There were a couple things that I found interesting from this week’s reading. One was the burial practices or the placement of the bodies. Upon reading that the bodies from Wadi Digla and Naqada were oriented in the same direction, but with the heads facing different directions; I wondered what side of the Nile each was settled and the map a couple pages earlier in the chapter shows that they are on opposite sides of the Nile. So it made sense that the bodies were oriented to the Nile’s beginning as well as facing it, they seem to be paying homage to the Nile because it was so important for their survival and development. I also found the fact that at Ma’adi only infant and stillborn burials were found. It made me wonder if the infant mortality rate was high or if that was normal during that time; if the infant mortality rate was unusually high I wonder why, could it possibly be from malnutrition/starvation or other diseases that are often seen when societies adopt agriculture and populations increase.
I think it’s fascinating that excavations actually revealed these burials. Since I’m assuming that because bones at that age are not yet fully calcified that it would be difficult for them to be persevered, but I honestly am not sure how the bodies were prepared after death and that preparation could greatly affect the body’s chance of preservation.
I also thought that the differences between the North and South towns of Naqada in terms of their housing and pottery and/or trade were interesting. The housing in the North town were made mostly of wood and wicker and only mud-brick structures were found in the South town. The artistic differences of the pottery, the differences in building techniques, increase in the use of grave goods and possibly their economic sources (trading, fishing, etc.) showed that South town was perhaps somewhat more advanced or complex than the North town. The sites also show that two places within a relatively short distance of each other can develop culturally and economically independent of one another.