Blog #2- Christina Miller

The archaeological site of El-Ma’adi is important to know of when talking about the pre-dynastic period in ancient Egypt. It is a significant site because of its large size and the fact that it contained mortuary, settlement and industrial areas but was never completely occupied at one time. The earliest evidence of domesticated donkeys appeared here and shows how the people who lived there traded with foreigners from different lands like Palestine in the past. This is important to find out in order to determine how objects and artifacts were introduced into different cultures and how they were transported between the two areas. The fact that El-Ma’adi was eventually abandoned in the later 4th millennium BC is intriguing because it is not known why the people living there abandoned it. Some speculation surrounds the arrival of the Naqada culture and its intimidation to the people of El-Ma’adi.

After hearing that the city of El-Ma’adi was the heart of urban Egypt and has been connected to Cairo through urbanization, I couldn’t help but find this interesting. I began to think of other cities where the past has such an apparent influence on the city today such as Mexico City with its history with the Aztecs as well as Rome with its abundance of artifacts from the past integrated into the city. The one city where I saw this up close and in person was when I visited Athens two summers ago. It was amazing to me how they smoothly connected the modern and historical aspects of the city together. The major historical landmarks like the Acropolis and the Roman Stadium where the Olympics were first held were as much part of the city as were the busy urban streets and buildings. This makes me wonder to what extent the archaeological sites in Athens have been disrupted and even destroyed by the urbanization that occurred to the city a long time ago as it has in El-Ma’adi.

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