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The Geographical, Spatial, and Temporal Distribution of Predynastic and First Dynasty Basalt Vessels

Leanne M. Mallory-Greenough
The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology
Vol. 88 (2002), pp. 67-93
DOI: 10.2307/3822337
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3822337
Page Count: 27
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The Geographical, Spatial, and Temporal Distribution of Predynastic and First Dynasty Basalt Vessels
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Abstract

A change in the basalt vessel assemblage suggests that a dramatic shift in social and political organization occurred at the end of the Predynastic Period. The movement of southern populations into the area of the north, where the basalt vessels were manufactured, is one possible explanation. This hypothesis is supported by the change in geographical distribution patterns for basalt vessels from widely dispersed during the Predynastic Period to concentrated in the tombs of the ruling class centred in Naqada, Abydos, and Saqqara. During the Predynastic Period, the distribution of basalt vessels forms a distinct cluster around Maadi, implying an origin near, if not at, the site. By the beginning of the First Dynasty, Maadi has lost its prominence in terms of basalt vessels, and fewer sites are represented by greater numbers of these artefacts. A comparison of the basalt vessel forms to the Buto-Maadi pottery assemblage also supports a northern origin. A survey of Predynastic graves yields no firm conclusions on whose burials were supplied with these artefacts.

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