• biological distance;
  • social inequality;
  • Egypt


A biological affinities study based on frequencies of cranial nonmetric traits in skeletal samples from three cemeteries at predynastic Naqada, Egypt, confirms the results of a recent nonmetric dental morphological analysis. Both cranial and dental traits analyses indicate that the individuals buried in a cemetery characterized archaeologically as high status are significantly different from individuals buried in two other, apparently nonelite cemeteries and that the nonelite samples are not significantly different from each other. A comparison with neighbouring Nile Valley skeletal samples suggests that the high status cemetery represents an endogamous ruling or elite segment of the local population at Naqada, which is more closely related to populations in northern Nubia than to neighbouring populations in southern Egypt. © 1996 Wiley-Liss, Inc.