Presentación del Instituto Internacional de Egiptología INDETEC-Aegyptus



Dra. Dña. Karine Gadré.- "Identifying the old Egyptian decanal stars : a research work requiring the abilities and knowledge of both Astronomers and Egyptologists"

Abstract-Resumen: "The two last ARCE meetings gave rise to introduce people to Astro-Egyptology, a new research area involving both Astronomers and Egyptologists, and to detail the way Astronomers and Egyptologists could work together in the future, within the context of an international team or network. The soon defending of my doctoral dissertation, before an examining board made up for the very first time of both Astronomers and Egyptologists, will give rise to illustrate this way of working. Identifying the old Egyptian decanal stars effectively presupposed : 1. to gather as many ancient Egyptian starlists and related writings as possible ; 2. to study their hieroglyphic content and meaning ; 3. to conceive original astronomy softwares ; 4. to deduce the most probable results from the applying of both astronomical and egyptological criteria. Identifying the old Egyptian decanal stars therefore required the knowledge and abilities of both Astronomers and Egyptologists at different stages o  this work. Once my doctoral dissertation will be defended and the results published, it will belong to the Astronomers and Egyptologists interested in this research field to discuss about the identifications proposed."


Dra. Dña. Salima Ikram, .- "The North Kharga Oasis Survey (NKOS): An Overview of Kharga Oasis"

      Abstract-Resumen: "The North Kharga Oasis Survey (NKOS), co-directed by Salima Ikram and
Corinna Rossi under the auspices of the American University in Cairo and Cambridge University, has thus far worked since 2001. The goals of the project are to explore, survey, map, and record the archaeological sites found in the northern part of the oasis, starting from the northern escarpment and extending to two kilometres north of Kharga town, and extending westward to the site of Ain Amur.

The northern area of Kharga contains archaeological sites dating from the prehistoric period to the nineteenth century AD. The most unexpected and startling of the remains in Kharga are the forts of the Roman period, mentioned in passing by early travellers and geologists, and never  properly investigated. In addition to the forts, the Prehistoric sites are numerous and significant, but the millennia that separate the  prehistoric sites from the Roman forts are scarcely documented.

As the area of the survey is enormous, and the state of preservation of the remains uneven, a variety of techniques are used by NKOS to locate and document the sites. The areas around the visible archaeological remains are explored on foot, whilst four-wheel vehicles are employed for the large-scale exploration of the surroundings.  The position of isolated features (such as cairns marking the ancient routes) is recorded by means of a Global Positioning Systems (GPS). A theodolite survey is carried out for areas with a particular concentration of archaeological  remains, and architectural features such as buildings or tombs are recorded in detail to a smaller scale. Aerial photography is not only used  to document the overall appearance of the sites, but also to identify and record ancient irrigation systems and areas of  cultivation. The research is completed with the collection and analysis of ceramics, small objects, archaeobotanical and archaeozoological samples.

NKOS is not only producing a map of the area, but is also trying to understand the relationship between the different sites through the millennia, as well as the ancient environment that shaped the oasis'  history. Beside its agricultural wealth, in antiquity the oasis was most significant also for its strategic location in the Western Desert. Kharga acted as a major crossroad linking Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Central and Western Africa. As early as the Old Kingdom, the Darb el-Arbain, the Road of the Forty Days between Middle Egypt and the Sudan, gained a certain importance as alternative route to travellers and traders who wished or were forced to avoid the Nile Valley. This route  was also important for strategic reasons, as the Egyptians learned in the Second Intermediate Period when the Hyksos-Nubian alliance tried to bypass the Nile Valley via the oases.

Thus far the team has worked at the fortress sites of Qasr el-Gib and Qasr el-Sumayira at the northern extremity (2001, 2002). These two mud brick fortresses are built of large sandy bricks, extending to several storeys in height. Ain Gib was small and may have been constructed with an eye to impressing people, rather than as a viably defensible building. It is possible that it, together with its sister fort, Qasr el-Sumayara, was more a location for road taxation and passport control. The latter is a smaller structure and seems to have been the site of settlements and industrial as well as agricultural activity, and was probably an important  provisioning station. The area south of the fort is marked by an undulating landscape (hinting at buried structures), intense pottery scatters, and the presence of ovens, grinding emplacements and other industrial remains. Rock-cut and brick build tombs with vaulted roofs lie further south,  presumably built for the more important and long-term inhabitants of the site. A complex water-system (qanats) supported the lush agricultural fields that once surrounded these buildings.

Further into the oasis, the sites of Settlements A, B, C, and associated cemeteries have also been explored (2001, 2002). The settlements vary in size and tend to be agricultural in nature, with settlements B and C also having administrative and religious components. The tombs are, for themost part, dug into the desert tafla and then constructed in mud brick as single or double chambers with vaulted roofs, finished with plaster and paint. A few rock-cut tombs have also been identified, but these are infrequent due to the poor quality of the sandstone found throughout the oasis.

A crossroads of the oasis is marked at the sites of Ain el-Lebekha and Muhammed Tulaib (2002, 2004), the former of which leads to a route to the western mini-oasis of Umm el-Dabadib. Lebekha consists of a vast cemetery, quarries, a fort, at least two  religious structures, and houses. Muhammed Tulaib, originally thought to have been a fort, has now been identified as a mud-brick temple that was later incorporated into a larger  structure which was eventually turned into a fortified building. It too was surrounded by fields and dwellings, with large cemeteries located to the east and west.

Umm el-Dabadib (2003) is located half way between the Darb el-Arbain and the Dakhla Oasis, and included a small fort surrounded by a fortified settlement packed with rather luxurious houses, a Christian churches, an Egyptian-style temple located next to a spring, a slightly earlier northern settlement, several minor ruins, a vast underground water system, extensive cultivations and several necropolis of various size. This site, more than the others, provides evidence dating to the transitional period  between Paganism and Christianity. Evidence of vandalism and destruction was discovered during a check-up visit in the fall of 2004. The temple, several tombs, portions of the fort and associated settlements has been razed by a bull-dozer.

Further to the west, the Darb Ain Amur, the route leading to the spring and associated Roman settlement, was explored (2004). Several graffiti sites were identified, together with accompanying ceramic scatter. These sites dated from the Prehistoric to the Islamic periods. One of the most significant finds was a serekh containing the name of an unknown ruler of the protodynastic period, or perhaps an alternative orthography of a known king. Other finds included inscriptions from the First Intermediate Period and the New Kingdom.

North of  Kharga town the sites of Ain el-Tarakwa and Ain Dabashiya were explored (2004). The former consists of the well-preserved remains of a small sandstone temple, surrounded by a rectangular mud-brick enclosure wall, several wells, and tombs. The latter consists of a  mud-brick temple, extensive cultivation, dwellings, cereal processing areas, and several kilometres of tombs, including a canid  cemetery. One of the most significant buildings at the site is a pigeon tower, probably of a late 2nd century AD date".


D. Francesco Raffaele, .- "Causes and Effects of the State Formation in Ancient Egypt, Late Predynastic to Early Dynastic". Lecture sketch (Italian Version). Las tablas siguientes suponen un esquema de los aspectos a tener en cuenta en cuanto a las épocas en las que se centra la conferencia para una mejor comprensión del desarrollo de ésta. El Ponente centrará su exposición en el título de la conferencia, esto es en las causas y los efectos de la formación del Estado en el antiguo Egipto.


1. Map of Egypt

Introduction. outlining the scheme and development of my discussion:

- SPACE (Upper and Lower Egypt);
- TIME (Temporal boundaries of Prehistory, Predynastic and Dynastic periods)
- PURPOSE: Showing the millenary continuity in various aspects of the ancient Egyptian cultural tradition within the context of State formation (a durable process which developed along the end of Predynastic and the beginning of Dynastic period) through the description of some of the most important remains of the material culture and their interpretations.

Stress on environmental archaeology since the 1970s (K. Butzer).
Natural barriers in Predynastic Egypt (Northern sea, Eastern and Western 'deserts', Southern Nile cataracts)

- Stones, timber, gold, minerals, semiprecious stones. Plants and animals.
- Foundation of important predynastic settlements in strategic locations controlling trade (Maadi, Buto, Thinis, Elephantine) or access routes to the Eastern Desert quarries (Koptos, Naqada, Hierakonpolis).

- Benefìts of annual flood (wide valley, agriculture)
- Comfortable and fast navigation (N-S communication)
- Effects of these factors in mythology, religion, rituals: the boats (from rock-art to the funerary "Solar barks" buried beside mastabas and pyramids, to the bark as a synonym of 'feast' in early writing, to the ceremonies involving boats processions, the boats as a means of communication with the Netherworld. Analogies between Nile River and Milky Way.

- Pleistocene earliest dry phases (+50000 BP). Modern palaeoclimatological studies.
- Dry Middle-Holocene (c. VIth Millennium BC) and moister Subpluvial Neolithic (c. Vth Millennium BC)
- CONSEQUENCES of the climatic changes and of their increasing incidence during the Predynastic:
Melting of cultures since Epipalaeolithic and Neolithic as a result of peoples migrations caused by the sudden climatic changes.
   Common cultural features in Nile Valley, Sudanese and Sahara Neolithic:
      - Lithic industries: concave base arrowheads
      - Wavy line pottery decorations

- Egypt as a crossover of cultures (Western and Eastern Desert populations moved towards the Nile Valley mixing with local peoples settled since Palaeolithic. Influxes from Near East -animals and plants domestication-, and the Southern Africa).
- This ethno-cultural dynamism is also reflected in the field of linguistics:
   The Afro-Asiatic (Libyco-Berber, Chadic, Ancient Egyptian, Kushitic, Omotic and North/South Western and Eastern Semitic languages families).

VIIIth-IVth Millennium BC in the Western Desert: Nabta Playa
Second half of the VIth millennium -Vth millennium Fayyum (Fayum A, c. 5300-4200 BC)
- Aftermath of "Neolithic Revolution" (agriculture): villages, more and more socially stratified societies, emerging elites, specialization.
- BADARIAN (c. 4600-3900 BC): General features:
   Settlements, cemeteries, material culture, sustenance, trade; beginning of main socio-cultural transformations.
   Types of objects of daily and funerary use, contacts and relationships with Fayum, Upper Egypt (Naqada I) and Sudan (Khartoum Neolithic); social stratification evidenced through tombs and gravegoods analysis.


Old excavations and past theories: late XIXth and early XXth Century
- Different methods, aims and needs in past archaeological excavations
   Influence of 'large and medium range theories' and of politics (colonialism) on the philosophical and scientific thought
- Evolution(ism) (Darwinism)
- Diffusionism and "Dynastic Race"
- The "quest for museum masterpieces" archaeology

New theories and researches; modern and more specific fields of investigation, objectives, technologies.
Live interest for Predynastic and Protodynastic Egypt; increasing studies and publications.

2. Chronological table
Naqada I-II-III & subphases
(aft. K. Cialowicz, 2001, 38, fig. 3)

3. W-ware evolution
(aft. B. Adams, 1988, 27, fig. 13)

Naqada I-III
tombs and gravegoods
(aft. B. Adams, 1988, 16, fig. 4 with some modifications)


The three phases of Naqada Culture. How was this subdivision achieved?
- W.M.F. Petrie: Amratian, Gerzean and Semainean. Contexts' seriation (1899, 1901, 1920).
Sequence dating and the bases of relative chronology. The units groupings SD: 30-39, 40-62, 63-80.
- Typologies and artefacts corpora (influence of the Evolutionism)
- Wavy-handled ware development

- W. Kaiser: Armant cem. 1400-1500 and the Naqadakulturstufen (1957, 1990).
- S. Hendrickx: further improvement to the system (1989, 1994, 1996, 1999).

- Terminology: "Late Predynastic", "Protodynastic", "Archaic Period" and dynasties.


5.- 6. Palettes


7. - 8. C-ware vessels

9. Gebelein textile





NAQADA I (c. 3900-3600BC) Matmar - Kubbaniyeh area with its core in the Qena bend (Diospolis, Naqada)

- Upper Egyptian culture
(links with Badarian and Sudanese facies; differences with Lower Egyptian culture)
- Increasingly marked social stratification (particul. in Naqada Ic-IIa). Tribal societies and simple chiefdoms
- Few traces of semi-permanent settlements. Sustenance activities and interregional contacts.
- Rock art of Western and Eastern Desert. Interpretation and stylistical analogies.
- Grave-goods and their typological evolution; their practical, and magic-symbolical purpose
   B, C, P ware and stone vessels
   Cosmetic schist palettes ('slate'): practical and ritual use
         rhomboidal palettes with rare incised motifs (elephant, hippopotamus hunt, symbols)
         zoomorphic palettes (fishes, amphibious, mammals) and early pelta shapes
   Magical/apotropaic amulets
   Pottery figurines and statuettes (praying women, wild/domestic animals, barks...)
   Mace-heads (disk shaped)
- Interpretation of C-ware decorations (types of motifs and scenes; regional styles)
   Representations of human beings (Brussels
E3002, London UC15339, Abydos t. U-239)
        (earliest violent rituals and high-sized portraits of chiefs/gods)
The Gebelein textile in Museo Egizio, Turin (suppl. 17138).
   Date (late Naqada I- early Naqada II [Naqada Ic-IIa(b), c. 3550BC]
   Resemblance with scenes and motifs painted on C (and D) pottery and incised in Desert rock art.
   The Heb Sed (anthropology of regicide; purpose, phases/ceremonies, periodicity of historical Heb-Sed)
- The oldest traits of sacred/divine kingship begin to emerge:
   The king as a champion/hero/annihilator of foe/chaos and partisan of Maat:
         Hippopotamus and other wild beasts hunt
   Royal attributes:
         Crowns, feathers/horns on the head, bull/lion tail, penis sheath, sticks and scepters
- Elites and chiefs:
   Cemeteries: separation of nuclei of tombs belonging to the ruling classes. Statistical analysis and other data
              (wider, better built, more and better furnished tombs)
        global synthesis and comparison of Naqadan cemeteries: J.J. Castillos, B. Kemp, K. Bard, T. Wilkinson
   Some 'Amratian' tombs:     
         Hierakonpolis, Locality 6, t. 14, (c. 10 years old elephant, Naqada Ic period)
         Naqada, t. 1610 (red crown relief on a B-ware sherd)
         Abadiya, tombs 101, 102
         Abydos, earliest tombs in U-cemetery: tomb U-239.

Nile Valley

(aft. B. Williams, 1994, 277)

11. Cultural and political regional units during Naqada II
(aft. B. Kemp, 1989, 34, fig. 8)


12. - 13. D-ware vessels

14: Hierakonpolis painted tomb 100 and Naqada tomb T5

15. Tomb 100 painting

16. Detail of the painting

NAQADA II (c. 3600-3350/3300BC) Northward and southward expansion of the 'Gerzean' cultural area'.

- Higher structural complexity of society: ruling élites and developed chiefdoms. Coercive strategies.
- Central and peripheric settlements
         Alluvial settlements on ancient Nile islands in strategic locations for the control of wadis and/or trade
         Fortifications (mud walls or palisades): permanent settlements and sedentarization
- Propensity for cultural-territorial encroachment towards Lower Egypt and Lower Nubia
- All-levels specialization (ideological, technological, artistic, political-organizative, commercial)

- Material culture
   'Bearded men' statuettes (ivory, stone)
   Stone vessels fashioned in several shapes
   Mace-heads (pear-shaped)
   Knife handles (extreme skill in working and retouching the ripple flake flint), flint animals figurines
   Palettes (zoomorphic, scutiform/shield-shaped)
   Amulets (Bull head, small palettes)
   Pottery: R-, D-, W-ware
   Objects of personal and domestic use
- The sense of D-ware paintings (more standardized than the previous phase ones):
         (representations of the Underworld, of ceremonies/rites/funerary processions, legends/folklore, divinities...)

- Cemeteries and tombs of regional leaders (Hierakonpolis loc. 33, loc. 6; Naqada T)
   Crude mud brick, large rectangular tombs, funerary gravegoods and exotic materials ('powerfacts').
         Hierakonpolis tomb 100 (size: 4.5 x 2.0 x 1.5m; date: Naqada IIC, c. 3450BC)
               Main motifs of the wall
               Boats procession. Mace armed chief smashing the enemies' heads. The "lord of the animals".
               Conflicts. Hunt. Trapping.
               Early prototypes of base-lines (registers).
               (Analogies with the Gebelein textile and the D-ware decorations). Interpretations proposed.
- Mesopotamic/Elamite influences (Uruk V-IV, Susa II)
         Statuettes, iconographic features, imported seals.

17. Gerzeh palette
18. - 19. Hierakonpolis palette

20. Gebel Arak knife handle
21. Abu Zeidan knife handle
22. Carnarvon knife handle
23. Gebel Tarif knife handle

24. Seyala mace handle

25. Qustul incense burners
(aft. K. Cialowicz, 2001, 61, fig. 2)


- Cultural expansion to the area East of the Fayum (Gerzeh, Harageh, Abusir el Meleq) and into Lower Nubia
- Earliest seal-impressions from Abydos U-cemetery (implications for the administration development)
- Earliest relief decorations on the surface of palettes (
Manchester/Ostriches, Gerzeh, El-Amrah/Min)
       Proposed interpretations and implications for the formation and development of ruling classes' ideology
Knife handles (attached to the most beautiful ripple-flake flint blades ever worked out)
      - Interpretations proposed for the carved scenes and motifs
              (ordered animals rows; processions of soldiers, prisoners, offering bearers, boats; battles)
      - Ritual-symbolical use/purpose of these prestige objects.
      - Relative and absolute datation:
         New ivory handles from Abydos (cemetery U, t.
503, 127); recently cleared one from Hierakonpolis (Ashmolean E4975)
      - Examples of ivory knife-handles:
      - Gebel el-Arak (Louvre Museum)
      - Abu Zeidan (Brooklyn Museum)
      - Carnarvon (Metropolitan Museum)
      - Gebel Tarif (Cairo Museum) gold handle
- Mace-heads (pear-shaped) with carved ivory handles or with incised/hammered gold-leaf handle cover
Seyala mace (cemetery 137, tomb 1)
         Ideological background and ritual use. Stylistical resemblance to the Gebel Tarif handle decoration
         Origin (Egyptian manufacture and gift of an UE chief Nekhen or Nubian origin?).

- Digression on Lower Nubia 'proto-states' (Ta-Seti) early in Naqada III (Qustul, Seyala, Afieh).
   A-Group (classical and terminal). General features.
   The great 'royal' tombs of cemetery L at Qustul and prestige objects (incense burners, seals, stone vases...)
   Relationships with Egypt and Palestine. Long distance trade.
   B.B. Williams' hypothesis on Ta-Seti and the origin of Egyptian tradition (bias and confutation).


26. Model landscape and stages of formation of ruling centres from small hamlets and villages: political expansion
(aft. B. Kemp, 1989, 33, fig. 7)


27. Naqada III:
the 'Proto-kingdoms'




28. Chronological table





NAQADA III: GENESIS OF A STATE (from 3320/3300BC to Early Dynastic period):

The cradle of State Formation
- Macroregional "proto-states" in Upper Egypt.
   Enlargement of political-territorial units which absorb the closer ones
         Anthropological theories on the origin of ancient states:
            - Mono-causal hypotheses (environment, population pressure, trade/resources monopoly, low resources competition, hydraulic technology, war, personal authority and decisions)
            - Multi-causal theories (more factors at work, their interaction and feedback)
   Biases, limits and possible evaluation/interpretative mistakes in reconstructing the relevancy of old politics from the archaeological data (more or less known and documented cemeteries).
   Towns in (pre-)dynastic Egypt
        - Causes of the scanty archaeological evidence of urban sites
               (modern cities, deep stratification of alluvial deposit, sebakkhin)
        - Nile Valley archaeology: an unbalanced knowledge
           (much better known, with but few exceptions, for/from cemeteries than for settlement sites)
        - The picture from the Delta according to the two recent decades of archaeological campaigns

- Lower Egypt: General features of ancient Maadi-Buto culture late in Naqada I up to early Naqada II
         (less social inequalities emerging from funerary contexts, emphasis on trade with Southern Canaan)
- Naqadization of Northern Egypt (apparently non-traumatic cultural superimposition)
         Gerzeh, Harageh, Abusir el-Meleq area during Naqada IID
         Nile Delta: Tell Fara'in-Buto, Minshat Abu Omar, Tell Ibrahim Awad, Tell el-Farkha (Naqada IID-IIIC)
              (the "Transitional layer"; scarce traces of destruction and struggles)
- Reasons of the spreading of the Naqada culture
         (population pressure, monopoly of trade with the Southern Levant)

Formation and canonisation of divine kingship
   Rulers start to appropriate symbols, objects and attributes proper of the previous periods' leaders
         (iconography of powerful individuals portrayed on rock-art and artifacts decorations during the first half of IVth millennium BC)

29. Abydos.
Plan of Cemetey U
(aft. G. Dreyer, 1998, fig. 1)

30. Abydos, tomb U-j (photo)
31. Abydos, tomb U-j (plan)

32. - 33. Some inscribed tags from tomb U-j




34. Scorpions
(ink inscribed on cylinder jars)

35. Seal impressions from Abydos cemetery U

36. Koptos colossi

37. Predynastic kings list (as reconstructed by G. Dreyer)

38. Gebel Tjauti graffito


- Abydos Cemetery U. Tomb U-j
   Absolute and relative datation: c. 3300±50 BC, Naqada IIIA1
   The constructional features: 2 crude mud-brick courses; size 9.10 x 7.5m, 12 rooms, 2 building phases
      Reconstruction of the tomb as a model royal palace (slits between the chambers). The southern Opferplatz.
      Principal findings from tomb U-j:
         ivory heka scepter,
         c. 2000 vessels (about 1/3 of which were Palestinese imports)
         carved ivory knife-handles fragments
         small obsidian vase decorated in the shape of two hands
         bone and ivory tags (150+) with incised hieroglyphic indications
         ink inscriptions on cylinder (W) vessels (scorpion, shells, bucranium, fish...)
              - The Egypt most ancient true writing attestations:
                 Administration and royal propaganda; morphological characteristics
                 Examples of reading/epigraphy of some tags' signs
                       - phonetic reading of places where the labelled containers and their contents came from
                             (Bubastis, Buto, Abydos districts, Elephantine, some nomos; cf. Kahl, in: CdE 2003)
                       - ideographical, logographical, phonetic signs; numerals.
- The alleged "King Scorpion" and the predynastic kings list proposed by G. Dreyer:
   Dreyer's hypothesis and recent critics to his reading of the royal names (including Scorpion's own one)
             (Kemp, Kahl, Breyer)
- Political status of the owner of tomb U-j of Abydos: Thinite chief or king of an already unified Egypt?

- Seal impressions from cemetery U: the meaning of scenes/motifs and socio-administrative implications
             The earliest Egyptian seal impressions:
                   Naqada (tombs and South Town), Naga ed-Der, Mahasna, Matmar, Abusir el-Meleq...
- Religion and (monumental) statuary: the
Min Colossi from Koptos:
   stylistical analogies (
Mac Gregor statuette in Ashmolean Museum, Oxford)
inscriptions/reliefs and their possible meaning (kings names; gods and/or localities emblems/names)
     - B. Williams' identification of Narmer's name on the Cairo Museum colossus, and its relevancy for Dreyer's kings' names hypothesis: critics to both the reconstructions
     - parallels between the signs on the Colossi and those found on other objects
- War and submission: Gebel Tjauti tableau 1
     - description and interpretations (both in political and in symbolical key)
      (T. Wilkinson, R. Friedman/S. Hendrickx, J. Kahl)

39. - 41. Both sides of the Battlefield palette and detail of the lion

42. Towns (Tehenu) palette

43. Early anonymous serekhs

44. Gebel Sheikh Suleiman


45. King Scorpion mace-head


46. Naqada IIIB: serekh signs


- Hypotheses on the modalities of Egyptian political Unification
    (Kaiser, Von der Way, Trigger, Kemp, Köhler, Campagno)
- Conflicts with neighbouring peoples (Libya, Delta, Asiatics, Nubians, Bedouins) or internal conflicts?
   Violence as a magical-symbolical-apotropaic need or as a mirror of real socio-political tensions?
       Palettes with violent scenes (Battlefield, Tehenu, Bull palettes), brief description and interpretations
- The oldest anonymous serekhs from the southern part of U-cemetery at Abydos. What is a
- Royal ideology propaganda or real events chronicles? Decorated objects and rock-art:
      The main graffito at Gebel Sheikh Suleiman and the beginning of the A-Group decadence
            (global sense of the scene and some fresh notes on the anonymous serekh)
- King Scorpion (II) at Hierakonpolis: his mace-head in Oxford, Ashmolean Museum (
      The rosettes in Late Predynastic Egypt.
      King Scorpion: a Thinite or a Hierakonpolite ruler?
      The site, Horus temple, 'main deposit', Locality 29A ceremonial centre, Locality 6 élite and animal tombs
      Which role did Hierakonpolis play in the Late Predynastic political panorama?

- "Dynasty 0": Thinis/Abydos, Hierakonpolis and other regions' kings ('Crocodile': a Fayum Gegenkönig?)



47. Narmer mace-head
48. - 49. Narmer palette







50. Abydos: subsidiary tombs B16 (Horus Aha)



51. Djet comb (Louvre)

52. Ivory statuette of a king wrapped in the Heb Sed garment (from Abydos)



53. - 54. Saqqara mastabas
(First Dynasty)


55. Hemaka/Den label

56. Merka stela
(Saqqara tomb S3505)

57. The royal necropolis at
Abydos, Umm el-Qaab:

tomba Q
(Horus Qaa)


58. S3507, S3038 and
Djoser complex/pyramid

59. Saqqara, tomb A


The definitive "Political Unification" (?)
- Narmer's mace-head and
palette: description and interpretations offered
         (again, chronicle of real events or symbolic representations?)
          The identity of the defeated ones (theories) and the meaning of the single acts and motifs shown
- Narmer reign (the apex of southern Palestine contacts):
         Digression on the relations between Egypt and Levant all through the Early Bronze I (EB I, c. 3500-3000BC)
               - the nature of contacts with the 'colonies' in Palestine (Lebanon, Syria) (wine, oils, timber)
                    ('En Besor, Arad, Tel Erani, Smal Tel Malhata, Halif Terrace, Palmahim, Tel Lod, N. Sinai...)
         New (and last) Mesopotamic influx: the palace façade
         Richer information on single sovereigns and their reigns
         Some significant finds from Narmer period:
                    (earliest serekh signs incised/in relief on stone vases; labels; seals; Hierakonpolis Main Deposit)
- Later "historical" sources
Den and Qa'a necropolis sealings; annals; New Kingdom royal lists; Herodotus; Manetho)
         The Egyptian chronology (sothic cycle, Egyptian calendar, C-14 and the Near East chronologies)
- "Menes" (theories and debates on his identity)
- The ideology of dynastic state: continuity of some traditions, rejection and rielaboration of other ones
         Conspicuous consumption
                  - Mass human sacrifices (ethnographical comparison with other incipient-state societies)
                  - Monumental architecture (tombs, temples). Abydos royal
necropolis B.
                  - Arts (time and efforts taken to fashion some objects and to procure rare/exotic materials)
         Cosmology, religion, divine kingship and the concept of Maat
                  - Fighting the enemy and eliminating or ruling chaos and the unruled
                         (symbolic meaning of the motif of smashing enemies' heads with a mace; ritual hunt)
                  - Djet ivory comb from Abydos (Louvre)
                  - Serekh and 'palace façade' (royal names, administrative inscriptions, artifacts, stelae...)
                  - The royal jubilee (Heb Sed)

The foundation of a new capital in northern Egypt (reasons). Ancient Memphis (underneath modern Abu-Sir)
- The administrative élite cemetery at North Saqqara
          Some tombs of the 1st Dynasty (Hemaka/S3035, Herneith/S3507, Nebitka/
S3038, Merka/S3505)
                 - Hints at the structures and their developments
                 - Quibell, Firth, Emery excavations: the finds
                 - Debates on the ownership of the mastabas? The "Abydos vs. Saqqara" question.
- The state administration subsystem in the Early Dynastic period
         A label of Hemaka (Den)
                 - Epigraphy, practical use and 'year events' (ceremonies, sieges and else)
                 - Parallel with tomb U-j tags: the evolution of the writing system
         Multiplying titles, officials and offices, both administrative and religious: Merka stela (from t. S3505)
                 - Epigraphic explanation, function and evolution of private stelae
- Foreign politics: Lower Nubia, Libya, Eastern Desert, Sinai and Palestine (labels of
Aha, Den, Qaa)

- First (and Second) Dynasty royal
- Funerary
enclosures at Kom es-Sultan (North Abydos)
- Architectural and ideological progress: palace façade enclosure walls, inner tumuli, step pyramids

- The shift of the royal necropolis to Saqqara early in the
Second Dynasty
   Saqqara royal tombs south of Djoser complex:
A (Hotepsekhemui), B (Nineter) e C.
        - Evolution of the underground chambers, function and reference model (royal palace)
        - Hypothesis on the superstructures
- Hints to the history of the Second Dynasty: old theories and new evidence:
        Civil war (?). Horus and Seth conflict. Khasekhemwy's re-unification. Buto and Elephantine excavations
        The great achievement in the reign of Horus-Seth Khasekhemwy (stone masonry, relief and statuary, military raids, bureaucracy, foreign relations).


60. Djoser statue

61. Hesyra wooden panel


The state on the threshold of the full maturity. Hints at the Third Dynasty history.
   - Monuments and art.
   - Central organization. Taxation. Provinces. Resources exploitation.Long distance trade management.
   - Technological specialisation. Cities. Administration. Writing (progress as against previous periods).
   - The institution of divine kingship and the refined ideology.
   - Conclusions. The fruits of the pharaonic civilisation's formative tree: the classic period of the great pyramids.


Imagen del cartel: Zodiaco de Dendera. Epoque ptolémaïque, règne de Cléopatre VII, 50 avant J.-C. Temple d'Hathor à Dendéra Bas-relief, grès. L. : 2,53 m. ; l. : 2,55 m. Musée du Louvre.