. With this season’s discovery at HK11 of one complete and one fragmentary “ceramic nail,” Hierakonpolis can now contribute to this debate.
Twelve of these curious clay objects were discovered in the 1980s in the lowest levels at Buto, Hierakonpolis’ counterpart in the Delta. Their striking similarity to the colored clay cones used in the thousands to create mosaic-style decoration on the mudbrick walls of Sumerian temples in southern Mesopotamia during the Uruk period (c. 3400-3100BC) was quickly noticed. On the basis of this discovery, the excavator of Buto, Thomas von der Way, suggested, in a contribution to the Michael Hoffman memorial volume (Followers of Horus, edited by R. Friedman and B. Adams 1992), a more direct interaction between Egypt and Mesopotamia than hitherto envisioned to explain the Mesopotamian influence seen on a number of Late Predynastic and Early Dynastic artifacts (see Smith in Followers of Horus, pp. 235-46). He posited a direct sea connection via Syria between Mesopotamia and Buto as part of the expansionist policies of the Sumerians at the time. It has even been suggested by some that Buto became a Mesopotamian trading colony. It has also been suggested that this close, direct type of interaction had far-reaching ramifications for the origin of mudbrick architecture in Egypt. As these mosaic cones were made to decorate mudbrick walls, which often were built with niches in Mesopotamia, it was proposed that niched brick architecture was imported first into Buto and from there spread throughout Egypt.
Myself from a previous post regarding these "nails" or "cones":
Interesting note about Buto, which dates back to c 3800BC, is that though it is known to have been quite old, pre-dynastic artifacts were only discovered until the 1980's where they found clay cones very similar to those only found in Mesopotamia, once again at Uruk. Look HERE P76. These cones, or "nails" as some call them, have been found at several early Dynastic sites namely Hierakonpolis which occupation dates back to at least 3800BC as well and is quite an interesting site.
There is no doubt this came from Mesopotamia.
For more general commentary of this period: The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Scroll up to begin at "State Formation and Unification".
"By the end of the Naqada II phase (c.3200BC) or early Naqada III, the indigenous material culture of lower Egypt had disappeared and was replaced by artifacts (especially pottery wares) deriving from Upper Egypt and the Naqada culture."
At Umm el Qaab, the famous Dynasty 0 Tomb U-j I have spoken of many times before, contained "400 imported jars from Palestine".
"Both imported and Egyptian-made cylinder seals, an artifact unquestionably invented in Mesopotamia, are found in a few elite graves of the Naqda and Naqada II phases. Beads and small artifacts made of lapis lazuli, which could only have come from Afghanistan, are first found in Upper Egyptian predynastic graves. Mesopotamian motifs also appear in Upper Egypt (and lower Nubia), including the motif of the neros dompteur (a victorious humans figure between two lions/beasts), painted on the wall of Tomb 100 at Hierakonpolis, which dates to Naqada II. Other typically Mesopotamian motifs, such as the niched palace facade [architecture] and high-prowed boats, are also found on Naqada II and III artefacts and also in the rock art. The styles of these motifs are more characteristic of the glyphic art in Susa in south-west Iran than of the Uruk culture, and the fact that such artefacts are not found in lower Egypt has raised the possibility of some southern route of contact between Susa and Upper Egypt, the nature of which is unknown at present.
Of note regarding the last part of this quote is this rock art is found between the Red Sea and Abydos.
I don't have the time to go into it today, if anyone here even cares, but what is seen as a direct result of this activity in southern Egypt is the transference of this culture on a large scale to the north at Saqqara beginning in Dynasty 0/1. The use of mudbrick, a Mesopotamian invention, in the palace facade style, a Mesopotamian invention, abruptly becomes the norm at the very beginnings of the 1st Dynasty on a massive scale. Not only do they use the same Mesopotamian materials and architectural style, but they also orient their tombs to the cardinal points from the corners just as the Mesopotamians did.
The bull motif, the palace facade building, the walled palace facade forts, the mace in the pharaoh's hand, the shape of his crown, the standards carried by the soldiers, the serpopard (beasts with intertwined necks)-this is all Mesopotamian in origin. All of it.
Also found in these 1st Dynasty tombs are massive amounts of cedar wood from Lebanon-literally boat loads of finely cut log beams. The AE are not just wandering over there logging at their leisure-this was gotten from direct trade and interaction with Byblos of which the Mesopotamians were their main customers if not facilitators of the operation.
Mesopotamian Origin of the Egyptian Serekh Palace Facade Building.
Much more to it that this.
The point is this-Mesopotamian influence on the formation of Dynastic Egypt, not to mention the neolithic cultures leading up to it, is not the stuff of alternative historical fancy and to research the predynastic/early Dynastic period it soon becomes apparent this connection is part and parcel of the subject. The fact such a connection existed is beyond dispute. The question it leaves, however, is how direct this influence was which though most, not all, Egyptologists favor as indirect of one as possible, to me this appears to be more a product of institutional professional isolationism than of the evidence itself.
This is not to say, again, Mesopotamians "invaded Egypt"- and there can be no doubt there is a quality best defined as "Egyptianness" that culturally underscores this period regardless of foreign influence, its very foundation, but at the same time it is not entirely Egyptian either to such a degree as to exclude, in my view, anything less than direct administrative contact.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08-Jul-17 21:23 by Thanos5150.