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The Dakhleh Oasis Project

 
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:10 pm    Post subject: The Dakhleh Oasis Project Reply with quote

I just noticed this item on Andie Byrnes' newsblog.

This is an article about the Dakhleh Oasis Project and is quite a fascinating read I think.

Before the Mummies: Desert Origins of the Pharaohs

They have found a long archaeological record there.
The earliest named group they dubbed the Masara, who appeared some 9500 years ago.

A later culture they call the Bashendi. It seems that there may be a connection between the Bashendi and the finds near the city of Asyut along the Nile.

Distinctive side-blow tools (so called because the tool is made by striking the side of a stone material instead of the usually more efficient top), labrets (probably for lip decoration), hollow-based arrowheads and jewelry such as marine-shell bracelets and beads of amazonite and carnelian were similar to some dug up at sites like Badari and Mostagedda, near the present Nile-side city of Asyut—the closest point on the Nile to Dakhleh.

The connection between the Bashendi and the Badarians - who were fore-runners of the pharaonic culture - is quite interesting I think.

The article also mentions how attitudes have changed. It used to be believed that the pharaonic culture had migrated into Egypt from the Levant. Now the prevailing thought is that the Egyptian culture is indigenous to the area.

The article is a very interesting read IMHO Smile
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Last edited by anneke on Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: The Dakhleh Oasis Project Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
Before the Mummies: Desert Origins of the Pharaohs


You missed the '=' out of your url, Anneke, I've added it for you. I haven't had chance to read it properly yet, it does look interesting though, so I'll definately give it a better read later.
Wink
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for pointing that out Smile I went back and fixed it in my post.

I wondered if this article was somewhat related to what was discussed here:
http://forum.egyptiandreams.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=1938

They both seen to indicate climate changes had a major influence.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting, Anneke, thanks for posting that. Very Happy

It does seem by reading both articles that the origins of the Ancient Egyptians was massively influenced by climate change, I would never have thought it would have made such a huge difference.

OK, slightly off-topic: From reading the beginning part of the quote that you provided, Anneke, it seems to suggest that the Bashendi artefacts were similar to those discovered in the Nile Valley....

Quote:
When McDonald was working late into the night pulling together her Bashendi artifacts and defining the culture’s distinguishing features, Mills had observed over her shoulder more than once that many of the objects seemed to have parallels in artifacts excavated decades earlier in the Nile Valley. Distinctive side-blow tools (so called because the tool is made by striking the side of a stone material instead of the usually more efficient top), labrets (probably for lip decoration), hollow-based arrowheads and jewelry such as marine-shell bracelets and beads of amazonite and carnelian were similar to some dug up at sites like Badari and Mostagedda, near the present Nile-side city of Asyut—the closest point on the Nile to Dakhleh. This piqued McDonald’s interest.

(bold highlight is mine)

LOL, I didn't even know the Ancient Egyptians wore labrets.... Idea Anyway, it was a really great read! Wink
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always been a believer in the Egyptian civilisation being Egyptian in origin, not from the East.

I also remember reading somewhere that there was a climatic change of some sort that caused widespread desertification all over the world and that sudden change to arid climate forced mankind to develop agriculture and that's how most of the first civilisations of the world started, and how most of them are in desert areas near remaining sources of water. I think Egypt is probably the most obvious example. (the article also claimed that it made humankind more 'violent' in terms of war over land or sacrificing to their gods. although I'm not sure of the exact details or wording. I think the Egyptians were one of the more peaceful of the ancient civs though)

What are labrets? Idea
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isisinacrisis wrote:
What are labrets? Idea

Plugs through the lip, generally the lower. See here on Wikipedia. Smile
I only know of the Ancient Egyptians piercing their ears - and even then it was only one in each ear - unless the Egyptian labrets weren't actuallty piercings. Confused I didn't think the AE's were big on piering in general at all, but maybe I'm wrong....
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless this labrets trend was a predynastic thing which fell out of fashion by the dynastic era?

I know Nefertiti had a double piercing but the AEs didn't really get more adventurous than that, it seems.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's what I thought, it must've fallen out of fashion, it's just that with labrets having been discovered at the Nile Valley - according to that article - it seemed a bit odd, unless they were, as you said, Isi, from pre-dynastic times. Confused
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a happy coincidence. This morning I attended a lecture at the O.I. about predynastic Nubia. Turns out the labret was a common form of body ornament to those ancient people, and the slides the professor showed reminded me of the photo of labrets in Daughter_Of_SETI's Wikipedia link. They weren't as refined, of course, and looked to be made of some soft metal, but the overall designs were quite similar.

So perhaps the ancient Sudanese of Lower Nubia migrating into Upper Egypt in predynastic times, brough the fashion of labrets with them. In any case I think it's clear the practice died out at an early date. To my knowledge no Egyptian mummy has ever been found with a spike or disk in its lower lip. Razz

It was late last night when I first read your discussion about labrets, and at first I mistakenly read it as "labrats." LOL That was quite amusing. I pictured some mad Egyptian scientist with his stonewear beakers and ceramic test tubes and all these little desert rats in wicker cages. tard
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Daughter_Of_SETI
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmt_sesh wrote:
This morning I attended a lecture at the O.I. about predynastic Nubia. Turns out the labret was a common form of body ornament to those ancient people, and the slides the professor showed reminded me of the photo of labrets in Daughter_Of_SETI's Wikipedia link. They weren't as refined, of course, and looked to be made of some soft metal, but the overall designs were quite similar.

I hadn't thought about what they were made out of. Would it have been copper, or something like that? I'm just thinking, I bet copper would taste pretty gross in your mouth every day. Surprised
Mind you, I guess it can't be as bad as the taste of rats! Laughing
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Would it have been copper, or something like that? I'm just thinking, I bet copper would taste pretty gross in your mouth every day.


I was wondering the same thing but couldn't tell just by seeing them, and the professor didn't elaborate. One of them looked like it had been fashioned from ivory but I could be mistaken. And yeah, you're right--I can't imagine sucking on something made of copper all day would taste all that good. A couple of them looked like bronze to me but I'd have to think this was before the Early Bronze Age in that region. I don't know for sure.

Quote:
Mind you, I guess it can't be as bad as the taste of rats!


Oh, I don't know. Done on the grill with a nice terriyaki sauce, corn cob on the side. Yum! tongue1
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmt_sesh wrote:
One of them looked like it had been fashioned from ivory but I could be mistaken.

Ah, yeah ivory would definately make sense. I seem to recall some of their jewellery having been made from bone, but I could be wrong. It's when you mentioned that the labrets you saw pictures of looked like they were made from metal that made me wonder. Ivory was probably worn by the more wealthy, and in other cultures the wearing of labrets was customary for tribe leaders etc, whether it was the case in pre-dynastic Egypt or Nubia I don't know.
Idea

kmt_sesh wrote:
And yeah, you're right--I can't imagine sucking on something made of copper all day would taste all that good. A couple of them looked like bronze to me but I'd have to think this was before the Early Bronze Age in that region. I don't know for sure.

I'm not sure that bronze would taste all that much better even if it was within the Bronze Age of that area. But you never know, ancient cultures may not have bothered too much about the nasty taste, they might've been more concerned with the prestige that it held (if that was the reason why they were worn).

kmt_sesh wrote:
Oh, I don't know. Done on the grill with a nice terriyaki sauce, corn cob on the side. Yum! tongue1

Or sprinkled on top of a pizza. #Silly

Thanks for your help, Kmt_sesh, Very Happy It looks like your training at the OI is coming in very handy, at least for me, anyway! Razz
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Thanks for your help, Kmt_sesh, Very Happy It looks like your training at the OI is coming in very handy, at least for me, anyway! Razz


You're welcome, Daughter_Of_SETI. And you're right--I didn't realize it but already I've applied my new training. Our lecturers would be so proud.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go heat up my lab-rat pizza. tongue8
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