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In Lower Nub there are numerous A-Group burials which contain many Nagada craft goods probably obtained through trade, but the nature of Egyptian Predynastic/A-Group relations (see Nordstroom 1972: 24; smith 1991: 108; Trigger 1976: 33) is beyond the scope of the present study. C., was one of fairly rapid social and political evolution.

The reason why there is relatively little settlement evidence from Upper Egypt is probably due in part to earlier excavators' priorities.

As arid conditions developed in the Eastern and Western Deserts ca. At the site of el-Tarif in western Thebes, in an earlier stratum than those of a Nagada culture settlement, were artifacts that have been identified as belonging to the Tarifian (Ginter and Kozlowski 1984: 257, 259), a very different culture with distinctive ceramics.

With the rise of the Nagada culture in Upper Egypt in the early 4th millennium B.

C., simple farming communities evolved into more complex societies.

The mechanisms by which agriculture spread and was adapted by peoples living in the Nile Valley cannot be specified from present evidence, and diffusion of agriculture is not a very satisfactory explanation. Recent studies suggest that in northern Egypt the Predynastic Maadi culture evolved from indigenous Neolithic cultures.

According to Rizkana and Seeher (1987: 78), the Maadi culture Sites with Maadi ceramics extend from Buto near the Mediterranean to south of Cairo, and in the Fayum region as far south as Sedment (Rizkana and Seeher 1987: 63).

A review of the archaeological evidence for the Predynastic suggests that the early state had its cultural origins in the south, although the processes involved in the emergence of the state in Egypt can only be hypothesized at this time.

The Neolithic phenomenon, in which gathering and, later, hunting were gradually replaced by the cultivation of domesticated plants and animal husbandry, began in the ancient Near East perhaps as early as 10,000 years ago. One explanation of this is that the Nile was an area of such great resource concentration (Clark 1971: 74) that there was no need to cultivate cereals.

the most recent hypothesis of Neolithic origins is that agriculture was first practiced in the southern Levant at late Natufian sites, and is only found later in other regions of the Near East (Mc Corriston and Hole 1991: 58). Another explanation is that the preserved evidence for subsequent agriculture obscures processes and experiments in farming that were occurring millennia earlier (Butzer 1990: 112-113).

What is unusual about this and earlier models, however, is the still later development of the Neolithic in Egypt, where the transition to an agrarian way of life occurred only after ca. Evidence of grinding stones at Late Paleolithic sites in Upper Egypt and Lower Nubia dating to the end of the Pleistocene (see Wendorf and Schild 1976, 1989: 792-793; Wendorf, Said, and Schild 1970) may be related to early experiments that might have led to farming.

The full distribution of Maadi sites and their dates, however, have yet to be established.

In Upper Egypt the origins of the Predynastic Nagada culture are probably to be found among indigenous hunter-gatherers and fisherman living along the Nile. ) were increasingly forced into the Nile Valley where they eventually "merged" with indigenous groups (Hassan 1985a: 327).

According to Butzer (1976: 14-15), "the great bulk of all Paleolithic materials" in Egypt comes from Nile sediments, having been derived from settlements situated next to the river, and the Predynastic sites that are located along the low desert may simply represent seasonal pastoral activity (but not major settlements).

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