Pottery from the late period to the early Roman period from Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 00:08 authored by Shirley Fay Patten
This thesis analyses a body of largely unpublished ceramic material from Dakhleh Oasis in the Western Desert of Egypt. The material is primarily from the survey of Dakhleh Oasis and the testing of sites by members of the Dakhleh Oasis Project and, except for some Phase 4 material recovered from excavations at Ismant el-Kharab, is unstratified. It covers a thousand years of Egyptian pottery-making from the eighth century BC to the late second century AD. -- A comprehensive survey of published and unpublished material from other sites in Egypt and adjacent regions has been undertaken to acquire comparative material for the pottery from Dakhleh Oasis. In addition, a study of the technical characteristics of the vessels that have remained accessible has been undertaken to describe and explain ancient pottery practices and to build up a framework for comparative purposes. -- With this body of information, a vessel typology divided into two series, each of which are further divided into two phases, has been devised and the chronology of the vessels determined. This ceramic typology has been used to compare surveyed sites of different utilisation - cemetery, settlement and temple sites - and to establish a dating system for these sites. The resulting chronology will be a guide to the determination of future excavations in the oasis and will assist in the on-going study of the socio-economic development of the oasis. The typology also provides a corpus of pottery for the processing of material from future excavations in Dakhleh Oasis and information for other ceramicists working in Egypt and elsewhere. -- The comparative survey of ceramic material from other sites demonstrates that Dakhleh Oasis, although a remote region in the Western Desert of Egypt, maintained contact with the Nile Valley and more distant areas. It also shows that, while this interaction influenced local pottery styles, the oasis retained and developed its own pottery traditions. -- In addition, a preliminary analysis has been made of fabrics and clays for descriptive purposes and to increase knowledge of the ancient ceramics from the oasis. -- A database has also been built to store and manipulate the information on this extensive body of ceramic material from Dakhleh Oasis. The pottery drawings have been produced in a format readily accessible for electronic transfer to researchers in the field of Egyptian ceramics.