From the late Neolithic till the end of the Predynastic Period
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(Duke University)

Making beer
Girl making beer
(Cairo Museum)

Male Idol
Male Idol, 3200 BCE
(Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum)

Wine maker
Wooden model depicting
the production of wine

Pot, Negade II period
Pot, Negade II period
(Source: Emory University)


Flint blade
Flint blade
(Oxford Ashmolean Museum)


From the late Neolithic till the end of the Predynastic Period

(Dates: ±150 years)
4500 - Naqada I
  • Village culture at Merimde-Beni-Salame in the Nile delta: a mixture of hunting, fishing and agriculture, with a central corn store. Primitive oval mud huts.
  • Dogs, sheep, goats and donkeys have been domesticated.
  • First weaver's loom
  • Redpolished black-topped ceramics with geometric or descriptive ornamentation (hunting motifs)
  • Renaissance of the neolithic naturalistic painting.
  • Pottery painted with white and later with red colours.
  • There are influences of the Capsien culture to be found.
  • Speculatively: The (theoretical) base year of the Egyptian calendar, i.e. the year in which the first day of the month of the akhet-season coincided with the rising of Sirius marking the beginning of the Nile inundation, prior to the first recorded use of the civil calendar. This coincidence occurred every 1460 years, as the Egyptian civil year was almost a quarter of a day too short in comparison with the solar year. The civil year began a day earlier every 4 years, being celebrated again on the same (hypothetical) Julian date after a so-called Sothic cycle of 4*365=1460 Julian years (1461 Egyptian civil years) had elapsed.
  • Cold worked gold, silver and copper jewellery.
  • Use of the fire drill.
  • glass pearls.
  • The magical adoration of the Earth mother, matriarchy, lack of personal possession of the soil and relative absence of strife is at least partially replaced by the worship of male gods, accompanied by the production of metal tools and weapons and the securing of the supply of the raw material and technical-rationalistic thinking.
3900 - Beginning of the Copper Age in Egypt.
  • One generally distinguishes the Badari, Tasa, Amratia and Gerzeen cultures in predynastic Egypt. Villages join to form greater political units.
  • Fertility celebrations shortly before the yearly flooding of the Nile with the ritual drowning of a girl in the river ("Marriage to the Nile"). Belief in an after-life.
  • The making of metallic copper was detected through the faience glazing with Malachite, which contains copper.
  • First use of meteoric iron.
  • Silver, gold and copper is smelted in blow-pipe furnaces.
3500 - Naqada II
  • White ceramics with red ornamentation, vessels in the form of animals (connection to the agricultural societies of Syria and Palestine)
  • Agricultural implements: wooden hoe, cattle drawn ploughs worked by two men, wooden sickles with flint edges.
  • Corn: barley (used for beer production), Emmer, wheat.
  • Flax: used for spinning and weaving
  • Papyrus made from papyrus reeds.
3200 - Naqada III
  • Cylindrical jars
  • Linen
  • Earliest record of sails.
3100 - Dynasty 0
  • Predynastic kings unify Egypt
  • Make-up palette of slate with a depiction of King Narmer (Menes?) as a warrior and victor and of fabulous animals - interpreted as documenting the unification of the Upper and Lower Egypt.
  • Village cultures in Upper Egypt
  • Worship of many local gods, mostly depicted as having a human body and an animal head, who are replaced by universal gods: Atem who created Shu (Air) and his twin sister Tefnut (Moisture) by self fertilisation. Shu and Tefnut gave birth to Geb (Earth) and Nut (Sky).
  • Monumental statues of animals
  • Buildings made with hewn stone (until then only unburnt bricks were used)
  • First map
  • Egyptians reach Somalia (Punt) by sea.
  • Stone vessels are produced using stone drills.
  • Clarified butter (in the form of oil)
  • Preservation of meat and fish through drying and salting. Dried fish, bread and onions are the staple foods for most of the Egyptians.
  • Wine is produced and consumed mostly by the rich. The people drink it during the yearly Hathor celebrations at Bubastis.


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