Week 2 Post: Ma’adi

I really enjoyed learning about the different Predynastic cities, but Ma’adi was the one I found most interesting. I found this site interesting for several reasons. First of all, the fact that in present day the site is located in the middle of a thriving city center is fascinating to me. In 1930, when it was originally excavated, it was only desert. While the site is protected, I wonder how being in the middle of the city affects it and make it different than other archeological sites in the region. It must be more difficult to do the work of excavation in the middle of a busy city than it would be on the field where space would not be so limited. On the other hand, there are probably more creature comforts, such as beds and running water, associated with being close to the city.

I was also interested in the presence of the semi subterranean structures. The fact that they were cut into the ground, up to 11 feet deep, shows that these were probably important. It was probably difficult to cut into the ground of the desert that far. Also, the fact that the use of these structures is not known but only guessed at is intriguing to me. I like to think that there are still some mysteries out there. I think that they were probably storage areas. It was cooler to put things underground and probably kept trade items good for longer. The fact that the pottery found in this area resembles Western Asian pottery of this same time period points to a trade relationship with them. Similar subterranean structures were found in Palestine supporting the theory of the structures being used for trade reasons.

Although the presence of large grinding stones shows that the settlement was large and sedentary, there is no evidence of planning involved in the structure of the settlement. Some of the houses were circular or oblong while others were rectangular, which shows the difference in basic building plans. This makes me wonder if the city was inhabited by smaller groups that came together to eventually form a larger community.