In the second half of the 4th millennium BC the people of the Nile valley started to make clay vessels
decorated with dark brown painting on light yellow background (the so-called Naquada II culture).
Vessels were often decorated with the images of many-oared crescent-shaped boats with cabins, banners
on high poles, and palm leaves placed on the nose as protection against sunlight. The boats sail along a
river that is shown by zigzag lines. Flamingos and fan-like plants (possibly aloe or a type of banana), as
well as human figures were popular elements of such scenes. Men are usually side-drawn, and women are
depicted en face with raised hands (which might be an indication of a ritual dance).