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

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

David Wengrow
Institute of Archaeology, University College London, 31–34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY, UK
Michael Dee
Research Laboratory for Archaeology & the History of Art, University of Oxford, Dyson Perrins Building, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
Sarah Foster
Institute of Archaeology, University College London, 31–34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY, UK
Alice Stevenson
Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College London, Malet Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK
Christopher Bronk Ramsey
Research Laboratory for Archaeology & the History of Art, University of Oxford, Dyson Perrins Building, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
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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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Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd. 2014


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