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Amratian (Naqadah I Culture) Period [4000 - 3500 BC]
Somewhere around 4000 BC is the start of the Old Predynastic also known as the Amratian period or simply as Naqada I, as most of the sites from this period date to around the same time as the occupation of the Naqada site. The change that is easiest to see in this period is in the pottery. Whereas before ceramics were decorated with simple bands of paint, these have clever geometric designs inspired by the world around the artist as well as pictures of animals, either painted on or carved into the surface of the vessel. Shapes too became more varied, both for practical reasons depending on what the vessel was used for and aesthetic reasons. Decorative clay objects were also popular, particularly the dancer figurines, small painted figures of women with upraised arms. Yet perhaps the most important detail of all about this period is the development of true architecture. Like most of Egyptian culture we have gleaned much of our knowledge from what the deceased were buried with, and in this case, we have several clay models of houses discovered in the graves that resemble the rectangular clay brick homes of the Old Kingdom. This shows that the idea of individual dwellings, towns, and urban planning started around 4500 BC! .....
The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium