"New Discoveries at Hierakonpolis" Renee Friedman (EEG Meeting Talk)
On Sunday Renee Friedman came to the Essex Egyptology Group to talk about the latest discoveries she and her team have been making at the site of Hierakonpolis. First she put the site itself into context. It was an important pre-dynastic Egyptian city, situated just north of modern Edfu, called Nekhen (and later Hierakonpolis by the Greeks). It's perhaps best known as the site where the Narmer Palette (now in the Cairo Museum) was found, as well as the Scorpion Macehead and the ivories of the "Main Deposit" (which are now in the Ashmolean Museum). By the time of the unification of Egypt (which the Narmer Palette is thought to commemorate) it was already a thriving and important city and the cult centre of the god Horus of Nekhen. By thriving city Friedman means that there is evidence of several thousand people living on the site, in a hierarchically organised society. They have excavated several examples of what they believe to be breweries (they are definitely places that made some sort of grain based foodstuff, most probably beer but perhaps some sort of porridge). I think she said each of these breweries was capable of making around 80l of beer in a single batch which is pretty large scale production, and implies a high level of administrative organisation for the city. There are also preparation sites for fish, where the heads and scales of large Nile perch are found. The remains of the edible bits of the fish are found at a large building which seems to be a ceremonial space. So the fish needed to be caught in the Nile, brought to the preparation site and then the food taken to the place where it was to be eaten. This required a high degree of organisation, and Friedman said they have found evidence of what appears to be a system of tallys using shaped pebbles, and delivery receipts using the newly developing writing system.
go on Reading.http://ninecats.org/margaret/blog/2014/11/07/new-discoveries-hierakonpolis-renee-friedman-eeg-meeting-talk.