Israel Antiquities Authority

Core and periphery Egyptian-Levantine interaction at the very beginning and very end of the 4th millennium BCE: A study in contrasts

Edwin C.M. van den Brink, Israel Antiquities Authority

Six different phases of Egyptian-Levantine interaction have been distinguished to date for the one millennium spanning the Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age II in the southern Levant, coinciding with the Nagada and Buto-Maadi cultures to Second Dynasty in Egypt (ca. 3900-2900 BCE; Levy and van den Brink 2002: Table 1.7). Best understood and documented in terms of core-periphery interaction is the latest, 6th  phase, namely the one unfolding during the late EB I-early EB II, contemporary with terminal Dynasty 0 and Dynasty 1. Recent excavations in particular at Tel Halif Terrace, Tel Lod and Tell es-Sakan have contributed significantly to our understanding of what can now be described as a 4-tier hierarchy of Levantine sites with Egyptian affinities during this time (Braun and van den Brink, in press).
As a study in contrasts, today's topic will deal with the earliest two phases of Egyptian-Levantine interaction that developed during the transitional late Chalcolithic to early Early Bronze Age I periods, or, in terms of Egyptian chronology, during the time of the Nagada I-II and Buto-Maadi cultures. These first interaction phases are much less understood, but seem to include something of a late Chalcolithic paradox. 
Levy, T. E. and van den Brink, E.C.M. 2002.
Chapter 1. Interaction Models, Egypt and the Levantine Periphery. Pp. 3-38 in E.C.M. van den Brink and T. E. Levy (eds.), Egyptian-Canaanite Interaction: From the 4th. Through Early 3rd. Millennium B.C.E. London: Leicester University Press. New Approaches to Anthropological Archaeology Series.
Braun, E and van den Brink, E.C.M. In press.
Appraising South Levantine-Egyptian Interaction based on New Evidence from Tel Lod in the Central Coastal Plain of Israel. In the proceedings of Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt. Origin of the State. Toulouse (France), 5-8 September 2005

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