An Archaeological Investigation of the Central Sinai, Egypt
by Frank W. Eddy and Fred Wendorf
Based on field work conducted in 1996 by the Combined Prehistoric Expedition (CPE) in the upper Wadi Girafi Basin, An Archaeological Investigation of the Central Sinai, Egypt, sheds further light on the Timnian Tradition of the southern Levant, one of the earliest (7000-3000 b.p.) nomadic pastoral cultures described to date.
The results of their research indicate that there were two distinct settlement patterns that were alternating adaptive responses to changing climatic conditions. First, a regional environmental analysis shows that nomadic tent pastoralists herding goats, sheep, as well as cattle were responding to desert living during arid times. The settlement data reveal this adaptation in two periods, once during the Chalcolithic (Copper Age) (6500-4800 b.p.) and again during the Middle Bronze Age (3800-3300 b.p.).
By contrast, the second pattern-that of semi-nomadic village pastoralists-was a solution to life in the wetter climate that appeared during the Early Bronze Age (4800-3800 b.p.). Thus, the authors maintain, the Chalcolithic/Bronze Age archaeology shows a pattern in which the fully nomadic tent community alternated with seminomadic village pastoralists according to the intensity of rainfall and availability of forage.
An Archaeological Investigation of the Central Sinai, Egypt, is divided into two parts, one describing the results of the survey and the other detailing the later excavations in the fall. Complete with 101 line drawings, 60 maps, and 23 black- and-white photos, this book is essential reading for scholars interested in the pre-historic archaeology of the Sinai region.