The Early Dynastic administrative-cultic centre at Tell el-Farkha

Krzysztof M. Ciałowicz

Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland

The site of Tell el-Farkha, adjacent to the village of Ghazala, 120km north-east of Cairo, is composed of three mounds or ‘koms’ (designated Western, Central and Eastern). Excavations on each of these koms reveal the 1000-year-long history of the site, which began many centuries before the foundation of the pharaonic state, and provide the best view to date of the momentous developments that occurred during this formative period in Egyptian history.

The state of preservation at Tell el-Farkha is exceptional, and the organization of the site into three main spheres is clearly evident: residential and cultic on the Western Kom, habitation and utility on the Central Kom and cemetery and settlement on the Eastern Kom. Discoveries on the Western Kom include the remains of one of the world’s oldest brewing centres and a monumental mud brick building, so far the largest known in Egypt from the period c.3300–3200. In addition, an administrative-cultic centre from the beginning of the Egyptian state contained votive deposits composed of intriguing, intricately carved ivory figurines depicting human, animal and divine subjects. Many of them are unparalleled. A discussion of these figurines is the subject of this paper.

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To reference this article we suggest:

Ciałowicz, K. M. 2009. The Early Dynastic administrative-cultic centre at Tell el-Farkha. BMSAES 13: 83–123. http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/online_journals/bmsaes/issue_13/cialowicz.aspx

Contact the author

cialowicz@farkha.org