Arkell, Anthony John, 1898-. Shaheinab: an account of the excavation of a Neolithic occupation site carried out for the Sudan Antiquities Service in 1949-50

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Chapter I A Description Of The Site And Excavation

The Excavation Described

Plate 1 Esh Shaheinab

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Chapter Ii The Geology, River Levels, And Rainfall

Comparison Of Modern River Levels With Those Of Mesolithic And Neolithic Times

Implications Of A Higher River In Neolithic Times

Chapter Iii The Fauna






The Vertebrate Fauna


Wild Animals

Domestic Animals



Works Quoted

Chapter Iv Personal Decoration



Disk Beads Of Shell

Beads Of Semi-precious Stone

Beads Of Coarse Stone

Beads Of Other Materials


Ostrich Egg-shell


Naturally Grooved Pebbles Possibly Used As Pendants

Perforated Teeth, Etc.

Shells As Pendants

Limicolaria Flammata

Limicolaria Kambeul (bruguière)

Viviparus Unicolor


Bracelets Of Ivory And Bone

Finger Rings Of Ivory And Shell

Chapter V The Stone Implements


General Characteristics Of The Industry


Backed Blades





Fragments Of Celts Polished After Flaking

Fragments Of Polished Celts Flaked For Re-use After Fracture

Unfinished Artifacts

Utilized Flakes

Flakes From Cores With Prepared Platforms


Pebble Fabricators


Polishing Or Burnishing Pebbles


Grinders Stained With Ochre

Pebble Grinders

Thin Circular Disk Grinders With Keeled Edges

Sandstone Disk Ochre Grinders

(iii) Sandstone Disk Grinders Used As Upper Grindstones On The Underside And As Lower Grindstones On The Upper Side (pl. 21, Fig. 5)

Sandstone Palettes Or Lower Grindstones For Making Maceheads


Flat-topped Mace-heads Of Gneiss Or Granite

Disk Mace-heads

Sandstone Ring


Blade Rubbers

Hollow Rubbers

Hollow Rubbers Grooved Lengthways And Other Grooved Rubbers

Small Spherical Rubbers

Rubbers Of Oval Cross-section

Tapering Cylindrical Rubbers

Lower Grindstones

Comparative Notes On The Industry

Chapter Vi The Artifacts Made Of Bone, Horn-core, Or Ivory


Celts Or Axe-heads

Bone ? Chisels Or ? Burnishers

Awls Of Bone And Ivory And Similar Objects Of Horn-core


Miscellaneous Objects Of Worked Bone

Anvils Of Bone, Horn-core, Etc.

Worked Hippopotamus Ivory

Bone Ring Fragments (? Bracelets)

Post Scriptum

Chapter Vii The Artifacts Made Of Shell


Potters' Tools

Chapter Viii The Neolithic Pottery

Dotted Wavy Line Ware

Impressed Ware

Combed Ware

Incised Ware

Various Atypical Sherds Of Fine Ware

Plain Ware

Black-top Red Ware

Burnishing After Pattern Impressed

Bowls With Holes Below The Rim

Rivet Holes

Atypical Sherds

Utilized Sherds

Fused Sherds

Chapter Ix The Neolithic Hearths

Chapter X The Burials Of ? Protodynastic Date

Medium Ware

Plain Bowls

Bowl Similar To The Above With Decorated Rim

Similar Ware With 4-spoke Wheel Pattern In Red Slip On Inside

Bowls Decorated With Patterns Made By Impressions Of The Teeth Of A Comb


Feeding Cups Of Black Ware

Finer Ware, Often Rippled Or With Traces Of Rippling

Bowls With Inturned Rim

Globular Pots With Low Neck And Incised Rim

Globular Pots With Low Neck And Plain Rim

Plain Bowls Of Uncertain Date

Pottery Figurine

Personal Decoration

Beads And Sea-shells

Chapter Xi The Contracted Burials Of Meroitic Date

Woollen Textile In Plain Weave

Chapter Xii The Trial Excavation At El Qoz And The Light It Throws On The Relative Age Of Early Khartoum And Esh Shaheinab


Chapter Xiii Summary And Conclusions

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: Shaheinab: an account of the excavation of a Neolithic occupation site carried out for the Sudan Antiquities Service in 1949-50

Published By: London ; New York: Published for the Sudan Govt. by Oxford University, 1953. xix, 114 p., plates: ill., maps

By line: A. J. Arkell

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2000. Computer File

Culture: Khartoum Neolithic (MS50)

Subjects: Mineral resources (135); Fauna (136); Comparative evidence (171); Prehistory (172); Bone, horn, and shell technology (321); Ceramic technology (323); Lithic industries (324); General tools (412); Cultural stratigraphy (912);

Abstract: In this volume Arkell renames the Gouge culture: the Khartoum Neolithic. Two Khartoum Neolithic period sites in Sudan near Khartoum are discussed: Esh Shaheinab, on the west bank of the Nile, and El Qoz, on the right bank of the Nile. Only two radiocarbon dates are available for Esh Shaheinab and Arkell prefered the older date as he thought the Khartoum Neolithic influenced the Fayum Neolithic and therefore the Khartoum Neolithic should be earlier. Hence he dated the site to circa 3900 B.C. The volume mainly discusses the artifacts from the year-round settlement at Esh Shaheinab: the fauna; shell, stone, bone and horn implements; items of personal decoration; hearths; and ceramics. No house remains were found. Only one burial, an infant, was uncovered which may date to the Neolithic period. El Qoz was a much smaller excavation and its artifacts are also discussed. Arkell believed the people of the Khartoum Neolithic were hunters, fishers, and gatherers with no agriculture and were just begining to keep domesticated animals.

Document Number: 1

Document ID: ms50-001

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references and index

Field Date: 1949-1950

Evaluation: Archaeologist-5

Analyst: Sarah Berry ; 1998

Coverage Date: 5900 B.P. (ca. 3900 B.C.)

Coverage Place: Esh Shaheinab and El Qoz; Sudan

LCSH: Neolithic period -- Sudan


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