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16 - 22 November 2000
Issue No.508
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875 Issues navigation Current Issue Previous Issue Back Issues

Al-Ahram Weekly digs deeper than the Pharoahs for a glimpse of Egypt before history took over
Kemet
The discovery of this incense burner dating to the dawn of history (3100 BC, or even earlier) at Qustul, in Nubia, raised tremendous interest among scholars. Uncovered by a mission from the Oriental Institute of Chicago in the1960s, the piece depicts a seated ruler, a palace portal, a crown and a hawk -- all motifs that would later become symbols of Pharaonic rule in Egypt. The question thus arose whether the piece was a predynastic artefact that happened to be taken to Nubia by Egyptians (the interpretation of most Egyptologists), or evidence that the kingship ideal actually originated in Nubia (as is claimed by some African and Afro-American scholars).
Egypt before the Pharaohs
If you are on the lookout you may be surprised at how many vestiges of the predynastic culture of Ancient Egypt you can find. Gamal Nkrumah traces the history of Egypt before the Pharaohs
Lost in obscurity
A vital chapter from Egypt's prehistory is fenced away and doomed to neglect unless action is taken -- soon. Amira El-Noshokaty excavates the crumbling future of the Maadi Prehistoric Museum
Merchants of Maadi
Just to the south of the satellite station in the Cairo suburb of Maadi is a predynastic settlement precious few know about. Jill Kamil reminisces about her long-time affection for the old "store house" that might have been more
 
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