Il ruolo di Naqada nella tarda preistoria egiziana e nel processo di formazione dello stato nell’antico Egitto
Di Pietro, Grazia Antonella (2011) Il ruolo di Naqada nella tarda preistoria egiziana e nel processo di formazione dello stato nell’antico Egitto. Tesi di Dottorato, Università degli Studi di Napoli L'Orientale.
The research project, whose results make up the bulk of the present dissertation, has been aimed at re-evaluating the role of the site of Naqada (Upper Egypt) in the sequence of social, economic, political and cultural development of the late Egyptian prehistory and in the formation process of the ancient Egyptian state, based on the evidence collected at the site by the Italian Archaeological Mission of the "Istituto Universitario Orientale", Naples (today University of Naples "L’Orientale"), between 1977 and 1986 (direction: Prof. Claudio Barocas; Prof. Rodolfo Fattovich, Prof. Maurizio Tosi), and in the light of the acquisitions made during the last decades thanks to a multitude of new studies and investigations carried out in other regions of the Nile Valley.
The re-examination, recently conducted by the author, of the materials retrieved by the Italian team in the course of nine seasons of excavation and survey at the settlement of Naqada (Zawaydah / W.M.F. Petrie's "South Town") has suggested that the main phase of occupation of the site was the period between Naqada IIC-D and Naqada IIIA (c. 3600-3150 B.C.), and that part of the settlement, at least, was occupied by a sort of administrative-cultic/ceremonial complex during this phase.
The archaeological evidence provided by the Italian investigations at Naqada, complemented with other data (funerary, iconographic, etc.), both from old and recent research carried out at the same site and in other regions of the Nile Valley, also allows to broadly outline the evolution of this centre: from a small rural village, not dissimilar from the numerous settlements scattered along the rest of the region and other parts of Upper Egypt, and probably with a low degree of social differentiation (Naqada I), to a relatively large and dense center, residence of "chiefs" exercising a centralized control of the local economy (subsistence and wealth goods, and probably labor force), also thanks to the use of administrative devices and within a possible cultural/ceremonial framework (middle-end of Naqada II), until to its decline and inclusion in a larger polity (beginning of Naqada III).
Several factors and mechanisms seem to have led Naqada to play a prominent role within the Upper Egyptian political scenario, in some phases of the Predynastic (middle-end of Naqada II). Among these, and what might have also been the main contribution of Naqada to the formation process of the state in ancient Egypt, is the use of administration connected with the centralized control of the economy: at Naqada we have one of the earliest evidence of use of seals and other administrative-accounting tools ever retrieved from Egypt. This evidence may date back to Naqada IIC period (c. 3600 B.C.), if not earlier.
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