City of Al Badari, Egypt
Al Badari is a tourist place which is known for its Predynastic cemeteries. The place is also known as El Badari by many people. The Al Badari site lies between Qau and Matmar in Upper Egypt. Dier teas and Mostageddan cemetery are some of the important sites in this region. The Al Badari region occupies 30 km of land along the east bank of river Nile. The credit for discovering the place and exposing its marvels to the world goes to Gertrude Caton Thompson and Guy Brunton, who first carried the investigation in this area between 1922 and 1931. The findings have been studied extensively to know about the social history and chronology of the Badarian period. (5500-4000 B.C).
The nearest city to Al Badari is Asyut, about 40 km and the city of Asyut also has an airport which can be used for tourists to reach the place. The capital city Cairo is 338 km away. Tourists can book their accommodation in Asyut. Minya is 138 km away while Qena is 159 km from Al Badari. The tourists coming here can choose any city to stay depending on their travel plans. The city has a very small population.
The Badarian culture
The Badarian economy flourished between 5500 BC and 4000 BC at Al Badari Egypt. The culture gives direct evidence of presence of agriculture in Upper Egypt. Six hundred graves and forty settlements have been discovered which also point to social stratification at that time. Fishing, animal husbandry and agriculture were parts of the economy of the Badarian culture. Grains like barley, lentils and wheat were consumed. The people at that time placed their deceased on mats looking west, which is very different from traditions in later dynasties which regarded west as the land of dead. The influence of the Badari culture have also been found to the south of Egypt indicating it was just not restricted to the area.
Al Badari site
Many archaeological findings dating back to Predynastic era have been found in the region. Slate palettes, red polished pottery pots, stone vases, ivory and terracotta anthropomorphic figures and flint have been discovered. The pottery that was buried with the dead is the most characteristic Element of the Badarian culture. It had been given a distinctive and decorative rippled surface. Many tools like bifacial sickles, end-scrapers, axes, perforators and concave base arrowheads have been found as well. Remains of many animals like sheep, dogs and cats in cemeteries indicate that the people living in this city were engaged into animal husbandry. Though there is no clear evidence of buildings at that time but remains of wooden stump indicate a hut or some shelter. Basalt vases and Elephant ivory indicate that the Badarians interacted with cultures around them and size of the pots point out to the fact that they were not nomads but lived in a settlement. Number of deep pits were also found which have been assumed to be granaries.
Cemeteries in the Badarian region
The decorations of the graves have been very useful for the archaeologists to interpret the culture of the place. Excavations have revealed black and thin brown ceramics which indicates that there were skilled potters working during that time. The deceased were wrapped in animal skins or reed matting and simple belongings like stone beads or shells were placed along them. Some simple tools have also been found in graves. The pottery at cemeteries has also pointed out to the fact that Badarians had a good food source which gave them time to indulge in the art.
The nearby town of Deir Teas
Deir teas is a village near Al Badari. The pottery found here shows that a lot of development in terms of decoration and shape had taken place by this time. Cups in shape of lotus flowers have been found to strengthen this fact. This cemetery site dates to Amratian phase belonging to the predynatsic culture. Some archeologists also believe that this site is an extension of the Badarian culture.
Artifacts which have been found at al Badari have been quite varied. Badarian ware is the name given by Petrie to the distinctive pottery and this is because of the exclusive polished red vessels with black tops. The Badarian people were also the first in Egypt to make copper beads shaped metal objects. The site has given a very detailed insight into the Badarian culture but owing to the growing demand for land many of the ruins are slowly being lost.