Appendix A - Raw Materials

Studies of the geology of the Faiyum have provided an insight into where raw materials for tool manufacture could be sourced.  In his study of variations in Qarunian and Faiyum Neolithic debitage from sites FS1 and FS2, Anthony Cagle has looked at different types of manufacturing technique and different types of raw material.  He identified possible locations for these materials from published papers, and conducted a short visual survey on the materials available from those sites.  The locations he identified are as follows (Cagle 1994):

Period

 

Location

Form

Material

Comment

References

Upper-Eocene / Lower Oligocene

Directly above Qasr el Sagha, near top of scarp

Fluvio-

Marine series (Gebel Qatrani beds)

Hard cherty limestone with beds of tabular chert and flint

Many authors mention its use in the manufacture of stone tools

Thought to be the only area in the Faiyum where chert occurs in primary geological position.

Beadnell 1905

Caton-

Thompson 1926

Caton-

Thompson & Gardner 1934

Wendorf & Schild 1976

Midant-Reynes 1992/2000

Very top of the northern scarp above Qasr el Sagha above Gebel Qatrani beds

Variegated sediments continuing the above series

Small chert and flint nodules

 

Mentioned by several authors as source materials

Above the same scarp near Qasr Qarun (a few Kms from FS1 & FS2 nr Qasr Qarun, nw corner Lake Qarun)

Same beds as above

Chert and flint nodules

 

No known references

Plio-Pleistocene

Wide areas of Fayum, several on the Faiyum-Cairo road c.20km north of Karanis

Gravels

Some contain flint and chert adequate for tool production

Not all contain suitable chert or flint

 

Pleistocene

Throughout the Fayum and in the area of FS1 and FS2

Gravels (heterogene-ous deposits)

Local Stone

Some suitable for tool manufacture, and there is some indication that local stones were used

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images of many of the geological features discussed above are shown at the AAPG website at http://www.aapg.org/international/africa/ne_africa_egypt/local_activity/whale_valley/whale_valley_fayoum.htm

MATERIAL

 

POSSIBLE SOURCE

COMMENT

Copper

  • Eastern Desert
  • Palestine

 

Timber (cedar, cypress etc)

  • Possibly from Syria

Wood may not have been as important as some believe because a moister climate before c.2900 in the predynastic may have seen the presence of indigenous trees.

Obsidian

  • Anatolia
  • Yemen
  • Eritrea

Found imported into Upper Egypt, Palestine, Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf c.5000-2300BC

Silver

No agreement concerning origin of Predynastic silver

 

Lapis Lazuli

  • Badakhsan in Afghanistan

First appears in Naqada IIa/b and is quite common during Naqada IIc/d.  Found with other foreign items in Egyptian graves, and may have been sourced from the same trading mechanism

Amazonite

Eastern Desert

 

Sharks teeth

Red Sea