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A Study of Possible Trade Routes Between Egypt and Mesopotamia, ca. 3500-3100 B.C.

Samuel Eugene Mark
Thesis: August 1993
Chair: Dr. George F. Bass
Nautical Archaeology Program

Mesopotamian influences in Predynastic Egypt is a topic that has been discussed rather thoroughly for most of this century. Yet, an attempt to find the route these objects and motifs traveled on from Mesopotamia to Egypt has been neglected. Two possible routes have been proposed, a northern route through northern Syria and then either by sea to Egypt or south by land through Palestine, and a southern route by sea around Arabia and up the Red Sea. A comparison of Mesopotamian objects and motifs found in Egypt with similar objects found in northern Syria and the Persian Gulf will show that both northern routes were used. This will be supported by a study of the Narmer palette, the Gebel el Arak knife, the Hierakonpolis painting, and the rock drawings of Upper Egypt.

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