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):








Upper-Eocene / Lower Oligocene

Directly above Qasr el Sagha, near top of scarp


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


Thompson 1926


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


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


Some contain flint and chert adequate for tool production

Not all contain suitable chert or flint



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






  • 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.


  • Anatolia
  • Yemen
  • Eritrea

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


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


Eastern Desert


Sharks teeth

Red Sea