Thursday, 28 April 2011

Nawamis Of Sinai

The enigmatic nawamis have been known since Edward H. Palmer's early explorations in the Sinai. During the years 1972 to 1982. Ofcr Bar-Yoscf, Avner Goren. and other Israeli scholars made intensive field investigations of these structures. It is generally agreed lhat these well-preserved stone-built structures were constructed during the 4th millennium b.c. by indige­nous pastoralists and used as tombs at the end of the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze I A. The nawamis gener­ally have the same rounded plan 3 to 6 m in diameter and approximately 2 m in height. They are usually double walled and built of local stone, either sandstone slabs, granitic, or metamorphic boulders. A wide range of burial offerings was found in the nawamis. These include beads (mostly dentalium, connus, carnelian, faience, bone, and ostrich eggshell), mother-of-pearl pendants, lambis-shcll bracelets, transverse arrowheads, tabular scrapers, and some copper points, Bar-Yoscf suggested that the nawamis were used as graves for family units. Both primary and secondary burials were found in the numerous fully excavated nawamis.

On the Nawamis 

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