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.
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!
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!