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Gebel Ramlah and Nabta Playa

Gebel Ramlah is approximately 25 kilometers north-west of Gebel Nabta.  A small seasonal paleolake was situated at the foot of the hill and remains of Early to Late Neolithic occupations have been found along its south-western edge, including several Final Neolithic cemeteries.   Fourteen burial pits were found within a relatively small area, 4.5 x 3.3 m (with the exception of a solitary grave located slightly further to the north-east). Ten of the burials contained single inhumations, the remainder being multiple burials of two, five, six and eight individuals.  The bodies were positioned lying on one side with legs flexed and hands in front of the face.  Some may be secondary interments, suggesting that these individuals had died at some distance from the site during seasonal migrations and were then interred here.  Associated burial goods included vessels, palettes, jewelry and flint tools. Radiocarbon dates suggests this cemetery dates to between 6,550 and 6,350 years ago, contemporaneous with the Megalith builders of the Final Neolithic at Nabta.

A nearby small settlement yielded evidence of numerous episodes of short-term occupation during the Late Neolithic.  The settlement contained hearths, a grinding stone. and an in situ deposit of Egyptian flint cores, along with a variety of flint tools and cores and rare potsherds.  The faunal remains included cattle, small ruminants, two species of antelope, fox, large Nile birds and fragments of ostrich eggshell.

Nabta Playa – African Archaeology

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