Damien Marie AtHope’s Art



Ancient Egypt: Epipaleolithic, Neolithic, and Predynastic 8,500 to 5,600 years ago
  • Merimde Beni-salame (Merimde culture: 6,820— 6,320 years ago) ref, ref
  • Qarunian culture (Fayum B) (8,000-7,000 years ago?) ref, ref
  • Fayum Neolithic (Fayum A) (7,220-6,020 years ago) is similar to Qarunian culture and contemporary with the Neolithic culture of Merimde as well as connected with it in many ways. ref
  • Elkabian culture at Elkab (8,420-8,000 years ago) ref, ref
  • Epipaleolithic Egypt: Two main cultural groups have been found that date to the Epipaleolithic (or final Paleolithic) Period; the Qarunian culture in the Faiyum, and the Elkabian culture in Upper Egypt. The Qarunian people (also designated as Faiyum B) hunted gazelle, hippo, waterfowl, and hartebeest and fished extensively. Evidence of their campsites along the banks of the marshland dater to between 6240 and 5480 BC. They used small-backed microlithic blades, often formed from chert. When the Faiyum was cut off from the Nile by lower floods (around 5480 BC), their culture disappeared, and the area was not repopulated for around 300 years. The Elkabian site consists of a lower level of occupation (around 6400 BC), a middle level (at 6040 BC), and an upper level (at around 5980 BC). As well as plentiful evidence of fishing (some of which suggests there may have been seasonal fishing outposts), there is some indication that they used reed boats to fish in deeper waters. Archaeologists also found numerous ostrich shell beads. ref
  • Tarifian Neolithic Culture at el –Tarif: At the sites of el –Tarif and Armant, archeologists found some remains pointing to an intermediate industry bridging the gap between Epipaleolithic and Neolithic cultures, which was roughly contemporary with the Faiyum A culture of Lower Egypt. There is no evidence that this culture domesticated animals or farmed food, but it is difficult to be certain of this as the excavation of tombs during the New Kingdom all but destroyed any settlements in the area. ref
  • Badari /Badarian culture (7520-6,020 years ago) at el-Badari ref
  • Sites at El Badari (an El Matmar, El Etmanieh, El Hammamiya, and El Mostagedda) offer the first clear evidence of Neolithic industry in Upper Egypt. Located south of the Faiyum, on the eastern bank of the Nile, the Badari were a semi-nomadic people, who formed small settlements and began to cultivate grain and domesticate animals. The exact chronological range of their culture is still debated. A period of 4400 to 4000 BC is certain, but they may have been established as early as 5000 BC. They were originally considered to have emerged from the south (in part because of their relatively simplistic tool use), but it is generally suggested that agriculture and animal husbandry originated not in the south, but in the East. It would seem likely that their origins are to be found in the Merimde culture of Lower Egypt and the Neolithic cultures of the Western Desert. The culture was first identified by its characteristic pottery made from red Nile clay, often with a black interior and rim and a decorative rippled effect on the surface created by combing and polishing. Black beakers with incised decorations that were originally ascribed to an earlier culture labeled as Tasian are now considered to be imported goods from Sudan and the people of the Deir Tasa site are now considered to be part of the Badarian culture. Although their tools were fairly basic, the quality of the pottery is notable. In some cases, the walls of the vessels are thinner than any other example from a predynastic site. No remains of dwellings have been found, only storage pits and postholes suggestive of light structures perhaps made of reeds, skins, or mats. They farmed emmer wheat, barley, lentil, and flax and kept sheep, goats, and cattle. Fishing supplemented their diet, but there is little evidence of hunting. Copper awls and pins, steatite beads, shells, and turquoise found at Badari sites are thought to have been traded goods from the Red Sea and Palestine. However, it is possible that the Badarian people obtained their own copper and malachite, and the culture may have been more technically advanced than previously thought. They buried their dead in small cemeteries on the outskirts of these settlements and also conducted ceremonial burials for some of their domesticated animals. Pits were oval or rectangular. The body was generally interred in contracted position on the left side, facing west with the head to the south. A reed mat or hide was often placed over the body. Although the graves themselves were simple, the deceased was buried with fine ceramics, jewelry, cloth, and fur, and they sometimes included a finely crafted figurine of a female fertility idol and a cosmetic palette. Trigger has described Badari culture as predominantly egalitarian with little social stratification. However, Bard, Hendrickx, and Vermeersch have challenged this view, pointing to the evidence of differing social status displayed by the grave goods found in the cemeteries at Armant and Nagada. ref
  • Tasian culture (6,520 years ago) at Deir Tasa ref
  • Badari /Badarian culture at Hemamieh (El-Hammamiya) ref
  • El Omari culture (6,020 years ago) at el-Qmari
  • The El Omari culture is known from a small settlement near modern Cairo. People seem to have lived in huts, but only postholes and pits survive. The pottery is undecorated. Stone tools include small flakes, axes, and sickles. Metal was not yet known. Their sites were occupied from 4000 BC to the Archaic Period. ref
  • Lower Egypt advanced civilization after 5,620 years ago. ref
  • Upper Egypt advanced civilization after 5,620 years ago. ref
  • Around 6000 BC, Neolithic settlements appear all over Egypt. ref
  • 5,020 years ago ancient Egyptians recorded their explorations to the Sinai Peninsula in search of copper. ref
  • 7,000-5,000 years old cave paintings of people (especially women) and animals were discovered about 19 mi north of Mount Catherine in the Sinai Peninsula. ref, ref
  • 6,570-6,470-years-old tombs in southwest Sinai. ref
  • Ritual Art made with stones northeast Egyptian, Sinai, Hashem el-Tarif mountain site of Jebe Hashem alTaref where “stone drawings”, also found in a few other sites (best known- Uvda valley), reflect mythological stories told and acted out some 3000 years before the emergence of writing that dates around 7,500 years ago or about the mid 6th millennium BCE. ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Ceremonial Nabta Playa, Egyptian Valley of Sacrifices and 30 Megalithic Structures Between 9,520 to 6,620 Years Ago

9,520 years ago shows the beginning of early occupation that started to spread throughout the Western Desert of Egypt, such as in Nabta Playa which is just 12 miles northwest of Gebel Ramlah, and findings from the two regions are often compared. Circular stone or pebbles arrangements (interpreted as fireplaces) occur widely in the Sahara with more than 50 dates, ranging from around 9,070 to 3,570 years ago, with a maximum occurrence at 5870–5070 years ago. The first cattle tumuli (evidence of cattle worship) marks Nabta Playa as a key site in the question of evolving complexity with a Saharan cultural mosaic. Cattle tumuli at Nabta Playa are identified as a potential source of evidence on the origins of cattle worship in the ancient Egyptian belief system.

Furthermore, cattle seem to have arrived with the rest of the Neolithic package from Anatolia, into Egypt about 7,700 years ago. By the 6th millennium BCE (8,000-7,000 years ago), evidence of a prehistoric cultic religion appears, with several sacrificed cattle buried in stone-roofed chambers lined with clay. It has been suggested that the associated cattle cult indicated in Nabta Playa marks an early evolution of Ancient Egypt’s Hathor cult. For example, Hathor was worshipped as a nighttime protector in desert regions (Serabit el-Khadim, Temple of Hathor). Overall, there seem to be many aspects of political and ceremonial life in prehistoric Egypt and the Old Kingdom that reflects connections to the Saharan cattle pastoralists like those at Nabta Playa. As rituals progressed around 8,520 years ago with some of the earliest known burials being found at Gebel Ramlah.

Moreover, burials dating to the Middle and Late Neolithic (7,520-6,670 years ago) are scattered throughout the area as well. These are individual burials or sometimes burial clusters, predating the use of large-scale cemeteries in the region. Such individuals were some of the last to inhabit the Western Desert before drought drove them out. Some traveled up the Nile into northern Africa, potentially setting the stage for Ancient Egyptian civilizations. There are cultural elements found in the Final Neolithic of Gebel Ramlah which overlap with or are potential precursors for Ancient Egyptian elements, such as astronomical knowledge and the production of amulets. Additionally, it has been argued that the evidence for passive burial conservation in Gebel Ramlah cemeteries could be a precursor for Ancient Egyptian mummification, perhaps being based in similar protective beliefs. ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Epipaleolithic Egypt: Two main cultural groups; the Qarunian culture in the Faiyum, and the Elkabian culture in Upper Egypt.

“The Qarunian people (also designated as Faiyum B) hunted gazelle, hippo, waterfowl, hartebeest and fished extensively. Faiyum is a city in Middle Egypt. 62 miles southwest of Cairo, in the Faiyum Oasis. Evidence of their campsites along the banks of the marshland dater to between around 8,240-7,480 years ago. They used small-backed microlithic blades, often formed from chert. When the Faiyum was cut off from the Nile by lower floods (around 7,480 years ago), their culture disappeared and the area was not repopulated for around 300 years.” ref 

“Qarunian (Fayum B) culture, well attested at a number of sites in the Fayum (a late Capsian culture which was centered in the Maghreb mainly in modern Tunisia and Algeria, with some lithic sites attested from southern Spain to Sicily and their burial methods suggest a belief in an afterlife. Decorative art is widely found at their sites, including figurative and abstract rock art, and ochre is found coloring both tools and corpses. Ostrich eggshells were used to make beads and containers; seashells were used for necklaces; ref). The stone industry is different to Fayum Neolithic, and characterized by small tools (‘microliths’). However there are some types common to both cultures (the arrowheads), suggestive of connections between them. Knives and scrapers are common. There is no pottery. The settlement site labelled Z by the excavators is thought to have been located about 5 m above the lake level at the time of its use. Not much survived from the settlement, but there is a ‘hearth of ashes’. People must have lived from fishing, hunting and food gathering. The sites are small and were most likely only seasonal and perhaps short-lived.” ref

“The Elkabian site consists of a lower level of occupation (around 8,400 years ago), a middle level (at 8,040 years ago) and an upper level (at around 7,980 years ago). As well as plentiful evidence of fishing (some of which suggests these may have been seasonal fishing outposts), there is some indication that they used reed boats to fish in deeper waters. Archaeologists also found numerous ostrich shell beads.” ref 

Elkab, 1937-2007: seventy years of Belgian archaeological research: LINK

“And El-Kab was called Nekheb in Egyptian, a name that refers to Nekhbet, the goddess depicted as a white vulture. First is a series of well-stratified Epipaleolithic campsites dated to 8,400-7,980 years ago, these are the type-sites of the Elkabian microlithic industry, a prehistoric cultural sequence of Egypt before the earliest Neolithic (7,500 years ago).” ref

Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt

Epipaleolithic (Final Paleolithic)

“With warmer weather globally in the early Holocene, glaciers in the northern hemisphere began to melt and sea levels rose worldwide. In the Nile Valley, many occupation sites of the last Paleolithic hunter-gatherers are probably deeply buried under alluvium. Consequently, little evidence of the Epipaleolithic has been recovered from within the Nile Valley. Only two Epipaleolithic cultures have been found, both dating to around 9,000 years ago or less and after: the Qarunian culture with sites in the Faiyum region, where a much larger lake existed than the present one, and the Elkabian, in southern Upper Egypt.” ref

“At some Epipaleolithic sites in the Middle East, such as Abu Hureyra in Syria and Natufian sites in Israel, there is evidence of transitional cultures which led to the important inventions of the Neolithic. But such evidence, especially the transition from harvesting wild cereals to cultivating domesticated ones, is lacking in Egypt because the innovations of a Neolithic economy were introduced into Egypt and not invented there.” ref

“While Epipaleolithic hunter-gatherers at Natufian sites (12,,000–10,,000 years ago) were living in permanent villages occupied year round, such evidence is missing in Egypt until much later, in the Predynastic Period, and even then the evidence of permanent villages and towns is ephemeral. Working in the Faiyum, Gertrude Caton Thompson (see 1.4) identified two Neolithic cultures, which she termed Faiyum A and Faiyum B. The latter was thought to be a degenerated culture that followed Faiyum A.” ref

“Investigations in the Faiyum have identified Faiyum B as the Epipaleolithic Qarunian culture, ca. 1,000 years before the Neolithic Faiyum A. The Qarunian people were hunter-gatherers-fishers who lived near the shore of the lake. There is no evidence to suggest that they were experimenting with the domestication of plants and animals. They hunted large mammals such as gazelle, hartebeest, and hippopotamus, and fishing of catfish and other species provided a major source of protein.” ref

“The tool kit was microlithic, with many small chert blades. Fishing was also important for the Epipaleolithic peoples at Elkab, and they may have used (reed?) boats for deep-water fishing in the main Nile. Originally these sites were located next to a channel of the Nile. The evidence has been relatively well preserved because the sites were later accidentally protected by a huge enclosure built at Elkab in the Late Period, long after the Nile channel had silted up. Like the Qarunian, the tools at these Elkab sites are microlithic, with many small burins (chisel-like stone tools). Grinding stones are also present.” ref

“These were probably used to grind pigment, still in evidence on the stone, not to process cereals or other wild plants for consumption. Mammals, such as dorcas gazelle and barbery sheep, were also hunted. The sites were camps with no evidence of permanent occupation, and the hunters may have gone out of the Valley for seasonal hunting in the desert, which in the early Holocene had become a less arid environment.” ref

Saharan Neolithic

“Although there is evidence in southwest Asia of early Neolithic villages practicing some agriculture and herding of domesticated animals by 10,000 years ago, contemporary Neolithic sites in Egypt are found only in the Western Desert, where the evidence for subsistence practices is quite different from that in southwest Asia. Occupation of the Western Desert sites was only possible during periods when there was rain, as a result of northward shifts in the monsoon belt. In the early Holocene there was not enough rainfall in the desert for agriculture, which in any event had not yet been invented or introduced into Egypt.” ref

“Permanent villages are unknown in the earliest phase and the sites are like the seasonal camps of hunter-gatherers. While there may have been permanent settlements later, these were not villages increasing in size and population, and after about 7,000 years ago, they were gradually abandoned, as the Western Desert became more and more. The Saharan Neolithic sites do not represent a true Neolithic economy. They have been classified as Neolithic because of the possible domestication of cattle, which seem to have been herded, and the presence of pottery.” ref

“Three periods of the Saharan Neolithic have been identified in the Western Desert: Early (12,800–10,800 years ago), Middle (10,500–9,100 years ago), and Late (7,100–6,700 years ago). Excavated by Fred Wendorf, Neolithic sites in the Western Desert have been found in a number of localities, especially Bir Kiseiba (more than 250 km west of the Nile in Lower Nubia) and Nabta Playa (ca. 90 km southeast of Bir Kiseiba). Neolithic sites are also found farther north in Dakhla and Kharga Oases.” ref

“At Early Neolithic sites Wendorf has evidence of small amounts of cattle bones and argues that cattle could not have survived in the desert without human intervention, that is, herding and watering. Whether these herded cattle were fully domesticated, or were still morphologically wild, is problematic. By 9,500 years ago there is evidence of excavated wells, which may have provided water for people and cattle, thus making longer stays in the desert possible.” ref

“But hare and gazelle were also hunted, and cattle may have been kept for milk and blood, rather than primarily for meat, as is still practiced by many cattle pastoralists in East Africa. Early Neolithic tools include backed bladelets (with one side intentionally blunted), some of which are pointed and were probably used for hunting. Grinding stones were used to process wild grass seeds and wild sorghum, which have been preserved at one Nabta Playa site. Later evidence at the same site includes the remains of several rows of stone huts, probably associated with temporary lake levels, as well as underground storage pits and wells.” ref

“The Nabta Playa is one of the earliest of the Egyptian Neolithic Period, is dated to 9,500 years ago in the Nubian Desert. By the 6th millennium BCE/8,000-7,000 years old evidence of a prehistoric religion or cult appears, with a number of sacrificed cattle buried in stone-roofed chambers lined with clay. It has been suggested that the associated cattle cult indicated in Nabta Playa marks an early evolution of Ancient Egypt‘s Hathor cult. For example, Hathor was worshipped as a nighttime protector in desert regions (see Serabit el-Khadim). There are thought to be many aspects of political and ceremonial life in prehistoric Egypt and the Old Kingdom that reflects a strong impact from Saharan cattle pastoralists. Other subterranean complexes are also found in Nabta Playa, one of which included evidence of perhaps the oldest known sculpture in Egypt. By the 5th millennium BCE/7,000-6,000 years ago these peoples had fashioned what may be among the world’s earliest known archeoastronomical devices (roughly contemporary to the Goseck circle in Germany and the Mnajdra megalithic temple complex in Malta). These include alignments of stones that may have indicated the rising of certain stars and a “calendar circle” that indicates the approximate direction of summer solstice sunrise. “Calendar circle” may be a misnomer as the spaces between the pairs of stones in the gates are a bit too wide, and the distances between the gates are too short for accurate calendar measurements.” An inventory of Egyptian archaeoastronomical sites for the UNESCO World Heritage Convention evaluated Nabta Playa as having “hypothetical solar and stellar alignments.” ref 

“Similar to one found in Upper Egypt, El-Badari made of Hippopotamus ivory carved into the figure of woman; incised eyes and pubic-triangle, dated to around 6,400-6,000 years ago mortuary figure.” ref

Goddess Nut

“Nut, in older sources as Nunut, Nent, and Nuit, is the goddess of the sky in the Ennead of ancient Egyptian religion. She was seen as a star-covered nude woman arching over the earth, or as a cow. She was originally the goddess of the nighttime sky, but eventually became referred to as simply the sky goddess. Her headdress was the hieroglyphic of part of her name, a pot, which may also symbolize the uterus. Mostly depicted in nude human form, Nut was also sometimes depicted in the form of a cow whose great body formed the sky and heavens, a sycamore tree, or as a giant sow, suckling many piglets (representing the stars). A sacred symbol of Nut was the ladder used by Osiris to enter her heavenly skies. This ladder-symbol was called maqet and was placed in tombs to protect the deceased, and to invoke the aid of the deity of the dead. Nut was the goddess of the sky and all heavenly bodies, a symbol of protecting the dead when they enter the afterlife. According to the Egyptians, during the day, the heavenly bodies—such as the sun and moon—would make their way across her body. Then, at dusk, they would be swallowed, pass through her belly during the night, and be reborn at dawn.” ref

Some of the titles of Nut were:

  • “Coverer of the Sky: Nut was said to be covered in stars touching the different points of her body.
  • She Who Protects: Among her jobs was to envelop and protect Ra, the sun god.
  • Mistress of All or “She who Bore the Gods”: Originally, Nut was said to be lying on top of Geb (Earth) and continually having intercourse. During this time she birthed four children: Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephthys. A fifth child named Arueris is mentioned by Plutarch. He was the Egyptian counterpart to the Greek god Apollo, who was made syncretic with Horus in the Hellenistic era as ‘Horus the Elder’. The Ptolemaic temple of Edfu is dedicated to Horus the Elder and there he is called the son of Nut and Geb, brother of Osiris.
  • She Who Holds a Thousand Souls: Because of her role in the re-birthing of Ra every morning and in her son Osiris’ resurrection, Nut became a key god in many of the myths about the afterlife.” ref

Woman like Figures in Pre-Dynastic


Early-Dynastic Periods

“Small figures commonly showing naked women are already among the earliest depictions of human figure in Egypt. They come from the Badarian period ( around 6,400-6,000 years ago). It is possible that they are intended as fertility figures. Sexual organs are often shown very explicitly. These figures might have different functions: the wish for many children and fertility in agriculture may well have been inseparable. Figures of naked men are also known but not so common. The connection to fertility is not certain. However, already at the end of the Predynastic Period the god of male procreative power, Min was important and already shown ithypallic.” ref 

 “Figurine evidence for the Old Kingdom (about 4,686-4,181 years ago) is not very abundant. This might reflect the change in burial customs; fertility figures were no longer placed into tombs. There are also not many excavated settlement sites of the period. However, several funerary statues placed in tombs show the (male) tomb owner naked. At the end of the Old Kingdom figures of naked women appear in tombs. However, now they are often interpreted as ‘concubines’ for the tomb-owner who wished to continue a sexual life in the afterworld.” ref 

“In the Middle Kingdom small often very stylized figures of naked women were placed in tombs; they have also been found at settlement sites. They seem to have a strong connection to fertility. Their function might have been to guarantee safe childbirth in this life, or regeneration (and sexual activity) in the next world. Nothing similar is known on this (more private) level for male sexuality; though the cult of Min was still one of the main state cults.” ref 

“In the New Kingdom record is similar to that of the Middle Kingdom. There are many (female) figures known from settlement sites, evidence for a more domestic fertility cult. A typical new form is the naked woman lying on a bed, sometimes with child by the legs. Votive offerings to the goddess Hathor, found at several of her chapels might also have had a fertility function.” ref 

“Early Neolithic pottery is decorated with patterns of lines and points, often made by impressing combs or cords. The pottery (and that of the following Middle Neolithic) is related to ceramics of the “Khartoum” or “Saharo-Sudanese” tradition farther south in northern Sudan. Since potsherds are few at Early Neolithic sites, water was probablyalso stored in ostrich egg shells, of which more have been found (or possibly also in animal skins that have not been preserved).” ref

“Middle and Late Neolithic occupation sites in the Western Desert are more numerous. There are more living structures and wells, as well as the earliest evidence of wattle-and-daub houses, made of plants plastered with mud. Some of these sites may have been occupied year round, while the smaller ones may still represent temporary camps of pastoralists. Sheep and goat, originally domesticated in southwest Asia, are found for the first time in the Western Desert, but hunting wild animals still provided most of the animal protein.” ref

“Bifacially worked stone tools called foliates and points (arrowheads) with concave bases become more frequent. There are also grinding stones, smaller ground stone tools (palettes and ungrooved ax-like tools called celts), and beads. In the Late Neolithic at Nabta Playa and Bir Kiseiba a new ceramic ware appears that is smoothed on the surface. Some of this pottery is black-topped, which becomes a characteristic ware of the early Predynastic in the Nile Valley.” ref

“The appearance of this new pottery in the Western Desert, and later in Upper Egypt, may be evidence for movements of people, but other forms of contact and exchange (of pottery, technology, ideas, etc.) are also possible. After 6,900 years ago more arid conditions prevailed in the Western Desert, making life for pastoralists there increasingly difficult except in the oases, where Neolithic cultures continued into Dynastic times.” ref

“Some very unusual Late Neolithic evidence has been excavated by Wendorf at Nabta Playa, including two tumuli covered by stone slabs, one of which had a pit containing the burial of a bull. Also found there were an alignment of ten large stones, ca. 2 meters × 3 meters, which had been brought from 1.5 kilometers or more away, and a circular arrangement of smaller stone slabs, ca. 4 meters in diameter.” ref

“It has been suggested that the stone alignments had calendrical significance based on astronomical/celestial movements (as is known for more complex stone alignments, the most famous of which is Stonehenge in southern England). Such a specific explanation for the Nabta Playa stone alignments is difficult to demonstrate, but they appear to have had no utilitarian purpose. They should probably be understood as related to the belief system of these Neolithic pluralists.” ref


“Although the term “Neolithic” means “New Stone Age,” the technological and social changes that occurred during the Neolithic were some of the most fundamental ones in the evolution of human culture and society. Archaeologist V. Gordon Childe termed this development the “Neolithic revolution.” The technological changes included many more tools used by farmers, which had originally developed in late Paleolithic cultures to collect and process wild plants, including sickle blades as well as axes, to clear areas for farming. More importantly, the Neolithic was the period of transition from a subsistence based on hunting, gathering, and fishing, with people living in small temporary camps, to an economy based on farming and herding domesticated plants and animals, as well as the beginning of village life, which could properly be called the “Neolithic economy.” ref

“Pottery, which was useful for cooking and storage of cultivated cereals, was invented in the Neolithic, although it is also associated with sedentary villages of some earlier (Mesolithic) cultures that did not practice agriculture. Village life would forever change human societies, laying the social and economic foundations for the subsequent rise of towns and cities, which has been termed the “urban revolution.” Some of the changes the Neolithic brought were beneficial: the potential for a permanent supply of food provided by farming and herding, and permanent shelter. Hunting and gathering is physically difficult for child-bearing women, and there was a rise in population associated with the Neolithic. More women of child-bearing years survived to bear more children, and more children were useful for farming activities, especially harvesting.” ref

“But with the Neolithic came new problems. As agriculture and herding spread, large numbers of wild species (and their environments) were replaced by domesticated ones. With a decrease in biodiversity, there was a greater possibility of crop failure and famine, as a result of low floods (in Egypt) and droughts, as well as insect pests and diseases that prey on cultivated plants. Domesticated animals carry diseases that are contagious to humans, especially anthrax and tuberculosis. In dense human populations living in permanent villages infectious diseases also increase: smallpox, cholera, chicken pox, influenza, polio, et cetera. Unsanitary conditions of more people living together can also create an environment that encourages parasites (bacilli and streptococci).” ref

“Human waste and animals that are attracted to villages (rodents, cockroaches, etc.) can carry the bacteria of bubonic plague, leprosy, dysentery, et cetera. Without socially acceptable outlets, the psychological effect of more people living together in permanent settlements can also lead to increased tension and violence. The advantages of the Neolithic economy and village life in Egypt laid the foundations for pharaonic civilization.” ref

“The Egyptian Nile Valley was an almost ideal environment for cereal agriculture, with the potential of large surpluses, which were the economic base of pharaonic society. The population increased greatly during pharaonic times. Fishing remained an important source of protein in the pharaonic diet, while fowling and hunting also continued, mainly as an elite pastime. As the habitats of wild birds and mammals decreased through time, older subsistence strategies acquired new meanings.” ref

Neolithic in the Nile Valley: Faiyum A and Lower Egypt 

“In the Egyptian Nile Valley farming and herding were just beginning to be established in the later 6th millennium bc. Since this major cultural transition had occurred much earlier in southwest Asia, with permanent villages in existence in the Epipaleolithic, it seems strange that the Neolithic economy (see Box 4-C) appeared much later in Egypt, and of a very different type there – without permanent villages.” ref

Several explanations for the late development of the Neolithic in the Egyptian Nile Valley have been suggested: 

(1) “None of the species of wild plants or animals that later became domesticated, with the possible exception of cattle, were present in Egypt.” ref

(2) “Some of these species (6-row barley, sheep) did not appear in the southern Levant until close to 8,000 years ago, so they could not have appeared in Egypt until after that time. In addition, the Sinai Peninsula, which was too dry for farming, provided an effective barrier for the flow of farming technology between Egypt and the southern Levant.” ref

(3) “The Nile Valley was such a resource-rich environment for hunter-gatherer-fishers that the need to supplement this subsistence with farming and herding did not develop until much later than in southwest Asia.” ref

(4) “Much archaeological information from the Epipaleolithic, when technological developments were taking place which led to the invention of agriculture and herding of domesticated animals in some parts of the Old World, is missing for geological reasons in the Egyptian Nile Valley – especially if such settlements were located next to the river.” ref

“Although none of these is a satisfactory explanation by itself, in combination they help to clarify some of the problems surrounding the lack of evidence for the transition to a Neolithic economy in Egypt. In the Faiyum region there is a gap of about 1,000 years between the Epipaleolithic Qarunian culture and the Faiyum A Neolithic sites are the earliest known Neolithic ones in (or near) the Nile Valley, dating to 7,500–6,500 years ago.” ref

“The sites contain evidence of domesticated cereals (emmer wheat and 6-row barley) and domesticated sheep/goat, all of which were first domesticated in different parts of southwest Asia. Cattle bones were also found, only some of which are domesticated. But there is no evidence of houses or permanent villages, and the Faiyum A sites resemble camps of hunter-gatherers with scatters of lithics and potsherds.” ref

Ancient Egyptian Cattle’s Origin?

“Cattle are attested already in the eighth millennium BC/10,000-9,000 years ago in domestic contexts in Western Asia (Tell Mureybit, Syria). The earliest undisputed cattle remains in Africa were found at Capeletti, Algeria (about 6,500 years ago). In Egypt they appear first in the cultures of Fayum and Merimde, although it is not entirely certain if the remains found are from wild or domestic animals. The bones found at Merimde seem to come from domestic animals. There is much discussion over the origin of cattle in Egypt and Africa in general: are Egyptian cattle originally from the Near East or Africa?” ref 

“Studies of ancient Egyptian religion have examined texts for evidence of cattle worship, but the picture given by the texts is incomplete. Mortuary patterns, ceremonial buildings, grave goods, ceramics and other remains also contain evidence of cattle worship and underline its importance to early Egypt. The recently discovered cattle tumuli at Nabta Playa in the Western Desert are identified here as a potential source of evidence on the origins of cattle worship in the ancient Egyptian belief system.” ref 

“The desiccation of the Western Desert over the course of the Late Neolithic occurred about the same time as a drop in the flood levels of the Nile River. The tempered, black-topped and red-slipped pottery found in the Late Neolithic layers of Nabta Playa sites E-75-8 and E-94-2 are similar to that of the Badarians in the Nile Valley, suggestive of an interaction between the two areas. And while there is evidence for Eastern Desert influence on the Badarian culture there is a strong element of Saharan culture, which means that we cannot exclude the possibility that the semicircle formed by the Bahariya, Farafra, Dakhla and Kharga oases might have been the point of origin of populations who perhaps already pursued a pastoral mode of subsistence; these people might have been pushed eastwards by increasing aridity and would eventually have settled in the region of Asyut and Tahta.” ref 

“[It] might even be suggested that the Neolithic cultures of the oases and the Faiyum could be regarded as the eastern fringes of the Sahara Neolithic groups. And thus, taken together, the two indications above suggest that the population which arrived in Nabta after 7,500 years ago – apparently pastoralists from the Sahara with a new and higher level of organisation – influenced the developments in the nearby Nile Valley. So it could be that the primary external stimulus for the rise of social complexity in Upper Egypt was contact with the pastoralists of the Western Desert. If this view is correct, social complexity in the Nile Valley was the end product.” ref 

“Not only of numerous differentiating factors associated with the rise of craft specialisation, but also of the dynamic interaction between two contrasting lifestyles, pastoral and centralized agricultural economies, existing in close proximity. The Nile Valley and desert economies were characterized by structural and functional differentiation providing mutual support for each. Yet a tense harmony would also have been present, as well as diffusion of ideas and practices. Rock art from the Predynastic to the east and west of Armant, situated on the west bank of the Nile River, depicts domesticated cattle with artificially deformed horns, indicative of pastoralism.” ref 

“Genetic studies support the scenario that Bos taurus domestication occurred in the Near East during the Neolithic transition about 10,000 years ago, with the likely exception of a minor secondary event in Italy. However, despite the proven effectiveness of whole mitochondrial genome data in providing valuable information concerning the origin of taurine cattle, until now no population surveys have been carried out at the level of mitogenomes in local breeds from the Near East or surrounding areas. Egypt is in close geographic and cultural proximity to the Near East, in particular the Nile Delta region, and was one of the first neighboring areas to adopt the Neolithic package. Thus, a survey of mitogenome variation of autochthonous taurine breeds from the Nile Delta region might provide new insights on the early spread of cattle rearing outside the Near East. The domestication of the wild aurochs (Bos primigenius) was a major element of the Neolithic transition. Archeozoological evidence indicates that taurine cattle were initially domesticated somewhere in the upper Euphrates Valley (likely Turkey or maybe Syria) between 11,000 to 10,000 years ago.” ref

“Initially it was suggested that haplogroup Q might have derived from European aurochsen, while later a parallel history was instead hypothesized for haplogroups Q and T, with Q representing an additional lineage that was domesticated in the Near East and spread with trade and human migrations. Interestingly, a recent survey of prehistoric domestic cattle control-regions has identified haplogroup Q in Middle/Late Neolithic remains from Anatolia/Turkey, and also at extremely high frequencies in skeletal remains from Bulgaria and Romania dated 7,000–4,000 years ago. Overall these findings highlight a growing complexity in the geographic distribution of Q, and lend support to the conclusion of Achilli and colleagues who stated that the parallel history and source of haplogroups Q and T needed to be tested by acquiring coding-region data from a wide range of B. taurus populations, especially from the Near East.” ref

Ancient Egypt: Epipaleolithic, Neolithic, and Predynastic 8,500 to 6,020 years ago

The ancient Egypt most think of today is the culminations of advancing lifestyles and cultural innovations which started to be arranged by some of Egypt’s mysterious Neolithic peoples involving a time from around 11,320 to 6,020 years ago. However, this is especially so from around 8,500 to 6,020 years ago and this provided the foundation for the advanced civilizations to come. The Late Neolithic (7,520-6,670 years ago) with domesticated cattle and goats, wild plant processing and cattle burials moving these successes further in the Final Neolithic (6,620-6,020 years ago), which culminated in the making of structures on the road to latter megaliths, as well as shrines and even calendar circles, something similar to other standing stone circles. During the final part of the Egyptian Neolithic period, people started burying the dead in formal cemeteries. An analysis of grave-pit funerary wrappings with an embalming “recipe” from the Badarian grave at the Mostagedda cemetery site in Upper Egypt shows growing elaborate treatment of the bodies as early as between 6,336 years ago is an early Pharaonic forerunner to more complex processes. Therefore, it was the development of complexity within the predynastic period ending around 5,220 years ago that led to the emergence of the ancient Egyptian religion and its empire state. ref, ref, ref

“One of Egypt’s earliest temples was the shrine of Nekhbet at Nekheb (also referred to as El Kab). It was the companion city to Nekhen, the religious and political capital of Upper Egypt at the end of the Predynastic period (5,200–5,100 years ago) and probably, also during the Early Dynastic Period (5,100–4,686 years ago). The original settlement on the Nekhen site dates from Naqada I or the late Badarian cultures. At its height, from about 5,400 years ago, Nekhen had at least 5,000 and possibly as many as 10,000 inhabitants. Nekhbet was the tutelary deity of Upper Egypt. Nekhbet and her Lower Egyptian counterpart Wadjet often appeared together as the “Two Ladies“. One of the titles of each ruler was the Nebty name, which began with the hieroglyphs for [s/he] of the Two Ladies…. In art, Nekhbet was depicted as a vulture. Alan Gardiner identified the species that was used in divine iconography as a griffon vulture. Arielle P. Kozloff, however, argues that the vultures in New Kingdom art, with their blue-tipped beaks and loose skin, better resemble the lappet-faced vulture.” ref

Picture Link: link

The bull shrine E VI,8 also from a site of Çatal Hüyük, Turkey.

“SVI.B.8, east and west walls, showing modelled splayed figure above a modelled bull’s head on the west wall, with bucrania arranged in front of the east wall at Çatalhöyük.” ref

Egypt, the tomb of King Uadji (after Conrad 1959.Fig. p. 75).  

“The Serapeum (a temple or other sacred religious place) of Saqqara is located north west of the Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara, a necropolis near Memphis in Lower Egypt. It was also a burial place of Apis bulls, sacred bulls that were incarnations of the ancient Egyptian deity Ptah.” ref

Bull Worship at Saqqara – (The facade of tomb 3504) 

“The superstructure of the tomb shows evidence of 30 niches and 34 projections along its periphery. The structure was built on a wide platform on which, placed at reguar intervals, were clay bovine heads with real horns. At the rate of 7 to each niche and 4 on the facade, there would have been a total of 346. The bull played a considerable role in the Old kingdom, and in the pyramid texts the King is often called ‘The Bull of the Sky’. But because of its horns the bull was also related to the moon. Thus it is tempting to note that the number of bull heads here approximates to that of 12 lunations (354 days), and extremely close to the number of days which Sir Fred Hoyle related to the periodic return of eclipses.” ref

“Bucrania, or bull skulls, were used as a decorative motif in the architecture of First Dynasty Egypt. There is both archaeological and icongraphic evidence for this – bucrania have been excavated in the mastabas of Saqqara, and there artifacts from the period with depictions of buildings surmounted by bucrania. Comparative material, such as the bucrania found in situ at the burials of Kermaand the practice of human sacrifice during the Egyptian First Dynasty, can beexamined to gain insight into the significance and deeper meaning of the bucrania. This article will study the available evidence in an attempt to answerhow and why bucrania were used in the architecture of First Dynasty Egypt. In architecture, a bucranium (pl. bucrania) is a “carved decorative motif depicting theskull of a bull.” It can also refer to the skull and horncones of a real animal, or to a head modelled entirely from clay or plaster with realhorn cones. Bucrania have been found at sites across the ancient world, and their usein architecture is particularly famous at the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in modern-day Turkey. While the evidence for the use of bucrania islimited during later periods, there are examples from the First Dynasty from both the archaeological and iconographic records. The First Dynasty only lasted about 200 years, and based on the amount of evidence for the use of bucrania in the architecture of this period, it follows that bucrania were especially important during the First Dynasty.” ref

“Bucrania were used to decorate mastabas in the First Dynasty necropolis at Saqqara. The most elaborate decoration belonged to Tomb 3504. A low bench ran along the base of the mastaba. Approximately 300 life-size bulls’ heads, modeled from clay and with large natural horns, were mounted upon this platform. The bulls’ heads were arranged in a symmetrical pattern, each head held in place by two wooden pegs. There were traces of blue and red paint on the bulls’ heads, but it is uncertain if the heads were painted, or if these were splashes of paint from when the structure itself was painted.Tomb 3504 can be dated to the reign of Djet, the fourth pharaoh of the First Dynasty, by the labels and sealing impressions found within. The burial chamber was restored and remodeled towards the end of the First Dynasty, which led Emery to suggest that it was the burial place of “Uadji or some other important member of his family” and, because of its grandeur, it was thought to belong to Djet himself. It has also been identified as belonging to Djet’s predecessor, Djer. However, it cannot be the tomb of a pharaoh, because the pharaohs of the First Dynasty were buried in the Umm el-Qa’ab.” ref

SVI.B.8, east wall showing successive layers of red designs painted on modelled bulls’ heads. These include hands with fingers or vulture wings, as well as geometric, ‘net’ patterns. Numbers are from Mellaart 1967, 123, figure 36. 

“SVI.10 east wall, with modelled bull’s head and open breasts each containing the skull of a griffon vulture (Gyps fulva) with beak protruding from red-painted areola.” ref

Cattle burials in Nabta Playa and the Nile Valley 

“On the western edge of the largest wadi to the north of Nabta is the first of two differing types of  stone-covered tumuli marking the burial sites of cattle. Seven out of the nine tumuli examined have been excavated. At E-94-1n, at the northern end of the Late Neolithic ceremonial complex, the stones covered the articulated remains of a young cow in a clay-lined chamber. Radiocarbon tests on the wood from the roof returned a date of 7,400 years ago.” ref   

“The poorly preserved cow is around 125 cm. in height, with the spine oriented north-south and its head facing south. The second type of tumulus consists of disarticulated Bos bones scattered between unshaped rocks. Sites E-94-1s, E-96-4, E-97-4, E-97-6 and E-97-16 are associated with the remains of 3, 4 (2 sub-adult, 2 young adults), 2 (1 juvenile, 1 sub-adult), 1 and 1 (sub-adult) bovines respectively. No particular body part was deliberately selected for deposition. A similar emphasis on the cattle cult can be observed in Egypt. The Nabta cattle burials are paralleled somewhat by the Badarian animal graves. Certain animals, including Bos, were revered during Badarian times as witnessed by their burials in select sections of different cemeteries either on their own, or in association with human burials or within human graves.” ref

“This does not presuppose that each species was buried for the same purpose, since pattern variation within the burials is well documented by Flores. Some graves had linen and matting which may have covered the animal. Cow remains are present in numbers at Hammamiya. Human and Bos remains were also sometimes found buried together. The latter practice continued down into late Old Kingdom times, as evidenced by the ox burials at Qau. These later burials show signs that the cattle had been carefully dismembered before burial. A Bos burial from Tomb 19 at Hierakonpolis Locality Hk6 and the tomb dates either to the end of Nagada I or to the beginning of Nagada II.” ref   

“Its occupant is a specimen of Bos primigenius (the wild ancestor of the domestic cow Bos taurus). Reed matting and resin were utilised in the burial of the whole corpse, as indeed they were with human burials in the same locality. Remains of cattle have also been uncovered at localities Hk11, Hk29 and Hk29A at Hierakonpolis. Many of the Bos from Hk11 were of mature age, which is indicative of animal husbandry and possibly this reflects their use for purposes other than to supply meat (e.g. dairy products, draft animals, religious or social symbols). Locality Hk29 also displays strong signs of animal husbandry but it is at Hk29A, a ceremonial complex dating to late Nagada II, where something unusual occurs in the faunal patterns.” ref   

“There is a discrepancy between the cranial and post-cranial age profiles, wherein the younger Bos crania are under-represented. The implication of ritual activities involving cattle at Hk29A is given additional weight by Friedman (1996: 30), who states that “representations [on Predynastic seals and vessels] of fences topped with the impaled heads (mainly cattle) may explain the head to torso discrepancy among the faunal remains at HK29A”.  From the Terminal Predynastic period, cattle burials have been found at the Nubian A-Group cemetery at Qustul and again at Hierakonpolis. There is one burial at Hierakonpolis of particular interest, that of Tomb 7 in Locality Hk6.” ref

“By contrast with Nagada II tombs, this cattle burial grave has an almost square shape. It has a length of 2.5 m., a width of 2.1 m. and a depth of 0.65-0.75 m. It had been lined with stone slabs during the original construction. The community had placed grass matting over the bones of three dead animals, which were each buried in one piece. An intriguing aspect of this burial was the presence of a dark organic substance that sheathed a few of the bones. It has been hypothesized that since this organic substance was associated with only the ribs and was tightly packed around them, the possibility exists that it was used to fill out the animal’s eviscerated abdomen – a practice foreshadowing the mummification of later time.” ref

“It has a parallel in the earlier Bos burial from Tomb 19, mentioned above. This is the first known Bos burial triad. Bos triads are also known through representations on predynastic Nagada ceramics. It is possible that the cattle beliefs of the dynastic Egyptians had their origins in the Saharan pastoralists in the predynastic period and stemmed from the Saharan pastoralists, which in essence is also the hypothesis of this article. However, Hassan proposes a fertility-women-cattle ideology, which in the view of the present writer is based on several unfounded assumptions.” ref

“This is assuming that only women were associated with fertility and the provisioning of the essential ingredients of life, water and food, but there is no solid evidence to back up this claim. It has also been suggests that it was the women amongst the Saharan pastoralists who herded the cattle, but the ethnographic records of, for example, the Nuer of the Sudan reveal that teenage males herd the cattle. According to a proposed hypothesis, the predynastic male king drew power from his association with the female goddesses and the very status of women within Predynastic society – but there is a lack of data for the latter claim.” ref

“An integral part of such a hypothesis are the Nagada female figurines shown with their arms curved above their heads in a posture which he has interpreted as representing the bovine horns of a mother goddess. However, this does not account for the presence of male figurines, or the absence of figurines representing a mother and a son as could be expected in a “Mother Goddess” cult, or the lack of exaggerated features (breasts, buttocks) suggesting fertility and divinity, or alternative explanations of the curved arms, such as the invocation of a bird deity.” ref   

“In short, there is little reason to directly connect the cattle burials, or cattle symbolism in general, with a “Mother Goddesses” cult, although there certainly are important symbols that have to do with a cow goddess in relation to the king. Whether the frequent occurrence of separated heads of cow goddesses (humanised or not), often on pillars or poles, in the Predynastic Nile Valley has any relation with the impaled cattle heads at Hierakonpolis (Hk29A) is hard to say.” ref

“But it is certain that the cow’s head seen front face, associated with a goddess, is an important bovine motif in early Egyptian art. Dating to the Terminal Predynastic is a sculptured palette that has been found at Gerzeh. Oval-shaped, it has one blank side with a flat relief covering the whole of the other side. The relief is of a cow’s head reduced to a geometrical form with ears and horns curving outwards, all embellished with five stars. It is identical to the Hathor Bowl dating from the 1st Dynasty at Hierakonpolis. The stars might suggest that the palette refers to the Heavenly Cow and to the epithet “Mistress of the Stars”, which in the later “Tale of Sinuhe” is applied to Hathor.”  ref

“Also on the Narmer Palette, on either side of the top of the palette (as if looking down on the scenes from heaven), there are two frontal, humanised, cow heads. It has been argued for the identification of these heads with the goddess Bat. Bat was a local goddess of the seventh nome in Upper Egypt, where the bA.t fetish appears often on official pendants. One of the earliest written occurrences of the goddess’ name is from the 6th Dynasty: “I [Menenre] am Bзt with her two faces. (Pyramid Text §1096). It is possible that the first occurrence of Bat’s name is on a diorite vase excavated at Hierakonpolis and dated to the 1st Dynasty.  The vase displays a human face with cow ears and horns. A jabiru stork was found near the vase. The vase and the jabiru stork (bз) has been regarded as representing a hieroglyphic construction, so that together they make up bз.t. This word is the same as that represented on the shrine of Sesostris I at Karnak.” ref

“A gold amulet from the archaic period at Naga ed-Deir displays in it a pendant of the bз.t fetish. As the classic representation of Hathor is with an outward curving pair of horns, It has been argued that, if Bat were a later offshoot of Hathor, then she should be expected initially to have adopted Hathor’s elegant and outward curving horns, instead of the heavy, ribbed, and inward curving horns that appear in some of the Predynastic cow heads.” ref   

“These heavy archaic horn forms are therefore ascribed to Bat, who supposedly lost this bovine horn structure over time, replacing it with antennae with spiral tips that likewise curl inwards. Based on these arguments, It is thus possible that the Predynastic representations of cow heads are that of Bat, who consequently also appears at the top of the Narmer Palette, and that Hathor is first mentioned in the 4th Dynasty, a time in which she becomes connected with the bз.t fetish.” ref   

“However, we cannot forget the Armant rock art, as has already been noted, horn manipulation is a mark of early pastoralism in the Nile Valley. Therefore it seems likely or warranted to identify the goddess depicted on the Narmer Palette as Hathor. Noteworthy is Pyramid Text §546, “My kilt which is on me is Hathor”, which reminds one of the four cow heads on Narmer’s kilt, identical to the ones on top of the Palette. A statue of Djoser displays a similar belt which has been identified as displaying Hathor’s head. Fisher’s idea that Hathor appeared relatively late can also not be maintained: a temple of Hathor at Gebelein dates from the late 2nd dynasty.” ref

“While it could be accurate in saying “it seems likely that, in this area, Egyptian theology was characterized by ‘a common substratum of ideas which lent the two goddesses a somewhat similar character”, it is Hathor who is consistently connected with the pharaoh, not Bat. In the Valley Temple of Mycerinus there are triads of Hathor, Mycerinus and a nome diety. Hathor stands in the middle of the figures in two of the triads, with her arm around Mycerinus as if in a protective stance and showing that she is related to him. The connection of the pharaoh with bovines is apparent from the beginnings of dynastic Egypt.” ref

“On the Narmer Palette, a bull breaking down the enemy’s fortifications symbolises the conquering pharaoh. The name Menes (mni) is usually linked with either the pharaohs Narmer or Hor-Aha and Fairservis hypothesises it has a possible origin in mniw, meaning “herdsman”. Hor-Aha’s name is proof of a close relationship between the pharaoh and the god Horus, who is sometimes depicted in bull form. It is during the late Predynastic that Horus (and by extension the king) adopts the cow goddess as his mother, formalized in the form of Hathor (Hw.t-Hr, “House of Horus”). This event is also evidenced by the dedication of the Narmer Palette in the temple of Horus at Hierakonpolis.” ref 

“The Narmer Macehead has many features in common with the ceremonial complex Hk29A and also displays the pharaoh in association with bovines. The end products of the codification of such traditions are commemorative objects like the Narmer Palette, which built on the works of earlier commemorative pieces. It was a combination of formal commemorative hieroglyphic writing with the basic iconography of the evolving kingship.” ref 

“At Nabta Playa in the Western Desert, evidence of the domestication of cattle dates from the Middle Neolithic. This brought about socio-economic changes within the desert communities, which is later reflected in the Late Neolithic cattle tumuli and megalithic constructions at Nabta Playa. The  Bos  tumuli are indicative of cattle worship, and the Late Neolithic site as a whole displays evidence of a community with greater social complexity than its contemporaries in the Nile Valley. Prolonged contact with desert pastoralists led to the first socially complex society in the Nile Valley, the Badarian. It introduced a new religious and socio-economic element into the life of the Upper Egyptians, namely ownership and burial of domestic cattle. Bos burials are found in Nagada period settlements, in clearly ceremonial contexts. As pastoralism became increasingly fused in the Nile Valley economy with agriculture, religious associations evolved between the cow goddess and the king. These aspects became codified in the artefactual representations dating from the time of Unification.” ref  

“The only permanent features are a great number of hearths and granaries – ca. 350 hearths at the site of Kom W, and 56 granaries, some lined with baskets, at nearby Kom K. Another 109 granaries were also excavated near Kom W, one of which contained a wooden sickle (for harvesting cereals) with chert blades still hafted to it. Although the domesticated cereals and sheep/goat at the Faiyum A sites were not indigenous to Egypt, the stone tools there argue for an Egyptian origin of this culture.” ref

“Lithics include grinding stones for processing cereals, but also concave-base arrowheads for hunting, which are found earlier in the Western Desert. Faiyum A ceramics are simple open pots of a crude, chaff-tempered clay. But there is also evidence of woven linen cloth (made from domesticated flax), and imported materials for jewelry, including seashells and beads of green feldspar (from the Eastern Desert), obtained by long distance trade or exchange. As elsewhere at early Neolithic sites in the ancient Near East, farming and herding in the Faiyum were in addition to hunting, gathering, and fishing, and cereals were probably stored for consumption in the drier months, when wild resources became scarce.” ref

“Unlike Neolithic evidence in the Nile Valley, the Fayium A culture did not become transformed into a society with full-time farming villages. In the 4th millennium bc/ 6,000-5,000 years ago when social complexity was developing in the Nile Valley, the Faiyum remained a cultural backwater. From around 6,000 years ago there are the remains of a few fishing/hunting camps in the Faiyum, but the region was probably deserted by farmers who took advantage of the much greater potential of floodplain agriculture in the Nile Valley.” ref

Somewhat later Neolithic sites have been excavated in Lower Egypt, at Merimde Beni-Salame near the apex of the Delta, and at el-Omari, a suburb south of Cairo. Radiocarbon dates for Merimde range from 6,750–6,250 years ago. The village was never that large at any one time, but that occupation shifted horizontally through time.” ref

In the earliest stratum (I) there was evidence of postholes for small round houses, with shallow pits and hearths, and pottery without temper. In the middle phase (stratum II) a new type of chaff-tempered ceramics appeared, which is also found at the site of el-Omari. Concave-based arrowheads were also new. In the later Merimde strata (III–V) a new and more substantial type of structure appeared that was semi-subterranean, about 1.5–3.0 meters in diameter, with mud walls (pisé) above.” ref

“The later ceramics occur in a variety of shapes, many with applied, impressed, or engraved decorations, and a dark, black burnished pottery is first seen. Granaries from this phase were associated with individual houses, suggesting less communal control of stored cereals, as was probably the case at the Faiyum A sites with granaries. Merimde represents a fully developed Neolithic economy. From the beginning there is evidence of ceramics, as well as farming and the herding of domesticated species, supplemented by hunting, gathering, and especially fishing.” ref

“While Merimde subsistence practices are similar to the Faiyum A Neolithic, the Merimde remains also include the earliest house structures. The Neolithic site at el-Omari, which was occupied 6,600–6,400 years ago, is contemporaneous with the latest phase at Merimde. el-Omari with evidence that points to a Neolithic economy similar to that at Merimde, except that storage pits and postholes for wattle-and-daub houses are the only evidence of structures.” ref

“In addition to tools that were used for farming and fishing (but very little hunting), there is evidence of stone and bone tools for craft activities, including the production of animal skins, textiles, baskets, beads, and simple stone vessels. Although contracted burials (in a fetal position) are known at both Merimde and el-Omari, they were within the settlements. Burials at Merimde were usually without grave goods; at el-Omari they frequently included only a small pot.” ref

“Specific cemetery areas for these sites may not have been found (or recognized) in the earlier excavations, but a lack of symbolic behavior concerning disposal of the dead is in great contrast to the type of burial symbolism that began to develop in the Neolithic Badarian culture in Middle Egypt, and which became much more elaborate in the later Predynastic Naqada culture of Upper Egypt.” ref

Neolithic in the Nile Valley: Middle and Upper Egypt 

“In Upper Egypt there is evidence of a transitional culture contemporaneous with the Faiyum A. In western Thebes scatters of lithics with some organic-tempered ceramics have been found by Polish archaeologists at the site of el-Tarif, hence the name Tarifian culture. Another Tarifian site has been excavated at Armant to the south. The lithics, which are mainly flake tools with a few microliths, seem to be intermediate in typology between Epipaleolithic and Neolithic ones. There is no evidence of food production or domesticated animals.” ref

“In the New Kingdom this region of western Thebes was greatly disturbed by excavation of tombs for high status officials, so most of the evidence of this prehistoric culture has probably been destroyed. What is known about the Tarifian culture suggests that a Neolithic economy was to be found farther north in the Faiyum at this time, and not yet fully developed in the Nile Valley of Upper Egypt, where hunter-gatherers were making very small numbers of ceramics. South of the Faiyum, clear evidence of a Neolithic culture is first found at sites in the el-Badari district, located on desert spurs on the east bank in Middle Egypt.” ref

“Over 50 sites held a previously unknown type of pottery which was thought  typologically earlier than the ceramics from Predynastic sites farther south. Made of red Nile clay, frequently with a blackened rim and thin walls in bowl and cup shapes, these vessels had a rippled surface achieved by combing and then polishing. This hypothesis was demonstrated to be correct by stratigraphic excavations at another el-Badari district site, Hammamiya, where there was found rippled Badarian potsherds in the lowest stratum, beneath strata with Predynastic wares.” ref

“Later investigations of el-Badari district sites were conducted and obtained radiocarbon dates of 6,500–6,000 years ago, also verifying the early date of the Badarian. Aside from cemeteries, there was mainly storage pits and associated artifacts, which were the only remains of Badarian settlements. At one site he found  post-holes of some kind of light organic structure, but evidence of permanent houses and sedentism was lacking. Possibly the sites were outlying camps, once associated with larger and more permanent villages being sited within the floodplain and now destroyed.” ref

“Near Deir Tasa, some artifacts as coming from an earlier culture that was first called Tasian and is now thought that the black beakers with incised decoration classified as imports, probably from northern Sudan – hundreds of kilometers to the south. Thus there was no Tasian culture, but the so-called Tasian sites are Badarian ones, with imported beakers and mainly Badarian artifacts. Badarian peoples practiced farming and animal husbandry, of cattle, sheep, and goat. They cultivated emmer wheat, 6-row barley, lentils, and flax, and collected tubers. Fishing was definitely important, but hunting much less so. Bifacially worked tools include axes and sickle blades, which would have been used by farmers, but also concave-based arrowheads for hunting.” ref

Emmer Wheat?

“Wild emmer is native to the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, growing in the grass and woodland of hill country from modern-day Israel to Iran. The origin of wild emmer has been suggested, without universal agreement among scholars, to be the Karaca Dag mountain region of southeastern Turkey. Emmer was collected from the wild and eaten by hunter gatherers for thousands of years before its domestication. Grains of wild emmer discovered at Ohalo II had a radiocarbon dating of around 20,000 years ago and at the Pre Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) site of Netiv Hagdud are 10,000-9,400 years old. The location of the earliest site of emmer domestication is still unclear and under debate. Some of the earliest sites with possible indirect evidence for emmer domestication during the Early Pre-Pottery Neolithic B include Tell Aswad, Çayönü, Cafer Höyük, Aşıklı Höyük, Kissonerga-Mylouthkia [de] and Shillourokambos. Definitive evidence for the full domestication of emmer wheat is not found until the Middle Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (10,200 to 9,500 years ago), at sites such as Beidha, Tell Ghoraifé, Jericho, Abu Hureyra, Tell Halula, Tell Aswad and Cafer Höyük. Emmer is found in a large number of Neolithic sites scattered around the fertile crescent. From its earliest days of cultivation, emmer was a more prominent crop than its cereal contemporaries and competitors, einkorn wheat and barley. Small quantities of emmer are present during Period 1 at Mehrgharh on the Indian subcontinent, showing that emmer was already cultivated there by 9,000-7,000 years ago. In the Near East, in southern Mesopotamia in particular, cultivation of emmer wheat began to decline in the Early Bronze Age, from about 5,000 years ago became a standard cereal crop. This has been related to increased salinization of irrigated alluvial soils. Emmer had a special place in ancient Egypt, where it was the main wheat cultivated in Pharaonic times, although cultivated einkorn wheat was grown in great abundance during the Third Dynasty, and large quantities of it were found preserved, along with cultivated emmer wheat, in the subterranean chambers beneath the Step Pyramid at Saqqara.” ref

Einkorn Wheat?

“Einkorn wheat commonly grows wild in the hill country in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent and Anatolia although it has a wider distribution reaching into the Balkans and south to Jordan near the Dead Sea. Einkorn wheat is one of the earliest cultivated forms of wheat, alongside emmer wheat. Hunter gatherers in the Fertile Crescent may have started harvesting einkorn as long as 30,000 years ago, according to archaeological evidence from Syria. Although gathered from the wild for thousands of years, einkorn wheat was first domesticated approximately 10,000 years BP in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) or B (PPNB) periods. Evidence from DNA fingerprinting suggests einkorn was first domesticated near Karaca Dağ in southeast Turkey, an area in which a number of PPNB farming villages have been found. ” ref  

“Possibly from Naqada I (about 6,400–5,500 years ago), female figurines with painted decoration: 1 Naqada (?) provenance unknown.” ref

 “Much of the knowledge of the early Naqada culture comes from 85 well-known cemeteries and 50 settlements, with research focused on tombs for a long time.  The deceased were like those of Badari culture in Hocker- or fetal position facing west and grave goods in the form of ceramic buried and personal items. The settlements, as in other contemporary cultures, consisted of round rammed earth huts sunk into the ground , probably in reference to earlier nomadic tents. The ceramic of Naqada I culture consists of red bowls and cups made Nilton with a shiny black border, the so-called “black topped pottery”.  Typical decoration pattern are white and cream-colored geometric pattern. Increasingly there are representations of animals, hunting scenes, cultic acts and battles. For the first time ships also appear as a symbol of trade. Unlike in earlier cultures, there are also human figures, both bearded men and women, who could be attached to ivory sticks or pendants.” ref

“Several Kemetuic statuettes of goddesses with vulture-shaped heads and upraised arms are known from around 6,200-5,400 years ago. Ancient ivory amulet of a bearded man “phallus” from the Gerzeh culture.” ref

“The stone tools made from side-blow flakes suggest origins in the Western Desert, and the rippled pottery may have developed from the burnished Neolithic pottery known in the Western Desert and Nile Valley, from Merimde to northern Sudan. True Badarian sites are not found in southern Egypt, where the subsequent Naqada culture began after 6,000 years ago, i.e., at the end of the known dates for the Badarian in Middle Egypt. According to Holmes’ investigations, there is a lack of Naqada I type artifacts at Badari district sites, although later Naqada II artifacts (beginning around 5,500 years ago) are definitely found there.” ref

“Figurines of bone and ivory. Predynastic, Naqada I. 6,000-5,600 years ago. Ivory and bone figures of this type first appeared in the Naqada I period and continued into Naqada II. The inlaid eyes in one example are of lapis-lazuli may be a later addition. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)” ref

“Male figurine from Egyptian Pre-Dynastic, Naqada II 5,650–5,300 years ago, from Abydos. So could this be an early god Horus often the ancient Egyptians’ national tutelary deity usually depicted as a falcon-headed man a symbol of kingship in Egypt?” ref, ref

“The earliest recorded form of Horus is the tutelary deity of Nekhen in Upper Egypt, who is the first known national god, specifically related to the ruling pharaoh who in time came to be regarded as a manifestation of Horus in life and Osiris in death. The most commonly encountered family relationship describes Horus as the son of Isis and Osiris, and he plays a key role in the Osiris myth as Osiris’s heir and the rival to Set, the murderer of Osiris. In another tradition Hathor is regarded as his mother and sometimes as his wife. Horus served many functions, most notably being a god of kingship and the sky.” ref

“Possibly in Middle Egypt after 6,000 years ago there was a transitional Badarian/Naqada I phase. Since Badarian artifacts are also found in Upper Egypt, but in small numbers, these artifacts could represent Badarian trade with Upper Egypt. Another possible interpretation is that the Badarian culture stretched from Middle to Upper Egypt, but the artifacts farther south represent regional variation. What may be seen at the Badarian sites is the earliest evidence in Egypt of pronounced ceremonialism surrounding burials, which become much more elaborate in the 6,000-5,000 years ago Naqada culture. Brunton excavated about 750 Badarian burials, most of which were contracted ones in shallow oval pits.” ref

“Most burials were placed on the left side, facing west with the head to the south. This later became the standard orientation of Naqada culture burials. Although the Badarian burials had few grave goods, there was usually one pot in a grave. Some burials also had jewelry, made of beads of seashell, stone, bone, and ivory. A few burials contained stone cosmetic palettes or chert tools. Burials such as the Badarian ones represent the material expression of important beliefs and practices in a society concerning the transition from life to death (see Box 5-B).” ref

“Burial evidence may symbolize roles and social status of the dead and commemoration of this by the living, expressions of grief by the living, and possibly also concepts of an afterlife. The elaborate process of burial, which would become profoundly important in pharaonic society for 3,000 years, is much more pronounced in the Neolithic Badarian culture of Middle Egypt than in the earlier Saharan Neolithic or the Neolithic in northern Egypt.” ref

The Colossus of Min Dynasty 0 (around 5,300 years ago). This big statue (in brown) is one of a pair found in the re- mains of the temple in Coptos in Upper Egypt. ref

“And the Min temple in the Early Dynastic Period, was likely placed in a packed town, very close to the surrounding houses. Such an inner urban location is attested at the few other sites with an early temple (Elephantine, Hierakonpolis, Tell Ibrahim Awad). The temple building is surrounded by a wall, as found at other early temples (Abydos, Elephantine). Next to the temple is placed a lettuce field. Cos lettuce is typically depicted beside Min in formal art of later periods.” ref

Nagada, also known as Naqada, is the type site of the prehistoric Egyptian Amratian culture (“Naqada I”), Gerzeh culture (“Naqada II”) and Naqada III (“Dynasty 0”) predynastic cultures. Naqada existed before and during the union of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt, the Naqada III or “protodynastic” period. The process of unification apparently started from Nagada. ref

“The Predynastic Period is divided into four separate phases: the Early Predynastic, which ranges from the 6th to 5th millennium B.C.E. (approximately 7,500-6,000 years ago): Old Predynastic, Early Predynastic, Middle Predynastic, and Late Predynastic.” ref

“The Old Predynastic, which ranges from 6,500 to 5,500 years ago (the time overlap is due to diversity along the length of the Nile); the Middle Predynastic, which roughly goes form 5,500-5,200 years ago; and the Late Predynastic, which takes us up to the First Dynasty at around 5,100 years ago. The reducing size of the phases can be taken as an example of how social and scientific development was accelerating. The Old Predynastic is also known as the Amratian or Naqada I Phase — named for the Naqada site found near the center of the huge bend in the Nile, north of Luxor. A number of cemeteries have been discovered in Upper Egypt, as well as a rectangular house at Hierakonpolis, and further examples of clay pottery — most notably terra cotta sculptures. In Lower Egypt, similar cemeteries and structures have been excavated at Merimda Beni Salama and at el-Omari (south of Cairo).” ref

“The Early Predynastic, which is otherwise known as the Badrian Phase — named for the el-Badari region, and the Hammamia site in particular, of Upper Egypt. The equivalent Lower Egypt sites are found at Fayum (the Fayum A encampments) which are considered to be the first agricultural settlements in Egypt, and at Merimda Beni Salama. During this phase, the Egyptians began making pottery, often with quite sophisticated designs (a fine polished red wear with blackened tops), and constructing tombs from mud brick. Corpses were merely wrapped in animal hides.” ref

“The Middle Predynastic, which is also known as the Gerzean Phase — named for Darb el-Gerza on the Nile to the east of Fayum in Lower Egypt. It is also known as the Naqada II Phase for similar sites in Upper Egypt once again found around Naqada. Of particular importance is a Gerzean religious structure, a temple, found at Hierakonpolis which had early examples of Egyptian tomb painting. Pottery from this phase is often decorated with depictions of birds and animals as well as more abstract symbols for gods. The tombs are often quite substantial, with several chambers built out of mud bricks.” ref

“The Late Predynastic, which blends into the first Dynastic Period, is also known as the Protodynistic phase. Egypt’s population had grown considerably and there were substantial communities along the Nile which were politically and economically aware of each other. Goods were exchanged and a common language was spoken. It was during this phase that the process of wider political agglomeration began (archaeologists keep pushing back the date as more discoveries are made) and the more successful communities extended their spheres of influence to include nearby settlements. The process led to the development of two distinct kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt, the
Nile Valley and Nile Delta areas respectively.” ref

Predynastic Egypt 

The Predynastic Period Egypt, 4th Millennium bc (around 6,000-5,100 years ago)

Lower Egypt: Buto-Ma’adi Culture (around 6,000–5,200 years ago)

Upper Egypt: Naqada Culture (around 6,000–5,200 years ago)

Naqada I (Amratian), 6,000–5,500 years ago; Naqada II (Gerzean), 5,500–5,200 years ago; Naqada III (Semainean)/Dynasty 0, 5,200–5,000 years ago. ref

Lower Nubia: A-Group Culture (around 6,000–5,200 years ago)

Early A-Group contemporary with Naqada I and early Naqada II Classic A-Group contemporary with Naqada IId–IIIa Terminal A-Group contemporary with Naqada IIIb/Dynasty 0, 1st Dynasty. ref

First Dynasty of Egypt

“The First Dynasty of ancient Egypt (Dynasty I) covers the first series of Egyptian kings to rule over a unified Egypt. It immediately follows the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, possibly by Narmer, and marks the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period, a time at which power was centered at Thinis. The date of this period is subject to scholarly debate about the Egyptian chronology. It falls within the early Bronze Age and based on radiocarbon dates, the beginning of the First Dynasty—the accession of Hor-Aha—was placed at 5,100 years ago, give or take a century (3218–3035, with 95% confidence).” ref

“With the introduction of farming and herding in Egypt, and successful development of a Neolithic economy in the lower Nile Valley, the economic foundation of the pharaonic state was laid. But the Neolithic did not mean that the rise of Egyptian civilization was inevitable. Communities in Upper and Lower Egypt became more dependent on farming in the 4th millennium bc, but only in the Naqada culture of Upper Egypt did social and economic complexity follow the successful adaptation of a Neolithic economy.” ref

“By the mid-4th millennium bc Naqada culture began to spread northward through various mechanisms that are incompletely understood, and by the late 4th millennium it had replaced the ButoMa’adi culture in northern Egypt.” ref

“Egyptian civilization had emerged by the first two dynasties (Early Dynastic Period), when the newly formed state was unified from the Delta to the First Cataract at Aswan, under one king and his administrative bureaucracy. The Early Dynastic Period was a time of consolidation of this large territorial polity, when state institutions became established, along with the complex economic and political relationships of the kingdom.” ref

“With the spread of Neolithic technology to Middle and Upper Egypt in the 5th millennium bc/7,000-6,000 years ago, hunting and gathering as the main subsistence were gradually replaced by farming and herding. Although very little archaeological evidence survives, especially in Upper Egypt, agricultural villages began to appear by the 4th millennium bc/6,000-5,000 years ago, which is called the Predynastic Period.” ref

“The Egyptian Nile Valley was an almost ideal environment for cereal agriculture (see 3.4), and eventually farmers would have been able to accumulate surpluses. Agricultural surpluses were probably used to feed farmers and their families throughout the year, and some seed would have been kept for planting the next crop. But surpluses beyond the necessities of subsistence could be used to obtain goods and materials not available in farmers’ villages. Although there is evidence of long-distance trade/exchange of exotic materials from before the Predynastic Period, this greatly increased in the 4th millennium bc, when craft production also increased – especially of artifacts such as jewelry, and carved stone palettes and vessels, which are found in elite burials of the Naqada culture in Upper Egypt.” ref

“Archaeologists have defined two different Predynastic cultures, the Buto-Ma’adi culture of Lower Egypt, and the Naqada culture of Upper Egypt, based on the distribution of two very different ceramic traditions of the 4th millennium bc. In the north settlements are better preserved, while the southern Naqada culture is mainly known from its cemeteries, which are found in the low desert beyond the floodplain.” ref

“Cultural differences went well beyond pottery types, however: the Naqada burials may symbolize increasing social complexity through time as the graves became more differentiated, in size and numbers of grave goods, whereas at Buto-Ma’adi sites burials are of a fairly simple type and seem to have had much less socio-cultural significance.” ref

*Lower Egypt: Buto-Ma’adi Culture 

“The prehistoric site of Ma’adi is located in a suburb to the south of Cairo, while Buto is a site in the northern Delta with early remains in the lower strata. Sites of the Buto-Ma’adi culture are found in northern Egypt (with some local variation), from the northern Delta to the Faiyum region, and are distinctly different in their material remains from the Naqada culture of Upper Egypt (see 5.3).” ref

“While the origins of the Buto-Ma’adi culture are in the earlier Neolithic cultures in northern Egypt (see 4.8), there is also evidence of contact (especially trade) with southern Palestine. Ma’adi was excavated by Cairo University archaeologists from 1930 to 1953, and was later re-examined by archaeologists from the University of Rome. Calibrated radiocarbon dates range from ca. 3900 to 3500 bc. The settlement covered a large area about 1.3 kilometers long, but this area was never completely occupied at any one time.” ref

“The village relied on cereal cultivation and animal husbandry, of cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs, with little evidence of hunting. Bone harpoons, indicative of fishing, were found there, as were catfish bones. Evidence of house structures (originally made of wood and matting) at Ma’adi consists of pits in the ground, post-holes, and hearths. Four large subterranean structures, thought to be similar to houses of the contemporaneous Beersheba culture in the Negev Desert, were found in the eastern sector of the site.”

“A large subterranean, stone-lined structure (8.5 m × 4 m in area), possibly a store house, was excavated in the western sector and the floor of this structure was 2 meters below the surface. Further investigations in the western sector in 2001 revealed a subterranean cave dwelling, with a stone-lined entrance corridor and vaulted oval room dug into the bedrock. At Ma’adi pottery consists of globular jars and bowls of Nile clay wares (smooth red or black-polished), as well as some large storage jars sunken into the ground in the settlement. Imported pots from the Beersheba culture as well as locally made imitations of these are also found.” ref

“The imported pots were containers for materials, such as oil, wine, and resins. Locally made stone vessels, mostly of basalt with lug handles and a ring base, have also been excavated. With relatively few bifacially worked tools, the Ma’adi stone tools are quite different from the Neolithic industry in northern Egypt. More common are large circular scrapers and some long blades, of types which were probably introduced from Palestine. But copper is also found at Ma’adi in different forms, including tools, three large ingots, and ore, which was probably used for pigment (and not for smelting and tool production as was once thought).” ref

“Ma’adi provides the earliest evidence of the domesticated donkey, which would have been useful in the overland trade with southern Palestine. Analysis of the Ma’adi copper indicates a Near Eastern source, either mines at Timna or in the Wadi Arabah (in southern Jordan). Only the burials of stillborns or infants were found within the settlement at Ma’adi. Two cemeteries were excavated nearby, one about 150 meters to the south of the settlement (76 graves) and another ca. 1 kilometer away in the Wadi Digla (471 burials, 14 of which were animal burials). Half of these burials were without grave goods.” ref

“Burials with grave goods usually had only one or two simple, undecorated pots; the richest burial contained eight pots. Orientation of many burials was random, but the later burials in the Wadi Digla were contracted ones, placed on the right side and oriented with the head to the south facing east, unlike those recorded at Naqada, which had the head to the south facing west. Beginning in 1983, remains of an early settlement at Buto (modern Tell el-Fara’in, i.e., “Mound of the Pharaohs”) were excavated by the German Archaeological Institute, Cairo. Because the prehistoric levels at Buto are below the modern water table, the earliest settlement (in area A) could only be excavated with an expensive water pumping system.” ref

“Significantly, these excavations have revealed stratified evidence of the transition from the earliest layers (Layers I–II) with local Buto ceramics of the same Lower Egyptian culture as found at Ma’adi, to a “transitional” layer (III) dating to ca. 5,300–5,200 years ago with artifacts of the Naqada culture (Naqada IId phase). Architecture changes from houses of wattle and daub in the earliest layers to the use of mud-brick  in Layer III. In Layer V, which is Early Dynastic in date, large mud-brick buildings appear for the first time. Occupation at Ma’adi came to an end in the later 4th millennium bc (equivalent to the Naqada IIc phase), when the site was abandoned. At Buto, the stratigraphic evidence suggests the assimilation of the Lower Egyptian Predynastic Buto-Ma’adi culture in Layer III, and the continuation into Dynastic times of a material culture that had its roots in the Predynastic Naqada culture of Upper Egypt.” ref

Upper Egypt: Naqada Culture 

“The Naqada culture of Upper Egypt is named after the largest known Predynastic site, Naqada, excavated by W. M. Flinders Petrie in 1894–95 (see 1.4). Occupation spanned most of the 4th millennium bc, from Naqada I to Naqada III times, according to the relative chronology (see Box 5-A). The Naqada culture originated in Upper Egypt, with major centers at Abydos, Naqada, and Hierakonpolis. Naqada culture sites are also found in southern Middle Egypt in the el-Badari district, and in Naqada II times in the Faiyum region (Gerza). By Naqada III times, Naqada culture pottery is found in the northern Delta. Unlike the Buto-Ma’adi culture sites, most of the Naqada culture evidence is from cemeteries, and settlements have been poorly preserved or buried under later alluvium or villages.” ref

“At Naqada (ancient Nubt) Petrie excavated two settlements (North Town and South Town) and three cemeteries (with over 2,200 burials). At nearby Ballas his colleague James Quibell excavated an estimated 1,000 burials. In the settlements, mud-brick architecture was found only at South Town, where Petrie recorded the remains of a thick wall which he thought was some kind of fortification. It has also been suggested that this structure was a temple. South Town may have been much larger with an eastern part extending into the floodplain.” ref

“They recorded remains of small villages on the low desert consisting of post-holes for huts of wood and matting or wicker, sometimes covered with mud clumps. Inside the huts were hearths and storage pits. Emmer wheat and barley were cultivated, and cattle, sheep/goats, and pigs were herded. There is also significant evidence of fishing, but much less for hunting. South Town included evidence of mud sealings, possibly placed on storeroom doors to secure their contents.” ref

“This suggests more specialized economic activity at South Town, the largest known settlement in the region, where goods and/or materials were probably collected and stored for trade or exchange. The largest cemetery at Naqada, which has been called the “Great New Race Cemetery,” was located to the northwest of South Town. It was first thought the pottery in these burials represented an invading “race” in Egypt after the Old Kingdom because it was very different from the Dynastic pottery that he had excavated. He later recognized that  the Naqada pottery was Predynastic, and his original name for this cemetery became irrelevant.” ref

“To the south of the Great New Race Cemetery was Cemetery B, probably associated with a small farming village, and to the south of this was Cemetery T, which has been called the burial place of Predynastic chieftains or kings because of its high status burials (see Figure 5.2). All of the Naqada burials were contracted ones in round or rectangular pits in the low desert. Petrie recorded a standard orientation for about 200 of these burials, resting on the left side facing west, with the head to the south. This burial orientation is the opposite of what was recorded for the Ma’adi burials, and is another type of evidence demonstrating differences between the northern and southern Predynastic cultures.” ref

“While the archaeological evidence at Naqada is not sufficient to demonstrate the growth of an urban center which controlled a regional polity, its burials suggest increasing social complexity through time – and the major ideological significance of burial. In the Great New Race Cemetery, Naqada I burials are small and contain few grave goods, whereas from Naqada II times there are a few larger burials with more grave goods (up to 85 pots). Cemetery T, which mostly dates to the Naqada II phase, was the high status cemetery at Naqada. With 69 burials, it was a cemetery for only a small elite group, set apart in space from the other Naqada cemeteries. The Cemetery T graves were large and three had elaborate structures that were lined with mud-brick.” ref

“Most of the Cemetery T graves had been disturbed by robbing, but the undisturbed grave T5 contained many artifacts such as carved stone vessels and jewelry made from exotic imported materials. Although the political status of those buried in Cemetery T (kings or other political leaders?) cannot be specified, the burials there are very different from those in other Naqada cemeteries, symbolizing a special status in the Naqada society. In Naqada III times the number of burials at Naqada decreases, and there are fewer grave goods in exotic materials. But with the decline in high status burials, an altogether more elaborate tomb appeared. In 1897 Jacques de Morgan excavated an elaborately niched mud-brick superstructure at Naqada, which he called the “royal tomb,” along with small graves of Early Dynastic date.” ref

“A second poorly preserved structure similar to the “royal tomb” was also recorded. In the royal tomb were clay sealings of King Aha, the first king of the 1st Dynasty, and the name of Aha’s mother Neith-hotep was also found on tomb artifacts. This tomb represents a truly monumental type which appeared at Naqada at the beginning of the Dynastic period. At Hierakonpolis (ancient Nekhen) in the far south settlement evidence is better preserved than at Naqada. Predynastic evidence there was first investigated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by French and English archaeologists, when the well-known Decorated Tomb (Tomb 100) was excavated along with four other large rectangular tombs similar to those in Cemetery T at Naqada.” ref

“With artifacts of Naqada IIc date, the Decorated Tomb is the only known Predynastic burial with scenes painted on a plastered wall (see Figure 5.3). At Hierakonpolis coring under the Dynastic town of Nekhen revealed earlier Predynastic remains, and evidence of other Predynastic settlements has been located, including the remains of a rectangular semi-subterranean house in a large desert-edge settlement (Locality HK29).” ref

“With one calibrated radiocarbon date of 3435 ± 121 bc (Naqada II), the house had lower walls of mud-brick. Hoffman also excavated the remains of a Predynastic temple with pottery of Naqada IIb–IId (Locality HK29A). The temple consisted of a large, oval courtyard which had been plastered over several times with clay (demonstrating reuse and restoration). At the northern end were post-holes for a gateway, and evidence of later reuse and new construction in Naqada IIIa. Industrial areas have also been identified within the town and at localities in the desert, for the production of pottery, beads, stone vases, and beer. About 2 kilometers from the desert edge in the Wadi Abu el-Suffian (Locality HK6) is a large elite cemetery with transitional Naqada Ic–IIa pottery in the earliest graves.” ref

“A number of tombs also contained the remains of animals. Both domesticated species (dog, donkey, goat, sheep, cattle, and pig) and wild species (auroch, baboon, crocodile, elephant, gazelle, hare, hartebeest, and hippopotamus) have been identified, with human remains in some, but not all, of these tombs. Tomb 24 contained the remains of a bull and a male elephant, placed on its left side on a layer of fabric, with large pieces of skin still preserved. Three unusual Naqada III tombs lined in mud-brick have also been excavated in this cemetery. The earliest of these tombs, Tomb 11, contained the remains of a wooden bed with carved bull’s feet, and beads and amulets of exceptional wealth – in gold, silver, carnelian, garnet, copper, turquoise, and lapis lazuli.” ref

“The largest of these tombs, Tomb 1 (6.5 m × 3.5 m in area and 2.5 m deep), had a superstructure of wood and reeds, surrounded by a fence. Tomb 10 contained fragments of a ceramic coffin and a clay sealing with two hieroglyphic signs for “town” and “god.” At another Predynastic cemetery (Locality HK43) with pottery of Naqada IIa–IIc, a number of well preserved burials have provided information about human behavior, grooming, and mortuary practices. Some people buried there had died violently: two with slit throats, and another from a blow to the cranium. Well preserved human hair from the head, face (a beard), and body (pubic and underarm) was also examined. One woman’s natural hair, which had been dyed to cover grey hairs, had been augmented with long curled extensions of false hair.” ref

“Methods to preserve the body in some of these burials included wrapping bones with tree bark, and the use of linen padding and wrapping (on the hands and lower arms). At el-Amra in the Abydos region, where the royal burials of Dynasty 0 and the Early Dynastic Period are located (see 5.5 and 5.6), another large Predynastic/Early Dynastic cemetery, with over 1,000 burials. Other Predynastic cemeteries are also known in the region. Remains of Predynastic settlements were also investigated in the Abydos region in the early 1900s, and in 1982–83 Diana Craig Patch (Metropolitan Museum of Art) conducted a large-scale regional survey on the low desert for both settlements and cemeteries.” ref

“Patch located the remains of small farming villages, 1–2 kilometers apart. In later Predynastic times, there may have been population nucleation within the larger settlements, and sites in the low desert were abandoned for villages within the floodplain, for which no evidence has been recovered. At two late Predynastic sites which were excavated with evidence of industrial activities. Beerbrewing facilities, first thought to be pottery kilns, were later identified at el-Mahasna, and in a large Predynastic settlement outside the New Kingdom temple of Sety I stone tools, as well as debris and the raw materials for bead-making, were found.” ref

“Other Naqada culture cemeteries and less well preserved settlement evidence have been excavated in Upper Egypt at sites such as el-Adaïma, Armant, Hu and Semaina, and Naga el-Deir (see Figure 5.4). None of these sites, however, became a major center. Geography – and access to trade routes and raw materials – may have played a part in the rise of the centers at Hierakonpolis, Naqada, and Abydos. From Abydos there are important desert routes leading into the Western Desert and from there south into Nubia. Across the river from Naqada was the Wadi Hammamat, which led to quarrying and mining sites in the Eastern Desert.” ref

“In Dynastic times the significance of Naqada’s location is probably reflected in its name, Nubt, the “city of gold.” Hierakonpolis was the southernmost Naqada culture center, and probably benefited from increasing trade with the contemporaneous Nubian A-Group culture. But geography does not explain the socio-political forces within these centers in later Predynastic times, which are very difficult to ascertain archaeologically. Regional polities with increasing control over their economies (agriculture, craft production, regional and long-distance trade of goods and materials, and human labor) were undoubtedly developing at Abydos, Naqada, and Hierakonpolis in later Naqada II times. And such polities were the precursors of the much larger state of Egypt which was forged in Naqada III times.” ref

Lower Nubia: A-Group Culture 

“First identified by George Reisner (see 1.4), the A-Group culture in Lower Nubia was contemporaneous with the Naqada culture of Upper Egypt. Like the Naqada culture, the A-Group is known mainly from its cemeteries, and Naqada culture craft goods, obtained through trade, were found in a number of A-Group burials. But A-Group burials also have distinctly different pottery from that of the Naqada culture, including painted “egg-shell” beakers that must have been a type of luxury ware. Together with other archaeological evidence, especially the distribution of sites, the pottery demonstrates the existence of a different culture group.” ref

“Unlike Naqada burials, A-Group people were sometimes buried with fringed leather garments, bags, and caps, and some A-Group cemeteries also contained a large number of animal burials (goats, dogs). Such distinctly different burials, with grave goods which symbolized important beliefs concerning death, also represent a different culture. In Dynastic times Nubia was the major route through which exotic raw materials from Punt were obtained (see 3.9) and this trade probably developed in Predynastic times, especially as the Naqada culture became more socially and economically complex. Naqada culture burials contain very few Nubian craft goods, which suggests that while Egyptian goods were exported to Nubia and were buried in A-Group graves, A-Group goods were of little interest further north. Only the raw materials that were  transformed into craft goods, such as elephant ivory ornaments, were desired A-Group imports in Egypt.” ref

“A-Group habitations consisted of reed huts and rock shelters; only a few sites had houses with stone foundation slabs. Evidence of agriculture is not found until the Terminal A-Group (contemporaneous with Naqada IIIb/Dynasty 0 and 1st Dynasty), when there are grinding stones and chert blades with sickle sheen. Lower Nubia has a narrow floodplain and, unlike Upper Egypt, was not a good environment for extensive cereal agriculture (see 3.2). But trade with Egypt is definitely attested there by the mid-4th millennium bc, at the site of Khor Daud. No house structures were found at this site, which consisted of almost 600 storage pits with much pottery, two-thirds of which was Egyptian (Naqada II).” ref

“It is likely that much of the Naqada pottery in Nubia was used as containers for agricultural products imported from Egypt, such as beer, wine, and oil. A-Group sites extend from the area of the First Cataract at Aswan to the Second Cataract. A few A-Group sites of the later 4th millennium bc are located to the south of the Second Cataract, in the Batn el-Hagar region. Three large Terminal A-Group centers are known, mainly from their burial evidence, at Sayala, Dakka, and Qustul. At this time Egyptian copper tools and carved stone vessels are found in elite A-Group burials, and in Sayala Cemetery 137 one burial contained two maces with gold handles. It has been suggested that such wealthy burials were those of A-Group chieftains, who would have benefited economically from the trade with Egypt.” ref

“It has proposed that a fragmented stone incense burner from Qustul Cemetery L has iconographic evidence of the earliest king, who was Nubian. Part of the scene carved on the incense burner is of a seated ruler in a boat holding a flail and wearing the White Crown (two symbols of Egyptian kingship). The more recently excavated evidence by German archaeologists, at Cemeteries U and B at Abydos, however, suggests that the earliest royal burials were there – in Egypt. The Qustul incense burner was probably imported into Nubia, where it was buried in a tomb that belonged to a very high status Nubian.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Naqada I, II, and III Ritualistic Symbolism of Pre, Proto, and Earliest Dynastic Egypt

Lower Egypt

Buto-Ma’adi culture, ca. 4000–3200 bc

Upper Egypt

Naqada I (Amratian), ca. 4000–3500 bc

Naqada II (Gerzean), ca. 3500–3200 bc

Naqada III (Semainean)/Dynasty 0, ca. 3200–3000 bc

Lower Nubia

Early A-Group contemporary with Naqada I and early Naqada II

Classic A-Group contemporary with Naqada IId–IIIa

Terminal A-Group contemporary with Naqada IIIb/Dynasty 0, 1st Dynasty ref

Egyptian State Formation and Unification

“Unification of Egypt into one large territorial state, from the Delta to the First Cataract, occurred in late Predynastic times, although there is disagreement as to whether this process was completed by late Naqada II or late Naqada III times. The processes by which this occurred are also not well understood. Naqada culture expansion northward began in Naqada II times. Petrie excavated a cemetery at Gerza in the Faiyum region with Naqada II grave goods. By Naqada IIc times the (Buto-Ma’adi culture) site of Ma’adi, just south of Cairo, was abandoned. At Buto in the northern Delta the stratigraphy shows the replacement of Buto-Ma’adi ceramics by Naqada culture ceramics. This is also demonstrated at other sites in the eastern Delta, including Tell el-Farkha, where the earliest strata have Buto-Ma’adi ceramics, after which there is evidence of a transitional phase (Phase 2, Naqada IID2) when Upper Egyptian ceramics began to be produced.” ref

“At the site of Minshat Abu Omar in the northeastern Delta an early cemetery was found. The earliest burials (MAO I), which date to Naqada IIc–d, are in shallow pits with only a few grave goods. Later burials (MAO III), which date to Naqada III/Dynasty 0, show abrupt changes in mortuary practices. These graves are rectangular and larger than the earlier ones and are often lined with mud plaster and roofed with matting. Orientation of the contracted burials changes as well in this group, with the dead resting on the left side, facing east/southeast. The MAO III burials have many more grave goods than the earliest ones, not only a large number of pots, but also carved stone vessels, jewelry, cosmetic artifacts, and copper tools. The latest burials (MAO IV), which date to the 1st and 2nd Dynasties, are even larger and with more grave goods (up to 125) than those of MAO III. In addition, the eight largest of the MAO IV graves are built with mud or mudbrick and internally divided into two–three rooms. The richest of these burials was of a nine-year-old child, which suggests status ascribed from birth and not achieved through life.” ref

“Thus, archaeological evidence points to the northward expansion of the Naqada culture of Upper Egypt in later Naqada II times, possibly as Naqada traders moved north and were followed by colonists. It is unknown why Ma’adi was abandoned, but one possible explanation is intimidation by Naqada culture peoples. Later, in Naqada III times, when only Naqada ceramics are found in the north, control by a Naqada culture polity may have been established over all the region. The socio-political processes of the expanding Naqada culture are also difficult to characterize from the mainly mortuary evidence. The highly differentiated Naqada II graves at cemeteries in Upper Egypt, and not in Lower Egypt, are probably symbolic of an increasingly hierarchical society. The highest status burials, such as in Cemetery T at Naqada, may represent competition and aggrandizement of local rulers, whose control and wealth increased as economic interaction and long-distance trade developed in Naqada II times (as evidenced in grave goods). Control of the distribution and production of prestigious craft goods, made of exotic imported materials (especially different stones from the Eastern Desert for beads and carved vessels), would also have reinforced the power of rulers in Predynastic centers in Upper Egypt.” ref

“Later Predynastic “statelets” (a term used by Bruce Trigger) may have existed at Hierakonpolis, Naqada, and Abydos. It has been suggested a model of Predynastic settlement development in Upper Egypt, from small egalitarian communities, to agricultural towns, to incipient city-states (based in part on evidence from Naqada’s South Town). According to this thinking, “proto-states” formed in Upper Egypt at Hierakonpolis, Naqada, and Abydos/This, with a hypothetical “proto-kingdom” of all of Upper Egypt followed by unification of the north and south by the 1st Dynasty. Such a model is logical, but there is very little archaeological evidence to demonstrate its validity. In Lower Egypt there is no evidence for a proto-state controlling all of the north, and such a polity is unlikely to have existed. Names and seated kings carved in the broken top part of the Palermo Stone, a 5th-Dynasty king list, suggest a tradition that there had been rulers before the 1st Dynasty. Egyptologist John Baines (University of Oxford) has pointed out the long iconographic evidence for kingship, beginning with the form of what later becomes known as the Red Crown found on a Naqada I pot – long before kings or a kingdom/small state could have existed.” ref

“But the paintings in the later Naqada II Decorated Tomb at Hierakonpolis may represent a “proto-kingship.” Developing along with complex society in later Predynastic times was the institutionalization of kingship. The later unification of southern and northern Egypt was a creation of this kingship, the institutionalization of which helped maintain a well-organized state with long-lasting control over a very large territory – that might otherwise have quickly collapsed. Warfare may have played a significant role in the final stages of Egyptian unification, although sites in the Delta with destruction layers are lacking. But several carved artifacts that date to the late Predynastic/Dynasty 0 have scenes of warfare or its aftermath. The most famous of these is the Narmer Palette, which dates to the end of Dynasty 0 (see Figure 5.5). Excavated at Hierakonpolis, this palette has scenes of the victorious king, dead enemies, and vanquished peoples or towns. There is some disagreement as to whether a specific historical event is represented by the scenes on the Narmer Palette. Günter Dreyer suggests that one scene on the palette, of Narmer in the White Crown of Upper Egypt smiting a bearded enemy, is the same as one on an inscribed ivory label from Cemetery B at Abydos.” ref

“Three scenes on this label possibly make up a “year name” from Narmer’s reign, during which the king won a victory over the Libyans. The subject matter depicted on the ivory label and the palette, which was probably donated to the Horus temple at Hierakonpolis, suggests the importance of warfare in the final phase of the Predynastic, especially for the consolidation of the early state. In the Western Desert at Gebel Tjauti, show a rock drawing of a scene of conflict, of a man wielding a mace and holding the rope of a bound captive. Dating to Naqada IIIA1, the rock drawing provides further evidence for the prevalence of warfare in late Predynastic times. Signs associated with this drawing possibly identify King Scorpion of Dynasty 0. Alliance building would also have been important in warfare. The lack of very high status burials at Naqada in Naqada III times may suggest that Naqada’s power waned as Hierakonpolis, possibly the power base of the so-called “Followers of Horus,” and Abydos/This forged some kind of alliance. Except for the Royal Tomb at Naqada, Naqada became an insignificant site in Early Dynastic times, while Hierakonpolis and Abydos/This remained ideologically significant. Hierakonpolis was the cult center of Horus, the falcon-headed god symbolic of the living king. Abydos, which was the cult center of a local necropolis god, Khentimentiu, was the burial place of most of the Early Dynastic kings – and later became the cult center of the god Osiris, symbolic of the dead king.” ref

“Tombs excavated by Günther Dreyer at Abydos in Cemeteries U and B may be those of some of the rulers preceding the 1st Dynasty. Cemetery U contained mainly unlined graves of Naqada II–III in the eastern section. Although robbed, one large tomb (U-j) in this cemetery still had much of its subterranean mud-brick structure, as well as wooden beams, matting, and mud-bricks from its roof. The tomb pit was divided into 12 chambers, including a burial chamber with evidence of a wooden shrine and an ivory scepter. Several hundred ceramic jars were excavated in this tomb, with the residue of (imported?) wine still in some of them. Almost 200 small labels in Tomb U-j, originally attached to goods, were inscribed with the earliest known evidence in Egypt of writing. Dreyer has hypothesized that some of these signs refer to royal estates, administrative districts, and towns, such as Buto and Bubastis in the Delta. The labels may have been attached to goods and materials coming from royal estates or other places associated with a ruler named Scorpion, who was probably buried in this tomb. Tomb U-j did not belong to the well-known King Scorpion, who’s decorated macehead was found at Hierakonpolis, and the tomb is at least 100 years earlier in date than those of the Dynasty 0 kings buried in Cemetery B at Abydos.” ref

“Cemetery B, to the south of Cemetery U, is where Werner Kaiser identified the tomb complex of Aha, the first king of the 1st Dynasty, as well as double-chambered pit tombs of three kings of Dynasty 0: Iri-Hor, Ka, and Narmer. Kaiser’s identifications were confirmed by seal impressions and inscribed artifacts associated with these tombs. Egypt was undoubtedly unified by the time of D Egypt was undoubtedly unified by the time of Dynasty 0, and the Abydos burials of the Dynasty 0 kings are the earliest clearly royal burials in Egypt. On the eve of the Dynastic period, kingship had emerged with control over a very large territorial state. Writing had already been invented by this time, as the Tomb U-j labels demonstrate.” ref

Predynastic tomb discovered in Hierakonpolis

“The above picture relates to a Predynastic tomb full of precious artefacts has been found in Kom el Ahmar, Hieraconpolis. The tomb, dates back about 500 years before the reign of Narmer, the earliest relatively well-recorded ruler of Dynasty 1. It contained the mummified remains of a person who died in his late teens (17-20 years) and was accompanied with stone tools, weapons and a large number of ivory artifacts (such as a 32 cm-high statuette of a bearded figure and 10 combs).” ref

“Narmer was an ancient Egyptian king of the Early Dynastic Period, around 5,100-5,050 years ago. He probably was the successor to the Protodynastic king Ka, or possibly Scorpion. Some consider him the unifier of Egypt and founder of the First Dynasty, and in turn the first king of a unified Egypt.” ref

Narmer Palette

Narmer Palette Art

Narmer Palette Art

Picture Link: ref 

The hawk is symbolic for governor and the word means protector. So the hawk is likely related to male as it is a reference to class, such as how the hawk hunts animals, whereas, vultures seem to be female. The difference seems to be that the falcon attacks (hunter-cult), while the vulture forages (gather-cult) relating to the religious themes of the hunter-gathers before them (i.e. Women forage, Men hunt).


“Representations of bovines in Predynastic art  are frequently attested from Nagada I times onwards. We will first turn our attention to the more realistic images, although a clear distinction between ‘realistic’ and ‘stylized’ is not always possible. As will be discussed further, stylized elements may be combined with overall realistic representations. The earliest examples, probably all of them bulls, occur on White Cross-lined pottery, typical of Nagada IA-IIA times. Because of the rarity of White Cross-lined pottery with figurative decoration, it is not surprising that the corpus of examples is limited (Appendix A, nos. 1-5).” ref

“Modeled figurines of bulls were also attached to the rims of White Cross-lined pots (Appendix A, nos. 6-8). Although one could still claim that the fundamental reason for the depiction of bovines is to be found in the economic importance of the animals, these are evidently not merely representations illustrating economic wealth. Indeed, animals such as the hippopotamus and the crocodile figure more frequently on White Cross-lined pottery than bovines, and exceptionally even in combination with them. Although crocodile and hippopotamus could have been hunted for their meat, they are not of economic importance to farmers, but on the contrary extremely harmful for their crops.” ref

“Therefore, a more symbolic, probably religious and/or sociological interpretation for the bovines must be taken into consideration. Contemporaneous with the White Cross-lined pottery, a number of clay figurines of bovines is also known. The examples found at el-Amra (plates V, IX) are from a funerary context and date mainly to the Nagada I and early Nagada II period. Many of these figurines represent cows and calves and are probably not of great relevance for the present study, which will place the emphasis on bulls. A clay statuette of a bull has recently been found in the elite tomb U-235 at Abydos.” ref

In the shift from hunter-gather culture or in the emerging neolithic women may be hypothesized to typically relate the the concept of protectors. This is because, they do not just care/protect children but also can be said to stay and protect the crops from birds or care for or protect domesticated animals while the men hunt. So such thinking may be behind the goddess watching/protecting the hinters/hunting art from which seems to hold possible correlations in Egypt. 

“The Red Crown frequently is mentioned in texts and depicted in reliefs and statues. An early example is the depiction of the victorious pharaoh wearing the deshret on the Narmer Palette. A label from the reign of Djer records a royal visit to the shrine of the Deshret which may have been located at Buto in the Nile delta. The fact that no crown has ever been found buried with any of the pharaohs, even in relatively intact tombs, might suggest that it was passed from one regent to the next, much as in present day monarchies. In mythology, the earth deity Geb, original ruler of Egypt, invested Horus with the rule over Lower Egypt. The Egyptian pharaohs, who saw themselves as successors of Horus, wore the deshret to symbolize their authority over Lower Egypt. Other deities wore the deshret too, or were identified with it, such as the protective serpent goddess Wadjet and the creator-goddess of Sais, Neith, who often is shown wearing the Red Crown.” ref

“The white crown, Hedjet (Ancient Egyptian: “White One”) is the formal name for the white crown of pharaonic Upper Egypt. After the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, it was combined with the deshret, the red crown of Lower Egypt, to form the pschent, the double crown of Egypt. The symbol sometimes used for the white crown was the vulture goddess Nekhbet shown next to the head of the cobra goddess Wadjet, the uraeus on the pschent.  Nekhbet, the tutelary goddess of Nekhebet (modern el Kab) near Hierakonpolis, was depicted as a woman, sometimes with the head of a vulture, wearing the white crown. The falcon god Horus of Hierakonpolis (Egyptian: Nekhen) was generally shown wearing a white crown.” ref

“A famous depiction of the white crown is on the Narmer palette found at Hierakonpolis in which the king of the South wearing the hedjet is shown triumphing over his northern enemies. The kings of the united Egypt saw themselves as successors of Horus. Vases from the reign of Khasekhemwy show the king as Horus wearing the white crown.  Evidence from Abydos, however, particularly the excavation of Cemetery U and the tome U-j, dating to Naqada IIIA has shown that this iconography appears earlier in Egypt. The white crown, along with the red crown, has a long history with each of their respective representations going back into the Predynastic Period, indicating that kingship had been the base of Egyptian society for some time. Where as before it had been thought that the earliest image of the hedjet was thought to have been in the Qustul in Nubia.” ref

“The cobra goddess Wadjet, was said to be the patron and protector of Lower Egypt, and upon unification with Upper Egypt, the joint protector and patron of all of Egypt “goddess” of Upper Egypt. The image of Wadjet with the sun disk is called the uraeus, and it was the emblem on the crown of the rulers of Lower Egypt. She was also the protector of kings and of women in childbirth. Wadjet was said to be the nurse of the infant god Horus. With the help of his mother Isis, they protected Horus from his treacherous uncle, Set, when they took refuge in the swamps of the Nile Delta. Wadjet was closely associated in ancient Egyptian religion with the Eye of Ra, a powerful protective deity. The hieroglyph for her eye is shown below; sometimes two are shown in the sky of religious images. Per-Wadjet also contained a sanctuary of Horus, the child of the sun deity who would be interpreted to represent the pharaoh. Much later, Wadjet became associated with Isis as well as with many other deities.” ref

“Wadjet relates to the Egyptian word wꜣḏ signifies blue and green. It is also the name for the well-known “Eye of the Moon”. Indeed, in later times, she was often depicted simply as a woman with a snake’s head, or as a woman wearing the uraeus. The uraeus originally had been her body alone, which wrapped around or was coiled upon the head of the pharaoh or another deity. Wadjet was depicted as a cobra. As patron and protector, later Wadjet often was shown coiled upon the head of Ra; in order to act as his protection, this image of her became the uraeus symbol used on the royal crowns as well. Another early depiction of Wadjet is as a cobra entwined around a papyrus stem, beginning in the Predynastic era (prior to 5,100 years ago) and it is thought to be the first image that shows a snake entwined around a staff symbol. This is a sacred image that appeared repeatedly in the later images and myths of cultures surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, called the caduceus, which may have had separate origins.” ref

Eye of Horus / Eye of Ra

“The Wadjet (or Ujat, meaning “Whole One”) is a powerful symbol of protection in ancient Egypt also known as the “Eye of Horus” and the “all seeing eye”. The symbol was frequently used in jewelry made of gold, silver, lapis, wood, porcelain, and carnelian, to ensure the safety and health of the bearer and provide wisdom and prosperity. However, it was also known as the “Eye of Ra”, a powerful destructive force linked with the fierce heat of the sun which was described as the “Daughter of Ra“. The “eye” was personified as the goddess Wadjet and associated with a number of other gods and goddesses (notably Hathor, Bast, Sekhmet, Tefnut, Nekhbet and Mut).” ref

Horus was an ancient a sky god whose eyes were said to be the sun and the moon. However, he soon became strongly associated with the sun (and the sun god Ra as Ra-Horakhty (“Ra, who is Horus of the two horizons”) while Thoth was associated with the moon. An ancient myth describes a battle between Horus and Set in which Horus´ right eye was torn out and Set lost his testicles! Thoth magically restored Horus’ eye, at which point it was given the name “Wadjet” (“whole” or “healthy”). In this myth it is specifically stated that it is Horus´ left eye which has been torn out, so the myth relates to the waxing and waning of the moon during which the moon appears to have been torn out of the sky before being restored once every lunar month.” ref

“There are a number of depictions of the restoration of the eye in Greco-Roman temples. Thoth is assisted by fourteen gods including the gods of the Ennead of Hermopolis or thirty male deities (in Ismant el-Kharab, the Dakhla Oasis). Each god represented one of the fifteen days leading up to the full moon, and to the waning moon. The restored eye became emblematic of the re-establishment of order from chaos, thus closely associating it with the idea of Ma´at. In one myth Horus made a gift of the eye to Osiris to help him rule the netherworld. Osiris ate the eye and was restored to life. As a result, it became a symbol of life and resurrection. Offerings are sometimes called “the Eye of Horus” because it was thought that the goods offered became divine when presented to a god. The Eye of Horus was believed to have healing and protective power, and it was used as a protective amulet. It was also used as a notation of measurement, particularly for measuring the ingredients in medicines and pigments. The symbol was divided into six parts, representing the shattering of Horus’ eye into six pieces. Each piece was associated with one of the six senses and a specific fraction.” ref

  1. Goddess of Catal Huyuk, Turkey on a Stool or Throne With Cats on Both Sides dating to around 8,000-7,500 years ago.
  2. Impression or drawing of cylinder seals of 1 Dynasty, about 5,100 years ago, from Egypt.
  3. Impression or drawing of cylinder seals of 1 Dynasty, about 5,100 years ago, from Egypt.
  4. This carved scene pictures Narmer Early Dynastic (around 5,100-5,050) seated on a canopy-sheltered throne mounted on a high stepped dais, the successor to the Proto-dynastic king Ka, or possibly Scorpion.
  5. Throne for Tutankhamun
“The first piece of domestic furniture seen in use is the stool with a rectangular frame. It is found over and over again on early Egyptian cylinder seals. These seals, short and fat, usually of black steatite (soapstone), are peculiar to the earliest dynastic period 5,100 years ago. The inscriptions they bear – among the first exam-pies of writing – often give the name and title of some priest or official, followed by a group of signs that represent the deceased seated on a stool behind a pile of offerings (Figures 2, 3). For the stool, or the chair, has always been the mark of an important personage: it raises him above the level of his inferiors. (Most people in Egypt and other parts of the Near East seem to still sit/squatting on the ground) This sign, scarcely changing, remained the determinative for a person of rank in Egyptian hieroglyphic writing.” ref
“The stools on the seals are seen either from the side (Figure 2), or from the top (Figure 3) in what was to become a characteristic Egyptian mode of illustration: the representation of each separate part of the whole in its most recognizable aspect. Many of these early seals show a feature retained in pictures of stools throughout the dynastic period and much exaggerated in late times: the frames end in projections shaped like papyrus umbels, suggesting that the first Egyptian furniture was of wickerwork and that the frames were made of bundles of reeds bound together. Sometimes the legs of the stools shown on the seals were carved in the form of bulls’ legs.” ref
“And when the legs of lions began to replace those of bulls, about the end of the III Dynasty, the idea was similar: the sitter was to share the characteristic qualities of the King of Beasts; spool-like supports under the animal hooves or paws. Known as casters, even though rigid, they were always present with animal feet. Although, as one might expect, stools were made before chairs, there is a picture of a royal throne of about the same period as the cylinder seals. Narmer, the first king of Egypt, dedicated a giant mace head – symbolizing the weapon with which he had conquered his enemies and united Upper and Lower Egypt – in the temple at Hierakonpolis.” ref
“One of the scenes carved on its surface pictures Narmer seated on a canopy-sheltered throne mounted on a high stepped dais (Figure 4). The throne seems to be a rectangular block scooped out to fit the king’s posterior and offer support for his back. But possibly he is really shown suspended, as it were, above curving arms, and this, accordingly, would be one of the first examples of the Egyptian artist’s reluctance to conceal any part of an object by another closer to the spectator. There is no indication of the material of the throne, but the dais, to judge by its Egyptian name, was of wood. A couch of the I Dynasty was actually more a commodious stool and several beds. The couch also has the familiar bull legs.” ref
“The stool, no matter how it is embellished, remains a raised seat without back or arms. But as early as the II Dynasty, officials, as well as kings, seemed to feel the need of support behind them, and the world’s first chairs were born. A hieroglyph in the pyramid of Pepi I of the 6th Dynasty (4,323-4,150 years ago) implies that his “shining throne” had lions’ heads and constitute the Old Kingdom of Dynastic Egypt with a pyramid built at Saqqara. (Figure 5) Arm panel of the throne of Tuthmosis iv, from his tomb, Thebes, xviii Dynasty, about 3,420 years ago, Cedar, height 94 inches.” ref
“Time estimates for the arrival of X in North America are 12,000–36,000 years ago, depending on the number of assumed founders, thus supporting the conclusion that the peoples harboring haplogroup X were among the original founders of Native American populations. It has been proposed that a fifth mtDNA haplogroup (haplogroup X) represents a minor founding lineage in Native Americans.” ref 
“The only Eurasian ethnic group possessing a relatively high percentage of haplogroup X are the Druzes of Lebanon, Syria and Israel, among whom X makes up 15% of maternal lineages.  In Orkney (7%), around the Caucasus, notably among the Avars (5%), Adyghe-Kabardin (5%), Karachay-Balkars (4.5%), Nogays (4%), in Greece (4%), Dargins (3.5%), Armenians (3.5%), Azeri (3.5%), North Ossetians (3%) and Georgians (3%), Scotland (2.5%), Catalonia (2.5%) and the Basque country (2.5%).” ref 
“The mutation defining haplogroup X is thought to have taken place during the late Upper Paleolithic, some time between 20,000 and 35,000 years ago, probably in West Asia. Haplogroup X has never been found among Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from Europe or North Africa. It first appears with the arrival of Near Eastern farmers during the Neolithic. The high diversity of X subclades in the Middle East and the Caucasus also support a Neolithic diffusion from this region.” ref 
“Overall, haplogroup X is found in around 2% of the population of Europe, the Near East and North Africa. It is especially common among Egyptians inhabiting El-Hayez oasis (14.3%). Haplogroup X has been found among ancient Egyptian mummies excavated at the Abusir el-Meleq archaeological site in Middle Egypt, which date from the Pre-Ptolemaic/late New Kingdom and Roman periods. Fossils excavated at the Late Neolithic site of Kelif el Boroud (Kehf el Baroud) in Morocco, which have been dated to around 5,000 years ago, have also been observed to carry the X2 subclade. Haplogroup X has been found in various other fossils that were analysed for ancient DNA, including specimens associated with the Alföld Linear Pottery (X2b-T226C, Garadna-Elkerülő út site 2, 1/1 or 100%), Linearbandkeramik (X2d1, Halberstadt-Sonntagsfeld, 1/22 or ~5%), and Iberia Chalcolithic (X2b, La Chabola de la Hechicera, 1/3 or 33%; X2b, El Sotillo, 1/3 or 33%; X2b, El Mirador Cave, 1/12 or ~8%) cultures.” ref 
Neolithic diffusion of agriculture
“The oldest samples of haplogroup X identified to date are an X2d2, an X2m and an X2m2 tested by Mathieson et al. (2015) as part of the 26 Early Neolithic genomes sequenced from the Barcın site (8,500-8,200 years ago) in north-western Anatolia/Turkey, and an Early Neolithic X2b from Thessaly in Greece tested by Hofmanová et al. (2015). And apart from one X1 sample from the Cardium Pottery culture in Spain, which could have come from North African herders, all Neolithic European samples tested to date belonged to X2.” ref 
“X2b and X2c appear to have been the most common subclades in Neolithic Europe. X2b has been found in Neolithic Greece and Hungary, in Linear Pottery (LBK)-related cultures (Schöningen, Salzmünde) in Germany, in the LBK-derived RRBP culture in the Parisian basin, as well as in Chalcolithic Portugal. X2c was found in LBK-related Baalberge and Rössen cultures in Germany and in Cardial Spain. X2d1 was also found in the LBK culture. Moreover, apart from that, many X2 samples with undetermined subclades have also been identified in the Starčevo culture in Hungary, the Cardium Pottery culture in southern France, and in Megalithic burials in the Basque country, Navarre and Brittany.” ref 
Ancestor cult in Ancient Egypt
“The cult of the dead is prominent in ancient Egypt, but generally involves a person securing an afterlife either for themselves or for immediate relations: there is less evidence that ancestors from earlier generations received special attention. Objects connected with an ancestor cult mainly date to the New Kingdom (about 3,550-3,069 years ago), specifically to after the Amarna Period. ‘Ancestor busts’ (busts representing a deceased person) have been found mainly in Deir el-Medine, but are also known from other places. Some excavated examples were found in the entrance part of the houses. Here there must have been a special space dedicated to a cult for the dead members of the family. The most monumental examples are two fine busts inscribed one with the name of the father and invoking the god Shu, the other with the name of the mother and invoking the goddess Tefnet: the reference to the two deities implies that each bust represented the two lines, male and female, right back to the dawn of creation – in Egyptian myth, Shu and Tefnet are the first son and daughter of the creator, the sun-god Ra. Another late New Kingdom object category is the stela with person identified in hieroglyphs as Ax iqr n ra (akh iqer en Ra) – ‘excellent spirit of Ra’. These stelae show the deceased sitting on a chair smelling a lotus flower. They are also dedicated by members of the family.” ref  

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Paganism (beginning around 12,000 years ago)

Paganism (such as that seen in Turkey: 12,000 years ago). Gobekli Tepe: “first human-made temple” around 12,000 years ago. Sedentism and the Creation of goddesses around 12,000 years ago as well as male gods after 7,000 years ago. Pagan-Shaman burial in Israel 12,000 years ago and 12,000 – 10,000 years old Paganistic-Shamanistic Art in a Remote Cave in Egypt. Skull Cult around 11,500 to 8,400 Years Ago and Catal Huyuk “first religious designed city” around 10,000 years ago.

Paganism is approximately a 12,000-year-old belief system and believe in spirit-filled life and/or afterlife that can be attached to or be expressed in things or objects and these objects can be used by special persons or in special rituals that can connect to spirit-filled life and/or afterlife and who are guided/supported by a goddess/god, goddesses/gods, magical beings, or supreme spirits. If you believe like this, regardless of your faith, you are a hidden paganist.

Around 12,000 years ago, in Turkey, the first evidence of paganism is Gobekli Tepe: “first human-made temple” and around 9,500 years ago, in Turkey, the second evidence of paganism is Catal Huyuk “first religious designed city”. In addition, early paganism is connected to Proto-Indo-European language and religion. Proto-Indo-European religion can be reconstructed with confidence that the gods and goddesses, myths, festivals, and form of rituals with invocations, prayers, and songs of praise make up the spoken element of religion. Much of this activity is connected to the natural and agricultural year or at least those are the easiest elements to reconstruct because nature does not change and because farmers are the most conservative members of society and are best able to keep the old ways.

The reconstruction of goddesses/gods characteristics may be different than what we think of and only evolved later to the characteristics we know of today. One such characteristic is how a deity’s gender may not be fixed, since they are often deified forces of nature, which tend to not have genders. There are at least 40 deities, and the Goddesses that have been reconstructed are: *Pria*Pleto*Devi*Perkunos*Aeusos, and *Yama.

The reconstruction of myths can be connected to Proto-Indo-European culture/language, and by additional research, many of these myths have since been confirmed, including some areas that were not accessible to the early writers, such as Latvian folk songs and Hittite hieroglyphic tablets. There are at least 28 myths, and one of the most widely recognized myths of the Indo-Europeans is the myth, “Yama is killed by his brother Manu” and “the world is made from his body”. Some of the forms of this myth in various Indo-European languages are about the Creation Myth of the Indo-Europeans.

The reconstruction of rituals can be connected to Proto-Indo-European culture/language and is estimated to have been spoken as a single language from around 6,500 years ago. One of the earliest ritual is the construction of kurgans or mound graves as a part of a death ritual. kurgans were inspired by common ritual-mythological ideas. Kurgans are complex structures with internal chambers. Within the burial chamber at the heart of the kurgan, elite individuals were buried with grave goods and sacrificial offerings, sometimes including horses and chariots.

The speakers of Pre-Proto-Indo-European lived in Turkey, and it associates the distribution of historical Indo-European languages with the expansion around 9,000 years ago, with a proposed homeland of Proto-Indo-European proper in the Balkans around 7,000 years ago. The Proto-Indo-European Religion seemingly stretches at least back around 6,000 years ago or likely much further back, and I believe Paganism is possibly an approximately 12,000-year-old belief system.

The earliest kurgans date to 6,000 years ago and are connected to the Proto-Indo-Europeans in the Caucasus. In fact, around 7,000 years ago, there appears to be pre-kurgan in Siberia. Around 7,000 to 2,500 years ago and beyond, kurgans were built with ancient traditions still active in Southern Siberia and Central Asia, which display the continuity of the archaic farming methods. Kurgan cultures are divided archaeologically into different sub-cultures such as Timber GravePit GraveScythianSarmatianHunnish, and KumanKipchak. Kurgans have been found from the Altay Mountains to the Caucasus, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria. Around 5,000 years ago, kurgans were used in the Ukrainian and Russian flat unforested grasslands, and their use spread with migration into eastern, central, and northern Europe, Turkey, and beyond. refrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefrefref, & ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Animism: Respecting the Living World by Graham Harvey 

“How have human cultures engaged with and thought about animals, plants, rocks, clouds, and other elements in their natural surroundings? Do animals and other natural objects have a spirit or soul? What is their relationship to humans? In this new study, Graham Harvey explores current and past animistic beliefs and practices of Native Americans, Maori, Aboriginal Australians, and eco-pagans. He considers the varieties of animism found in these cultures as well as their shared desire to live respectfully within larger natural communities. Drawing on his extensive casework, Harvey also considers the linguistic, performative, ecological, and activist implications of these different animisms.” ref

My thoughts on Religion Evolution with external links for more info:

“Religion is an Evolved Product” and Yes, Religion is Like Fear Given Wings…

Atheists talk about gods and religions for the same reason doctors talk about cancer, they are looking for a cure, or a firefighter talks about fires because they burn people and they care to stop them. We atheists too often feel a need to help the victims of mental slavery, held in the bondage that is the false beliefs of gods and the conspiracy theories of reality found in religions.

“Understanding Religion Evolution: Animism, Totemism, Shamanism, Paganism & Progressed organized religion”

Understanding Religion Evolution:

“An Archaeological/Anthropological Understanding of Religion Evolution”

It seems ancient peoples had to survived amazing threats in a “dangerous universe (by superstition perceived as good and evil),” and human “immorality or imperfection of the soul” which was thought to affect the still living, leading to ancestor worship. This ancestor worship presumably led to the belief in supernatural beings, and then some of these were turned into the belief in gods. This feeble myth called gods were just a human conceived “made from nothing into something over and over, changing, again and again, taking on more as they evolve, all the while they are thought to be special,” but it is just supernatural animistic spirit-belief perceived as sacred.


Quick Evolution of Religion?

Pre-Animism (at least 300,000 years ago) pre-religion is a beginning that evolves into later Animism. So, Religion as we think of it, to me, all starts in a general way with Animism (Africa: 100,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in supernatural powers/spirits), then this is physically expressed in or with Totemism (Europe: 50,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in mythical relationship with powers/spirits through a totem item), which then enlists a full-time specific person to do this worship and believed interacting Shamanism (Siberia/Russia: 30,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in access and influence with spirits through ritual), and then there is the further employment of myths and gods added to all the above giving you Paganism (Turkey: 12,000 years ago) (often a lot more nature-based than most current top world religions, thus hinting to their close link to more ancient religious thinking it stems from). My hypothesis is expressed with an explanation of the building of a theatrical house (modern religions development). Progressed organized religion (Egypt: 5,000 years ago)  with CURRENT “World” RELIGIONS (after 4,000 years ago).

Historically, in large city-state societies (such as Egypt or Iraq) starting around 5,000 years ago culminated to make religion something kind of new, a sociocultural-governmental-religious monarchy, where all or at least many of the people of such large city-state societies seem familiar with and committed to the existence of “religion” as the integrated life identity package of control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine, but this juggernaut integrated religion identity package of Dogmatic-Propaganda certainly did not exist or if developed to an extent it was highly limited in most smaller prehistoric societies as they seem to lack most of the strong control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine (magical beliefs could be at times be added or removed). Many people just want to see developed religious dynamics everywhere even if it is not. Instead, all that is found is largely fragments until the domestication of religion.

Religions, as we think of them today, are a new fad, even if they go back to around 6,000 years in the timeline of human existence, this amounts to almost nothing when seen in the long slow evolution of religion at least around 70,000 years ago with one of the oldest ritual worship. Stone Snake of South Africa: “first human worship” 70,000 years ago. This message of how religion and gods among them are clearly a man-made thing that was developed slowly as it was invented and then implemented peace by peace discrediting them all. Which seems to be a simple point some are just not grasping how devastating to any claims of truth when we can see the lie clearly in the archeological sites.

I wish people fought as hard for the actual values as they fight for the group/clan names political or otherwise they think support values. Every amount spent on war is theft to children in need of food or the homeless kept from shelter.

Here are several of my blog posts on history:

I am not an academic. I am a revolutionary that teaches in public, in places like social media, and in the streets. I am not a leader by some title given but from my commanding leadership style of simply to start teaching everywhere to everyone, all manner of positive education. 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Low Gods “Earth” or Tutelary deity and High Gods “Sky” or Supreme deity

“An Earth goddess is a deification of the Earth. Earth goddesses are often associated with the “chthonic” deities of the underworldKi and Ninhursag are Mesopotamian earth goddesses. In Greek mythology, the Earth is personified as Gaia, corresponding to Roman Terra, Indic Prithvi/Bhūmi, etc. traced to an “Earth Mother” complementary to the “Sky Father” in Proto-Indo-European religionEgyptian mythology exceptionally has a sky goddess and an Earth god.” ref

“A mother goddess is a goddess who represents or is a personification of naturemotherhoodfertilitycreationdestruction or who embodies the bounty of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world, such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother. In some religious traditions or movements, Heavenly Mother (also referred to as Mother in Heaven or Sky Mother) is the wife or feminine counterpart of the Sky father or God the Father.” ref

Any masculine sky god is often also king of the gods, taking the position of patriarch within a pantheon. Such king gods are collectively categorized as “sky father” deities, with a polarity between sky and earth often being expressed by pairing a “sky father” god with an “earth mother” goddess (pairings of a sky mother with an earth father are less frequent). A main sky goddess is often the queen of the gods and may be an air/sky goddess in her own right, though she usually has other functions as well with “sky” not being her main. In antiquity, several sky goddesses in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Near East were called Queen of Heaven. Neopagans often apply it with impunity to sky goddesses from other regions who were never associated with the term historically. The sky often has important religious significance. Many religions, both polytheistic and monotheistic, have deities associated with the sky.” ref

“In comparative mythology, sky father is a term for a recurring concept in polytheistic religions of a sky god who is addressed as a “father”, often the father of a pantheon and is often either a reigning or former King of the Gods. The concept of “sky father” may also be taken to include Sun gods with similar characteristics, such as Ra. The concept is complementary to an “earth mother“. “Sky Father” is a direct translation of the Vedic Dyaus Pita, etymologically descended from the same Proto-Indo-European deity name as the Greek Zeûs Pater and Roman Jupiter and Germanic Týr, Tir or Tiwaz, all of which are reflexes of the same Proto-Indo-European deity’s name, *Dyēus Ph₂tḗr. While there are numerous parallels adduced from outside of Indo-European mythology, there are exceptions (e.g. In Egyptian mythology, Nut is the sky mother and Geb is the earth father).” ref

Tutelary deity

“A tutelary (also tutelar) is a deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of “tutelary” expresses the concept of safety and thus of guardianship. In late Greek and Roman religion, one type of tutelary deity, the genius, functions as the personal deity or daimon of an individual from birth to death. Another form of personal tutelary spirit is the familiar spirit of European folklore.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) iKorean shamanismjangseung and sotdae were placed at the edge of villages to frighten off demons. They were also worshiped as deities. Seonangshin is the patron deity of the village in Korean tradition and was believed to embody the SeonangdangIn Philippine animism, Diwata or Lambana are deities or spirits that inhabit sacred places like mountains and mounds and serve as guardians. Such as: Maria Makiling is the deity who guards Mt. Makiling and Maria Cacao and Maria Sinukuan. In Shinto, the spirits, or kami, which give life to human bodies come from nature and return to it after death. Ancestors are therefore themselves tutelaries to be worshiped. And similarly, Native American beliefs such as Tonás, tutelary animal spirit among the Zapotec and Totems, familial or clan spirits among the Ojibwe, can be animals.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Austronesian beliefs such as: Atua (gods and spirits of the Polynesian peoples such as the Māori or the Hawaiians), Hanitu (Bunun of Taiwan‘s term for spirit), Hyang (KawiSundaneseJavanese, and Balinese Supreme Being, in ancient Java and Bali mythology and this spiritual entity, can be either divine or ancestral), Kaitiaki (New Zealand Māori term used for the concept of guardianship, for the sky, the sea, and the land), Kawas (mythology) (divided into 6 groups: gods, ancestors, souls of the living, spirits of living things, spirits of lifeless objects, and ghosts), Tiki (Māori mythologyTiki is the first man created by either Tūmatauenga or Tāne and represents deified ancestors found in most Polynesian cultures). ” ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Mesopotamian Tutelary Deities can be seen as ones related to City-States 

“Historical city-states included Sumerian cities such as Uruk and UrAncient Egyptian city-states, such as Thebes and Memphis; the Phoenician cities (such as Tyre and Sidon); the five Philistine city-states; the Berber city-states of the Garamantes; the city-states of ancient Greece (the poleis such as AthensSpartaThebes, and Corinth); the Roman Republic (which grew from a city-state into a vast empire); the Italian city-states from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, such as FlorenceSienaFerraraMilan (which as they grew in power began to dominate neighboring cities) and Genoa and Venice, which became powerful thalassocracies; the Mayan and other cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica (including cities such as Chichen ItzaTikalCopán and Monte Albán); the central Asian cities along the Silk Road; the city-states of the Swahili coastRagusa; states of the medieval Russian lands such as Novgorod and Pskov; and many others.” ref

“The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BCE; also known as Protoliterate period) of Mesopotamia, named after the Sumerian city of Uruk, this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia and the Sumerian civilization. City-States like Uruk and others had a patron tutelary City Deity along with a Priest-King.” ref

Chinese folk religion, both past, and present, includes myriad tutelary deities. Exceptional individuals, highly cultivated sages, and prominent ancestors can be deified and honored after death. Lord Guan is the patron of military personnel and police, while Mazu is the patron of fishermen and sailors. Such as Tu Di Gong (Earth Deity) is the tutelary deity of a locality, and each individual locality has its own Earth Deity and Cheng Huang Gong (City God) is the guardian deity of an individual city, worshipped by local officials and locals since imperial times.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Hinduism, personal tutelary deities are known as ishta-devata, while family tutelary deities are known as Kuladevata. Gramadevata are guardian deities of villages. Devas can also be seen as tutelary. Shiva is the patron of yogis and renunciants. City goddesses include: Mumbadevi (Mumbai), Sachchika (Osian); Kuladevis include: Ambika (Porwad), and Mahalakshmi. In NorthEast India Meitei mythology and religion (Sanamahism) of Manipur, there are various types of tutelary deities, among which Lam Lais are the most predominant ones. Tibetan Buddhism has Yidam as a tutelary deity. Dakini is the patron of those who seek knowledge.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) The Greeks also thought deities guarded specific places: for instance, Athena was the patron goddess of the city of Athens. Socrates spoke of hearing the voice of his personal spirit or daimonion:

You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me … . This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.” ref

“Tutelary deities who guard and preserve a place or a person are fundamental to ancient Roman religion. The tutelary deity of a man was his Genius, that of a woman her Juno. In the Imperial era, the Genius of the Emperor was a focus of Imperial cult. An emperor might also adopt a major deity as his personal patron or tutelary, as Augustus did Apollo. Precedents for claiming the personal protection of a deity were established in the Republican era, when for instance the Roman dictator Sulla advertised the goddess Victory as his tutelary by holding public games (ludi) in her honor.” ref

“Each town or city had one or more tutelary deities, whose protection was considered particularly vital in time of war and siege. Rome itself was protected by a goddess whose name was to be kept ritually secret on pain of death (for a supposed case, see Quintus Valerius Soranus). The Capitoline Triad of Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva were also tutelaries of Rome. The Italic towns had their own tutelary deities. Juno often had this function, as at the Latin town of Lanuvium and the Etruscan city of Veii, and was often housed in an especially grand temple on the arx (citadel) or other prominent or central location. The tutelary deity of Praeneste was Fortuna, whose oracle was renowned.” ref

“The Roman ritual of evocatio was premised on the belief that a town could be made vulnerable to military defeat if the power of its tutelary deity were diverted outside the city, perhaps by the offer of superior cult at Rome. The depiction of some goddesses such as the Magna Mater (Great Mother, or Cybele) as “tower-crowned” represents their capacity to preserve the city. A town in the provinces might adopt a deity from within the Roman religious sphere to serve as its guardian, or syncretize its own tutelary with such; for instance, a community within the civitas of the Remi in Gaul adopted Apollo as its tutelary, and at the capital of the Remi (present-day Rheims), the tutelary was Mars Camulus.” ref 

Household deity (a kind of or related to a Tutelary deity)

“A household deity is a deity or spirit that protects the home, looking after the entire household or certain key members. It has been a common belief in paganism as well as in folklore across many parts of the world. Household deities fit into two types; firstly, a specific deity – typically a goddess – often referred to as a hearth goddess or domestic goddess who is associated with the home and hearth, such as the ancient Greek Hestia.” ref

“The second type of household deities are those that are not one singular deity, but a type, or species of animistic deity, who usually have lesser powers than major deities. This type was common in the religions of antiquity, such as the Lares of ancient Roman religion, the Gashin of Korean shamanism, and Cofgodas of Anglo-Saxon paganism. These survived Christianisation as fairy-like creatures existing in folklore, such as the Anglo-Scottish Brownie and Slavic Domovoy.” ref

“Household deities were usually worshipped not in temples but in the home, where they would be represented by small idols (such as the teraphim of the Bible, often translated as “household gods” in Genesis 31:19 for example), amulets, paintings, or reliefs. They could also be found on domestic objects, such as cosmetic articles in the case of Tawaret. The more prosperous houses might have a small shrine to the household god(s); the lararium served this purpose in the case of the Romans. The gods would be treated as members of the family and invited to join in meals, or be given offerings of food and drink.” ref

“In many religions, both ancient and modern, a god would preside over the home. Certain species, or types, of household deities, existed. An example of this was the Roman Lares. Many European cultures retained house spirits into the modern period. Some examples of these include:

“Although the cosmic status of household deities was not as lofty as that of the Twelve Olympians or the Aesir, they were also jealous of their dignity and also had to be appeased with shrines and offerings, however humble. Because of their immediacy they had arguably more influence on the day-to-day affairs of men than the remote gods did. Vestiges of their worship persisted long after Christianity and other major religions extirpated nearly every trace of the major pagan pantheons. Elements of the practice can be seen even today, with Christian accretions, where statues to various saints (such as St. Francis) protect gardens and grottos. Even the gargoyles found on older churches, could be viewed as guardians partitioning a sacred space.” ref

“For centuries, Christianity fought a mop-up war against these lingering minor pagan deities, but they proved tenacious. For example, Martin Luther‘s Tischreden have numerous – quite serious – references to dealing with kobolds. Eventually, rationalism and the Industrial Revolution threatened to erase most of these minor deities, until the advent of romantic nationalism rehabilitated them and embellished them into objects of literary curiosity in the 19th century. Since the 20th century this literature has been mined for characters for role-playing games, video games, and other fantasy personae, not infrequently invested with invented traits and hierarchies somewhat different from their mythological and folkloric roots.” ref

“In contradistinction to both Herbert Spencer and Edward Burnett Tylor, who defended theories of animistic origins of ancestor worship, Émile Durkheim saw its origin in totemism. In reality, this distinction is somewhat academic, since totemism may be regarded as a particularized manifestation of animism, and something of a synthesis of the two positions was attempted by Sigmund Freud. In Freud’s Totem and Taboo, both totem and taboo are outward expressions or manifestations of the same psychological tendency, a concept which is complementary to, or which rather reconciles, the apparent conflict. Freud preferred to emphasize the psychoanalytic implications of the reification of metaphysical forces, but with particular emphasis on its familial nature. This emphasis underscores, rather than weakens, the ancestral component.” ref

William Edward Hearn, a noted classicist, and jurist, traced the origin of domestic deities from the earliest stages as an expression of animism, a belief system thought to have existed also in the neolithic, and the forerunner of Indo-European religion. In his analysis of the Indo-European household, in Chapter II “The House Spirit”, Section 1, he states:

The belief which guided the conduct of our forefathers was … the spirit rule of dead ancestors.” ref

“In Section 2 he proceeds to elaborate:

It is thus certain that the worship of deceased ancestors is a vera causa, and not a mere hypothesis. …

In the other European nations, the Slavs, the Teutons, and the Kelts, the House Spirit appears with no less distinctness. … [T]he existence of that worship does not admit of doubt. … The House Spirits had a multitude of other names which it is needless here to enumerate, but all of which are more or less expressive of their friendly relations with man. … In [England] … [h]e is the Brownie. … In Scotland this same Brownie is well known. He is usually described as attached to particular families, with whom he has been known to reside for centuries, threshing the corn, cleaning the house, and performing similar household tasks. His favorite gratification was milk and honey.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Hinduism around 3,700 to 3,500 years old. ref

 Judaism around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (The first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew” dated to around 3,000 years ago Khirbet Qeiyafa is the site of an ancient fortress city overlooking the Elah Valley. And many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed around 2,500) ref, ref

Judaism is around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (“Paleo-Hebrew” 3,000 years ago and Torah 2,500 years ago)

“Judaism is an Abrahamic, its roots as an organized religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Some scholars argue that modern Judaism evolved from Yahwism, the religion of ancient Israel and Judah, by the late 6th century BCE, and is thus considered to be one of the oldest monotheistic religions.” ref

“Yahwism is the name given by modern scholars to the religion of ancient Israel, essentially polytheistic, with a plethora of gods and goddesses. Heading the pantheon was Yahweh, the national god of the Israelite kingdoms of Israel and Judah, with his consort, the goddess Asherah; below them were second-tier gods and goddesses such as Baal, Shamash, Yarikh, Mot, and Astarte, all of whom had their own priests and prophets and numbered royalty among their devotees, and a third and fourth tier of minor divine beings, including the mal’ak, the messengers of the higher gods, who in later times became the angels of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Yahweh, however, was not the ‘original’ god of Israel “Isra-El”; it is El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon, whose name forms the basis of the name “Israel”, and none of the Old Testament patriarchs, the tribes of Israel, the Judges, or the earliest monarchs, have a Yahwistic theophoric name (i.e., one incorporating the name of Yahweh).” ref

“El is a Northwest Semitic word meaning “god” or “deity“, or referring (as a proper name) to any one of multiple major ancient Near Eastern deities. A rarer form, ‘ila, represents the predicate form in Old Akkadian and in Amorite. The word is derived from the Proto-Semitic *ʔil-, meaning “god”. Specific deities known as ‘El or ‘Il include the supreme god of the ancient Canaanite religion and the supreme god of East Semitic speakers in Mesopotamia’s Early Dynastic Period. ʼĒl is listed at the head of many pantheons. In some Canaanite and Ugaritic sources, ʼĒl played a role as father of the gods, of creation, or both. For example, in the Ugaritic texts, ʾil mlk is understood to mean “ʼĒl the King” but ʾil hd as “the god Hadad“. The Semitic root ʾlh (Arabic ʾilāh, Aramaic ʾAlāh, ʾElāh, Hebrew ʾelōah) may be ʾl with a parasitic h, and ʾl may be an abbreviated form of ʾlh. In Ugaritic the plural form meaning “gods” is ʾilhm, equivalent to Hebrew ʾelōhîm “powers”. In the Hebrew texts this word is interpreted as being semantically singular for “god” by biblical commentators. However the documentary hypothesis for the Old Testament (corresponds to the Jewish Torah) developed originally in the 1870s, identifies these that different authors – the Jahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomist, and the Priestly source – were responsible for editing stories from a polytheistic religion into those of a monotheistic religion. Inconsistencies that arise between monotheism and polytheism in the texts are reflective of this hypothesis.” ref


Jainism around 2,599 – 2,527 years old. ref

Confucianism around 2,600 – 2,551 years old. ref

Buddhism around 2,563/2,480 – 2,483/2,400 years old. ref

Christianity around 2,o00 years old. ref

Shinto around 1,305 years old. ref

Islam around 1407–1385 years old. ref

Sikhism around 548–478 years old. ref

Bahá’í around 200–125 years old. ref

Knowledge to Ponder: 


  • Possibly, around 30,000 years ago (in simpler form) to 6,000 years ago, Stars/Astrology are connected to Ancestors, Spirit Animals, and Deities.
  • The star also seems to be a possible proto-star for Star of Ishtar, Star of Inanna, or Star of Venus.
  • Around 7,000 to 6,000 years ago, Star Constellations/Astrology have connections to the “Kurgan phenomenon” of below-ground “mound” stone/wood burial structures and “Dolmen phenomenon” of above-ground stone burial structures.
  • Around 6,500–5,800 years ago, The Northern Levant migrations into Jordon and Israel in the Southern Levant brought new cultural and religious transfer from Turkey and Iran.
  • “The Ghassulian Star,” a mysterious 6,000-year-old mural from Jordan may have connections to the European paganstic kurgan/dolmens phenomenon.

“Astrology is a range of divinatory practices, recognized as pseudoscientific since the 18th century, that claim to discern information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the apparent positions of celestial objects. Different cultures have employed forms of astrology since at least the 2nd millennium BCE, these practices having originated in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Most, if not all, cultures have attached importance to what they observed in the sky, and some—such as the HindusChinese, and the Maya—developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from where it spread to Ancient GreeceRome, the Islamicate world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person’s personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.” ref 

Around 5,500 years ago, Science evolves, The first evidence of science was 5,500 years ago and was demonstrated by a body of empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the natural world. ref

Around 5,000 years ago, Origin of Logics is a Naturalistic Observation (principles of valid reasoning, inference, & demonstration) ref

Around 4,150 to 4,000 years ago: The earliest surviving versions of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, which was originally titled “He who Saw the Deep” (Sha naqba īmuru) or “Surpassing All Other Kings” (Shūtur eli sharrī) were written. ref


  • 3,700 years ago or so, the oldest of the Hindu Vedas (scriptures), the Rig Veda was composed.
  • 3,500 years ago or so, the Vedic Age began in India after the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization.


  • around 3,000 years ago, the first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew”
  • around 2,500 years ago, many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed

Myths: The bible inspired religion is not just one religion or one myth but a grouping of several religions and myths

  • Around 3,450 or 3,250 years ago, according to legend, is the traditionally accepted period in which the Israelite lawgiver, Moses, provided the Ten Commandments.
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh, or Old Testament is the first part of Christianity’s bible.
  • Around 2,400 years ago, the most accepted hypothesis is that the canon was formed in stages, first the Pentateuch (Torah).
  • Around 2,140 to 2,116 years ago, the Prophets was written during the Hasmonean dynasty, and finally the remaining books.
  • Christians traditionally divide the Old Testament into four sections:
  • The first five books or Pentateuch (Torah).
  • The proposed history books telling the history of the Israelites from their conquest of Canaan to their defeat and exile in Babylon.
  • The poetic and proposed “Wisdom books” dealing, in various forms, with questions of good and evil in the world.
  • The books of the biblical prophets, warning of the consequences of turning away from God:
  • Henotheism:
  • Exodus 20:23 “You shall not make other gods besides Me (not saying there are no other gods just not to worship them); gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves.”
  • Polytheism:
  • Judges 10:6 “Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; thus they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him.”
  • 1 Corinthians 8:5 “For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords.”
  • Monotheism:
  • Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

Around 2,570 to 2,270 Years Ago, there is a confirmation of atheistic doubting as well as atheistic thinking, mainly by Greek philosophers. However, doubting gods is likely as old as the invention of gods and should destroy the thinking that belief in god(s) is the “default belief”. The Greek word is apistos (a “not” and pistos “faithful,”), thus not faithful or faithless because one is unpersuaded and unconvinced by a god(s) claim. Short Definition: unbelieving, unbeliever, or unbelief.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Expressions of Atheistic Thinking:

  • Around 2,600 years ago, Ajita Kesakambali, ancient Indian philosopher, who is the first known proponent of Indian materialism. ref
  • Around 2,535 to 2,475 years ago, Heraclitus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor or modern Turkey. ref
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, according to The Story of Civilization book series certain African pygmy tribes have no identifiable gods, spirits, or religious beliefs or rituals, and even what burials accrue are without ceremony. ref
  • Around 2,490 to 2,430 years ago, Empedocles, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a citizen of Agrigentum, a Greek city in Sicily. ref
  • Around 2,460 to 2,370 years ago, Democritus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher considered to be the “father of modern science” possibly had some disbelief amounting to atheism. ref
  • Around 2,399 years ago or so, Socrates, a famous Greek philosopher was tried for sinfulness by teaching doubt of state gods. ref
  • Around 2,341 to 2,270 years ago, Epicurus, a Greek philosopher known for composing atheistic critics and famously stated, “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?” ref

This last expression by Epicurus, seems to be an expression of Axiological Atheism. To understand and utilize value or actually possess “Value Conscious/Consciousness” to both give a strong moral “axiological” argument (the problem of evil) as well as use it to fortify humanism and positive ethical persuasion of human helping and care responsibilities. Because value-blindness gives rise to sociopathic/psychopathic evil.

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While hallucinogens are associated with shamanism, it is alcohol that is associated with paganism.

The Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries Shows in the prehistory series:

Show one: Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses.

Show two: Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show tree: Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show four: Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show five: Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show six: Emergence of hierarchy, sexism, slavery, and the new male god dominance: Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves!

Show seven: Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State)

Show eight: Paganism 4,000 years old: Moralistic gods after the rise of Statism and often support Statism/Kings: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism)

Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses: VIDEO

Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Pre-Capitalism): VIDEO

Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves: VIEDO

Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State): VIEDO

Paganism 4,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism): VIEDO

I do not hate simply because I challenge and expose myths or lies any more than others being thought of as loving simply because of the protection and hiding from challenge their favored myths or lies.

The truth is best championed in the sunlight of challenge.

An archaeologist once said to me “Damien religion and culture are very different”

My response, So are you saying that was always that way, such as would you say Native Americans’ cultures are separate from their religions? And do you think it always was the way you believe?

I had said that religion was a cultural product. That is still how I see it and there are other archaeologists that think close to me as well. Gods too are the myths of cultures that did not understand science or the world around them, seeing magic/supernatural everywhere.

I personally think there is a goddess and not enough evidence to support a male god at Çatalhöyük but if there was both a male and female god and goddess then I know the kind of gods they were like Proto-Indo-European mythology.

This series idea was addressed in, Anarchist Teaching as Free Public Education or Free Education in the Public: VIDEO

Our 12 video series: Organized Oppression: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of power (9,000-4,000 years ago), is adapted from: The Complete and Concise History of the Sumerians and Early Bronze Age Mesopotamia (7000-2000 BC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szFjxmY7jQA by “History with Cy

Show #1: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Samarra, Halaf, Ubaid)

Show #2: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Eridu “Tell Abu Shahrain”)

Show #3: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Uruk and the First Cities)

Show #4: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (First Kings)

Show #5: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Early Dynastic Period)

Show #6: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (King/Ruler Lugalzagesi)

Show #7: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Sargon and Akkadian Rule)

Show #8: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Naram-Sin, Post-Akkadian Rule, and the Gutians)

Show #9: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Gudea of Lagash and Utu-hegal)

Show #10: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Third Dynasty of Ur / Neo-Sumerian Empire)

Show #11: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Amorites, Elamites, and the End of an Era)

Show #12: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Aftermath and Legacy of Sumer)

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

The “Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries”

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ Atheist Leftist @Skepticallefty & I (Damien Marie AtHope) @AthopeMarie (my YouTube & related blog) are working jointly in atheist, antitheist, antireligionist, antifascist, anarchist, socialist, and humanist endeavors in our videos together, generally, every other Saturday.

Why Does Power Bring Responsibility?

Think, how often is it the powerless that start wars, oppress others, or commit genocide? So, I guess the question is to us all, to ask, how can power not carry responsibility in a humanity concept? I know I see the deep ethical responsibility that if there is power their must be a humanistic responsibility of ethical and empathic stewardship of that power. Will I be brave enough to be kind? Will I possess enough courage to be compassionate? Will my valor reach its height of empathy? I as everyone, earns our justified respect by our actions, that are good, ethical, just, protecting, and kind. Do I have enough self-respect to put my love for humanity’s flushing, over being brought down by some of its bad actors? May we all be the ones doing good actions in the world, to help human flourishing.

I create the world I want to live in, striving for flourishing. Which is not a place but a positive potential involvement and promotion; a life of humanist goal precision. To master oneself, also means mastering positive prosocial behaviors needed for human flourishing. I may have lost a god myth as an atheist, but I am happy to tell you, my friend, it is exactly because of that, leaving the mental terrorizer, god belief, that I truly regained my connected ethical as well as kind humanity.

Cory and I will talk about prehistory and theism, addressing the relevance to atheism, anarchism, and socialism.

At the same time as the rise of the male god, 7,000 years ago, there was also the very time there was the rise of violence, war, and clans to kingdoms, then empires, then states. It is all connected back to 7,000 years ago, and it moved across the world.

Cory Johnston: https://damienmarieathope.com/2021/04/cory-johnston-mind-of-a-skeptical-leftist/?v=32aec8db952d  

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist (YouTube)

Cory Johnston: Mind of a Skeptical Leftist @Skepticallefty

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist By Cory Johnston: “Promoting critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics by covering current events and talking to a variety of people. Cory Johnston has been thoughtfully talking to people and attempting to promote critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics.” http://anchor.fm/skepticalleft

Cory needs our support. We rise by helping each other.

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ @Skepticallefty Evidence-based atheist leftist (he/him) Producer, host, and co-host of 4 podcasts @skeptarchy @skpoliticspod and @AthopeMarie

Damien Marie AtHope (“At Hope”) Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist. Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Poet, Philosopher, Advocate, Activist, Psychology, and Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Historian.

Damien is interested in: Freedom, Liberty, Justice, Equality, Ethics, Humanism, Science, Atheism, Antiteism, Antireligionism, Ignosticism, Left-Libertarianism, Anarchism, Socialism, Mutualism, Axiology, Metaphysics, LGBTQI, Philosophy, Advocacy, Activism, Mental Health, Psychology, Archaeology, Social Work, Sexual Rights, Marriage Rights, Woman’s Rights, Gender Rights, Child Rights, Secular Rights, Race Equality, Ageism/Disability Equality, Etc. And a far-leftist, “Anarcho-Humanist.”

I am not a good fit in the atheist movement that is mostly pro-capitalist, I am anti-capitalist. Mostly pro-skeptic, I am a rationalist not valuing skepticism. Mostly pro-agnostic, I am anti-agnostic. Mostly limited to anti-Abrahamic religions, I am an anti-religionist. 

To me, the “male god” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 7,000 years ago, whereas the now favored monotheism “male god” is more like 4,000 years ago or so. To me, the “female goddess” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 11,000-10,000 years ago or so, losing the majority of its once prominence around 2,000 years ago due largely to the now favored monotheism “male god” that grow in prominence after 4,000 years ago or so. 

My Thought on the Evolution of Gods?

Animal protector deities from old totems/spirit animal beliefs come first to me, 13,000/12,000 years ago, then women as deities 11,000/10,000 years ago, then male gods around 7,000/8,000 years ago. Moralistic gods around 5,000/4,000 years ago, and monotheistic gods around 4,000/3,000 years ago. 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Damien Marie AtHope (Said as “At” “Hope”)/(Autodidact Polymath but not good at math):

Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist, Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Jeweler, Poet, “autodidact” Philosopher, schooled in Psychology, and “autodidact” Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Pre-Historian (Knowledgeable in the range of: 1 million to 5,000/4,000 years ago). I am an anarchist socialist politically. Reasons for or Types of Atheism

My Website, My Blog, & Short-writing or QuotesMy YouTube, Twitter: @AthopeMarie, and My Email: damien.marie.athope@gmail.com

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