Connecting the Dead: A Comparison of Pre-dynastic Nubian and Egyptian Cemeteries

Author(s): Sara Zaia; Katherine Rose

Year: 2018


In the early 20th century, seminal Egyptologist George Reisner excavated a series of predynastic cemeteries west of the Giza plateau and farther south in modern day Sudan. While some objects from specific cemeteries were published in original manuscripts, the majority of artifacts currently housed in Harvard University’s Peabody Museum remain unstudied. Through a combination of ceramic analyses, including petrography and stylistic analysis, we situate these assemblages within a discussion of intra and inter-cemetry patterns during the predynastic period. We present a study of contextualized ceramic material from selected cemeteries, such as Keneh, Sheikh Farag and Kerma, to elucidate the relationships between Egyptian and Nubian funerary material culture during the predynastic period. We aim to identify indications of connectivity, movement of goods, and transmission of technology between pre-dynastic Egypt and Nubia. We situate this comparison within a discussion of the known mortuary characteristics, practices, and organization of Nubian and Egyptian cemeteries. We aim to underline possible channels of trade of goods and the social and cultural meaning of the exchanged objects. Our objective is to contribute to the study of interconnection and relationship between Egypt and Nubia more broadly, through the study of the ceramic material from a funerary context.

Cite this Record

Connecting the Dead: A Comparison of Pre-dynastic Nubian and Egyptian Cemeteries. Sara Zaia, Katherine Rose. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443067)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: 24.961; min lat: 22.065 ; max long: 35.332; max lat: 31.616 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22531