Home Region:  Northeast Africa (Africa)

Badarian

D G SC WF HS EQ 2020  eg_badarian / EgBadar

Preceding:
[NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI] [None]   Update here
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
No Polity found. Add one here.

The Badarian, a Neolithic archaeological culture located in Upper Egypt and dating from c. 4400 to 3300 BCE, was first described in 1928 by archaeologists Guy Brunton and Gertrude Caton-Thompson, who excavated in the Badari district near Assyut. [1] Its relationship to an earlier culture, called the Tasian, is unclear, [2] but there is some evidence to link it to the later Naqada I period in Upper Egypt. [2] Little is known of the everyday lives of the people who occupied the Badarian sites: our information comes mainly from the numerous grave sites in the region around Assyut.
Population and political organization
Research on Badarian sites has yielded a total of about 600 graves and 40 poorly documented settlements. [2] The culture was first identified in the el-Badari region, near the modern city of Sohag, but several small sites near the villages of Qau el-Kebir, Hammamiya, Mostagedda, and Matmar are also categorized as Badarian. [2] Characteristic Badarian material culture has also been discovered much further south at Mahgar Dendera, Armant, Elkab, and Hierakonpolis, as well as to the east of the Nile in the Wadi Hammamat. [2]
The archaeology of the period has inevitably been affected by the flooding of the Nile over the millennia: any larger, more permanent settlements were likely situated close to the great river and subsequently washed away or covered with alluvium. [2] Surviving remains come from raised desert spurs and include ’huts and windbreaks associated with hearths and large, well-shaped granary pits or silos’. [3] A Badarian settlement at Deir Tasa covered an area of about 5000 square metres. [3] At the Seshat standard of 50-200 inhabitants per hectare, this gives us an estimated population between the range of 25 and 100 inhabitants.
Evidence from Badarian settlements shows that the people who occupied these sites were primarily engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry, [2] but we know trade also occurred. Badarians imported raw materials like wood, turquoise, shells and ivory and exchanged goods with groups from as far away as Palestine, the Red Sea and Syria. [4] Model boats found at the site of Merimda to the north ’suggest that boats and canoes were already in use [in Egypt] before 4500 B.C.’ [5]
Very little can be concluded about Badarian political and social structure, but analysis of grave goods shows that there was an unequal distribution of wealth, and that the wealthier graves tended to be kept separate within the cemeteries. [2] However, no monumental remains have been found so it is likely that higher-status members of society did not command a significant labour force.

[1]: (Hassan 1988, 138) F. A. Hassan. 1988. ’The Predynastic of Egypt’. Journal of World Prehistory 2 (2): 135-85.

[2]: (Hendrickx and Vermeersch 2000, 36-40) Stan Hendrickx and Pierre Vermeersch. 2000. ’Prehistory: From the Palaeolithic to the Badarian Culture’, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw, 16-40. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[3]: (Hassan 1988, 153) F. A. Hassan. 1988. ’The Predynastic of Egypt’. Journal of World Prehistory 2 (2): 135-85.

[4]: (Trigger 1983, 29) Bruce G. Trigger. 1983. ’The Rise of Egyptian Civilization’, in Ancient Egypt: A Social History edited by Bruce G. Trigger, Barry J. Kemp, David O’Connor and Alan B Lloyd, 1-70. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[5]: (Hassan 1988, 157) F. A. Hassan. 1988. ’The Predynastic of Egypt’. Journal of World Prehistory 2 (2): 135-85.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
36 R  
Original Name:
Badarian  
Capital:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Alternative Name:
Badari-Kultur  
Badari culture  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[4,400 BCE ➜ 4,000 BCE]  
Duration:
[4,400 BCE ➜ 3,800 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
unknown [---]  
Succeeding Entity:
Naqada I  
Preceding Entity:
UNCLEAR:    [None]  
Degree of Centralization:
unknown  
Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Language:
suspected unknown  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[25 to 100] people  
Polity Population:
-  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[1 to 2]  
Religious Level:
1  
Military Level:
1  
Administrative Level:
[1 to 2]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
inferred absent  
Professional Priesthood:
inferred absent  
Professional Military Officer:
inferred absent  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred absent  
Merit Promotion:
inferred absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
inferred absent  
Examination System:
inferred absent  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
inferred absent  
Judge:
inferred absent  
Formal Legal Code:
inferred absent  
Court:
inferred absent  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
inferred absent  
Irrigation System:
inferred absent  
Food Storage Site:
inferred present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
inferred absent  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
inferred absent  
Port:
inferred present  
Canal:
unknown  
Bridge:
inferred absent  
Special-purpose Sites
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
inferred absent  
Script:
inferred absent  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
inferred absent  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
inferred absent  
Mnemonic Device:
inferred absent  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
inferred absent  
Sacred Text:
inferred absent  
Religious Literature:
inferred absent  
Practical Literature:
inferred absent  
Philosophy:
inferred absent  
Lists Tables and Classification:
inferred absent  
History:
inferred absent  
Fiction:
inferred absent  
Calendar:
inferred absent  
Information / Money
Precious Metal:
unknown  
Paper Currency:
inferred absent  
Indigenous Coin:
inferred absent  
Foreign Coin:
inferred absent  
Article:
inferred present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
inferred absent  
General Postal Service:
inferred absent  
Courier:
inferred absent  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
absent  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
absent  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
absent  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
absent  
  Fortified Camp:
absent  
  Earth Rampart:
absent  
  Ditch:
absent  
  Complex Fortification:
inferred absent  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
absent  
  Iron:
absent  
  Copper:
absent  
  Bronze:
absent  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
present  
absent  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
inferred absent  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
absent  
  Composite Bow:
absent  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
unknown  
  Sword:
inferred absent  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
absent  
  Dagger:
inferred absent  
  Battle Axe:
unknown  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
absent  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Donkey:
unknown  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
absent  
  Shield:
absent  
  Scaled Armor:
absent  
  Plate Armor:
absent  
  Limb Protection:
absent  
  Leather Cloth:
absent  
  Laminar Armor:
absent  
  Helmet:
absent  
  Chainmail:
absent  
  Breastplate:
absent  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Badarian (eg_badarian) was in:
 (4400 BCE 3801 BCE)   Upper Egypt
Home NGA: Upper Egypt

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Badarian

"The work by Brunton and Caton-Thompson (1928) in the Badari district near Assyut revealed yet another unit older than the Amratian - the Badarian." [1]

[1]: (Hassan 1988, 138)


Capital:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI

There are no capital in Neolitchic, semi-nomadic cultures like Badari.


Alternative Name:
Badari-Kultur

Badari-Kultur (German), Badari culture (French)

Alternative Name:
Badari culture

Badari-Kultur (German), Badari culture (French)


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[4,400 BCE ➜ 4,000 BCE]

Date indicated by Ian. Shown as the most clear evidence of Badarian culture. He also points to the ongoing debate around the Badarian chronology [1]

[1]: Shaw, I. 2003. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. New York: Oxford University Press. Pg.36.


Duration:
[4,400 BCE ➜ 3,800 BCE]



Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
unknown [---]

There is no evidence for supra-polity relations in the Badari culture.



Preceding Entity:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI

The relation with earlier culture, called the Tasian, is unclear [1] . However, there is some evidence the Naqada I period seems to be represented in the Badari region [2] . Also some artifacts have been found that are proof of trade exchange with e.g. Palestine, Red Sea, Syria [3]

[1]: Shaw, I. 2003. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. New York: Oxford University Press. Pg.37.

[2]: Shaw, I. 2003. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. New York: Oxford University Press. Pg.38.

[3]: Trigger, B. G. 1983. Ancient Egypt: A Social History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pg. 29.


Degree of Centralization:
unknown

There is no evidence for centralization, political authority or government.


Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI

Language:
suspected unknown

There is no data about language used by Badarian culture, especially because a writing system was yet to be invented.


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[25 to 100] people

"Excavations at the Badarian site of Deir Tasa revealed a settlement covering an area of about 5000 m (Gabra, 1930)". [1] At 50-200 inhabitants per ha this gives us an estimated population between the range of 25 and 100 inhabitants.

[1]: (Hassan 1988, 153)


Polity Population:
-

Research on Badarian sites yielded a total of about 600 graves and forty poorly documented settlements [1]
Were these settlements all one polity? Possibly. Analysis of Badarian grave goods demonstrates an unequal distribution of wealth and the wealthier graves tend to be separated in one part of the cemetery. This clearly indicates social stratification. [2]
Evidence from Badarian settlements shows that the economy of the culture was primarily based on agriculture and husbandry. [3] Extensive agriculture present.

[1]: Shaw, I. 2003. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. New York: Oxford University Press. Pg. 36.

[2]: Shaw, I. 2003. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. New York: Oxford University Press. Pg.37.

[3]: Shaw, I. 2003. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. New York: Oxford University Press. Pg.39.


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[1 to 2]

The larger and more permanent settlements were probably close to the floodplain (Mahgar Dendera), but the possible remains of those would have been washed away by the Nile a long time ago already. [1]

[1]: Shaw, I. 2003. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. New York: Oxford University Press. Pg. 40.




Administrative Level:
[1 to 2]

Analysis of Badarian grave goods demonstrates an unequal distribution of wealth and the wealthier graves tend to be separated in one part of the cemetery. This clearly indicates social stratification. [1]

[1]: Shaw, I. 2003. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. New York: Oxford University Press. Pg.37.


Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent

Professional Priesthood:
absent

Professional Military Officer:
absent

Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
absent


Full Time Bureaucrat:
absent

Examination System:
absent

Specialized Buildings: polity owned


Food Storage Site:
present

"The shelters consisted of huts and windbreaks associated with hearths and large, well-shaped granary pits or silos up to about 2.7 m in diameter and up to about 3 m in depth." [1]

[1]: (Hassan 1988, 153)


Drinking Water Supply System:
absent

Transport Infrastructure

Transportation by boats was very important in the Badarian culture, and there is also evidence for trade exchange [1] Therefore, ports and canals cannot be completely excluded. Information from the Badarian remains shows that they imported raw materials like wood, turquoise, shells and ivory. Additionally, some artifacts have been found that are proof of trade exchange with e.g. Palestine, Red Sea, Syria.

[1]: Trigger, B. G. 1983. Ancient Egypt: A Social History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pg. 29.


Transport by boat was very important in the Badarian culture (e.g. for trade or fishing), therefore the presence of ports and canals cannot be completely excluded. [1]

[1]: Trigger, B. G. 1983. Ancient Egypt: A Social History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pg. 29.



Special-purpose Sites
Information / Writing System


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent

Nonwritten Record:
present

The earliest art productions are rock-drawings executed on the cliffs bordering the Nile in Upper Egypt. The oldest consist principally of geometric designs such as concentric circles, half-circles, and net-patterns, or abstract figures [1] .

[1]: Stevenson Smith, W. 1981. The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt. New Haeven and London: Yale University Press. Pg. 25-26.


Non Phonetic Writing:
absent


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent


Religious Literature:
absent

Practical Literature:
absent


Lists Tables and Classification:
absent




Information / Money




Article:
present

Agricultural economy.


Information / Postal System

General Postal Service:
absent


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications

Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
absent

Completely no data about any fortifications.







Complex Fortification:
absent

Not mentioned for this period in Shaw’s (1991, 15-24) discussion of Egyptian fortifications. [1]

[1]: (Shaw 1991: 15-24) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/7J8H86XF.



Military use of Metals

not in use during this time period


not in use during this time period


Copper metallurgy from 2500 BCE. [1]

[1]: (Adam 1981, 235) Adam, S. 1981. “The Importance of Nubia: A Link between Central Africa and the Mediterranean.” In General History of Africa II: Ancient Civilizations of Africa, edited by G. Mokhtar, II:226-44. General History of Africa. Paris: UNESCO. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/8APQDQV3.


bronze includes copper- copper metallurgy from 2500 BCE. [1]

[1]: (Adam 1981, 235) Adam, S. 1981. “The Importance of Nubia: A Link between Central Africa and the Mediterranean.” In General History of Africa II: Ancient Civilizations of Africa, edited by G. Mokhtar, II:226-44. General History of Africa. Paris: UNESCO. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/8APQDQV3.


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
absent

not yet invented


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

not yet invented



[1] Probably present - arrowheads finds [2] . Arrowheads represent weapon finds as often as spearheads [2] . "The bow was probably between 6,000 and 10,000 years old by the dawn of the Bronze Age". [3]

[1]: (http://www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk/badari/tools.html)

[2]: Brezillon, M. 1981. Encyklopedia klutur pradziejowych. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Artystycze i Filmowe. Pg. 25.

[3]: (Gabriel 2002, 27-28) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Inferred from absence of javelins in subsequent polities in Upper Egypt


Handheld Firearm:
absent

not yet invented


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

not yet invented


not yet invented


Composite Bow:
absent

"Composite bows are known from both Mesopotamia and the Great Steppe from the III millennium BCE." [1] "The composite bows spread into Palestine around 1800 BCE and were introduced into Egypt by the Hyksos in 1700 BCE." [2]

[1]: Sergey A Nefedov, RAN Institute of History and Archaeology, Yekaterinburg, Russia. Personal Communication to Peter Turchin. January 2018.

[2]: (Roy 2015, 20) Kaushik Roy. 2015. Warfare in Pre-British India - 1500 BCE to 1740 CE. Routledge. London.


New World weapon.


Handheld weapons

Mace was the dominant weapon of war between 4000-2500 BCE in Sumer and until the Hyksos invasions (1700 BCE) in Egypt. [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 24-25) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


"All armies after the seventeenth century B.C.E. carried the sword, but in none was it a major weapon of close combat; rather, it was used when the soldier’s primary weapons, the spear and axe, were lost or broken." [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 26-27) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Spears were the most common [1] .

[1]: Brezillon, M. 1981. Encyklopedia klutur pradziejowych. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Artystycze i Filmowe. Pg. 25.



There is some information about flint knives, but at the same time it is not included in weapons group. [1] . However, it seems to be hasty, to completely exclude the knives/daggers as a weapon.

[1]: Brezillon, M. 1981. Encyklopedia klutur pradziejowych. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Artystycze i Filmowe. Pg. 25.



Animals used in warfare

horses non-native to Egypt. Introduced c1700 BCE. [1]

[1]: (Partridge 2010, 384)


elephants not used until Kushite military [1]

[1]: (http://www.afropedea.org/kush#TOC-Military)


The donkey was probably domesticated from the African wild ass ’in more than one place’ but for the Nubian subspecies 5500-4500 BCE in the Sudan. [1]

[1]: (Mitchell 2018, 39) Peter Mitchell 2018. The Donkey in Human History: An Archaeological Perspective. Oxford University Press. Oxford.



camels not considered native to Egypt, likely introduced by Persians in 525 BCE


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
absent

No finds interpreted as armor or protection in fight.


No finds interpreted as armor or protection in fight.


Scaled Armor:
absent

Technology not yet available. "By 2100 BCE the victory stele of Naram Sin appears to show plate armor, and it is likely that plate armor had been in wide use for a few hundred years. Plate armor was constructed of thin bronze plates sewn to a leather shirt or jerkin." [1] Coding this as scale armor.

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 21) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Plate Armor:
absent

Technology not yet available. "By 2100 BCE the victory stele of Naram Sin appears to show plate armor, and it is likely that plate armor had been in wide use for a few hundred years. Plate armor was constructed of thin bronze plates sewn to a leather shirt or jerkin." [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 21) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Limb Protection:
absent

In Egyptian warfare 3000-1700 BCE the "only personal protection was the shield". [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 27) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Leather Cloth:
absent

No finds interpreted as armor or protection in fight.


Laminar Armor:
absent

Technology not yet available. Lamellar armour introduced by the Assyrians (9th century BCE?): "a shirt constructed of laminated layers of leather sewn or glued together. To the outer surface of this coat were attached fitted iron plates, each plate joined to the next at the edge with no overlap and held in place by stitching or gluing." [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 21) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


In Egyptian warfare 3000-1700 BCE the "only personal protection was the shield". [1] Not until the 18th Dynasty c1500 BCE. [2] Earliest known helmet dates to 2500 BCE in Sumer. After this time use of helmets became widespread. [3]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 27) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.

[2]: (Hoffmeier 2001) J K Hoffmeier in D B Redford. ed. 2001. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[3]: (Gabriel 2002, 22) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Iron chain mail not introduced until the third century BCE, probably by Celtic peoples. [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 21) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Breastplate:
absent

In Egyptian warfare 3000-1700 BCE the "only personal protection was the shield". [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 27) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

Badarian culture knew water transport and often use it [1] , but warfare not at level for specialized military vessels

[1]: Trigger, B. G. 1983. Ancient Egypt: A Social History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pg. 29.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

"Sophisticated, elaborate boats were evidently used by 3600 B.C. (Late Nagada), but model boats from Merimda suggest that boats and canoes were already in use before 4500 B.C." [1]

[1]: (Hassan 1988, 157)


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown


Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions
- Nothing coded yet.