New results from a second storage tomb at Helwan: implications for the Naqada III period in the Memphite region

Jane C. Smythe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


For the past nine seasons Macquarie University has been conducting excavation and recovery work at the Early Dynastic cemetery of Helwan, situated on the East bank of the river Nile positioned opposite the elite and royal cemetery of Saqqara. Important information has been collected demonstrating the significant role Helwan played during the formation of the Egyptian state and in the Memphite region. Of immense value to the Helwan project has been the discovery and clearing of the so called "storage tombs" from the excavations of Zaki Y Saad. Within the last two seasons the author has uncovered and recorded a second storage tomb containing approximately 734 complete pottery vessels. The vessels represent types that are well know from the 1st and 2nd Dynasties, namely the middle to late Naqada III period. Questions regarding the problematic chronological issues of the late Naqada III period are considered and earlier research theories have been tested against a larger and better provenanced sample base. The majority of these vessels contain information regarding the original tomb context. This important information has enabled the author to not only form tomb assemblages, but to date these assemblages through the use of known datable pottery types. These key vessel types are evaluated in relation to their own chronological development with consideration to visual as well as fabric analysis accompanied by a full descriptive catalogue. The two storage tombs that have been thus far studied offer a comprehensive range of samples from Naqada IIIA2 through to the Naqada IIID stage. In order to illustrate the breath and quality of tombs the author presents nine assemblages that are among those recorded by the Operation 3 project.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEgypt at its origins 2
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the international conference "Origin of the State, Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt", Toulouse (France), 5th-8th September 2005
EditorsB. Midant-Reynes, Y. Tristant
Place of PublicationLeuven ; Dudley, MA
PublisherPeeters Publishers
Number of pages35
ISBN (Print)9789042919945
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventEgypt at its Origins (2nd : 2005) - Toulouse, France
Duration: 5 Sept 20058 Sept 2005


ConferenceEgypt at its Origins (2nd : 2005)
CityToulouse, France


Dive into the research topics of 'New results from a second storage tomb at Helwan: implications for the Naqada III period in the Memphite region'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this