A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.
|Location||Aswan Governorate, Egypt|
|Material||Possibly, oldest painted Ancient Egyptian tomb|
Nekhen ( // ) or Hierakonpolis ( // ; Ancient Greek : Ἱεράκων πόλιςHierakōn polis "Hawk City", Egyptian Arabic : الكوم الأحمر, romanized: el-Kōm el-Aḥmar, lit. 'the Red Mound' ) was the religious and political capital of Upper Egypt at the end of prehistoric Egypt (c. 3200–3100 BC) and probably also during the Early Dynastic Period (c. 3100–2686 BC).
Literal translation, direct translation, or word-for-word translation is the rendering of text from one language to another one word at a time with or without conveying the sense of the original whole.
Upper Egypt is the strip of land on both sides of the Nile that extends between Nubia and downriver (northwards) to Lower Egypt.
The prehistory of Egypt spans the period from the earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period around 3100 BC, starting with the first Pharaoh, Narmer for some Egyptologists, Hor-Aha for others, with the name Menes also possibly used for one of these kings. This Predynastic era is traditionally equivalent to the final part of the Neolithic period beginning c. 6000 BC and ends in the Naqada III period c. 3000 BC.
Some authors suggest occupation dates that should begin thousands of years earlier. The oldest known tomb with painted decoration on its plaster walls is located in Nekhen and is thought to date to ca. 3500-3200 BC. It shares distinctive imagery with artifacts from the Gerzeh culture.
Plaster is a building material used for the protective or decorative coating of walls and ceilings and for moulding and casting decorative elements. In English "plaster" usually means a material used for the interiors of buildings, while "render" commonly refers to external applications. Another imprecise term used for the material is stucco, which is also often used for plasterwork that is worked in some way to produce relief decoration, rather than flat surfaces.
The Gerzeh culture, also called Naqada II, refers to the archaeological stage at Gerzeh, a prehistoric Egyptian cemetery located along the west bank of the Nile. The necropolis is named after el-Girzeh, the nearby present day town in Egypt. Gerzeh is situated only several miles due east of the oasis of Faiyum.
Nekhen was the center of the cult of a hawk deity, Horus of Nekhen, which raised one of the most ancient Egyptian temples in this city. It retained its importance as the cultic center for this divine patron of the kings long after the site had otherwise declined.
In modern English, the term cult has come to usually refer to a social group defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal. This sense of the term is controversial and it has divergent definitions in both popular culture and academia and it also has been an ongoing source of contention among scholars across several fields of study. It is usually considered pejorative.
Egyptian temples were built for the official worship of the gods and in commemoration of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt and regions under Egyptian control. Temples were seen as houses for the gods or kings to whom they were dedicated. Within them, the Egyptians performed a variety of rituals, the central functions of Egyptian religion: giving offerings to the gods, reenacting their mythological interactions through festivals, and warding off the forces of chaos. These rituals were seen as necessary for the gods to continue to uphold maat, the divine order of the universe. Housing and caring for the gods were the obligations of pharaohs, who therefore dedicated prodigious resources to temple construction and maintenance. Out of necessity, pharaohs delegated most of their ritual duties to a host of priests, but most of the populace was excluded from direct participation in ceremonies and forbidden to enter a temple's most sacred areas. Nevertheless, a temple was an important religious site for all classes of Egyptians, who went there to pray, give offerings, and seek oracular guidance from the god dwelling within.
The first settlement at Nekhen dates from either the predynastic Amratian culture (circa 4400 BC) or, perhaps, during the late Badari culture (circa 5000 BC). At its height from about 3400 BC, Nekhen had at least 5,000 and possibly, as many as 10,000 inhabitants.
The Amratian culture, also called Naqada I, was a culture of prehistoric Upper Egypt. It lasted approximately from 4000 to 3500 BC.
The ruins of the city originally were excavated toward the end of the nineteenth century by the English archaeologists James Quibell and Frederick W. Green.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
James Edward Quibell was a British Egyptologist.
Frederick William Green was an English Egyptologist, who worked at a number of sites throughout Egypt.
Quibell and Green discovered the "Main Deposit", a foundation deposit beneath the temple,in 1894. Quibell originally was trained under Flinders Petrie, the father of modern Egyptology, however, he failed to follow Petrie's methods. The temple was a difficult site to excavate to begin with, so his excavation was poorly conducted and then poorly documented. Specifically, the situational context of the items therein is poorly recorded and often, the reports of Quibell and Green are in contradiction.
The most famous artifact commonly associated with the main deposit, the Narmer Palette, now is thought probably not to have been in the main deposit at all. Quibell's report made in 1900 put the palette in the deposit, but Green's report in 1902 put it about one to two yards away. Green's version is substantiated by earlier field notes (Quibell kept none), so it is now the accepted record of events.
The main deposit dates to the early Old Kingdom,but the artistic style of the objects in the deposit indicate that they were from Naqada III and were moved into the deposit at a later date. The other important item in the deposit clearly dates to the late prehistoric. This object, the Scorpion Macehead, depicts a king known only by the ideogram for scorpion, now called Scorpion II, participating in what seems to be a ritual irrigation ceremony. Although the Narmer Palette is more famous because it shows the first king to wear both the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Scorpion Macehead also indicates some early military hostility with the north by showing dead lapwings, the symbol of Lower Egypt, hung from standards.
John Garstang excavated at Hierakonpolis in 1905-06. He initially hoped to excavate the town site but encountered difficulties working there,and soon turned his attention to the ‘fort’ of second dynasty King Khasekhemwy instead. Beneath the ‘fort’, Garstang excavated a Predynastic cemetery consisting of 188 graves, which served the bulk of the city’s population during the late Predynastic and Early Dynastic periods, revealing the burial practices of the non-elite Egyptians living at Hierakonpolis.
More recently, the concession was excavated further by a multinational team of archaeologists, Egyptologists, geologists, and members of other sciences, which was coordinated by Michael Hoffman until his death in 1990, then by Barbara Adams of University College London and Dr. Renee Friedman representing the University of California, Berkeley and the British Museum until Barbara Adams's death in 2001,and by Renée Friedman thereafter.
The structure at Nekhen known by the misnomer "fort" is a massive mud-brick enclosure built by Pharaoh Khasekhemwy of the Second Dynasty.It appears to be similar in structure and ritual purpose as the similarly misidentified 'forts' constructed at Abydos, all without apparent military function. The true function of these structures is unknown, but they seem to be related to the rituals of kingship and the culture. Religion was interwoven inexorably with kingship in Ancient Egypt.
The ritual structure was built on a prehistoric cemetery. The excavations there, as well as the work of later brick robbers, have seriously undermined the walls and led to the near collapse of the structure. For two years, during 2005 and 2006, the team led by Friedman was attempting to stabilize the existing structure and support the endangered areas of the structure with new mudbricks.
Other discoveries at Nekhen include Tomb 100, the oldest tomb with painted decoration on its plaster walls. The sepulchre is thought to date to the Gerzeh culture (ca. 3500-3200 BC).
The decoration shows presumed religious scenes and images that include figures featured in Egyptian culture for three thousand years—a funerary procession of barques, presumably a goddess standing between two upright lionesses, a wheel of various horned quadrupeds, several examples of a staff that became associated with the deity of the earliest cattle culture and one being held up by a heavy-breasted goddess. Animals depicted include onagers or zebras, ibexes, ostriches, lionesses, impalas, gazelles and cattle.
The oldest known zoological collection was revealed during excavations at Nekhen in 2009 of a menagerie that dates to ca. 3500 BC. The animals included hippopotami, hartebeest, elephants, baboons and African wildcats.
There are later tombs at Nekhen, dating to the Middle Kingdom, Second Intermediate Period, and New Kingdom. In the painted tomb of Horemkhauef a biographical inscription reporting Horemkhauef's journey to the capital was found. He lived during the Second Intermediate Period. Because it had a strong association with Egyptian religious ideas about kingship, the temple of Horus at Nekhen was used as late as the Ptolemaic Kingdom,persisting as a religious center throughout the thousands of years of Ancient Egyptian culture.
Cylinders seals at Hierakonpolis include some of the first known scene of the Pharaoh smiting his enemies with a mace.Cylinder seals are generally thought to have been derived from Mesopotamian examples.
Several of the finest pre-Dynastic decorated palettes were discovered in Hierakonpolis. They often display Mesopotamia-inspired animals such as the Serpopards, and also incorporate some of the first hieroglyphs.
The First Dynasty of ancient Egypt covers the first series of Egyptian kings to rule over a unified Egypt. It immediately follows the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, possibly by Narmer, and marks the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period, a time at which power was centered at Thinis.
Narmer was an ancient Egyptian king of the Early Dynastic Period, circa 3150-3100 BC. He probably was the successor to the Protodynastic king Ka, or possibly Scorpion. Some consider him the unifier of Egypt and founder of the First Dynasty, and in turn the first king of a unified Egypt.
The Narmer Palette, also known as the Great Hierakonpolis Palette or the Palette of Narmer, is a significant Egyptian archeological find, dating from about the 31st century BC, belonging, at least nominally, to the category of Cosmetic palettes. It contains some of the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions ever found. The tablet is thought by some to depict the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the king Narmer. On one side, the king is depicted with the bulbed White Crown of Upper (southern) Egypt, and the other side depicts the king wearing the level Red Crown of Lower (northern) Egypt. Along with the Scorpion Macehead and the Narmer Maceheads, also found together in the Main Deposit at Nekhen, the Narmer Palette provides one of the earliest known depictions of an Egyptian king. The Palette shows many of the classic conventions of Ancient Egyptian art, which must already have been formalized by the time of the Palette's creation. The Egyptologist Bob Brier has referred to the Narmer Palette as "the first historical document in the world".
Scorpion II, also known as King Scorpion, refers to the second of two kings or chieftains of that name during the Protodynastic Period of Upper Egypt.
Iry-Hor or Ro was a predynastic pharaoh of Upper Egypt during the 32nd century BC. Iry-Hor's existence was debated, with the Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson contesting the reading and signification of his name. However, continuing excavations at Abydos in the 1980s and 1990s and the discovery in 2012 of an inscription of Iry-Hor in the Sinai confirmed his existence. Iry-Hor is the earliest ruler of Egypt known by name and sometimes cited as the earliest-living historical person known by name.
Hedjet is the formal name for the white crown of pharaonic Upper Egypt. After the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, it was combined with the deshret, the red crown of Lower Egypt, to form the pschent, the double crown of Egypt. The symbol sometimes used for the white crown was the vulture goddess Nekhbet shown next to the head of the cobra goddess Wadjet, the uraeus on the pschent.
Ka, also (alternatively) Sekhen, was a Predynastic pharaoh of Upper Egypt belonging to Dynasty 0. He probably reigned during the first half of the 32nd century BC. The length of his reign is unknown.
The serpopard is a mythical animal known from Ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian art. The word "serpopard" is a modern coinage. It is a portmanteau of "serpent" and "leopard", derived from the interpretation that the creature represents an animal with the body of a leopard and the long neck and head of a serpent. However, they have also been interpreted as "serpent-necked lions". There is no known name for the creature in any ancient texts.
The following is a chronicle of predynastic and ancient Egyptian foreign contacts up through 343 BC.
John Garstang was a British archaeologist of the ancient Near East, especially Anatolia and the southern Levant. He was the younger brother of Professor Walter Garstang, FRS, a marine biologist and zoologist. Garstang is considered a pioneer in the development of scientific practices in archaeology as he kept detailed records of his excavations with extensive photographic records, which was a comparatively rare practice in early 20th-century archaeology
Naqada III is the last phase of the Naqada culture of ancient Egyptian prehistory, dating approximately from 3200 to 3000 BC. It is the period during which the process of state formation, which had begun to take place in Naqada II, became highly visible, with named kings heading powerful polities. Naqada III is often referred to as Dynasty 0 or the Protodynastic Period to reflect the presence of kings at the head of influential states, although, in fact, the kings involved would not have been a part of a dynasty. They would more probably have been completely unrelated and very possibly in competition with each other. In this period, those kings' names were inscribed in the form of serekhs on a variety of surfaces including pottery and tombs.
Barbara Georgina Adams, FRSA was a distinguished British Egyptologist and specialist in predynastic history. She worked for many years at Hierakonpolis, where she was the co-director of the expedition. Before this she worked at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London and worked on excavations across Britain.
The cosmetic palettes are archaeological artifacts, originally used in predynastic Egypt to grind and apply ingredients for facial or body cosmetics. The decorative palettes of the late 4th millennium BCE appear to have lost this function and became commemorative, ornamental, and possibly ceremonial. They were made almost exclusively out of siltstone with a few exceptions. The siltstone originated from quarries in the Wadi Hammamat.
The Narmer macehead is an ancient Egyptian decorative stone mace head. It was found in the “main deposit” in the temple area of the ancient Egyptian city of Nekhen (Hierakonpolis) by James Quibell in 1898. It is dated to the Early Dynastic Period reign of king Narmer whose serekh is engraved on it. The macehead is now kept at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
The Scorpion macehead is a decorated ancient Egyptian macehead found by British archeologists James E. Quibell and Frederick W. Green in what they called the main deposit in the temple of Horus at Hierakonpolis during the dig season of 1897/1898. It measures 25 centimeters long, is made of limestone, is pear-shaped, and is attributed to the pharaoh Scorpion due to the glyph of a scorpion engraved close to the image of a king wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt.
The Naqada culture is an archaeological culture of Chalcolithic Predynastic Egypt, named for the town of Naqada, Qena Governorate. A 2013 Oxford University radio carbon dating study of the Predynastic period, however, suggests a much later date beginning sometime between 3,800-3,700 BC.
Crocodile is the provisional name of a predynastic ruler, who might have ruled during the late Naqada III epoch. The few alleged ink inscriptions showing his name are drawn very sloppily, and the reading and thus whole existence of king "Crocodile" are highly disputed. His tomb is unknown.
Egypt-Mesopotamia relations seem to have developed from the 4th millennium BCE, starting in the Uruk period for Mesopotamia and the Gerzean culture of pre-literate Prehistoric Egypt. Influences can be seen in the visual arts of Egypt, in imported products, and also in the possible transfer of writing from Mesopotamia to Egypt, and generated "deep-seated" parallels in the early stages of both cultures.
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