Discussing New Kingdom ceramics at Kerma

Huda Magzoub, Giulia D’Ercole and me just returned to Sai from a very successful ceramic meeting in Kerma. This was actually the third time that colleagues working on New Kingdom sites in Nubia gathered for a 2-day on-site workshop to discuss fabrics, wares, vessel typologies and much more. The first meeting was held on Sai Island in 2012, followed by a meeting in Amara West in 2013 and we are very grateful to the Swiss Mission working at Dukki Gel/Kerma directed by Charles Bonnet that they hosted this year’s meeting. Philippe Ruffieux, the mission’s ceramicist, organized a splendid meeting bringing together colleague from Tombos (Stuart Tyson Smith and Bruce Williams), Amara West (Anna Garnett and Alice Salvador) and Sai Island (the three of us).
We had the great chance to look at samples and sherds from all the sites under investigation – this time the very close parallels between newly excavated material from Dukki Gel and Sai were among the prime interests.

Our joint application of petrography (OM) and iNAA shows some significant differences between "Egyptian style" and "Egyptian" vessels from Sai - work in progress!

Our joint application of petrography (OM) and iNAA shows some significant differences between “Egyptian style” and “Egyptian” vessels from Sai – work in progress!

Giulia gave a brief update of our ongoing petrographical and chemical analyses of New Kingdom fabrics and clays from Sai. We tried to explain why we do think that some of the Nile clay vessels are real imports from Egypt (especially painted wares, cooking pots and small dishes), whereas the majority was of course produced locally in “Egyptian style” on the wheel. Unfortunately we are still missing any evidence for pottery kilns datable to the 18th Dynasty on Sai.
The highlight of our 2 days at Kerma was of course the tour led by Charles Bonnet through the excavations at Dukki Gel and the visit to the site museum!

Amazing tour with Charles Bonnet through his recent findings at Dukki Gel.

Amazing tour with Charles Bonnet through his recent findings at Dukki Gel.

Looking much forward to future meetings and a continuous fruitful exchange! I would like to express once more my gratitude to the Swiss mission hosting us during a very busy (and hot) week of their own fieldwork – very much appreciated!

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2 thoughts on “Discussing New Kingdom ceramics at Kerma

  1. I second Julia Budka in expressing my gratitude to Charles Bonnet and Philippe Ruffieux who invited us in their wonderful house in Kerma and hosted there this 2015 pottery workshop. I would like to thank as well all the other collegues coming from the South (Stuart Thyson Smith and Bruce Williams) and from the North (Anna Garnett and Alice Salvador) for bringing many interesting sherds, drawings and pictures from their ongoing excavations and for sharing with us their ideas and thoughts about them! To conclude, a special ‘grazie’ to Charles Bonnet: the visit to Dukki Gel/Kerma museum was for me a dream to come true!

  2. The pleasure of meeting this constellation of scientists specialised in pottery which is one of the most important fundamentals of archaeological excavation.
    My sincere thanks to the Swiss mission working at the site of Dukki Gel/Kerma, first of all to Charles Bonnet and Philippe Ruffieux. Many thanks also to Julia Budka.

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