Egypt Exploration Society

Prehistoric Settlement in the Western Delta: A Regional and Local View from Sais (Sa ElHagar) Author(s): Penelope Wilson Reviewed work(s): Source: The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 92 (2006), pp. 75-126 Published by: Egypt Exploration Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40345898 . Accessed: 18/11/2012 00:41
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PREHISTORIC SETTLEMENT IN THE WESTERN DELTA: A REGIONAL AND LOCAL VIEW FROM SAIS (SA EL-HAGAR)
ByPENELOPE WILSON
at 3 from EES work Sais. Excavation was the material Prehistoric Thispaper archaeological publishes and and material from Pit* out carried in2001inthe'Great andproduced lithics, faunal floral pottery, the mainphases: EarlyNeolithic 4,500-4,200 Middleto Late Neolithic 4,000-3,800 three (c. BC), (c. discusses typology the and Period 3,500BC).The pottery object catalogue (c. BC)andtheButo-Maadi and lithics bones, from eachphaseas wellas individual of andwares thepottery objects, diagnostic sites Merimde Buto.Sais and LowerEgyptian including from other with datasets them andcompares data the drillcore context combining is put intoits widerregional geomorphological from by of data fromthe University Electrical of the EES Surveyand Vertical Sounding programme at environment Sais. The palaeoenvironmental the to in work order reconstruct ancient Mansoura river with of leveeon theinside a significant channel, Sais wassituated that work shows upona river west.The siteseemsto havebeena fishing sandhillsfurther and marshes other campin theEarly of Periodforthe cultivation the in whichwas settled the Middle to Later Neolithic Neolithic in fourth millennium record at least300years theearly of Thereis a gapinthesettlement floodplain. reasons at was settlement established Sais around culture the until Buto-Maadi 3,500BC.The possible of in at settlement Sais areexplored thecontext the in of for implications thehiatus continuous and of centres power. of development LowerEgyptian Introduction workin the Delta untilthe last 35 excavation There has been littleintensive archaeological because of thedifficulties and partly of remains because of theapparent paucity yearspartly wherethewatertableis verynearground in of working themuddyfloodplain environment, much excavation has concentratedon tell sites or areas in which level. Consequently, archaeologicalremainsare close to or at the surface.Such remainstend to be fromthe period and later,althoughthereare Early Dynasticsitesupon the sand and gravel dynastic hills of the easternside of the Delta whichhave also been accessiblewithoutthe necessity of the As fortoo muchdewatering.1 a result, earlysettlement history the Nile Delta and the in the Neolithic Period to a more sedentary froma hunter-gatherer society development therehas, as yet,too littlecontiguouslinking in lifestyle settledcommunities agricultural evidence to provide a coherent narrative.2Theories about the introductionof the of domestication animalsand crops fromthe Near East or of Africanand WesternDesert to influenceson cattle rearingand stone technologyare still difficult test withoutthe and evidence from excavations.3In addition, the information necessary background and of played in background Delta geomorphology the partwhichthe riverand inundation
1 B. van Wesemael,'The RelationBetweenNatural Remains of Landscape and Distribution Archaeological Nile Delta', in E. C. M. van den in the Northeastern Brink(ed.), TheArchaeology theNile Delta: Problems of andPriorities 1988),125-39. (Amsterdam, 2 For summaries forexample, Wenke, R. 'Egypt: see, Origins of Complex Societies', Annual Review of 18 Anthropology (1989), 132-43; K. Bard,'The Egyptian A of Journal Field Predynastic: Reviewof theEvidence', 21 1993), 265-7; and I. M. Shaw Archaeology (Autumn, 2000) (Oxford, Egypt History Ancient of (ed.), TheOxford with summary articles by S. Hendrickx and P. fromthe Palaeolithicto the 'Prehistory Vermeersch, 'The BadarianCulture',17-43 and B. Midant-Reynes, Naqada Period',57-60. 3 Summary B. Midant-Reynes, Prehistory The of by 'Foraging 2000), 84-9; W. Wetterstrom, Egypt(Oxford, and from in and Farming Egypt:theTransition Hunting in to Gathering Horticulture theNile Valley',in T. Shaw et al. (eds), TheArchaeology Africa:Food,Metalsand of into research Towns (London, 1993), 165-236and recent withthe NeolithicFayum in N. Levantineconnections Shirai, 'Walking with Herdsman: In Search of the from of MaterialEvidenceforthe Diffusion Agriculture Neo-Lithics theLevantto Egypt', (2005), 12-17. 1/05

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broadlevel.4 at human settlement can dictating patterns stillonlybe suggested a relatively LowerEgyptian The underlying to discussions the concerning Late Neolithic Chalcolithic culture from around4,400to 3,500BC,are based upon a (Buto-Maadiphase)transition, in of seriesof assumptions aboutthelocation and nature earlysettlement theDelta and rather set localised often intoa geological at detailed of geological data, attempts analysis Sa Delta around elin thewestern thana human context.5 paperis a study thearea This of material6 ancient the amount recently of excavated archaeological Sais,utilising small Hagar, to datarelating the from Neolithic the untiltheButo-Maadi Periodand geological dating comments The and environment. preliminary presented surrounding floodplain riverine workin the of here may be modified the analysisand publication further following that Prehistoric at belowwilltestthemodelwhich proposes layers Sais.7The discussion settlement focused was and primarily uponthesandhills(geziras) leveesof theDelta plain and and attempt predict to for locations otherearlysitesin thewestern central possible Delta. It will also deal withthetransition from Neolithic waysof lifeto theagricultural for of reasons an apparent societies theButo-Maadi Periodand suggest temporal possible hiatus thelimited in amount dataobtained farfrom of so Sais. Neolithic Predynastic and cultures Northern in Egypt (fig.I)8 It is likely thatenvironmental could have supported conditions the Delta floodplain in Palaeolithic Period(c. 15,000-6,000 occupation areasof Northern in following Egypt, BC) in in stabilisation river of behaviour theNilechannels.9 changes sea levelandthesubsequent is The presence Neolithic of itself alsodifficult culture 6,000-3,600 in thefloodplain (c. BC) to locateas it is buried and Merimde undersediment but deposits, thesitesin theFayum Beni-Salame thesouth-western of theNile Delta suggest there on that mayhavebeen edge harvested Neolithic as contact settlement or further into Nilefloodplain, Merimdans west the the therich natural resources theriver.10 deposition layers sediment of of The of during Nile andcanbe inundations meant anyremaining has is that material buried deeply archaeological sites located carried at likely out circumstances bydeepdrill or onlyin exceptional augering and in a systematic in manner. The earliest material located thiswayhas beenthepottery sherds found drill in cores Minshat at in AbuOmar, theeastern Delta,byLechKrzyzaniak.11 In thecourse augering which of from Late Predynastic Early the to cemetery, away Dynastic
4 F. Hassan,'The Dynamics a Riverine and mateof of Civilization: pottery, original the drawings pottery lithic A GeoarchaeologicalPerspectiveon the Nile Valley, rialand his comments thepreparation thisarticle. I of in Salima Egypt', WorldArchaeology 29/1. RiverineArchaeology thankLauren Woodardforthe inkeddrawings, for and identifications JacquiCotton (1997),51-74; K. Butzer, 'Geoarchaeological Implications Ikramforthefaunal of RecentResearch',in E. C. M. van den Brinkand T. heranalysis theenvironmental of samples. 7 P. Wilson,'Sais (Sa el-Hagar),2004-05',JEA 91 Levy (eds), Egyptand theLevant.Interrelations the from 4ththrough Early3rdMillennium the B.C.E. (London and (2005),4-8. 8 I thankforJ. R. Dickinsonforassistance New York,2002),83-97. withthe 5 W. Andres and J. Wunderlich,'Environmental map, afterK. Butzer,'Delta', LA I, 1047-8, fig.2; O. Conditions EarlySettlement MinshatAbu Omar, Toussoun, Memoires les anciennes for branches Nil du at sur EasternNile Delta, Egypt',in E. C. M. van den Brink (MIE 4; Cairo,1922),pl. 12; M. Bietak, Tellel-Dab'a, II 4th-3rd Millennium (Osterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (ed.), The Nile Delta in Transition: B.C. (Tel Aviv, der 4; 1992),157-66;H. de Wit,'The Evolution Denkschriften Gesamtakademie Vienna, 1975), of theEastern Nile Delta as a Factorin theDevelopment 59-74 and Abb. 23. 9 Butzer, van den Brink of Human Culture',in L. Krzyzaniak, Kobusiewicz and M. in and Levy (eds), Egypt and J.Alexander from Delta edge:W. Hayes the and (eds), Environmental Levant, 85-6; evidence Change Human the Culture theNile Basin and Northern in (Chicago,1965), Africauntilthe (editedbyK. Seele),MostAncient Egypt SecondMillennium B.C. (Studiesin African and sea Archaeology 63-4; changing levels:D. J.Stanley A. G. Warne, of Culturein the 'Sea Level and Initiation Predynastic 4; Poznan,1993),305-20. 6 P. Wilson,'Sais (Sa el-Hagar),2001-02',JEA 88 Nile Delta', Nature363 (1993),435-8. 10 accountof theexcavation in has Andres Wunderlich, vandenBrink and (2002), 2-4. A preliminary (ed.), The been published: P. Wilson and G. Gilbert, 'The Nile Delta in Transition, 164. 11'New Data on the Late Prehistoric Prehistoric Periodat Sais', Archeo-Nil (2003),65-72;P. 13 at Settlement Wilson and G. Gilbert, 'Pigs, Pots and Postholes', MinshatAbu Omar,EasternNile Delta,' in Krzyzaniak, 21 and Egyptian Archaeology (Autumn,2002), 12-13. I am Kobusiewicz Alexander (eds), Environmental Change, mostgrateful Gregory to Gilbertforhis analysis the 321-5. of

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movedlower downthe transect the was located uponthetoppartof a sandgezira, drilling it. was located midden and awayfrom The midden the towards settlement partially gezira which was mudunderneath and thegezira partly dark-violet, organic-rich uponheavy, upon wareswere of of a layer potsherds, lying upontheflatsurface thesandhill.The pottery waresof Northern thatis, those the as described 'rough'and resembling Neolithic Egypt, was that from radiocarbon Dates obtained Merimde. from samples suggested thepottery for was between olderthan5,700years and thecalibrated 4,720and BP, range thesamples settled that havedemonstrated theareawasheavily Delta13 of 4,450BC.12 Surveys theeastern and becauseof theprevailing in theEarlyDynastic Period, geological environmental partly Neolithic werethesamein theearlier thatif conditions It conditions. is therefore possible The layer organicof at time. of there Period, mayalsohavebeensettlement thegezira that Abu Omar raises at sherdsidentified Minshat the Neolithic richmud partially covering in would conditions theDeltawhich environmental abouttheprevailing however, questions, the of and the Neolithic haveencouraged settlement, locations settlement, extent nature that at for and ofthesettlements thereasons thelackofcontinuous chronological occupation sites. on low lies Abu Omarmaterial in a relatively position thesandhillunder The Minshat to level.The low position thesite,around6 m belowthecurrent compared the ground of the factthatthe sediments the Nile with areas is consistent Late Predynastic higher would be at a have built up over time.The Neolithicmaterial, therefore, floodplain wouldhavelainat a lower on thesandhillas thefloodplain lower correspondingly position As level around4,000 BC, perhapsaround2 m below the level of the pottery layer.14 would have risen,so thatby the end of the the floodplain was deposited, sediment with must the up Period, settlement havebeenhigher theslopesof thegezira, Predynastic waters.15 clearoftheflood that on thecemetery topofthesandhill,inorder bothcouldstay in from drill of rates of sedimentation basedon thedating carbon Estimates augers samples of that Delta suggest thedeposition sediment haveaveraged and thenorthern eastern may between In a rateof 1.5 mmeachyear.16 thiscase,in the900 years 4,400BCand 3,500BC wouldhavebeen to Period),around1.35 m of sediment (theLate Neolithic Buto-Maadi could that and of amount sediment suggests settlements This is nota significant deposited. the of between cultural in toexist thesameplacesand,overtheperiod time havecontinued phases of the Neolithicand Buto-MaadiPeriod,moved up the sides of the gezira. Abu Omarbut thefactthatthetwo is such Theoretically a scenario possibleat Minshat is alternative that dark-violet are strata separated heavy, cultural mud,suggests another by conditions It more likely. seems that betweenthe two culturalphases environmental had lakeor a lagoon oran ox-bow and areawasflooded became the Either marshy, changed. this the when conditions of for the formed causing marsh Later, against gezira a period time. to or lake had changedagain, people returned the high sand gezira and the Late excavated the MunichMuseumExpedition,17 settlement, by Dynastic Predynastic-Early
12 to in and Andres Wunderlich, vanden Brink (ed.), The mm to 1.32 mm a year) (J. Ball, Contributions the 160-1. Nile Delta in Transition, Geology Egypt(Cairo, 1939), 173-6). Based on estiof 13E. C. M. van den Brink,'A Geo-Archaeological matesfromsediments MinshatAbu Omar,a rateof at Nile by in Survey theNorth-Eastern Delta, Egypt;theFirst 1.45 mm a year in the late Holocene was suggested in MDAIK 43 (1987), Butzer, van den Brinkand Levy (eds), Egyptand the Two Seasons,a Preliminary Report', sedimentation in Patterns the Levant,90. Chen and Stanleysuggested 'Settlement 7-31; E. C. M. vanden Brink, c. Nile Delta during the Fourth-Second ratesof 5.9 mma yearbetween 5,400and 3,700BC,but Northeastern Delta plain(Z. Y. Chen thatin thenorthern Millennium B.C.', in Krzyzaniak, Kobusiewicz and 1.9 mmafter Muds (Late Pleistocene) 'Alluvial Stiff and D. J.Stanley, 279-304. Alexander (eds), Environmental Change, 14L. Krzyzaniak, at Settlement Underlying the Lower Nile Delta Plain, Egypt 'Againon theEarliest and MinshatAbu Omar', in van den Brink(ed.), The Nile Petrology, Stratigraphy Origin',Journalof Coastal are Research (1993), fig.14). It is acceptedthatthere 151-5. 9/2 Delta in Transition, 15 and sedimentation thatit varies in and Andres Wunderlich, vandenBrink affecting (ed.), The manyvariables times. in 160 placesand at different considerably different Nile Delta in Transition, fig.3. 17K. Kroeperand D. Wildung, 16 MinshatAbu Omar. a calculated rateof 1.5 mm and Andres Wunderlich Friedhofim Nildelta, I- II per yearat MinshatAbu Omar (in van den Brink(ed.), Ein vor- undfruhgeschichtlicher a The Nile Delta in Transition, 159). Ball had suggested (Mainz, 1994 and 2000). 9 rateof between cm and 13.2 cm percentury (thatis,0.9

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material the around between lastNeolithic It there. maybe that wasfounded 4,450BCand altered to higher the due around3,500BC,18 localenvironment thefirst phase Predynastic in Indeed, Krzyzaniak floods,perhapscaused by increasedrainfall centralAfrica.19 in of mudlocated thedrill had later that augering been suggested thecomparable layer black in times.20 Nile floods documented medieval causedbythevery high Abu Omarsettlement that of The identification the Minshat suggest sequencemight been foundwill provealso to have earlier has material already areaswherePredynastic northern of theDelta would If material. suchis thecase,Butoin thecentral cultural part material As the from settlement. yet,however, earliest for location Neolithic be a possible I is Stratum material datedto around site Butoandthenearby of el-Qerdahi21Buto-Maadi and BC22 date23 millennium bothon thebasisof a radiocarbon of thefirst quarter thefourth of found thestratum. in Ghassulian with also bycomparison theChalcolithic type pottery The first intotwomaingroups. la from Stratum at Butocanbe divided wares The pottery vesselswithorganictemper. They were by typeis characterised uneven,thick-walled black grey brown red. and to in from to and ontheoutside varied colour handmade, polished and sand withpredominantly temper made thin-walled The secondgroupcomprised pots withwhite-painted device.They were decorated on a turning stripesor withplastic a to which beenpinched create had or or lughandles, rims suchas knobs, additions, ledges Nile silts,theyhave non-Egyptian the effect. Although vesselsare made from pie-crust rimvesselsand bowls with such as hole-mouth forms bowls,pie-crust jars, V-shaped of Ib Stratum showsa process adaptation thepeopleat Butoanda fenestrated by pedestals. is la of The tradition theButo Stratum pottery therefore contacts. withPalestinian break - though there be a connection to and Neolithic functional adapted localconditions24 may II seems wares.25 Stratum pottery the Badariand Butola through 'black-topped* between that to resemble of Maadi, including vessels, potsand a globular, polished ledge-handled at The phaseis marked Butoby closed of closedvesselwitha possibleflaxtemper. type that in decoration rows.Faltings with'rocker-stamp' vessels suggests ButoI la is thesame Iic-dl.26 Butolib parallels dateas Naqada Ila-b andthat Naqada for framework Lower an of and The Buto material studies it haveprovided excellent It from other sitescan be fitted. has material into sequences, which Predynastic Egyptian with Periodinthenorth, that alsosuggested bytheChalcolithic contemporary Naqada I- II and andtheLevant, Buto between was there contact in UpperEgypt, UpperEgypt Maadi, It location.27 seemsthatButowas notisolated basedon itsstrategic trading mostly perhaps to to will cultures emerge demonstrate Neolithic thatearlier, is possible and it adaptation nature of The contacts.28 non-sedentary broader as local conditions well as maintaining in that therewas a fluidity culturaldispersion Neolithiclifestyles perhapssuggests cultures. the with more'stationary' Predynastic compared
18 in and Andres Wunderlich, vanden Brink (ed.), The 160-1. Nile Delta in Transition, 19R. Said, TheRiverNile (Oxford, 1993),131-3 sugwas there an 800 yearperiodof lowNilesfrom that gested between around3,900to 3,000 BC,whentheconnection theNile and Fayumwas severed. 20 Krzyzaniak,in Krzyzaniak, Kobusiewicz and Alexander 324,basedon the Change, (eds),Environmental discussionof F. Hassan, 'HistoricalNile Floods and for Their Implications Climatic Change', Science 212 (1981), 1142-5. 21J.Wunderlich, von der Way and K. Schmidt, T. Kulturbei Ezbet elder 'Neue Fundstellen Buto-MaadiMDAIK45 (1989), 309-18. Qerdahi', 22Most recently 'The discussedby D. A. Faltings, of Frame and Social Structure Buto', in Chronological and and Levy(eds), Egypt theLevant,168. vanden Brink 23 and datesis 3,883-3,812 of The range thecalibrated Buto, I 4,340-3,900BC (T. von der Way,Tell el-FaraHn. (Mainz, 1997),82, sampleKN 4015). 24Faltings, van den Brinkand Levy (eds), Egypt in and theLevant,165-70. 25T. von der Way,Untersuchungen Spdtvorund zur 1993),34. (Heidelberg, Unteragyptens Fruhgeschichte 26Faltings, van den Brinkand Levy (eds), Egypt in and theLevant,167-8. 27 VonderWay,Untersuchungen, C. Commenge 67-91; and D. Alon, 'CompetitiveInvolutionand Expanded between the Horizons:Exploring Natureof Interaction Northern (c. Negevand LowerEgypt 4500-3600BCE)',in van den Brinkand Levy (eds), Egyptand the Levant, 139-53. 28The mobility Neolithic of against hunter-gatherers is of the sedentarism farmers discussedby P. Bellwood, Societies First Farmers. The Origins of Agricultural in 2005), 31-43, and the changeto agriculture (Oxford, 'La Egyptis discussedin W. Wetterstrom, chasse-cueilde la en et lette l'agriculture Egypte: transition la chasseet dans la vallee du Nil', a de la cueillette l'horticulture 6 Archeo-Nil (1996), 50-75.

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in OtherPredynastic Delta sitessuchas Minshat Ezzat and Tell el-Farkha thecentral of settlements thenorth Delta haveso faronlyprovided evidence theearly for substantial of Egypt thedynastic in to earlier butmaywellprove haveunderlying archaeological period, cult In strata. thewestern to Dynastic Delta,Sais wasbelieved havebeenan important Early Such of centre thegoddess of Neithandperhaps maincity a LowerEgyptian the kingdom. material from of have been made on the basis of interpretations inscribed assumptions at and aimsof theEES project Sais was to however, one of theoriginal UpperEgypt,29 at The for settlementthesite. determine whether there anyarchaeological was evidence early in material which was further work detected evidence Prehistoric for investigated a survey series ongoing of excavations.30 Sais (Sa el-Hagar) AbuOmar, initial The presence Prehistoric of as material Sais waslocated, at Minshat at by of and drill madeacross siteinorder ascertain location settlements transects the to the auger is features. material found theareaof the'GreatPit',which thelast in The was geomorphic since remnant thesiteof theTwenty-sixth of Dynasty of Sais. It has beenexcavated city foritsstoneand sebakh. thelastone hundred In the'GreatPit' has been antiquity years, or created thelarge-scale used forfloodembankments land removal sebakh, of by perhaps from area an reclamation thearea.An average around m ofearth beenremoved in of 3.5 has of 450 m by 400 m, reducing groundsurface and revealing lowerfoundation the the elements some Twenty-sixth of Dynastybuildings, along with the top of the preconstruction of the sitesclearedin the Saite Period,whenbuilders seemto have phase cleared flattened 'GreatPit* and monuments.31 the new for areatoprovide foundations their With subsequent the removal theSaitePeriod of have the foundation material, lowest layers been exposed,alongwiththe land upon whichtheywerebuilt.The underlying layers contain material had to and thelayers been and Periods dating thePrehistoric Predynastic flattened in someplaces,creating levelsurface off someof theLate a between boundary Perioddebris theunderlying and three to Prehistoric strata. dating theintervening Nothing thousand was found either drillaugeror excavation in the work. The arealiesbelow years thewater tableand is also subject thedumping wastewater to of from village the nearby. The sub-surface matrices archaeological and with are layers therefore waterlogged alkaline water. The localconditions seemto haveaffected preservation all of thematerial, so the of that has due salt-corroded is subject colour and to pottery beenwater-eroded, changes tothe whilethebonein somecaseshas beenalmost Somecharcoal mineralised. salts, completely has survived a fewseedswereobtained and from samples The preservation of the taken. material seemsto be inconsistent, and nature thesalt of however, maybe due to theprecise content contamination specific or in areas. In the augering workin 1999, drill core 15 contained foursherdsof identifiable Prehistoric three from rimof a black-topped, the red-bodied a pottery: joiningsherds jar; Nilesiltbodysherd from anda red-burnished, Nile black-burnished, ajar;32 sand-tempered, siltbodysherd.33 material The in camefrom depth 7 m belowtheground a of surface the 'Great Pit' (fig.2). Although upper layershad also contained the some of it pottery, there a cleardistinction was between layers, the a between burnished, including claylayer In strata. addition, pottery the from deeper the coreswas upperand lower pottery-bearing
29Sais has beendescribed thechiefcityat thetime as of theunification Egypt W. B. Emery, of Archaic by Egypt centre (Harmondsworth, 1961), 42 and as a 'significant' byT. A. H. Wilkinson, EarlyDynastic (Londonand Egypt New York,2001), 325. 30 Wilson, JEA 91 (2005),4-8. 31 P. Wilson, The Surveyof Sais (Sa el-Hagar), 1997-2002(EES Excavation Memoir77; London,2006), 197 and 204. This also seemsto havehappened Buto, at which Butzer takes an indication particular as that of parts the site werenot occupiedbetweenEarlyDynasticand Saite times. at Sais, thisis notnecessarily case. As the 32All from drill15, core46. 33Fromdrill15, core43.

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Fig. 2. Map of the Sa el-Hagar area, showingthe locationof the 'Great Pit' and Excavation3.

to containedwithinthe centreof the core. It was unlikely, therefore, have fallendown the was fromthe Neolithic the sample. It seems thatthe pottery drill hole and contaminated while the upper materialfroma depth of 1.25 to 3.15 m is the Buto-Maadi layer.A strata, materiallay in that the Prehistoric test trench(Excavation 2), made in 2000,34confirmed stratified layers buried not too far below the lowest ground surfaceat Sa elpotentially level. Some of the sherds located in this test also but still below groundwater Hagar, suggestedthat Upper Egyptian importsmay be presentin the Buto-Maadi material.In rimsherdfroma closed ovoid vessel,withred slip and vertical a particular, sand-tempered and oblique polishing strokes is possibly similar to sherds from vessels known at
34 P. Wilson, 'The Survey of Sais (Sa el-Hagar), 2. 2000-01',JEA 87 (2001), 4-5 Excavation

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Fig. 3. Red-polishedsherdfroma closed jar, Excavation2.

in of Hierakonpolis(fig.3).35In orderto assess thefeasibility excavation thatarea and to test in Excavation3 was undertaken 2001 usinga sump the natureof the Prehistoric material,36 and small irrigation pump.37 The area chosen forExcavation3 was veryclose to the reed beds of a marshy partof the Water 'Great Pit' (fig. 2), lyingat an approximate heightof around 1 m above sea level.38 into the excavatedarea froma depth of around*50cm, but it was relatively easy to seeped The containthe rateof flowuntilarounda depthof 1.5 m, whenworkbecame too difficult. on the southernedge and sloping down surfacewas slightly sloping,being higher ground was minimal. one side to another in towardsthe north, thoughthe difference elevationfrom In orderto takeadvantageof the naturalslope, the sump was situatedin the north-western thishad cornerof the trench. The surfaceof the land was coveredin coarse grassand, after been disturbedand been removed,the soil matrixcomprised soft,sandy silt which had along pitted.The pits containeda mixtureof brokenSaite Period and Ptolemaicpottery, of and some red-brick a fewsmallfragments withfragments brokenand burntlimestone, of of faience.This materialmost likelyderives fromthe destruction buildingsin this area, Furtherexcavationworkin 200539 the Twenty-sixth suggeststhat Dynasty. perhapsduring and sacredbuildingsin whatis now the 'Great Pit' and surrounding thereweremonumental zones. The pitsat thetop and perhapsindustrial as workshop fields, well as urban dwellings a levels of Excavation3 containeddumped, burntmaterialmixed withthe pottery, feature of Late Period debrisat this of the whole of the westernside of the 'Great Pit'. The layer was thatthe locationof thetrench suggesting partof the 'Great Pit' was verythin,however,
35Personal It communication UlrichHartung. is from similarto the Hierakonpolis closed vessel Type 2a and in B. fabric fine, 22: untempered: Adams,Excavation the 1979-1985 (BAR at Locality6 Cemetery Hierakonpolis, International Series903; Oxford, 2000), 12. 36The larger in Excavation was undertaken 2005 as 8 AHRC funded projpartof the'Sais and its Hinterland' ect;see thefieldreport Wilson,JEA 91, 4-8. 37 was The excavation supervised Gregory Gilbert, by Nicola Harringtonand Fatma Rageb Kamal; see P. Wilson,'Surveyof Sais (Sa el-Hagar),2001-02',JEA 88 to (2002), 2-6. I am grateful the SupremeCouncil for and in cooperation Antiquities Cairo and Tanta fortheir for support thework. 38The ground is levelheight on the5 m contour line, to according Surveyof Egyptmaps of the area and the base of the'GreatPit' lies belowthislevel.The areawas surveyed the EES Mission in 1997; see Wilson,The by Survey Sais, 118-48. of 39Wilson,.?^ 91, 4-8.

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it between andtheearlier Buto-Maadi at thebaseof thisdestruction andtheinterface layer to three was that It material. wasremarkable there nothing dating theintervening thousand cleared reuse for It that the between twolayers. suggests theareahadbeenextensively years in theSaitePeriod.
The Prehistoric phases

The Prehistoric layersat Sais can be dividedinto threemain phases (figs.4 and 5), and as colour texture, wellas thepottery objects, and including by distinguished soilmatrix within The phaseswerecontained several and bull-horn stone a a brick, pottery pounders. contexts:
Phase Contexts DateA0 Suggested

SaitePeriod MixedInterface Sais III Non-settled phase Sais II Sais I

[3000] [3001] [3002-4],[3007] [3005-6]

Twenty-sixth Dynasty, c. 550-525bc c. Buto-Maadi Period, 3,500BC

[3008],[3009-10], c. bc [3013-14] LaterNeolithic, 4,500-4,300 [3011-12], c. BC EarlyNeolithic, 5,000-4,800 [3015-16]

of a smallamount disturbance, all surface demonstrated to nearest theground The layers This ofpottery. mayhavebeenduetomaterial later of causedbytheintrusion several pieces downintothesofter as in into matrix, wellas to pitsdriven falling fissures thesandy-silt the which allowed pottery of or or matrix, earth, to bioturbation compaction thesandy-silt of The with itwhensaturated water.41 uppermatrix [3001]had a downthrough to migrate It on sideof thetrench. thanthelower particularly theeastern layers, claycontent higher of and grassand onlya fewfragments pottery. surface somerootsfrom contained plants coarseNile silt wares,withsome red-brown Most of the sherdswereveryweathered, on wereextremely and surfaces thebreaks thesherds sherds. burnished Manyhadlosttheir seemsto havebeendue to saltactionand thealkaline thepottery of The condition worn. wereexposedto theair and driedout,someof them of nature thesoil. Once thesherds when the surfaces on lost Others thepolish their tocrumble. process, during washing began which weresoakedin water, was thehighburnish particularly Samplesof pottery fugitive. of overa period 48 the to hoursin order desalinate sherds of at waschanged intervals three and of but someof thepottery, much thewater havestablised The process to72 hours. may when the sherdswere in the ground.Some of the salt damagehad alreadyoccurred The wares. the in survived excellent sherds burnished however, condition, especially finer of thematerial statistical meansthata thorough of condition thepottery, survey therefore, or sherds evenof diagnostic and burnished unburnished on is difficult thebasisof studying one a was from rimor whether of itsbroken if it Sometimes was unclear a sherd sherds. a or a edgeshad beenwornto resemble rim, whether rimhad beenwornawayto suchan or on of the an itresembled edge.Counting numbers sherds thebasisofburnish that extent of suchsherds as wouldnothavebeenuseful, thenumbers of types frequency diagnostic
41Butzer, vanden Brink 40The datesare based on thepottery lithic and and Levy (eds), Egypt in comand theLevant,92. on outlined pp. 87-9 and 91-5. parisons

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84

PENELOPE WILSON
Section North

JEA 92

N/W

-H^

[3001]

mK -1.5599

+

/"

^[3003]
__

^^^

^^

[3002]

J '

♦ step

I

"

i ;

^ \^~^^

^

^^[3003]

J^Ogt m -2.2069 ff
■""""""

~l^r^*^"^ [3006]
^^

y *7^u^^^-___.
N^aLX^^amtrk*. -2.6492ni^

unexcavated

0 |

lm |

N/E jt-0.9723 m

East Section jt-1 246 m

^-

^

[3000]

"

S/E

"77T1 -1.4365^^

^^j^nf^^^^
[3006]

zz=3rYrmfiFm "

[3015] unexcavated

j

-/'/i trim

|3UU»|

p2-2846m a 0.13m ~B^ 0.1m c 0.14 m d 0.04 m e lO.llm

[3015]

.
[^ Jm -2.3583

0 |

lm |
FlG. 4. Excavation3, northand east sections.

small. The statistical and the sample was relatively could onlyhave been estimated analysis of and in thisreport was carriedout based on thequantification comparison waretypesonly. The mixedinterface layer[3001] Context [3001] was a mixed sandy-siltmatrix,with a band of brown-orangestaining stainwas ironoxide and dividingit fromthe Saite Period layer[3000]. This brown-orange itself The matrix at could indicatethatthearea was exposed to the atmosphere some time.42
42A. el-Shahat, Ghazala, P. Wilsonand Z. Belal, Journal Geology MansouraUniversity H. and Geophysics, of of 'Lithofacies theUpperQuaternary Sequenceof Sa el- 32/1(2005), 82. Nile Governorate, Delta- Egypt', Hagar Area,Gharbiya

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2006

PREHISTORIC SETTLEMENT AT SAIS
South Section

85

S/W -0.95 mi;

-

~

^
Tr^_

'

"^[300lT ^^^L^^^

[3002] ^/

/

0 I

lm |

West Section

3^^c
."^\~ [3003]

S/W

-0.8511 mj!

w

N/W m -0.8064 n

[300lT
[3002] *

'

-

^^

0
j

lm
|

and FlG. 5. Excavation south westsections. 3,

once that or limestone saltflecks, and nodules white carbonate contained suggesting plants from sherds of a Therewere number pottery conditions.43 in in location, semi-arid grew this in werePrehistoric date,but that indicate they of The thiscontext. waresand finish some of of The presence largeamounts them. in mixed with werealso SaitePeriodsherds there enabledthe Saite of and siltmixture thetypology some of the sherds in chaff the Nile It the from Predynastic to pottery. was not possibleto date the examples be separated with this to so itwasdifficult include context the worn numerous however, extremely sherds, nearthetopof context werefound 'bricks' data.Two fired [3001]butdid statistical other material. or features other to Theycouldhavebeen notseemto be related anymud-brick a resemble similar The bricks in fired situ. of example theremnants a mudhearth-surround, Buto from to 8 in later Excavation andmaybe compared those found andthose from [3002]
Fades Environments: Processes, Reading (ed.), Sedimentary

43 J. D. Collinson,'AlluvialSediments',in H. G.

and Stratigraphy 2004), 56. (Oxford,

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86

PENELOPE WILSON

JEA 92

sump

Vpit/ ^-^
/

[3004]

/

/

/

rim sherds ^>?

3m. [3003] / / / / /

/ '' ;

/ [3005]

' '

___^

with brown 'patch, organic charcoal ! x£nd fragments

[3003]

lm

I " ■ * redbrick^ fragments

yvredrim sherds

£>#
Q^ ^> redbrick fragments 3m 4m

lm

2m

Fig. 6. Excavation3, Phase Sais III, Buto-Maadi Period.

(see p. 88). The base of a limestonevessel was also discoveredin this context,but it is probablyfromthe Late Period and belongs to the disturbedlevel above. There seemed to have been a certainamount of disturbancefromabove in this layer,and the Late Period materialcould not be separatedstratigraphically fromthe Predynastic and objects. pottery Phase Sais III [3002]-[3004] and [3007] (fig.6) Context[3002] was identifiable a depositof siltysediments as organics, possibly containing once a stagnant reedsor aquatic plants.The layerwas unevenin depthand pool supporting and westernsides of the trench.There seems to have extent,and deeper on the northern been a pool or marshy side sump lyingagainsta highersandyhillockin thesouth-eastern of the trench. The natureof the layerwas deduced from distinctive the colourwith grey-black red-brownpatches,which undulated over the top of the succeedingcontext[3003], thus of Weathered sealingit. In places therewereconcentrations blackoxidisedmaterial. pottery were foundin thiscontextand largerfragments degradedred-brick coarse or of fragments

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2006

PREHISTORIC SETTLEMENT AT SAIS

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of on werenotedat thebottom [3002]and above[3003],particularly thesouthern pottery in and of were A sideofthetrench. pieceofbasalt fragments limestone alsofound thislayer, fromabove. In the south-eastern of the trench intrusive material part [3003] perhaps that was of of succeeded [3001],and itwas likely there a degree disturbance areas directly in context not of thislayer protected themarshier [3002],resulting a fewSaitePeriod by in sherds occurring thesample. Context[3003] appeared to be sealed by contexts[3001] and [3002], with no rootsin the upperwestern from contamination the upperdisturbed layers.Carbonised into [3003]. The context downward was a sectionof the transitional phasescontinued The layer the of organic downfrom with matrix deposits. sloped patches sandy-silt yellow, in In corner thetrench. the of hillock thesouth-eastern the eastto thewest, forming sandy coloured material of organic was of centre [3003]there an areaof darker [3005],consisting sherdswereconcentrated the lower, on withcharcoal brownpatches Pottery fragments. on side. less and side eastern of thislayer occurred frequently thewestern, higher and (see Appendix):The sherdscollectedincludedrims,bases and decorated Pottery material to it was notpossible counttheburnished burnished accurately. sherds, although sidedbowls([3002]. bowls of Therewasa range bowlshapes 1), including straight V-shaped, rim everted ([3002]. basesand a slightly or withrounded flat 3-4; [3003]. 7-9), bowlswith 5 somelargein size ([3002]. everted 6, 5-7; [3003]. and perhaps 10), and bowlswith rims, or rims inverted ([3003]. trays vessels 1-4). Somelargesherds mayhavecomefrom slightly included somelarge The closedforms in and in built theground fired situ storage 2). ([3002]. vesseltypes([3002]. [3003]. 19-20), as well as types([3003]. 11-12) and small storage 8; flat vessels([3002].9-ll; [3003]. necked smaller 13-18). The bases wereeither bowlbases flasks baseson smallnecked or pointed 13; 23), ([3002]. [3003]. with 12; 22) ([3002]. [3003]. bowlbase ([3003]. of oneexample 24). perhaps a pointed withexamplesfromButo in sherdscan be paralleled and diagnostic The decorated Buto from The 15, 25) ([3002]. [3003]. occurson sherds pattern particular. impressed-dot of dot Level II-IIa.44 At Buto,V-pattern patterns usuallyoccuron theshoulders closed where baseof oneV almost the in are The V-patterns arranged bands, rim. nearthe vessels, from Sais ([3002]. On the meets base of another. thebestexample 14), thebase of theV bands and thatV-patterns horizontal comesdownto meeta horizontal band,suggesting with Theremayhavebeen rowsof V-shapes couldoccuron thesamevessels. alternating bandslowerdownthebodyof thewholevessel.The overall horizontal mayhave pattern of bandsandthetexture of bothinthedesign interwoven to beenintended imitate basketry, of The half-moon, created the decoration. thepottery impressions sherd 'fingernail' by sherd burnished for bowlsdistinctive ButoLevel II.45The fine, 26 occuron shallow [3003]. butthere it which mayhavecome, from of the to 21 [3003]. wastoosmall identify type vessel from straight a that is a possibility itwasan UpperEgyptian sided,fine-ware cup.46 import 11 and [3003]. PhaseSais III (especially from The closed rimtypes 13-14)are [3002]. jar to 23-4 also belong these bases[3003]. in vessels, alsofound ButoLevel II. At Sais,pointed havebeensmalldrinking andoccurin ButoLevel II. which jars, may PhaseSais III was a fired The mud,modelbull-horn objectfrom Objects: mostdistinctive and was at thicker oneend,which broken tapered ofmud, 27. cylinder [3003]. It wasa rolled but end. The objectcouldbe a human withthefoot, to an upturned leg pointat theother of the a to haverepresentedhornfrom figure a bull or cow withlong seemsmorelikely withshort, animals horns comefrom of Merimde Mostof thelater horns. examples cattle
44Von derWay, ButoI, Taf. 39, 19-22. 45 The angle of the Sais examplemay need to be from thatshownin thedrawing. adjusted 46Adams,Excavation theLocality6 Cemetery, in 11, 22 fabric and typeId.

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88

PENELOPE WILSON

JEA 92

These types cattle. rounded but of from are horns, there also examples horns long-horned - I II phases.47 arefound Merimde in Level II it side.In section witha flat and The fired mud-'brick' 16 [3002]. was smoothed eroded less Other wellfashioned. hada hemispherical that shape, suggesting ithadbeendeliberately to in ofbricks were alsofound thisPhaseSais III. Theymaybe similar preserved fragments inthree and courses thebricks bricks'were found from where burnt Buto, layered published to formed least at four rows TeF87TIX, Building in phase11Id, dating Naqada I Hal parallel mudandblue-grey from or 2.48 These bricks described being are hand-made as very porous couldhave in colour, with complete the bricks Fireplaces measuring to 30 cm in length. up on the and beenmadeintheform shallow duginto ground protected theoutside a of by pits With of a of mud.During thisouter wasfired create kind hearth-brick. to ring cooking ring the subsequent werebroken disturbance the site,the 'bricks' of awayand appearin the was Sucha record individual as whereas their manufacture accidental. archaeological objects, size in couldaccount thepresence thebricks PhaseSais III. The regular ofthe for of process as and thattheywerepurposely bricks, however, theirrounded designed shapesuggests of The firing vessel. thanbeingformed a by-product heating cooking of a rather as bricks, for was not a majortechnological but utilisation specific bricks larger development, their in buildingconstruction seems to have been a conceptualand functional purposes wereused for The bricks from thatfired Sais and Buto suggests development. evidence becauseof the certain but to mud-brick, purposes, housescontinued be builtfrom perhaps heatretention of themudin winter cooling and effect thehousein summer. on properties of The firing largequantities bricks amounts fuel, of considerable of wouldhaverequired andthelackof availability woodcompared theavailability mudandstone of to of mayhave and to make meantthatit was moreeconomically mud to viableto continue buildfrom monumental structures mud-brick stone, from or evenintheDelta. A number fragments redand brown of in of werefound PhaseSais III along quartzite in with complete a were or 1. pounder grinder [3004]. The quartzite fragments mostly small andweresorted weighed: and chips of 338 [3002]fragments redandbrown weight g quartzite, of have surfaces); and [3003]fragments red, (someredfragments flat yellow brown quartzite waterwashed 520 g stone; black/grey fine-grained white, pebble, weight of and 117 [3006]fragments red,yellow brown quartzite, weight g. The fragments comefrom This orgrinders similar thecomplete to may example. pounders thatthepounders other stones wereused for thatis,striking suggests percussive purposes, or tools.It mayalso suggest were at thatstoneworking lithic and preparation undertaken Sais on materials from was further afield. The nearest source quartzite probably for brought Gebel el-Ahmar, thesouthnearmodern to are thatthere Cairo.Its presence maysuggest links withthesouthern of Delta area.More detailed of is required thefragments analysis redandbrown to ascertain of and their exactuse. Due tothecolour thestone the quartzite, of presence so many chips,it couldbe possiblethatthistypeof stonewas used to strike andcreate fire. The colours thestones, andorange-brown, alsohavebeen of red sparks may for A of and quartzite significant such a function. combination flints may also have than forthequartzite and theabsenceof tools,other generated sparks, accounting chips madefrom stone. the havebeenusedfor Someofthewhite pounders, may quartzite pebbles as havevery hardsurfaces. smooth, burnishing pottery they Lithics: majority theworked andchert The of from strata flint retrieved theupper fragments of Excavation weresmallflakes chips.Somemayhavebeenintended use without 3 for and
47 J. Eiwanger, Merimde-Benisaldme,III. Die Funde der jiingerenMerimdekultur(Mainz, 1992), 127-8, pls.

89-90,no. 111.168. 48Von derWay, 62-3. Buto I, 119-22and figs.

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2006

PREHISTORIC SETTLEMENT AT SAIS

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showed of but further (for examples signs retouching example, [3002]L.47) working, a few suchas twomicroblade andworked [3001]L.I and [3002]L.48. Although fragments, edges, Phase Sais III, no bifacial toolssurvived from arrowheads or onlya smallsampleof flint wouldseemtohaveexisted thelithic in A sickle bladeswerefound. discontinuity, therefore, andthissuggests lithic that at as intheLate Neolithic Fayum, technology Sais was industry, as at Further the within Chalcolithic-Lower Egypt phase, determined Maadi.49 analysis may and connections thewestor to of the determine origin therawmaterials so demonstrate south. therewere the bones of cattle,C/amw-catfish, the faunalmaterial Fauna: Amongst In as the and Synodontis pigs,someof whichwereidentifiable juvenileanimals. general, much andblackening in somecases,bones with was boneassemblage burned and, charring to whitened exposure heat. were by completely and recovered fromthe of Flora: Fragments charcoalwere noted in the excavation which couldnotbe more charred cereal with environmental remains, definitely along sample domestic that wasoncean areacontaining thedatasuggested this identified. waste, Initially, of other wasteimply thelimited and of the quantities although lownumbers macrofossils If wastecontext. so, wastemaynothave been dumped thatthiswas nota highdensity cleared the couldhavebeenperiodically on awayfrom site. frequently theareaor material an havebeentoopoorto provide adequatesample.50 conditions simply Preservation may cut a Contexts Post-hole: [3003] [3004] and [3007] formed post-hole into and through at The at 20 cmbelowthetopof thecontext. pitwas 64 cm deepand oval-shaped starting consisted a mid-brown, of andthefill in [3003]as a darker thetop.It appeared sandy patch a a rib, longsherds, quartzite pounder, largemammal mammal pottery clay.It contained seed.The sedgeseed a sedgeseedanda flax fish a bonesanda scapula, donkey tooth, bones, it but of the vegetation becauseof thesmallsample, is difficult suggests presence wetland The or of the conclusions to draw regarding use of reedsin buildings thecultivation flax.51 below. be to than related thecontexts aboverather into fallen thepitfrom rubbish have may of on and decoration thepottery thepresence the The jar Summary: closed types, impressed from Sais is very and thematerial of are 'bricks' diagnostic Buto Stratum theburnt II, from Sais includes of The smallrange pottery in similar every openbowls, types respect.52 the verybasic Buto-Maaditypes.The lithics closedjars and largetrays, representing can a thebladetoolandmicroblade and, industry while smallsample, be compared represent ButoStratum I and Maadi. from to that I/I
Non-settled phase [ 3005]-[ 3006]

sediment lensesof alluvial Both[3005]and [3006]wererelatively consisting unproductive brown silt or of a yellow grey remains, layer overlying organic sandy witha fewpreserved in of sediment themud amounts silty The material. large cultural human [3008]containing the and action that earlier that wassediment phasesof the by deposited flood suggested this in the before areawas resettled theButo-MaadiPeriod.53 for sitehad beenflooded a time, here oncegrew that from wet-sieved from roots Mineralised [3005]suggest plants samples or Charred waterlogged conditions. semi-arid in but did not thrive the prevailing plant
49 K. Schmidt,'Tell el-Farain/Buto el-Tell el- University Durham,2002),4.22, table7. of and 51Cotton, PlantMacrofossil Assessment, table8. 4.23, Iswid (South): The Lithic Industries from the 52 See the diagnostic table of von der Way, in to Chalcolithic theEarlyOld Kingdom', vanden Brink 19 Abb. 5. 32. Untersuchunsen, (ed.), TheNile Delta in Transition, 53See page 101 fordetailed 50J.Cotton, discussion. Sais Plant Macrofossil Assessment, 2002, Services for report theEES, Archaeological (unpublished

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90

PENELOPE WILSON
North 1 [3004] ) sump Platform

JEA 92

I pity
/

/
/

/^

"
^

(for access)

V^[3007]/

■ 4m-

1

1

-J I
I

I
■ **

3m / / /
I / / / 2m / / / / / /

[3003] / / I

y

/,-] r^^ w
3 / fsamme sherd scatter [3008] \ \ \v

[3oo5]
^

-

dnlinage channel

JJ, LJ .
lm 2m 3m

4m

1\ '

Fig. 7. Excavation3, Phase Sais II, Middle to Late NeolithicPeriod.

of macrofossils werenot foundin the environmental sample,and the aerobicconditions the enviroment of have led to the degradation organicmatter. Context[3006] did containa may small quantityof burntbone, but the size of the sample meantthatits origincould not be identified.54 Phase Sais II, Later Neolithic[3008]-[3014] (figs.7-8) Context[3008] consistedof a distinctive layer10-15 cm thick,witha lens of concentrated materialrunningnorthto south at the westernside of the trench.The edge of the scatter the mayalignwiththepost-holeto thenorth, [3004] and [3007], perhapssuggesting edge of some sortof structure. thispit seems to descend fromthe upper Phase Sais III, it may As More likelycontext[3008] was a mass of occupational simplybe a coincidental alignment. debrisfrom side of a structure, the to area; it mayevenhave pushed together clearitscentral been the top of a pile of domesticwaste.The layerranunderthe sandy-loam moundof the
54 Cotton,Plant Macrofossil 4.24-5 and Assessment, table8.

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2006

PREHISTORIC SETTLEMENT AT SAIS

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and bone layer[3008]. Fig. 8. Compacted pottery

The thick phase [3006] and into the easternside of the trench. previousnon-settled on top of [3015],an Early was clearly concentration material of lying forming [3008] in of of that was Neolithic activity context, suggesting there a period abandonment human in Finepottery it backintouse later. thearea, that wasbrought but predominated fragments were collected a few from layer, this ofthesamples theenvironmental only although analysis no from excavation. the samplescollected, Despite the largesize of the environmental to it in werepreserved them,making difficult interpret waterlogged plantmacrofossils as evidence an insitusettlement.55 of context [3008] in smallpitswereidentified Phase Sais II: [3009]and fill[3010];[3011] Threepossible whether were to It wasnotpossible determine andfill and[3013]andfill they [3014]. [3012]; had which filled or small tree up pot post-holes, root-holes, emplacements smalldepressions from material. of thesamples One or with darker coloured debris organic [3013]contained but that fish waste, itwas charcoal, boneand pottery suggesting itwas domestic fragments, constituents. the morelikely be from top of context to [3016],whichhas verysimilar witha fewexamplesof barleyand wheatand of emmer-wheat Charred glumes grains fuel that of (Tamarix suggested thiswaswastefrom spp) charcoal fragments tamarix-wood of a Somemallow suggestingmixture wildand (Malva) seedswerealso identified, burning. of or possibly disturbance thelocalflora.56 domestic plants, sherd relative and had thegreatest of number sherds the Pottery: [3008]produced largest from of In the of all of thecontexts.57 addition, smallsplinters pottery fragments the density to had that of of wet-sieving thesediments [3008]suggested thematerial beenexposed erosion
55Cotton, m2 PlantMacrofossil [3003] 1754/10 = Assessment, table9. 4.25, Thus, forthe threemaincontexts: 56Cotton, m2 m2 PlantMacrofossil Assessment, table9. 4.27, 174; [3008] 1578/2.5 = 631; and [3015] 887/2.5 = 57Sherddensity calculated dividing num- 354. the was by of berof sherds an estimate thevolumeof thecontext. by

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92

PENELOPE WILSON

JEA 92

to intosmallfragments. had of or disturbance somekindwhich causedthepottery degrade 2-10), perhaps [3008]. Manyof the vesselsseem to have been open bowls(forexample, Most of thepolishwas lostfrom pottery the and withexternal internal polish. originally a a but was with handand due surfaces tosaltaction water erosion, often small patch visible had Somefew sherds did sherd vessel oncebeenburnished. and the that whole lens, indicating and Therewere a of and their retain red, including brown black. polish were variety colours, had on a fewclosedvesselsherds example, 11-14),which also beenpolished the (for [3008]. The vessels were most ovoidvessels with high a redincolour. and outside were likely usually from of exterior sherds, open-form or cups polish.Therewerea number smallfine-ware from andperhaps one as wellas a few rims bread closed containers smaller trays ([3008].15-16) on The crucible 1, patches theoutside. open rim,[3008]. a thick-walled, vesselwithburnt Merimde Level II onwards, but to is vesseltypes similar thosefrom of pottery repertoire bowl it to The to distinctive relate exactly anyone stratum. polished without very anything closer theEl Omari to bowltypes from areperhaps Sais vessels closed and types thick-walled there vessels at Sais,whereas ware III-V.58 forms VII-X andclosed predominate Untempered ware from Level II onward. Sais this At to is a distinct change straw-tempered at Merimde evolved is closer and perhaps that indicate thePhaseSais II layer temporally from, to, may of of and absence decoration lackof variety forms The overall PhaseSais I (see pp. 93-5). and at at to at found Sais is alsosimilar thelater phases Merimde tothose El Omari. were numerous59 in there were found context No [3008], though objects Objects: identifiable a someblackandwhite and of red,yellow brown quartzite pieces, few quartzite, fragments couldhavebeen As in Phase Sais III, they flint and some and white grey pebbles. pebbles stonesand for or stoneworking may have been used both as striking the debrisfrom burnishing. in were lithic Threediagnostic Lithics: fragments found [3008].L.58 wasa pieceofa bifacial on bladewithone denticulated and sickle-sheen bothsides.It seemedto have sickle edge so it and brittle perhaps was and beenburnt thestone very worked, that wasdifficult poorly similar theflint flint perhaps is to bifacial scars.The distinctive theflake to see technology Periodandto the to Level II to V,dating theMiddleto LaterNeolithic the from Merimde into The bladewouldhavefitted a woodenhaft, tradition. sickle bifacial UpperEgyptian endofoneoftheterminal the either squared-off this with example piecesofthesickle being indicator thedate of It sickle stone.60 is an important of bladeorpart thecentral rectangular in at and of grainculture thistimeand perhaps thearea. There was also a of thislayer on with retouch theflake (L.58). fragment (L.57) and a microblade scraper but very well preserved were extremely Fauna: The animalbones fromthis context bonesandteeth, several other bovidscapula(fig. andskull A mineralised. large 9) alongwith that and adults juvenile mature andlegbonesfrom as wellas pigjaws animals, suggest there boneswere Someof themammal at animal wasconsiderable husbandry Sais at thisperiod. in had beencookedor processed somewayat thesite.There thatthey burnt, suggesting fish bonesfrom probably catfish bonesinthesample, also were fish nearby. caught including there was there onlyone identifiable mayhave sheepor goatbonein thiscontext, Although and here.Somesmallmammal fish of the beenother among splinters bonefound fragments the from boneswerealso retrieved wet-sieving environmental samples. in of becauseof thedensity thematerial thelayer Context [3008]is distinctive Summary: that[3008]represents This mayimply of occurrence pitsor post-holes. and thepossible
58 F. Debono and B. Mortensen, Omari (Mainz, El 1990),37. 59 was recovered 781 g. of The weight stonefragments 60As shownin Eiwanger, Merimde 55 fig.15. III,

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2006

PREHISTORIC SETTLEMENT AT SAIS

93

Fig. 9. Bovidscapulafrom [3008].

the some kind of settlement samples layer, although lack of grainfromthe sediment which a the this mayrepresentstratum Alternatively layer mitigates against interpretation. of was originally muchthicker and was leftexposedto the effects sun and wind and discernible no into the eroded, compressing material a densebandwith clearly consequently and decayed, material would have degraded perhaps layers.Any organic archaeological of conditions the in not colourations the sediment visiblein the water-logged leaving settlement of remains a oncethicker the excavation. Context [3008]mayrepresent deflated and sheepor goats and keptcattle, the inhabitants whichcultivated of pigs grain layer, fauna. riverine Neolithic Period.Theyalso livedofftheabundant the during Middle-Later of and of fences mud, which Theirhouses nothing except mayhavebeenconstructed wattle thesite'sabandonment. survived thepitsor post-holes following [3009]-[3014] PhaseSais I, EarlyNeolithic [3015]-[3016] (fig.10) above bone Context directly lying mud, silty-sandy containing andpottery [3015]comprised of Context [3016]was thelowerlimit theexcavation organic layer. [3016],a brown-black It of of andonlya smallportion itwasexcavated. is due totheencroachment ground water, of two-thirds thetrench. over that[3016]extended laterally thewholeof theeastern likely what and in The ceramic bonematerial itwascompacted dense, and resembling is expected as as was of in an undisturbed context. thickness thislayer considerable, far The settlement 13 cm deep. from smalltestpit,whichshowedthatit was at least a couldbe determined 14 with downwards 20 cm of blackcarbonised PhaseSais I continued material, cmof light sand. The environmental a blackband and a layerof light-coloured samplefrom sand, bones of with material context onlya smallnumber fish very fine-grained [3016]contained the from samples. or seedswereobtained butno charcoal left after fragments wet-sieving unless area if had material wouldbe expected this beena domestic with Somecharred waste, from material do conditions not maketheirsurvival the preservation possible.Further the Excavation mayresolve issue. 8 Phase Sais I, from the waresamongst pottery of The Pottery: preponderence untempered that in to relative that PhaseSais II, contexts contexts suggests [3008]-[3014], [3O15]-[3O16] sherd distinct 96-8). There was one diagnostic thetwophasesare culturally pottery (pp. in werefound motif to Parallels thisdecorative with fish-bone a motif. from incised [3016]

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94

PENELOPE WILSON
North Pit sump ]

JEA 92

Uooyt3007] ^~"^^
1\ \ - r7 I [3016]

L-5U13J

OT


m

4m..

3m

^-^

V-- \ rn /
\ ^-^*" \ Test

/

bovid scapula

x

\

pit

Bones /

/

^

" 2m-

\ \

[3015]

"* I
lm " ^ " "

/ c^skuii
/f5(\l0] [3009]

> ^animal

C^il2]
t3011]

[3015]

lm

2m

3m

4m

Period. Neolithic Fig. 10. Excavation PhaseSais I, Early 3,

betweenMerimde factors levelsat MerimdeLevel I.61One of the distinguishing theearliest untilLevel II.62 wareswerenot attested monochrome Levels I and II was that greypolished The sherdsof red and greypolishedwaresfoundin [3015]- [3016] at Sais can be identified ware and, along with the sherd with fish-bonedecoration, as bichromeor multi-coloured suggestthatPhase Sais I is similarto the EarlyNeolithicMerimde Level I material. sherdsare frombowls ([3015].3-7 and [3016]. 1-5), withsome large Most of the pottery vessels represented([3015].1-2) and some smaller, finer bowls amongst the material ([3015].8 and [3016].6). Sherd [3015].9 seems to have come froma small bowl withstraight circles sides and a carinated(keel) shoulder.The upper partwas decoratedwithconcentric sherdcannotbe foundat Merimde,but applied by hand to the rim.A directparallelto this as basin or bowl is attested of there,63 well as an exampleof the generalform flat-bottomed
62 Eiwanger, 61J.Eiwanger, II. I. Die Merimde-Benisaldme,Die Fundeder J. Merimde-Benisaldme, Fundeder Merimdekultur (Mainz, 1988), 15-17. Ursicht (Mainz, 1984), nos. 1.330-421,pls. 18-21 and mittleren 63Forexample, Merimde 1.427-31, 21. Merimde 40 fig.9. I, pl. Eiwanger, III, Eiwanger, summary

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Fig. 11. Jawboneof a pig from[3015].

of to seemed be theresult a a sharper of of The decoration carination theshoulder a jar.64 of thanhaving beencausedbythedifferential deliberate rather weathering application clay, lines.Thereis horizontal theeffect incised of of horizontally burnished pottery, producing a a also one large sherd from large [301 perhaps storage with closedmouth, 5].10. jar smallchipsandfragments in were No wereidentified PhaseSais I, butthere Objects: objects in 337 of red,yellow brown and totalling g in [3015]and 161 g in quartzite bothcontexts, also of white The latter contained [3016]. chips quartz. and Fauna:The assemblage bonesfrom of juveniles mature pig [3015]included bonesfrom inaddition cattle animals to bones.Onlyonesheeporgoatbonecouldbe identified, 11) (fig. that the there suggesting thepig fragments, though mayhavebeenothers amongst smaller fat on for return meat, andhide reared wasthepreferred domesticated animal, perhaps a fast of of in theDelta marsh environment. presence largenumbers pig bonesat The products litters of their with females consisted mature of all levelsand thepossibility theherds that was thatpig husbandry well adaptedto and youngand onlyone or two boars suggest in in theconditions the Delta, in contrast thesituation thesouth-western to of practised fat of Some of thepottery havebeenused fortherendering animal in Fayumsites.65 may to and flat-bottomed containers which couldbe placedin hearths left boil.66 large to in and Fishbonesfrom were Synodontis-fish found thecontext weretheonlymaterial The of comefrom wet-sieving a sampleof the[3015]and [3016]matrices. boneswere the
64For example, Merimde 1.607,pl. 34. I, Eiwanger, 65 R. Wenke and M. Casini, 'The Epipaleolithicin in Neolithic Transition Egypt'sFayumDepression', L. and (eds), Late Prehistory Krzyzaniak M. Kobusiewicz of the Nile Basin and the Sahara (Studies in African 2; Archaeology Poznan,1989), 152. 66 evidence from for Thereis little pharaonic Egypt fat M. rendering: Serpicoand R. White,'Oil, Fat and Wax', in P. Nicholsonand I. M. Shaw (eds), Ancient Egyptian Materialsand Technology (Cambridge,2000), 390-429. of may Testingfortraces lardor tallowon pottery enable sites to be of the functions the vesselsfromsettlement of The identification uses of jars for understood. better beer milk/cheese, and breadhas been achievedso farby evithe positionof vesselsin tombsor representational et dence; see S. Hendrickx al., 'Milk, Beer and Bread the during EarlyDynasticPeriod',MDAIK Technology 58 (2002), 277-304.

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JEA 92

Fig. 12. Human male pelvis bone from[3015].

This mayhavebeendone boneshadbeenburnt. that or blackened, suggesting thefish their that but cooked overan openfire eating for when fish the were likely immediately, itis more or even either drying, for catches fish of couldhavebeenprepared storage, salting by large was of It that whole overfires.67 is alsopossible theflesh thefish removed smoke-drying fish the in dried meatorboiledthefish the which turn as fillets thebonesusedtostoke fires and downto a paste. and of a bonefrom species antelope a fragment The bonematerial included single also a socket near inflammation thethigh-bone of a malehumanpelviswithpathology showing (fig.12).68 motifsuggeststhat Phase Sais I is The diagnostic sherd with fish-bone Summary: with contemporary MerimdeLevel I, Early NeolithicPhase. It is not clear fromthe or the material froma settlement middenor was is excavatedarea at Sais whether that thehumanbone in [3015]suggests the action.The presence of redeposited river by if from elsewhere. is withmixeddebrisredeposited context a rubbish Alternatively, layer burialareas,as at and occupiedprevious settlements movedfrom theiroriginal position Therewasno debris. in then human remains sometimes found settlement be Merimde, may but in or visible evidence buildings thiscontext of stratified for sequences, thewater-logged Further conditions meantthatit was not possibleto gatherthis kind of information. area. excavations wouldbe required overa greater
67W. van Neer,E. Paulissenand P. M. Vermeersch, Prehistoric and Kobusiewicz(eds), Nile', in Krzyzaniak of Subsistenceand Environment the Late Late Prehistory theNile Basin,49-56; cf.comments at of 'Chronology, 2 Palaeolithic FishingSitesof Makhadma and 4', in P. M. S. Ikram, 'Meat Processing',in Nicholsonand Shaw 659-68. Materials and Technology, Vermeersch (ed.)> Palaeolithic Egyptian LivingSites in Upperand (eds),Ancient 68I am grateful Sonia Zakrewski thisidentificafor to Middle Egypt (Egyptian PrehistoryMonographs 2; Leuven, 2000), 281-6; W. Van Neer,'Fishingalong the tion.

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material aboutthePrehistoric Conclusions

thatthereare threeclear phases of Prehistoric, The evidencesuggests anthropogenic of waretypes further a in material the'GreatPit' areaat Sais. Analysis thepottery suggests and theupperstrata the between lowerstrata cleardivision [3OO3]-[3OO2]. [3O15]-[3OO8] with of into basicfabrics, couldbe divided four The wares category 'marl together a broader wares': Nile Ware1: straw-tempered silt Nile B2-C fineto coarse sand, occasionalstraw, from manure69 perhaps Ware3: coarsestraw-tempered Nile silt(breadtray) Nile C Nile Ware2: untempered silt Nile A-Bl Nile and Ware4: coarsestraw- stone-tempered silt Marl intodiagnostic nonand was sortedintowaresand thenseparated itself The pottery Periodpottery contain the from Buto-Maadi The PhaseSais III sherds types.70 diagnostic 1) than sherds sherds of a higher (ware2) (see untempered percentage straw-tempered (ware sherds of small table1). Therewas a surprisingly number coarsestraw-tempered (ware4), than or rather suchas largebreadtrays bricks forms to tended be from the though pottery couldalso include of and wereintrusive theupperparts thelayers sherds The marl vessels. made it but the erodednatureof the pottery a fewintrusive sherds, straw-tempered which descends all to [3004]is thefillof thepit impossible detect theLate Periodsherds. wares.The 'transition' of hencethehigher intothelowerlayers, proportion untempered withtheir muchhigher from material also contain below, layers may [3OO5]-[3OO6] layers coarsebreadtray in sherds. of Noteworthy [3006]are theheavier percentage untempered Context of thesein anyof the contexts. the highest percentage representing fragments, from gooda of the wares, coming percentage untempered 2) [3008](seetable reflects higher but this also the from features reflects trend, in sizedsample, PhaseSais II. The material the and [3016](table3) reflect BothPhase I contexts withmuchsmaller [3015] samples. of and of pottery the percentages coarsestraw-tempered percentage untempered higher to aresimilar all theearlier phases. pottery ware wareto straw-tempered from showtheshift overall The waretypes untempered The untempered and the Buto-MaadiPeriod pottery. the Neolithicmaterial between whichmayhavebeen included of straw, finepieces can by accidentally material contain of the or from fine oftheclaytovery chaff winnowing comefrom addition manure exposure was Coarsestraw used forlarger and to to theclaymixture improve elasticity malleability. the Periods,perhaps vessels and bread traysthroughout Neolithicand Predynastic to is withcoarsestraw related theuse of of the that manufacture larger objects suggesting on mudplaster reedwallsof structures. for mudas a building material, particularly distinct are that crude in The pottery phases manner, there three confirms, a very analysis while two the at thesiteand that earlier phasesSais I- II arerelated, of human occupation The in lithictechnology. and waresand forms in the Sais III phase is distinct pottery Periodstrata and the between Neolithic Buto-Maadi hiatus and temporal technical apparent
69I. Rizkanaand J.Seeher, of Maadi, I. The Pottery Settlement thePredynastic (Mainz, 1987),24-5. 70The pottery have not been harmonised typologies so LowerEgypt, thebasicforms Prehistoric for developed by Renee Friedmanand then employedby Barbara in Adamswereused as a guide:Adams,Excavations the listshave been 1-\1 Locality6 Cemetery, . Separateform III by published C. Kohler,Tellel-Farain-Buto, (Mainz, Maadi I, 33; and sum1998),86-90; Rizkanaand Seeher, Merimde 41, fig.11 and Debono maries Eiwanger, III, by El and Mortensen, Omari,37.

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raises further and questionsabout the changingenvironment the contextin whichpeople livedin thisparticular to locationfrom NeolithicPeriodthrough theButo-Maadi Period. the TABLE1. Percentages wares context Phase Sais III [ 3002]-[ 3007], Buto-MaadiPeriod of by for Context Warel Ware2 Ware3 Ware4 Marl Total sherds [3002] 77.2% 15% 5.2% 2% 0.6% 813 [3003] 80.5% 13.4% 2.9% 3.1% 0.1% 1754 [3004] 11.5% 88.4% 0.1% 104 [3006] 27% 68% 5% 304

TABLE2. Percentages waresbycontext Phase Sais II [3005], [3008]-[3014], Middle of for to Later Neolithic

Context

Warel Ware2 Ware3 Ware4 Total sherds

[3008]
10.7% 85.1% 3.9% 0.3% 1578

[3010]
100% 8

[3012]
83.3%

[3014]
37.5% 62.5% 8

16.7% 6

Table 3. Percentages waresbycontext Phase Sais I [3015]-[3016], Early Neolithic of for Context Ware1 Ware2 Ware3 Ware4 Total sherds [3015] 10.9% 83% 5.1% 1% 887 [3016] 7.4% 86.2% 2.4% 4% 207

and relativedatingof the Sais Prehistoric material Chronology
The Neolithic archaeological material from the Prehistoricexcavations at Sais has its closest parallels in that of the Merimde Neolithic culture. The site at Merimde Beni Salama is estimatedto have existed fromaround 4,800 to 4,400 BC71 (and perhaps later) and was a desert edge settlement with small communitieswho hunted and fished,and economies of the Fayum. The grewand processed crops,similarto the small agricultural main indicatorof a contemporaneous date of the Sais materialto thatat Merimde is the presence of the fishbone-inciseddecorated ware which would make Phase Sais I contemporarywith Merimde Level I.72 The principal excavator at Merimde, Josef Eiwanger,suggestedthatMerimde Level I (or Ur Level) dated to the sixthmillennium BC, partly on account of comparable material from Levantine Neolithic sites. The decorationis also foundon Yarmukianpottery fromsites such as Munhata in herringbone Palestine(fifth millennium onwards),73 Neolithic B level at Jericho,74 levels I-IV BC or the
71F. Hassan, 'RadiocarbonChronology Neolithic of and Predynastic Sitesin UpperEgypt and theDelta', The Review 3 (1985), 104-5; most AfricanArchaeological discussed S. Hendrickx, chronologie la 'La de recently by tardive des debutsde l'histoire l'Egypte', et de prehistoire Archeo-Nil (1999), 13-81. 9 72 Further examples have been recovered from Excavation in March-April 8 2005: Wilson, JEA 91, 4-8. 73An examplefrom Munhatais discussed O. Barby Yosef,'The Neolithic Period',in A. Ben-Tor(ed.), The Israel(Open University Israel, of Archaeology Ancient of 1992),36, fig.2.12. 74 H. Larsen, 'VierzierteTongefafi-Scherben aus Merimde-Benisalame der agyptischen in des Abteilung Mittelmeermuseums Stockholm', in 7 Orientalia (1959), 3-23.

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shows the herringbone at Hassuna (sixth millennium BC).75The pottery design in and or bandson theshoulder body the of bandsaround necks vessels in chevron horizontal but with do is The design impressed a broadtool, thevessels notseemtohave ofthevessels. from have also been reported the been burnished. Examplesof thistypeof decoration sixth millennium The dating BC.76 of datedtotheearly caveintheEastern Sodmein Desert, that would ofthe be BC millennium means theSais pottery to material thesixth theMerimde in for samedate.Thereare also implications the date of the arrival Egyptof Levantine in culture Merimde the and on Neolithic influences Fayumic and domesticates thecultural considers that of due sixth technology.77 Midant-Reynes millennium, tothedispersal farming the and between HelwanEpipalaeolithic FayumA in Level I belongs thehiatus Merimde Sais be that Neolithic I should in cultures thesixth millennium,78 suggesting theEarly again Level I, a bridging culture. Merimde and millennium making with datedtothesixth it, sites in Northern levelsat Prehistoric Absolutedates forcultural Egypt,including Buto, El Omari,Maadi and MinshatAbu Omar,have been suppliedfrom Merimde, and Buto,but theyhave not always radiocarbon provedto be samplesat bothMerimde strata datesofthedifferent atthesites(table Hassancollected with consistent therelative 4). of Periodup to 1985,andhisaverage the datesfrom Prehistoric radiocarbon andpublished thanEiwanger's later Level I and V is considerably BC79 Merimde original 4,800-4,400 for Level I basedon thepottery.80 BC millennium forMerimde of estimate thesixth Eiwanger the between but such discrepancies dates to be too recent the considered radiocarbon in levelsarenotunusual Ursicht the datesfor Merimde datesand absolute relative possible the range is from to latestcalibration When recalculated curves, according Egypt.81 of BC.82 shouldalso be notedthatonly a small number samplesfrom It 4,715-4,390 over the Merimdehave been testedand clearlywith a largerdatasetmore certainty be possible. dateswould radiocarbon for Butodatesare also problematic theButo-Maadiphasesas a whole The subsequent the calibration but for of a VonderWaysubmitted number samples testing, after 4). (table as markers wereunreliable that he and wereso variable inconsistent, concluded they results and contaminants long The ground dates.83 of fixed(absolute) conditions, chronological This the haveaffected finalresults.84 holdstrueforSais, forin the periodof burialmay which water water and household with Pit' 'Great areathesoilis waterlogged waste washing The salts.85 alkaline the has leacheddownfrom surrounding fields, containing irrigated thepointof beingfossilised, to almost 3 Excavation wereheavily bonesfrom mineralised, time in had happened theintervening them thatthechemical affecting process suggesting for little no collagen radiocarbon or Such bonesprovide and between deposition discovery.
75 Cited by H. Larsen, 'Die Merimdekeramik im Suecana 11 Orientalia Mittelmeermuseum Stockholms', 69-70. (1962),4-89, Jericho comparanda 76Hendrickx Vermeersch, Shaw (ed.), Oxford in and 36. Egypt, History Ancient of 77Fora summary thebroader see of picture Bellwood, The First Farmers,99-103; Shirai, Neo-Lithics1/05, 12-17. 78Prehistory Egypt, 108-11. of 79Hassan, The African Review3, 98. Archaeological out in The calibrations table2 werecarried usingthemost curve(2004). I of iteration the OxCal calibration recent am grateful to Andrew Millard, Department of for DurhamUniversity, hisadviceand assisArchaeology, tance. 80Eiwanger dated Level I to the secondhalf of the BC sixthmillennium (c. 5,500 BC), Level II to between to 5,500and 4,500BCand Level V corresponding Fayum A to c. 4,600 and 4,000 BC,summarised Hendrickx, by 18-19. Archeo-NU9, 81 M. A. Geyh, P. Munro and R. Germer,'Zur absolutenChronologiedes Alten Reiches und der 1. 14Cund nachkonventionellen kalibrierten Zwischenzeit Daten', SAK 16 (1989), 65-81; M. F. Pazdur and D. J. Calibrationof Radiocarbon Micczynska,'Probabilistic Northeastern Dates withSpecific Africa', Examplesfrom in Krzyzaniak, Kobusiewicz and Alexander (eds), 473-83. Environmental Change, 82UsingOxCal calibration curvesoftware (2004). 83Buto I, 81-3. The bonesampleswerein bad condialso materials and left carbon in them other little tionwith after seemedto havesuffered suchlongburial.The probin lemswithradiocarbon dating Egyptarenotedby Geyh et*L, SAK 16, 65-81. 84Geyhet al., SAK 16, 74-7. 85The testresults a watersamplefrom 'Great the of Pit' forJune2002 are as follows:HCO3- 58.2%, Na+ of concentrations 48.2% and Mg++ 40% are the highest ions;thepH is 8.2 and 992 Total DissolvedSalts(ppm) and courtesyof Zeinab Lotfi Belal, Sedimentological on Late Quaternary Studies the of Sequence Sa Geophysical Nile el Hagar Area Gharbiya Governorate, Delta-Egypt Mansoura University, (unpublishedMSc dissertation, 2004),44-61.

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100

PENELOPE WILSON
dates Table 4. Radiocarbon andcalibrated dates

JEA 92

Place Kafrel-Zayyat m 1.5 Kafrel-Zayyat m 7 Kafrel-Zayyat m 16.5 Merimde I Schicht I Merimde Schicht Merimde Schicht V Merimde Schicht V Merimde Schicht V ButoI KN 4015 ButoI-II KN 4016 Butolib KN 4220 Butolib KN 4446 Maadi R-1425 Maadi R-1426 Maadi R-1427 Maadi R-1428 El Omari3934 El Omari3933 El Omari3994 El OmariC-463 ButoArea Buto,HD Buto,HD Buto,HD Buto,HD Buto,HD Buto,HD MAO 9194-9071 9420-9214 9421-9232 9422-9233 9423-9253 9424-9254

Uncorrected date 1,690+/-80 BP 4,910+/-100bp 6,430+/-110 BP 5,830+/-60 BP 5,790+/-60 bp 5,590+/-60 BP 5,760+/-60 bp 5,440+/-75 BP 5,230+/-200 bp 3,800+/-600 bp 4,380+/-150bp 4,980+/-400 bp 4,860+/-70 bp 4,680+/-70 bp 4,900+/-70 bp 4,890+/-70 bp 5,500+/-65 BP 5,690+/-70 bp 4,790+/-60 bp 5,255+/-230 bp 5,690+/-130 bp 3,975+/-80 BP 4,595+/-55 bp 4,600+/-45 bp 6,135+/-75 bp 6,810+/-140bp 5,610+/-45 bp 5,870+/-70 bp 4,020+/-70 bp 5,720+/-80 bp

date Calibrated AD 130-540 BC 4,000-3,500 BC 5,650-5,200 BC 4,830-4,540 BC 4,780-4,500 BC 4,530-4,340 BC 4,730-4,460 BC 4,450-4,050 BC 4,340-3,790 bc 3,030-1,510 bc 3,330-3,220 BC 3,150-2,890 BC 4,240-3,350 BC 3,800-3,510 bc 3,640-3,330 bc 3,810-3,620 bc 3,810-3,520 4,360+/-120bc 4,540+/-180BC 2,840+/-60 bc 4,110+/-260 bc BC 4,850-4,250 BC 2,750-2,200 BC 3,520-3,260 bc 3,520-3,310 bc 4,250-3,700 BC 5,930-5,480 bc 4,530-4,350 bc 4,910-4,540 bc 2,900-2,300 bc 4,730-4,360

Source 86 Smithsonian 86 Smithsonian 86 Smithsonian OxCal Eiwanger; OxCal Eiwanger; OxCal Eiwanger; OxCal Eiwanger; OxCal Eiwanger; vonderWay vonderWay vonderWay vonderWay vonderWay Caneva;OxCal Caneva;OxCal Caneva;OxCal Caneva;OxCal Debono,Mortensen Debono,Mortensen Debono,Mortensen Debono,Mortensen Wunderlich Andres, Wunderlich Andres, Wunderlich Andres, Wunderlich Andres, Wunderlich Andres, Wunderlich Andres, Wunderlich Andres, Wunderlich Andres, Wunderlich Wunderlich

as the from Buto.This illustrates the dating, seemsto havebeenthecase with bonestested need to understand processes workin Egyptian the at conditions the of before results radiocarbon can be appliedconfidently absolute for in thePrehistoric Period. dating dating OtherPrehistoric Northern siteshavealso provided with radiocarbon dates, Egyptian theearliest levelsat Maadi giving maximum a of between and 3,330BCandan 3,800 range of whilethosefrom Omarihavegiven daterange 4,720to 2,780 El a of average 3565BC,86 BC(table4).87In theFayum, Kozlowski Ginter and haveidentified early an phaseof Early Neolithic withlithicartefacts similar thoseof the Merimdeculture from to Fayumian,
86All of the dates come fromcharcoalsamples: I. and 'Excavations at Caneva,M. Frangipane A. Palmieri, Maadi', in Krzyzaniakand Kobusiewicz (eds), Late of Prehistory theNile, 289-90(withcalibrations). 87 Dates from charcoal samples from El Omari: Debono and Mortensen, Omari 81 (withcalibrations). El ,

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101

The and a Late NeolithicMoerianphase from3,500 BC onwards.88 4,800 BC onwards from datescollected Ginter radiocarbon Qasres-Saghaandanalysed Hassansuggest by by Periodranging between withthe EarlyNeolithic shouldbe earlier, thattheseestimates Periodranging between 4,275 5,230+/-50 BCand4,455+/-110 BCandtheLate Neolithic The evidence theLowerEgyptian Fayum for and 170BCand4,030+/-95 BC(table 4).89 +/the the Neolithic from late to can cultures be tabulated showthat Fayumian Neolithic Early in culture itsearly and with was millennium contemporary theMerimde sixth stages theEl in fourth millennium all Omariculture, of them (c. terminating thevery early apparently the of The Maadi culture, then,continues development the Lower BC).90 4,000-3,900 clearconnections c. Periodfrom 3,800-3,300 with the after Neolithic culture BC, Egyptian withtheLevant.The Buto-Maadiphasesat Butofrom trade to theeastthrough 3,500BC Periods.91 and into continue thePredynastic EarlyDynastic then us from Sais can onlyassist in a limited to understand evidence The stratigraphical way Thereis a layer around of Period. to from cultural developments theNeolithic Buto-Maadi the theNeolithic material providing and in 40 cmofalluvium contexts sealing [3005]-[3006] around3,500BC.If therateof Buto-Maadiresettlement, levelforthesubsequent ground that to were sedimentation limited theaverage Butzer, is,1.45mmeachyear,92 by suggested Buto-Maadiphase would have taken275 yearsto and the the layerbetween Neolithic The rateof this whichmayaffect figure. of There are a number variables accumulate. in thislocation havevariedfrom of and volume sediment yearto may deposited flooding over time.In of to of for from deposit sediment a short neglible a period time a heavy year, and has been subjectedto abandonment the dense Neolithicstratum [3008] addition, and and abradedby winderosion beenexposed surface with having deflation, theground of of The the sun drying before flooding. length theperiodof deflation theland surface material between lastNeolithic the of the so that length time be cannot estimated, however, but at Sais and thatof theButo-MaadiPeriodcan onlybe said to be at least300 years, or as as much 1,000years more. possibly Neolithic Predynastic to from the between transition coincidence Thereis an apparent from an the half of the fourth in culture Lower Egyptin the first millennium, switch side to the in theDelta from western theeastern andthehiatus inhuman activity emphasis from this at record Sais apparently in thearchaeological covering precisely time.It is likely there abandonment was stratum the that evidence after Sais II Neolithic thearchaeological the before areawas 300 for of deflation thesandleveeandflooding around years ofthis area, there millennium half that reinhabited 3,500BC.This suggests in thefirst of thefourth by of and thena resumption regular low floods, of aridity, was a period perhapscausing in to the that mainstimulus agricultural Hassanalsonotes inundations. developments Egypt afterc. 6,700 BP (that is c. 4,750 BC).93 have been a period of severearidity may the towards the of conditions havecausedmovement peoplefrom desert Environmental may around500 years.The small the possibly Delta, fora periodlasting Nile, and therefore that to AbuOmaralsoseems suggest there Minshat from evidence of amount environmental the Delta between endof itsNeolithic of in wasa hiatus occupation thissitein theeastern of As a result the workat Sais and otherLower and the Predynastic sequences. phase
88 J. K. Kozlowski and B. Ginter,'The Fayum in in Neolithic theLightof New Discoveries', Krzyzaniak and Kobusiewicz of (eds), Late Prehistory theNile Basin, 157-79. 89 Hassan, The AfricanArchaeological Review 3, 105-6. 90Noticedby B. Mortensen, 'Carbon-14Dates from El Omari', in R. Friedmanand B. Adams (eds), The Followers Horus. StudiesDedicatedto Michael Allen of (Oxbow MonographSeries 20; Oxford,1992), Hoffman 173-4. 91For a summary Midant-Reynes, see of Prehistory Egypt,264 Chart 4, althoughthis is predicatedupon sixth in culture Merimde millennium; beginning theearly based upon W. Kaiser, 'Zur Sudausdehnung der Deltakulturen und zur friihen vorgeschichtlichen MDAIK 41 (1985), 61-87. Entwicklung Oberagyptens', 92See n. 9. 93 F. Hassan, 'Toward a Model of Agricultural in Egypt',in L. Krzyzaniak Developments Predynastic and and M. Kobusiewicz (eds), Origin EarlyDevelopment Culturesin North-Eastern Africa of Food-Producing 1; Archaeology Poznan,1984),222. (Studiesin African

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the occurred in conditions it that major a during sites, seems Egyptian change environmental whichhad and for Neolithic withimplications communities settlements Period,perhaps to at been established there.For example, settlement Sais withits connections the the it and western desert was edgeat Merimde abandoned theareaof the'GreatPit' in which and for least300 years, probably at had beensituated notinhabited was more, the by again at to whohadtheir links thenorth Butoandtothe cultural peopleoftheButo-Maadi group south Maadi andthence at eastward Palestine. to The local environment the Sais Prehistoric material of In order reconstruct ancient to in the environmentwhich peoplelivedat Sais andtoexamine of theeffects thelocalriver aroundSais a series of on of system theecosystem theregion was madeacrossthe transects shallow drillaugersand a fewdeep drillaugers comprising Sa zonessuchas the'GreatPit' and Kom around el-Hagar, region archaeological including of with array an Rebwato thenorth Sa el-Hagar. of drillcoreswerecombined The deeper tobe Vertical Electrical in order enable buried to the layers Resistivity geological soundings in The aim was to relate reconstructed a moresensitive manner archaeological (fig.13).94 data the material from drillcoresand Excavation in the'GreatPit' to theenvironmental 3 and to beginto reconstruct palaeoenvironmenttheareain order assesstheimpact to the of in of thelocalDelta environment thepossibilities practicalities human settlement on and of theSais region. Excavation3 were The layersof sediments and geologicalconditions underlying the levelof twodrillaugers.Drill auger(core) 15 was madefrom ground by investigated andcore60 wasdrilled thenorth-eastern 3 atthelevel Excavation 3 in corner Excavation of where work stopped. and The results from material core15 showed sediments the the beneath archaeological The of therefore indicate conditions thetime the occurred. upperstrata at whensettlement core15 matched phasesof thecontexts Excavation closely in The upperLate the 3 14). (fig. Periodcontexts and material rootclasts, [3000]and [3001]weredistinguished organic by the as from presence partof thepoolin the'GreatPit'. Context of perhaps [3003]appeared a concentration pottery of The around 40% of thecorematerial. context layer comprising in occurred lowerin thedrillcore,but thismayhavebeen due to thedifference slightly of thecoreand section, contours thelayer the the of and thewayin which auger position itself pushmaterial can downthedrill but hole.The alluvial layer [3006]wasnotso distinct, wasa bandwithout human material thecore, [3008]wasa distinct in cultural and significant concentration anthropogenic of The blackstaining material. lowerin thecorerepresented thedarkorganic of bandsof brown alluvium layers [3016].Alternating gavewayto black at a depthof around5 m, and between m and 7.28 m there a was 6.5 silty clay(5Y 2.5/2) bandofheavy a from with gritty texture. Somepottery aboveseemed brown-orange staining to have fallenintothe augerhole of core 15 and cannotbe regarded indicating an as at thislevelwithout further evidence. anthropogenic layer Core60 beganatthecharcoal/carbon layer underneath rich 14), [3016](fig. which [3015]contained bonesandsomepottery. fish totheauger this was1.5m indepth, data, According anditwasthelasthuman in seems therefore to cultural material reached thecore.The layer
94The deep drillworkat Sais was undertaken a by teamfrom of University Mansoura, begunbythelateProf. MahmoudGamiliand continued Prof. Adamel-Shahat by and Dr Hosni Ghazala, withanalysesof sediments and for by interpretations Zeinab LotfiBelal. I am grateful their to contribution theworkand fortheir in assistance the interpreting data. The geoarchaeological implications havebeenpublished preliminary - H. Ghazala,A. in form R. el-Shahat, Adel,P. Wilsonand Z. Belal,'Geoelectrical around Sa el-Hagar Archaeological Site, Investigations Nile The Governorate, Delta,Egypt', Journal of Gharbiya and Mansoura 32/1 Geology Geophysics, University (2005), from 121-37. The shallowdrillaugerswereundertaken 1997 to 2005 by members the Sais teamand are pubof lishedinpartinWilson, Survey Sais, 177-204.I am The of to AbdelAziz,Angus grateful Daniel Lines,Mohammed Graham,GregoryGilbertand the Mansourateam for their discussion thedata. of

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PREHISTORIC SETTLEMENT AT SAIS

103

made across the Sa eland deep drilledboreholes, FlG. 13. Map of VerticalElectricalSounding transects and area (afterLotfi Belal, Sedimentological Geophysical Studies,63, fig.5.1). Hagar

it at the humanactivity the site,though was a denselayerand probably represent first of sediment consisted a seriesof greyseveral distinct The underlying comprised phases. The sandwas too the was bandsin which material fineand wellsorted. brown, sandy-silt leveeor river a to butwas morelikely be from sandy fine be thePleistocene to sand, gezira A bandof ironoxidebrownaction. in sandreworked theHolocenePeriodby river gezira a the seemsto complement core 15 layerand together theymayreflect orangestaining to to of aridity, whenfluvial sandswereexposed theairandoxidised causethestain. period removed couldhavebeensubsequently Someofthestaining thesandwithin and suchlayers and a windaction.95 The arid periodfollowed periodof marshy lagoonalconditions by Silt of the which a layer peatsome6.5 m beneath baseof theexcavation. andthen left thick, withanaerobic channel the of blackmudbelowthislevelsuggested presence a deep water withsediment and filled musthave been abandoned conditions. The channel, therefore, The endofthecore, of was the before shallow a or creating layer peat. lagoon marsh formed, it 9.15 m belowtheexcavation, extends backintotheHolocene, although was notpossible
95 A. el-Shahat et al., Journal of Geology and 79-119. MansouraUniversity 32/1, Geophysics,

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104

PENELOPE WILSON
North section Excavation 3 Core 15 Ground level -Great western Pit1 side

JEA 92
Sea-level heights

nSr50-9723mir*i-» -1.5599 m
noon *" LJUU1J Si-C
clav * [30031 ">p: [3005] *^ [3006] [3015]

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blackpatches

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I TZ A+ I2.5Y4/2

l$$ffi - _\m „ OA^n Sa-Si P°tflecks AAA _EJ-2.2069m
sandy 2.5Y4/2 - -2m Si-Sa black stain • --3m
clayband 5Y2.5/2 4m

* • A * AAA A•

AA AA* Sa-Si A
2.5Y3/2 • blackmott. 2.5Y4/2 *

Si-Sa
2.5Y3/2

Sa-C q Sa-C Sa-Si 2.5Y4/2 #hr orange*™4 br.-orange
2'5Y3/2 '

Si"C • C
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br. stain -orange blockage A ***
'

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mott

7.28 m ~" ~^m

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5Y3/1

#sand ■ peat 5Y4/1 m(tt. [br.-orange

i

Sa-C black C

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sherds Pottery cu root Sharp, clasts Rounded clasts organics bone

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9.15 m
Excavation section. 3 with cores15 and60,compared FlG. 14. Lithographic of drill logs

J-llm

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2006

PREHISTORIC SETTLEMENT AT SAIS

105

1 FlG. 15. Map of drillcore transects to 3 at Sa el-Hagar.

of levels toestimate dateof thislevelbasedon sedimentation alone.The presence a river the local the river leveeillustrates changing thenmarshand finally thenfloodplain, channel, in theareaovera long due to variable levelsand riverine sea environment, systems perhaps out carried as partof a project The Institute database drill of augers, period.96 Smithsonian about20 km tostudy levelandcoastal sea records auger, one S.86,at Kafr el-Zayyat, changes, of from depth 16.5m,at a dateswereobtained to thesouthof Sa el-Hagar.97 Radiocarbon of of what regarded thebeginning theHolocene was as levels, 6,430+/-110 BPand4,910+/BC to 100 BP at 7 m in depth,calibrated 5,650-5,200 and 4,000-3,500BC respectively
96If an average sedimentation of 1.4 mmof sedi- Delta Drill Core and Sample Database for 1985-1994: rate Smithsonian Basin (MED IB A) Program', ment deposited eachinundation, thecorecould Mediterranean was at then 36 to ContributionstheMarineSciences (1996), 198-200. thatis,dateto 10,500BC. represent to 6,500years, up 97D. J. Stanley, McRea and J. C. Waldron,'Nile J.

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106

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JEA 92

of final to of augercouldbe related thecorrected depth core (table4). The depth thefirst of settlement nature the 'GreatPit' can be the 60, but it is notclearwhether disturbed sitein Kafrel-Zayyat. to a possibly virgin meaningfully compared of 3 boththe extent the area of Excavation confirmed in Transects98 the immediate The transects have form theearly of and material thepossible Prehistoric landscape 15). (fig. the listed core individual lithographic with cores from beenreconstructed thefollowing logs, from westto east: in order 1 Transect (fig.16): Augers A, 40, 39,C, 217,30,28, E, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92. B, 2 Transect (fig. Augers 29, 27, 16,203,26, 36,25, 11, 12,13, 14,97,96, 95, 94,93. 31, 17): 3 Transect (fig. D, 18): Augers 69, 76, EBA B3, 177,79, 107,H. of the and Baseduponthetransects VES survey, underlying geomorphology theareacan leveeto thewestof the'GreatPit', be reconstructed 19). Therewas oncea fine-sand (fig. The the whichcomprises modern withthe alluvialsilty-sand covered agricultural layer. side that of layer silthereis thinand it maybe significant thewestern of theSa el-Hagar of Rosetta branch theNile,is nowusedfor the andespecially areabesidethemodern area, to branch thewestof Excavation and Therewasan ancient deepriver cultivation. banana 3, as to south-east north-west, shownby theblue-black from in a channel running perhaps channels causedbya dropinsea level incised mudinit.It couldhavebeenoneofthedeeply Pleistocene the BP." It cutthrough underlying around the 18,000 years during lastglaciation to a havecreated deepbendin thechannel thenorthsandandmayeither medium-grained of in somewhere thevicinity themodern northward westof the'GreatPit' or continued as fine The reworked, sandy-silt havebeendeposited thischannel a branch. Rosetta by may havemeandered channel theancient of thebend.100 leveeon theoutside may Alternatively, river bendof another leveeor a pointbar on theinsideof a meander arounda previous due havebeenformed branch Rosetta of The to branch thewest.101 course themodern may its event:once waterescapesfrom a movement to channel (avulsion)following crevasse of leveeto thewestof Sais), a network in a bed channel (through crevasse thebordering one and thenfinally channels intofewer, channels larger coalescing gradually develops, channels the at The newchannel Sais wouldhaveeroded splayof minor channel. dominant with associated channel sediment and thecrevasse also someof theminor through running avulsion earlier stages.102 a hill side of the sandy-silt seemsto have provided Sais At Prehistoric the eastern to in branch a newchannel the Period.Withtheriver theNeolithic area settlement during from the westof thesandhill,theeastern slopeof thehillmayhavebeenmoreprotected After the an areaof dryhighground of theriver during flood. channel, providing flooding and water theinundation, mayhavebeenheldin themarshes basinson theeastsideof the shallowpondswherefishcould be 'GreatPit', creating in river, thearea of themodern the but had the timeafter inundation subsided before poolsand basins in caught thebrief in marsh had ofwater dried A water-logged mayhaveexisted theareaof the'GreatPit'. up. becauseof a seasonal cameto thesandy settlers that This suggests theearliest highground months until thewinter and at throughout beginning theendof September lasting anomaly shallow,swampy deoxygenated, prefers earlyin the next year. Clarias (Nile catfish)
98The transects are 50. (i.e. deep drillaugersmade by Environments, The Nile branches meandering comprise with and so mayact in thismanner, A-D and H), and movetheir team(letters position) theMansouraUniversity of into cutting leveeson theoutside thebend shallowaugersmade by the Sais Projectand Egyptian themeander finesand as a point-bar and depositing depositon the core Building Authority B3. 99 accreteupon the pointbar in an in and Andres Wunderlich, vanden Brink (ed.), The inside.The sediments inclined 163. Nile Delta in Transition, gradient. 102 Collinson, in Reading (ed.), Sedimentary 100 Collinson, in Reading (ed.), Sedimentary 49 53. Environments,and fig.3.17. Environments, 101 Collinson, in Reading (ed.), Sedimentary

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2006

PREHISTORIC SETTLEMENT AT SAIS

107

I
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108

PENELOPE WILSON

JEA 92

rV _ # siSaSi

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2 Transect

2. from of Fig. 17. Reconstructionpalaeotopography Transect

catfishwere caught in late such as those describedabove. In the Fayum103 environments springto earlysummerwhen the inundationwaterswere low,leavingthe fishstrandedin waterswerehigh shallowpools, and betweenthe summerto autumn,when the inundation and the fishwere spawning.At both times they could have been most easily caught by is or Synodontis a deep waterfishwhich could be spearing,netting by hand. By contrast, capturedin the riverfromboats by spearingor netting. During the Late Neolithic Period, the floodplainnear Sa el-Hagar could have been area of to exploitedfurther theeast forthe cultivation emmerwheatand flax.The marshier would have supportedan abundance of grasses,weeds and reeds which could have been this for managedas pastureland pigs and cattle.Perhaps due to a spell of increasedaridity was If in dryconditions. habitation locationwas abandoned,leavingitto be deflated specific around Sais, it mayhave movedto the south,wheretherewas stillpossiblein the floodplain and Basyun(fig. or to thenorthat Kom Rebwa (the Northern a largesand hill at Qodaba 13) A sand hill.104 change in the flood regime, Enclosure,fig. 2) where therewas a further Alluvialsediment seemsto have had a double effect. thefourth millennium, during probably
103 Brewer, Model forResourceExploitation in drillaugersin the Kom Rebwaarea,but it has notbeen 'A D. in and Kobusiewicz datedprecisely; for of see, example, Wilson,TheSurvey the Prehistoric Fayum',in Krzyzaniak Sais, core73, 185; core63, 187. Late Prehistory theNile Basin,127-37. of (eds), 104 from has Some Prehistoric pottery been collected

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2006

PREHISTORIC SETTLEMENT AT SAIS

109

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floodwater either caused due side the covered eastern of thesand-bar, perhaps to increased doubled amount the to a or floods coming through secondchannel theeastwhich byhigher that meant theareawasnot The and andsediment. newchannel intensive ofwater flooding This the for suitable sustained mayhave during inundation. process settlement, particularly for continued over300years. ' an and side the Later, landon thewestern of the GreatPit' wasexposed againprovided culture of the people.Theymayhave highareafor resettlement theButo-Maadi adequate afield. much further area within immediate orhavecomeinfrom the distance a short moved on of somedenselater also transects record The drill settlement, particularly layers human the side of the Sa el-Hagararea,between 'GreatPit' and theQodaba Canal. theeastern times theeastof theQodaba Canal,now to in channel morerecent Therewas also a water of channel thecontrolled an no longer irrigation extant, representing oldernatural perhaps of into was amalgamated thenineteenth canalwhich system irrigation century perennial to Periodlayers thewestof the'GreatPit' and The Northern Egypt.105 SaiteandPtolemaic of section thevillageseemto havebeen western the underneath housesof theextended of werea continuous If material. there founded development directly uponthePredynastic has of most thematerial beenremoved is the that thesitefrom period, likelihood that during into later building workand was integrated the Twenty-sixth Dynastyrestructuring areasof thesite,suchas Kom RebwainsidetheNorthern Other Enclosure, may projects.
105 mapof nineteenth For irrigation 1904),pl. xix. century perennial see system, W. Willcocks,The Nile in 1904 (London,

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110

PENELOPE WILSON

JEA92

zones to of FlG. 19. Reconstruction ancientrivercourses,highsand and mud channelsrelative archaeological Mansoura University and Geophysics, at Sa el-Hagar (afterEl-Shahat et al., Journalof Geology 32/1,fig.4).

to more Kom and the city.106 Rebwais therefore likely preserve represent Old Kingdom later Saite of has strata destroyed thanthe'GreatPit',which a longstratigraphic only sequence Perioddate.The to area and Periodmaterial a settlement of Neolithic through Buto-Maadi of the underneath modern the zone extent thePrehistoric was from south, of village Sa eland has beenrevealed side by fortuitously the Hagarto thenorth-west of the'GreatPit', in or the excavation soil from Tit* foruse in land reclamation dykebuilding thelate of centuries.107 twentieth nineteenth early and
106 sherds(Wilson, in Excavations Kom Rebwa have foundevidence Hagar containedOld Kingdompottery forOld Kingdomand New Kingdommaterial (Wilson, JEA 90, 8). 107 Wilson,TheSurvey Sais, 147-8. of JEA 87, 2-4; JEA 88, 3-6; 'Sais (Sa el-Hagar),2003-04', JEA 90 (2004), 2-6) and drillcoresto thesouthof Sa el-

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2006

PREHISTORIC SETTLEMENT AT SAIS material context theSais Prehistoric of The regional

111

the at over areaduring work Sais andalso theearlier coresundertaken a wider Deeperdrill workcarriedout by the GermanMission at Buto to some extenthelp to place the A Delta intoa regional context. wider this from partof thewestern evidence archaeological in of upon humanactivity the profile understanding the impactof the environmental Delta mayprovide different a for and Periodin thecentral western Prehistoric perspective In theButoor of theexistence towns evenof a LowerEgyptian kingdom. understanding fed lake and channels itsdistributaries intotheBurullus MaadiPeriod 3,500BC)theriver (c. from Butoitself. Butomayhaveowed not mouth toofar a zonewith mainbranch ormarsh in Periodto Periodand itsriseto power theEarlyDynastic in itsexistence theButo-Maadi marshes thence and of the a basefor navigation thenorthern as itsfunction a port, providing Mediterranean.108 was,likeSais, a multiButo of withthesea routes theEastern contacts channels and the variable of and distributary site centred becauseof the number river but the two places do not seem to have sharedexactlythe same nearby, floodplain Delta and and at Drill environments. augers ButobyWunderlich Andres alongthenorthern that have Institute demonstrated thenorthern theSmithsonian is, (that the fringe by fringe in and marshy the 1 areabelowthemodern m abovesea levelcontour line)was lagoonal was in this and Holocene that gaverisetoa considerable of peatwhich found theButo layer that itis possible millennium.109 of anddatedtothebeginning thefifth cores drill Although datefor a and to at thepeatlayer Sais maybe related thisphenomenon thusprovide useful be instead a localcause,suchas an oxbow-lake there someof thegeological evidence, may with river channel filled and river in formed a blocked by bend,or a basinleft theearlier of did which notfully water escapeoverthecourse theyear. to was that there a channel theeastof Sais,which at drills Sais havealsoshown The deep into in or existed oneform another which of to wasmost likely havebeena branch theriver of had The to northward Buto.110 channel no means pushing andflowed thehistoric period sand ridge. of timesbecauseof theexistence a massive to further thewestin Prehistoric but Delta plain,111 it appearsthatits tailextends Butzer mappedthisridgein thecentral Tana (fig. and the andliesunder areatotheeastof Basyun Shubra north further 20). If this the to it in feature thelandscape, mayhaveserved divide a was ridge at onetime significant for with consequences human communication, Delta into easternand western parts, Period.Modelsof settlement in influence thePrehistoric and movement cultural prediction sandhillshouldhave thatthecentral Delta survey112 the after eastern established suggest of couldshowthepresence and habitation thatdrillaugering human areafor beena prime surface to near in settlementsthearea.In someplacesthesandmaybe relatively enough the or fieldwalking revealearlysites. local development thattrialtrenching, may projects of dividein numbers the the work Further maybeginto redress balancebetween east/west of that sitesand also beginto demonstrate Butowas partof a network LowerEgyptian at of theDelta. Whilethepresence theNeolithic settlements deposits Sais and throughout do of becauseof thenature thesite, due is excavation partly to chance their they showthat sitescan be If culture. further of of can be found the existence Delta floodplain traces
in 108 dates in Andresand Wunderlich, van 342; R. J.Wenke 126; calibrated Egypt, Wilkinson, EarlyDynastic 161 'The Archaic-Old and D. J.Brewer, KingdomDelta: the den Brink(ed.), The Nile Delta in Transition, fig.4 Mendesand Kom El-Hisn', in M. Bietak and 163. Evidencefrom 110 at were river distributaries also identified Former (Osterreichische Egypt (ed.), Houseand Palace inAncient extent of one mayhavebeenthenorthern Akademie der WissenschaftenDenkschriftender Buto,of which in Gesamtakademie Vienna, 1996),270; andvonderWay the 'Saitic' branch:Wunderlich, van den Brink(ed.), 14; thatButo mayhave func- TheArchaeology theNile Delta, 252 and 253 fig.2. of 65) (Untersuchungen, suggests 111 Butzer, in Civilization Egypt K. Early Hydraulic tionedas theportof tradeforSais in theEarlyDynastic (Chicago,1976),24 fig.4 and id. 'Delta', LA I, 1047-8. Period. * 112 109 Andresand J. Wunderlich,Untersuchungen Kobusiewiczand Van den Brink,in Krzyzaniak, W. 279-304. Change, zur Palaeogeographie des Westlichen Nildeltas im Alexander (eds), Environmental 100 Schriften (1986), Geographische Holczan',Marburger

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112

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and older river of Fig. 20. Isopach contourmap of Holocene mud and sand, withreconstruction younger Studies 103, fig.6.13). and , channels,Sa el-Hagar area (afterLotfi Belal, Sedimentological Geophysical

then of on identified the westand in the centre the Delta in future surveying projects, still the from themcouldbe used to beginto tackle cultural excavated material questions of of thenature thedevelopment Periodand helpto clarify for outstanding thePrehistoric Period. to from Neolithic theChacolithic the LowerEgyptian culture Conclusions intoits 3 from Excavation at Sais and research material The analysis the Prehistoric of had conditions thatclimatic scalesuggest at context a local and regional geoarchaeological Periodsof Delta floodplain. sites effects settlement locatedon the western on profound at Periodas detected Sais at followed increased flooding theendof theNeolithic by aridity as and in environmental stratigraphic record, thisareawas maynotbe visible theMerimde in thechange flood and abovethefloodplain wouldnothavebeenaffected by physically high if thepeople in It be record, particularly however, visible thearchaeological patterns. may, on whosettled even the with in were connected orwere samepeopleas those living Merimde in an for basisat siteslikeSais. Thereshouldbe evidence either increase activity a seasonal

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to Periodas peoplewereforced stayat the and Late Predynastic the between Neolithic to as or a decrease people foundit altogether desert impossible live there.In the edge, who around increased 4,000BCseemsto haveled thehunter-gatherers had aridity Fayum, was savanna to becausethere notsufficient the to there abandon area,presumably foraged As or harvested.113a result have hunted grasses thewildanimals they they may they support in of and a advantage theconditions theNile valley. sedentary lifestyle taken adopted more the for it rainfall mayhavebeenpossible peopleto cultivate wadi sidesat Withincreased In basinirrigation. thiswaytheir as wellas theedgesof thefloodplain using Merimde, thus could haveceasedforseveral and floodplain desert between movement generations, record Sais. By the timethe floodand climate at the gap in the archaeological creating had a the had Predynastic peoples developed Chacolithic systems stabilised, LowerEgyptian Palestinian culturethat owed more to southernUpper Egyptianor north-eastern of the resources thoseareasoutweighed basic valueof theluxury the connections. Perhaps linksmaynothave of The volume western of fish and grain trading surpluses thenorth. The impetus trade for contacts between as beenas attractive thoseto theeasthad become. in of and and of thecultures UpperEgypt theLevantandtheperiod aridity highflooding to whether Southern it difficult discern havecoincided, thenorth Egyptian making may conditionsor socio-economic culturebecame dominantbecause of environmental of shift The may have providedthe beginning the developments.114 cultureinfluence of that and northward meant thepotential theNeolithic of diffusion UpperEgypt economic of culturebase of the Delta was neverrealised.The variability the floodsand the to made it difficult manage on of somesettlements thenorthern floodplain vulnerability on other settlements thewestern Sais andperhaps of the links trading until foundation Buto, beenused as which had previously river by theMaadians.Some areas, branches, perhaps now and had been abandoned, Delta fringe sitesby western people fishing temporary into linked riverine settlement more trading systems a larger by spaces, permanent provided wouldhavebeenreplaced communities individual The network. mobile andprovisioning by The moreefficiently. and the of a larger managing floodplain marshes system organisation tradedand interacted who smallgroupsof hunter-gatherers mayhave initially relatively were communities expanding that farming the 'new'farmers soonhavefound with the may from muchfurther in and and of bothin terms territory population trading commodities the than desert afield edge. buriedand is relatively not at As thematerial Sais is, at present, too deeply accessible, on the work further in the'GreatPit' and in theareaaround sitemaythrow key light three of and the culture: arrival nature theNeolithic Prehistoric in transition Egyptian of periods and in of in communities thewestern Delta; the introduction domestication agriculture and the the and the hiatuswhichseemsto existbetween end of the Neolithic animals; recovered of amount material of of phase.The analysis thelarger beginning theButo-Maadi at someof thesequestions a of 8 Excavation willshowthepotential Sais to answer from at will excavation be necessary the sitein orderto obtaina greater Further micro-level. so datawhichis notpreserved well,in and floral of statistical particularly faunal sample, with its issuesconcerning connections theNearEast. to order assessthewider

113 R. J. Wenke and D. J. Brewer, 'The Transition, too againstreading much 95-6) has cautioned and neat generalisacoincidences Neolithic-PredynasticTransition in the Fayum intogeoarchaeological thatindividual but suggests and in places shouldbe conDepression', Friedman Adams(eds), TheFollowers tions, factors sideredin the lightof multiple time, 175-&4. including of Horus, 114 issues. socialand economic Butzer(in van den Brink(ed.), The Nile Delta in ecology,

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and object catalogue Appendix:Pottery

JEA 92

The cataloguecontainsthe main pottery types,decoratedsherdsand objects fromExcavation3, the 'Great Pit'. It is intendedas a preliminary of the pottery list corpus fromSais and an aid to dating thePrehistoric The material keptin the SupremeCouncil forAntiquities is phases of theexcavation. as office storeat Sa el-Hagar.The catalogueis arranged by chronologically context set out on p. 88ff. to The labellingof each context'smaterialbegins at 1 and so is referred in the main textby both thereare but contextand number.Most of the materialin thecatalogueis pottery, forsome contexts at are one or two objects.The lithics(flint and chertfragments) dealtwithseparately theend, so that They have separate lithicnumbers(thus theycan be compared easily,unmixed with the pottery. are and only the most diagnosticare included. Most of the otherfragments chips and [3008] L.58) fromflint debitage working. The pottery describedas: typeof sherd,pottery is typeaccordingto the Friedmanand Adams and inclusions classification Excavationsin theLocality6, 7-17), waretypespecifying (Adams, system of withwaretypeaccordingto thepottery diameter thevessel,colour (tables 1-3), estimated analysis withthenearestcolourfrom Munsell soil colourchartsand colourof thesherdbreak the description foran indicationof firing typeis particularly temperature. Comparanda are cited when the pottery distinctive forexample,bowls changerelatively littleovertime,so are not as usefulforcomparison as decoratedbody sherdsor neckedjars and pointedbases. [3002] (fig. 21) Pottery 1. Bowl rim (lbl), straw-tempered Nile silt,with limestone(ware 1). Diameter: c. 20 cm. Colour: brown. to 6/8). Break:lightbrown/pink/light (SYR 6/6 reddish-yellow 2. Large bowl or trayrim(If), untempered Nile silt,verysoftsurface(ware 2). Diameter:c. 40 cm. Colour: (o) lightbrown7.5YR 6/4,(i) red 2.5YR 5/6.Break:brown/pink/brown. 3. Bowl rim,slightexternallip (lg), straw-tempered Nile silt (ware 1). Diameter:c. 25 cm. Colour: brown. pale brown(10YR 7/4). Break:lightbrown/red brown/light 4. Bowl rim,everted(lg), straw-tempered Nile silt (ware 1). Diameter: c. 24 cm. Colour: (o) light brown(7.5YR 6/4),(i) red-brown brown(7.5YR 6/6to 5/2).Break:brown/orange/brown at body, to at brown/black/brownrim. 5. Bowl rim,everted(Ij2), straw-tempered Nile silt (ware 1), with limestone.Diameter: c. 16 cm. Colour: lightyellow-brown (10YR 6/4). Break:brown/red-brown/brown. 6. Bowl rim,everted(Ij2), straw-tempered Nile silt (ware 1), with limestone.Diameter: c. 24 cm. Possible tracesof red slip on upper partof rimand below ledge. Colour: lightyellow-brown (10YR 6/4). Break:brown/red-brown/brown. 7. Large trayrim(In), coarse straw-tempered Nile silt (ware 3). Diameter:c. 40 cm. Colour: (o) pale brown(10YR 7/3),(i) lightred (2.5YR 7/6). Break:brown/orange/black/orange/brown. 8. Closed jar rim(2c), straw-tempered Nile silt (ware 1). Diameter:c. 20 cm. Colour: (o) lightbrown (7.5YR 7/4),(i) reddish-brown (7.5YR 6/6). Break:brown/pink/brown. 9. Closed vessel rim (2d?), straw-tempered Nile silt (ware 1). Diameter: c. 7 cm. Colour: (o) light brown(7.5YR 6/4),(i) reddish-yellow (5YR 6/6). Break:brown/orange/brown. 10. Closed vessel rim(2d), straw-tempered Nile silt(ware 1). Diameter:c. 5 cm. Colour: lightbrown SYR 6/4). Break:lightbrown/dark brown. (7. brown/light 11. Closed jar rim(2d), straw-tempered Nile silt (ware 1). Diameter:5.5 cm. Colour: reddish-yellow Break:brown/red/purple/red/brown. (5YR 7/6).

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Fig. 21. [3002] pottery and object.

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a Colour:grey Nile 12. Flatbase (F2), untempered silt(ware2), with fewbitsof limestone. (10YR Break: black/brown/red/black. 5/1). brown SYR 6/4).Break: Nile base (Pla), straw-tempered silt(ware1). Colour:light 13. Pointed (7. brown. brown/red/light light and bands.Straw-tempered silt Nile of 14. Sherdwithimpressed dot-design chevrons horizontal (10YR 5/3).Break: (i) black/brown/grey/brown. (10YR 5/1), brown (o) (ware1). Colour: grey Nile bands.Untempered silt(ware2). Colour: of with 15. Sherd design dotsinhorizontal impressed brown orange-brown throughout. (7.5YR 6/4).Break: light ButoI, Taf. 39, 19-22(Level II and Ha). Cf.vonderWay, Object Nile with voidsup to4 mminthefabric. and Coarsestraw- limestone-tempered, siltware, 16. Brick. in and The 6.8 13.7cm,width: cm (maximum dimensions). wareis medium/softhardness Length: eroded salt-damaged. and The objectis worn, in (7.5YR 6/4to 6/6throughout). red-orange colour [3003] (figs.22-3)
Pottery Nile 1. Bowl rim(lb), straw-tempered silt(ware 1). Diameter:c. 20 cm. Red polish on inside.Colour: to grey(5YR 7/6to 5/1).Break:orange/red/purple/red/brown. red-yellow Nile silt (ware 1). Diameter: c. 20 cm. Colour: (o) lightyellow2. Bowl rim (lb), straw-tempered brown(10YR 6/4),(i) reddish-yellow (5YR 6/6). Break:brown/red/purple/red/brown. Nile silt (ware 1). Diameter: c. 26 cm. Colour: pink to reddish3. Bowl rim (lb), straw-tempered yellow(7.5YR 7/4to 5YR 6/8). Break:brown/orange/purple/black/purple/orange/brown. Cf. von der Way,Buto I, Taf. 21.5. Nile silt (ware 1). Diameter: c. 16 cm. Outside, wet-smoothed. 4. Bowl rim (lb), straw-tempered Colour: lightyellow-brown (10YR 6/4). Break:lightbrownthroughout. Nile silt (ware 3). Diameter:c. 40-50 cm. Colour: (o) light 5. Tray rim(1C), coarse straw-tempered olive-brown (2.5YR 5/4). Break:brown/black/purple/red. (10YR 6/4),(i) light yellow-brown Nile silt (ware 3). Diameter:c. 40-50 cm. Colour: 6. Tray rim,squared (ID), coarse straw-tempered brown(10YR 6/3). Break:brown/orange/brown. (5YR 6/6),(i) light (0) reddish-yellow Nile silt (ware 1). Diameter: c. 16 cm. Colour: lightred7. Lipped bowl rim (lg), straw-tempered brown(5YR 6/4). Break:brown/orange/brown. Nile silt (ware 1). Diameterc. 18-20 cm. Colour: pinkish8. Lipped bowl rim(lg), straw-tempered grey(7.5YR 7/2). Break:pink-grey/red/pink-grey. Nile silt (ware 1). Diameter: c. 18 cm. Colour: lightred9. Lipped bowl rim (lg), straw-tempered 10YR 6/4). Break:brown/orange brownto lightyellow-brown -red/brown. (5YR 6/4to Nile silt (ware 1). Diameter: c. 18 cm. Colour: light 10. Ledge-rimbowl rim (lj), straw-tempered Break:brown/red/brown. (10YR 6/4). yellow-brown to Nile silt (ware 1). Diameter:c. 20 cm. Colour: red-brown 11. Closed jar rim(2b), straw-tempered to 5/6). Break:brown/orange/purple/orange/brown. (5YR 5/3 yellow-red Nile silt (ware 1). Diameter: c. 14 cm. Brown polish traces 12. Closed jar rim (2b), straw-tempered leftrough.Colour: (o) brown(7.5YR 5/4), underrimon outside; inside smoothedat rim,otherwise (10YR 6/4). Break:brown/orange/black/orange/brown. (1) lightyellow-brown Cf. von der Way,Buto I, Taf. 5.7.

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Fig. 22. [3003] pottery.

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Fig. 23. [3003] pottery and objects,[3004] pounder.

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bits Diameter: 7.3 cm. c. Nile 13.Necked rim (2c),straw-tempered silt(ware1),with oflimestone. jar Break: Colour: brown/red/black/red/brown. (10YR 6/4). yellow-brown light ButoI, Taf. 1.4. Cf.vonderWay, c. Nile bits Diameter: 7.2 cm. 14.Necked rim (2c),straw-tempered silt(ware1),with oflimestone. jar brown Break:brown/red/purple/ Colour:(o) light (7.5YR 6/4). (10YR 6/4),(i) light yellow-brown red/brown. ButoI, Taf. 1.1. Cf.vonderWay, c. Diameter: 7 cm.Colour: Nile 15. Necked rim piecesofstraw. (2c),untempered silt(ware2), few jar Break: (10YR 6/4). orange/purple/orange. (5YR 5/3)(i) light yellow-brown (o) red-brown ButoI, Taf. 1.5. Cf.vonderWay, traces red c. of Nile 16. Necked rim(2c), straw-tempered silt(ware1). Diameter: 7 cm.Possible jar Colour:(o) yellow-brown (10YR 6/4).Break: (10YR 5/6),(i) light yellow-brown slip on outside. brown/red/brown. ButoI, Taf. 1.3. Cf.vonderWay, c. Nile 17. Necked rim(2c), straw-tempered silt(ware1). Diameter: 6 cm. Colour:red-yellow jar orange. (5YR 6/8).Break: ButoI, Taf. 1.3. Cf.vonderWay, c. Nile 18. Necked rim(2c), straw-tempered silt(ware1). Diameter: 6 cm. Colour:red-yellow jar orange/black/orange. (5YR 6/8).Break: ButoI, Taf. 1.6. Cf.vonderWay, c. Nile 19. Neckless rim(2d), straw-tempered silt(ware1). Diameter: 9 cm. Colour:red-yellow jar brown/orange/purple/orange/brown. (5YR 6/6).Break: ButoI, Taf.5.2. Cf.vonderWay, 6.2 Nile 20. Neckless rim(2d), straw-tempered silt(ware1). Diameter: cm. Colour:red-yellow jar Break: orange/purple/orange. (5YR 6/8). unknown. Black Nile rim 21. Fine black-topped (closedjar?),untempered silt(ware2). Diameter: Break: brown Colour: black on lower body. red atrim, polish throughout. Upper (10YR 3/1). polished import. Egyptian on £.12cm.Tracesof brown Nile 22. Flatbase(F2), straw-tempered silt(ware1). Diameter: polish brown Colour:(o) light outside. brown/red/ (10YR 6/4).Break: (i) yellow-brown (7.5YR 5/4), light purple/black/purple/red/brown. ButoI, Taf. 34.4-5. Cf.vonderWay, brown Nile base(P2), straw-tempered silt(ware1). Colour: light (i) 23. Pointed (7.5YR 6/4), light (o) red(2.5YR 6/6).Break: orange/purple/orange. ButoI, Taf. 1.1. Cf.vonderWay, Nile base (P2), straw-tempered silt(ware1). Colour:(o) red-yellow (i) (5YR 6/8), light 24. Pointed red(2.5YR 6/6).Break: orange/pink. Nile bands.Straw-tempered silt(ware in with 25. Sherd design twohorizontal (fingernail?) impressed (2.5YR 6/3).Break: Colour:(o) blackto pale brown(10YR 2/1to 6/3),(i) pale yellow-brown 1). black/brown/red/purple/orange. ButoI, Taf. 39, 19-22(Level II and Ha). Cf.vonderWay, in bandjust belowrim. half-moon withimpressed 26. Rimof largebowlor tray, design horizontal Colour:(o) brown straw. few Nile silt(ware2), with piecesof scattered (7.5YR 4/2to Untempered brown/orange/pink/brown. (7.5YR 6/6).Break: (i) 5/4), red-yellow ButoI, Taf.29, 2 and4 (Level II). Cf.vonderWay,

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120

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Objects in 27. Model bull-horn. Nile silt,withscattered chaff, red-orange colour(2.5YR 5/6).Length:3.1 cm; width:1.1 cm. Cf. Eiwanger, MerimdeIII, 127-8, pls. 89-90, especiallyno. III. 168 and cf. IV.958-60 and IV.961-5; MerimdeII, 97, pl. 47; nos. 11.936-8. Eiwanger, [3004] (fig. 23) Pottery 1. Yellow quartzitepounder/grinder, flattop and bottomedges and rounded,wornsides. One with side was wornstraighter fromuse. Maximumdiameter: cm; height3.8 cm. 6 [3008] (fig. 24) Pottery 1. Bowl rim(la), crucible, Nile silt(ware 2). Diameter:c. 12 cm. Colour: (o) lightbrown untempered brown. (7.5YR 6/4),(i) lightyellow-brown (2.5YR 6/4). Break: red/brown/light 2. Bowl rim (lb), untemperedNile silt (ware 2). Diameter: c. 20 cm. Red polish on inside and (2.5YR (2.5YR 6/4),(i) red-brown probablysmoothedpolish on outside.Colour: (o) lightred-brown 5/4).Break:brownthroughout. 3. Bowl rim (lbl), untemperedNile silt (ware 2). Diameter: c. 20 cm. Brown polish on inside and smoothedon outside. Colour: (o) pale brown(10YR 6/3),(i) pale-brownto red (10YR 6/3to 2.5YR 5/6). Break:brown/red/brown/red/purple/brown. 4. Large bowl rim(Ib3), untempered Nile silt (ware 2). Diameter:c. 30 cm. Brownand blackpolish on inside and outside.Colour: (o) blackened.Break:darkbrown/brown/medium brown. 5. Bowl rim(Ib3), untempered Nile silt(ware 2). Diameter:c. 20 cm. Probablyred polished.Colour: (o) lightred-brown (2.5YR 6/4),(i) red-brown (2.5YR 5/4). Break:red throughout. 6. Bowl rim (Ib3), untemperedNile silt (ware 2). Diameter: c. 20 cm. Brown polish on inside and smoothedon outside.Colour: lightyellow-brown pale yellow(2.5Y 6/2to 7/3).Break:brown/redto brown/brown. 7. Bowl rim (Ib3), untempered Nile silt (ware 2). Diameter: c. 24 cm. Brown polish on both sides. Colour: (o) lightbrown-grey darkgrey(10YR 6/2to 4/1),(i) lightbrown-grey to (10YR 6/2).Break: brown/black/brown. 8. Bowl rim(Ib3), untempered Nile silt(ware 2). Diameter:c. 24 cm. Polishedon bothsides. Colour: (o) red-brown(2.5YR 5/3), (i) red-brown(2.5YR 5/4). Break: light brown/red/brown/red/light brown. 9. Large bowl rim(Ib3), untempered Nile silt (ware 2). Diameter:c. 30 cm. Polished on both sides. Colour: (o) pink-grey lightbrown(7.5YR 6/2to 6/4),(i) greyto darkgrey(10YR 5/1to 4/1).Break: to bowl. brown/black. Probablyfroma black-topped 10. Bowl rim(Ib6), untempered Nile silt(ware 2). Diameter:c. 16 cm. Polish (?) on bothsides mostly lost. Colour: (o) pale brown(10YR 6/3),(i) darkgrey-brown (10YR 4/2). Break:brownthroughout. 11. Closed vessel rim (2al), untemperedNile silt (ware 2). Diameter: c. 18 cm. Brown polish on outside,smoothedinside. Colour: lightyellow-brown (10YR 6/4). Break:lightbrownthroughout. 12. Closed vessel rim (2al), untemperedNile silt (ware 2). Diameter: c. 20 cm. Brown polish on outside lost, smoothed inside. Colour: light yellow-brown(10YR 6/4). Break: light brown/dark brown. brown/light

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Fig. 24. [3008] pottery.

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122

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JEA 92

on c. 13. Closedvessel (2al), untempered silt(ware2). Diameter: 24 cm.Redpolish outside, rim Nile to4/1), palebrown inside unsmoothed. left Colour:(o) light olive-brown dark to (i) (2.5YR 5/6 grey (10YR 7/3).Break: brown/black/red. ware to 14. Incurved (2a), untempered silt(ware2, butperhaps closer Hierakonpolis 22). rim Nile brown Diameter: unknown. polished Red outside inside rim.Colour:red(2.SYR 4/6).Break: of and throughout. ware22). 15. Bowl rim(2a), untempered closerto Hierakonpolis Nile silt (ware2, but perhaps red-brown Diameter: unknown. polished Red outside inside. and Colour: (2.5YR4/4).Break: (polish) brown throughout. [3015] (figs.25-6) Pottery 1. Very bowlrim c, Nile (o) (Al), untempered silt(ware Diameter: 50 cm.Colour: red-yellow 2). large to red-brown brown. (5YR 6/6), light (i) (10YR 6/4).Break: yellow-brown 2. Largebowlrim(Ib3), untempered silt(ware2). Diameter: 35+ cm.Colour: grey-brown c. Nile (o) brown (10YR 5/2), palebrown (i) (10YR 6/3).Break: throughout. 3. Largebowlrim(Ib3), untempered silt(ware2). Diameter: 25+ cm. Colour:(o) yellowc, Nile brown nearrim: (10YR 5/6), red(2.5YR 5/8)andgrey (i) brown/red-brown/red; (10YR 5/1).Break: nearbase:brown/red-brown/red. 4. Bowlrim(Ib3), untempered silt(ware2). Diameter: 25 cm.Colour: weakred(10R 5/4), Nile c. (o) brown to 6/3).Break: nearrim:brown/red-brown/brown. (i) light (10YR 6/2 5. Bowl rim(Ib3), untempered silt(ware2). Diameter: 16 cm. Red polishon outside and Nile c. inside.Colour: (polish) red (10R 4/6); (polish lost) pale red (10YR 6/4). Break:brown/dark brown/brown. 6. Bowlrim(Ib3), untempered silt(ware2). Diameter: 26 cm.Smoothed lost. Nile c. surfaces, polish Colour:grey-brown (10YR 5/2).Break: grey-brown/red-brown/grey-brown. 7. Bowlrim(Ib3), untempered silt(ware2). Diameter: 25 cm.Smoothed Nile lost. c. surfaces, polish Colour: yellow-brown nearrim: brown to 6/3).Break: (o) (10YR 5/4), light (i) brown/red(10YR 6/2 brown/brown. 8. Bowlrim(Ib3), untempered silt(ware2), very Nile fine. Diameter: unknown. damaged. Salt 9. Bowlrim, with Nile c. with decoration keel,untempered silt(ware2). Diameter: 14 cm. Outside concentric bandsappliedbyhandand smoothed. Colour:(o) light (10YR 7/2), light (i) yellowgrey brown brown. (10YR 6/4).Break: light brown/black/light 10. Largejar rim, Nile c. and Diameter: untempered silt(ware2), fewsmallpiecesstraw limestone. 36 cm. Polishon outside lost.Colour:(o) red(2.5YR 5/6), red-brown mostly (i) (5YR 5/3).Break: . red/brown/red-brown Object 11. Redquartzite with bandrunning it. pounder/grinder, white through Two rounded edgesandtwo worn from Maximum use. diameter: cm;height cm. 6.7 2.8 straight edges, possibly [3016] (fig.26) Pottery 1. Bowlrim(lb), untempered silt(ware2), few Nile scattered straw c. pieces.Diameter: 16 cm.Red inside.Colour:(o) pale brown(10YR 6/3),(i) light red-brown polished (5YR 6/4).Break:brown throughout.

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Fig. 25. [3015] pottery.

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JEA 92

Fig. 26. [3015] pounder,[3016] pottery.

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Fig. 27. Lithics fromcontexts[3001], [3002], [3003] and [3008].

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PENELOPE WILSON

JEA 92

c. straw Nile 2. Bowlrim(lb), untempered silt(ware2), a fewscattered pieces.Diameter: 24 cm. brown Break: brown lost.Colour: Smoothed (10YR 6/3). surfaces, throughout. pale probably polish c. straw Nile 3. Bowlrim(lbl), untempered silt(ware2), a fewscattered pieces.Diameter: 25 cm. Colour:(o) darkgrey(10YR 4/1),(i) light insidesmoothed. of Remains blackpolishon outside, brown throughout. grey-brown (10YR 6/3).Break: c. Nile 4. Bowl rim(lbl), untempered silt(ware2). Diameter: 12 cm. Surfaces smoothed, polish Break: lost. (5YR 5/4). brown/black/brown. (5YR 6/6), red-brown (i) (o) probably Colour: red-yellow straw Nile holebelowrim, 5. Bowlrim(Ib3), with pieces. untempered silt(ware2), a fewscattered after left and outside rough wiped.Hole drilled c. Diameter: 25 cm.Brown (as inside, firing polished Colour:(o) light (10YR 6/3).Break: (i) brown/grey(10YR 6/4), pale brown yellow-brown repair?). brown/brown. c. Nile silt (ware 2). Diameter: 25 cm. Brownpolishedinside, 6. Bowl rim(Ib3), untempered outside.Colour: (o) pale brown(10YR 6/3), (i) brown(7.5YR 4/2). Break: dark smoothed brown. brown/brown/dark Nile fish-bone decoration. incised with from 7. Sherd Untempered silt(ware2), saltdamaged. bowl, Break: red-brown Colour: red-brown throughout. (5YR 5/4). red-purple (i) (5YR 5/3), (o)

Lithics 27) (fig.
less dark Microblade stone; than1 g. fragment; brown [3001]L.I Settlement Industries thePredynastic and Cf. I. Rizkana J.Seeher, (Mainz, Maadi, II. TheLithic of pl. 1988),bladespl. 24.1-5and 13-15;microblades 33. with black at top;8 g. tint brown Bladetoolfragment, stone, retouched; [3002]L.47 of bladeandshowed an was The bladefragment madefrom irregular signs wear. 1. 'Tell el Farain-Buto Bericht', Maadi II, bladespl. 25.4-6;T. vonderWay, and Cf.Rizkana Seeher, Abb.6.17,Taf.26-30. MDAIK 42 (1986), less brown use Microblade translucent; stone, fragment, wearon bothsides;light [3002]L.48 than1 g. Maadi II, bladespl. 24.1-5and 13-15;microblades 33. and Cf.Rizkana Seeher, pl. 15 with stone bladetool;red-grey banding; g. Irregular [3003]L.49 side. areason ventral flaws. Crushed with of from Manufactured pebble flint Maadi II, pl. 25.1-6. and Cf.Rizkana Seeher, with wear bladetooland also used as a perforator, on blade;brown stone, Primary [3003]L.50 white cortex; 6g. Maadi II. pl. 23.15. and Cf.Rizkana Seeher, 6 white with bladetool,use wearon dorsal cortex; g. stone, side;brown Primary [3003]L.51 Maadi II, pl. 23.15. and Cf.Rizkana Seeher, 5 bladefragment; stone (burnt); g. grey Regular [3003]L.53 MDAIK 45, Abb.14.7(Level III). Cf.vonderWay, stone. brown to burnt worn; or sickle of grey light blade, possibly [3008]L. 55 Fragment a bifacial Maadi II, pl. 73.1-8. and Rizkana Seeher, Cf. cortex burnt andgrey, black on retouch flake; with End scraper flint, grey. [3008]L.57 of Maadi II, pls. 37 and 38.8; discussion thistypein T. Hikade,'Some and Seeher, Cf. Rizkana in Bronze and on ', Age FlintScrapers Egypt MDAIK 60 (2004),5-68. Thoughts Chalcolithic Early [3008]L.58 with veins. red cortex white brown Microblade flint, fragment;

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