A-Group (3500 – 2800 BC)
The dawn of civilisation 
At the end of the fourth millennium BC in Lower Nubia emerged a new culture, defined by archaeologists as group (or horizon) A. It originated from earlier Neolithic traditions of northern Sudan, although the process of its emergence must have been strongly influenced by the impulses from Upper Egypt where the foundations of the ancient pharaonic state were being established at the same time.  The society referred to as Group A consisted of small semi-nomadic groups inhabiting temporary camps. Apart from farming, they were involved in the exploitation of fossil deposits in the area of the Eastern Desert and in trade: wild animal skins, gold, ivory, ostrich eggs, feathers and precious ebony wood were exchanged for items produced in the area of what was to become Egypt – copper tools, weapons, food  (olive oil, honey, beer and cheese), and, above all, high quality pottery.

Elephantine – “Elephant’s Town”
The development of trade contributed to the richness of tribal chieftains and facilitated the penetration of Egyptian culture and religion into Nubia. Egyptians, in order to control exchange with the south, established a trading post on the island of Elephantine (ancient Abu, literally “Elephant’s town”; today it is part of the  city of Asuan). Another place of exchange was Chor Daud where archaeologists uncovered over 500 storage pits with imported Predynastic pottery. Interestingly, local pottery  imitating Egyptian vessels was almost equal in terms of quality to the original – the production of so called black-topped vessels initiated at that time would be continued for the next 1500 years. Richly equipped graves of local tribal chieftains unearthed at Sajala and Kustul indicate that this class derived the greatest benefits from the development of trade, which itself led to diffusing some elements of Egyptian culture and beliefs (such as depositing clay female figurins in graves).
In the time of Dynasty I (ca. 3000-2890 BC) the policy of Egyptian rulers towards the region stretching to the south of Elephantine changed dramatically.  An inscription carved on the tablet dating to as early as the time of pharaoh Aha mentions a victory over Ta-Seti land, i.e. the first nome of Upper Egypt (today’s northern Nubia). The war expedition led by his successor, Djer, reached the area of the Second Cataract; probably a famous rock grafitti at Gelebel near Wadi Halfa  depicting a defeated Nubian chieftain should be attributed to this campaign. In the result of such military raids, or maybe due to climatic changes, between 2900 and 2800 BC the communities of Group A abandoned their homeland and they moved probably to desert regions or to the south.