Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Online: Nubian identity in the Bronze Age

Bioarchaeology of the Near East

With thanks to Geoffrey Tassie for the link.

Michele R. Buzon
Nubian identity in the Bronze Age. Patterns of cultural and biological variation
Bioarchaeology of the Near East. Volume 5, 2011, pp. 19-40.

In the Nile Valley, the examination of ancient peoples has generally focused on the similarities and differences between Egyptians and Nubians, both culturally and biologically, as well as on changes over time (e.g., Berry & Berry 1972; Buzon 2006a; Carlson & Van Gerven 1979; Edwards 2004; Geus 1991; Godde 2009; Irish 2005; Smith 2003; Williams 1991). Fewer studies have focused on the biological and cultural affi nities between contemporaneous groups in the region. During the Bronze Age (~3100−1100 BC) several different populations lived in Nubia. In this article, the archaeological evidence (such as burial ritual and pottery styles) used to defi ne the cultures known as C-Group in Lower Nubia (northern region) and Kerma in Upper Nubia (southern region, Figure 1) is surveyed in conjunction with cranial measurements to examine the complex relationship between two groups who lived during this period in ancient Nubia. While both were situated in ancient Nubia during the Bronze Age, how closely were they related? The goal of this study is to investigate the cultural and biological variability in these two Bronze Age Nubian groups, to assess the evidence for group distinction, and to explore the relationship between cultural and biological variables in their ethnic group composition.

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