Towards Understanding the Late Neolithic of the Egyptian Western Desert: Gebel Ramlah, site E-16-02
Keywords:Prehistoric Egypt, Western Desert, Late Neolithic, pottery, flint industry, settlement pattern
The research around the palaeo-lake of Gebel Ramlah has revealed the presence of numerous remains of Late Neolithic occupation. One such site – E-16-02 – was excavated in 2018 and delivered unique evidence pointing to the specific style of life of human groups here in the later Neolithic. In the light of the available evidence, it seems that the occupation was seasonal and the site was visited several times. Its main feature was an oven, carefully designed and regularly cleaned as it served for cooking food during subsequent visits to the place. The remaining features were occasionally constructed during each stay. The distribution of flint artefacts, chaotic, unpatterned, without visible places of flint processing and lacking clear links with features and remains of pottery vessels also indicate multiple visits to the site. This pattern is clearly different to that recognized during the Holocene climatic optimum when the extent of the settlements was substantially larger accompanied by a diversity of features indicating a stable, long-lasting occupation (Al Jerar Unit).
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