First-hand experience with New Kingdom pottery

Over a month has passed since I came back to the office after spending 4 weeks on the wonderful island of Sai – time to share some of my experience! I have taken home loads of new impressions (new country, new culture and new people!) and acquired a lot of fresh skills in drawing pottery.

My main task on Sai Island was to draw pottery, in particular vessels and sherds excavated in the sectors SAV1 North and SAV1 West. This was something new: until February I was only digitizing the pencil drawings from the previous seasons, so sometimes it was hard to imagine the proper piece of pottery. With real sherds in my hands, I gained new experiences in dealing with ceramics.

My working table at Sai.

My working table at Sai.

My first working step was to take a close look at the object, especially for getting its dimensions, first of all, the diameter. Then I had to figure out the right orientation, to measure the preserved height and transfer it onto the drawing paper. Afterwards I checked the external profile again and finalised its outline – adding the inner profile in the next step. The last stage was to flip the outer profile from the section side (right) to the left side (front view) and to add characteristic features of the object, especially related to the manufacturing process.

Some of my drawings from vessels excavated in 2014 at SAV1 West.

Some of my drawings from vessels excavated in 2014 at SAV1 West.

Helping our inspector Huda with washing sherds and sorting these according to types and wares was another small task for me at Sai Island.

Huda and me, exploring the island.

Huda and me, exploring the island.

All in all it was a huge new experience to work directly on objects and hopefully not the last time.

Finally, some personal impressions from Sai Island:

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