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  • Cited by 7
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Stevenson, Alice 2016. The Egyptian Predynastic and State Formation. Journal of Archaeological Research,

    Schrader, Sarah A. 2015. Elucidating inequality in Nubia: An examination of entheseal changes at Kerma (Sudan). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 156, Issue. 2, p. 192.

    Sidebotham, Steven E. 2014. Religion and Burial at the Ptolemaic-Roman Red Sea Emporium of Berenike, Egypt. African Archaeological Review, Vol. 31, Issue. 4, p. 599.

    Grillo, Katherine M. and Hildebrand, Elisabeth A. 2013. The context of early megalithic architecture in eastern Africa: the Turkana Basinc.5000-4000 BP. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa, Vol. 48, Issue. 2, p. 193.

    Haaland, Randi 2012. Changing food ways as indicators of emerging complexity in Sudanese Nubia: from Neolithic agropastoralists to the Meroitic civilisation. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa, Vol. 47, Issue. 3, p. 327.

    Brooks, Nick Grist, Natasha and Brown, Katrina 2009. Development Futures in the Context of Climate Change: Challenging the Present and Learning from the Past. Development Policy Review, Vol. 27, Issue. 6, p. 741.

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Rethinking ‘Cattle Cults’ in Early Egypt: Towards a Prehistoric Perspective on the Narmer Palette

  • David Wengrow (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 September 2001

The Narmer Palette occupies a key position in our understanding of the transition from Predynastic to Dynastic culture in Egypt. Previous interpretations have focused largely upon correspondences between its decorative content and later conventions of élite display. Here, the decoration of the palette is instead related to its form and functional attributes and their derivation from the Neolithic cultures of the Nile Valley, which are contrasted with those of southwest Asia and Europe. It is argued that the widespread adoption of a pastoral lifestyle during the fifth millennium BC was associated with new modes of bodily display and ritual, into which cattle and other animals were incorporated. These constituted an archive of cultural forms and practices which the makers of the Narmer Palette, and other Protodynastic monuments, drew from and transformed. Taking cattle as a focus, the article begins with a consideration of interpretative problems relating to animal art and ritual in archaeology, and stresses the value of perspectives derived from the anthropology of pastoral societies.

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Cambridge Archaeological Journal
  • ISSN: 0959-7743
  • EISSN: 1474-0540
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-archaeological-journal
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