Gerzean Culture

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gerzean Culture


an Aeneolithic culture of predynastic Egypt (fourth millennium B.C.). Named after the burial ground of Gerzeh in Lower Egypt, it is represented by settlements and burial grounds. The culture is a development of the earlier Amratian culture. In addition to stone implements, bronze was used to make adzes, daggers, and other tools in the Gerzean culture’s later stage. Along with agriculture (artificial irrigation was used, a primitive plow appeared at the end of the fourth millennium B.C.), stockraising began to develop intensively, which led to property differentiation of tribes and subsequently to class stratification. Handicrafts were greatly developed. Along with burnished red vessels, there appeared ceramics with yellow engobe and red painted decorations, portraying people, animals, boats, and whole scenes. Among the statuettes of clay and stone are representations of women and captives with bound hands. In the period of the Gerzean culture, Upper and Lower Egypt represented two large feuding groups. The influence of the neighboring cultures of Asia Minor and the Tigris and Euphrates (reflected in the art monuments) strengthened. The ancient Egyptian state arose on the basis of the Gerzean culture circa 3200 B.C.


Piotrovskii, B. B. “Sovremennoe sostoianie izucheniia dodinasticheskogo Egipta.” Problemy istorii dokapitalisticheskikh obshchestv, 1934, nos. 7-8.
Childe, G. Drevneishii Vostok v svete novykh raskopok. Moscow, 1956. Page 108. (Translated from English.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.