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Cultural convergence in the Neolithic of the Nile Valley: a prehistoric perspective on Egypt's place in Africa

  • David Wengrow (a1), Michael Dee (a2), Sarah Foster (a1), Alice Stevenson (a3) and Christopher Bronk Ramsey (a2)...

The African origins of Egyptian civilisation lie in an important cultural horizon, the ‘primary pastoral community’, which emerged in both the Egyptian and Sudanese parts of the Nile Valley in the fifth millennium BC. A re-examination of the chronology, assisted by new AMS determinations from Neolithic sites in Middle Egypt, has charted the detailed development of these new kinds of society. The resulting picture challenges recent studies that emphasise climate change and environmental stress as drivers of cultural adaptation in north-east Africa. It also emphasises the crucial role of funerary practices and body decoration.

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