Sarah Marei


Numerous burials dating to the Predynastic Period have been documented as containing bodies that appear to have been deliberately manipulated in a variety of ways. Among the practices noted is a deliberate rearrangement of skeletons. To date, these burials have received little scholarly attention and are most frequently attributed to looting or post-depositional disturbance, despite the evidence potentially pointing to an ancient and discontinued funerary ritual. Recent discoveries made in Predynastic cemeteries have revealed additional cases that reaffirm the presence of peculiar funerary practices taking place during that period. This thesis examines burials from the Predynastic cemeteries of Naqada, Gerza, Adaima and Tell El Farkha, presenting and analyzing evidence for deliberately displaced skeletal remains, in order to establish underlying patterns and to understand their significance. The burials are investigated through an interpretative approach, placing them within their historical, social and religious contexts. The evidence offers the possibility of elucidating a complex and dynamic mortuary culture that was practiced in the Predynastic Period.

Degree Name

MA in Egyptology & Coptology

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2016

First Advisor

Sabbahy and Ikram, Lisa and Salima

Committee Member 1

Ayad, Mariam


131 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item