AcrossBorders conference – last update

The first participants have already arrived here in Munich, others will come later today – all is set for the 3-days AcrossBorders conference on settlement archaeology in Egypt and Nubia, from 1–3 September, 2017 here in Munich.

Some last-minute changes were necessary – please note the updated program of “From Microcosm to Macrocosm: Individual households and cities in Ancient Egypt and Nubia.” Manfred Bietak’s paper “Settlements of mixed societies: Tell el-Daba as a case study” had to be re-scheduled to Saturday morning and some small amendments were therefore necessary for the Friday afternoon and Saturday morning session.

Looking much forward to this event and latest research on settlement archaeology in Egypt and Sudan during the New Kingdom!

AcrossBorders’ closing conference “From Microcosm to Macrocosm”

It is my great pleasure to announce the conference “From Microcosm to Macrocosm: Individual households and cities in Ancient Egypt and Nubia”, to be held from 1–3 September, 2017 in Munich, hosted by Ludwig-Maximilians-University. Thanks to the kindness of the Egyptian Museum and my colleagues there, the venue of the conference is the lecture hall of the Museum. It is the closing event of the ERC project AcrossBorders and will highlight our recent fieldwork on New Kingdom Sai.

The AcrossBorders project has concentrated in the last five years on settlement patterns in Egypt and Upper Nubia in the 2nd Millennium BC: various interactions and mutual influences are attested for these regions which are situated across ancient (Pharaonic Egypt and Kingdom of Kush) and modern (Egypt and Sudan) borders with diverse environmental and cultural preconditions. Much progress has been made in Egyptian and Nubian settlement archaeology in recent years, but further research addressing general aspects of living conditions and the specific coexistence of Egyptians and Nubians is required. Of chief interest are the architecture and structure of the Egyptian towns established in Upper Nubia during the New Kingdom, their social stratification, the local relations of Nubians and Egyptians and the specific material culture.

The conference focuses therefore on 1) individual households of selected sites in Egypt and Nubia. In addition to this microapproach, introducing microhistories of individual sites according to recent fieldwork and archaeometric applications, the event also discusses 2) general patterns and regional developments –thus, the macrocosm of New Kingdom Nubia.

I am extremely delighted that so many colleagues have accepted our invitation – the program covers a large variety of case studies from Egypt and Nubia. Among others, we will welcome as our distinguished guests Abdelrahman Ali (Director General of NCAM), Manfred Bietak (Prof. em. Vienna and PI of the ERC Advanced Grant “The Hyksos Enigma”), Charles Bonnet (Director of the excavations at Kerma/Doukki Gel), Cornelius von Pilgrim (Director of the Swiss Institute Cairo) and Neal Spencer (Keeper of the Department Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum and Director of the Amara West excavations).

Looking very much forward to this closing event here in Munich!

“Settlement patterns in Egypt & Nubia”: Workshop in Munich, 29-30 June

AcrossBorders focuses on settlement patterns in Egypt and Upper Nubia in the 2nd Millennium BC – various interactions and mutual influen­ces are attested for these regions which are situated across ancient (Phara­­onic Egypt and Kingdom of Kush) and modern (Egypt and Sudan) borders with diverse environmental and cultural pre­­cond­itions. Much progress has been made in Egyptian and Nubian settlement archaeology in recent years, but further research addressing general aspects of living conditions and the specific coexistence of Egyptians and Nubians is required. Of chief interest are the architecture and structure of the Egyptian towns established in Upper Nubia during the New Kingdom, their social stratification, the local relations of Nubians and Egyptians and the specific material culture.

To provide a platform for the scientific exchange and discussion of ongoing research, AcrossBorders will hold a workshop at the end of June. Thanks to the kind support by my colleagues in the Egyptian Museum Munich, the event will take place in the museum. Bringing together all of AcrossBorders’ cooperation partners and other distinguished colleagues working on settlement sites in Egypt and Nubia, the upcoming 2-day workshop in Munich will focus on recent fieldwork at key sites like Elephantine, Amara West, Sesebi and Sai Island. Diverse evidence and new findings relevant for establishing standards of living at the respective towns will be discussed. The programme comprises a range of interesting topics, covering a time span from the Neolithic period to the New Kingdom and introducing current research from Bubastis in the North to Kerma in the South.

Budka Summary titlePresentations about Sai by AcrossBorders researchers will start the event: Giving an overview of three field seasons, I will present, among others, feature 15 and its implications for understanding the evolution of the fortified town of Sai. Ingrid Adenstedt will show her latest results working on the town map of Sai. Area SAV1 North is the focus of the research conducted by Florence Doyen. Giulia D’Ercole and Johannes Sterba will cross the bridge from Prehistory to the New Kingdom and show some of their results of iNAA on ceramics from Sai.

I am especially delighted that Charles Bonnet and Dominique Valbelle will join us for the workshop – the highlight of the event will be an evening lecture by Dominique Valbelle on Tuesday evening. This lecture is open to the public and will be followed by a reception at the Institute for Egyptology.

Looking much forward welcoming all colleagues and discussing settlement archaeology here in Munich!

We Proudly Present: AcrossBorders’ First Ph.D. Student

Starting with today, our team is further strengthenedJördis: Jördis Vieth has signed her contract for the next three years as researcher of AcrossBorders. She is well known to those who have followed our blog during the fieldwork in January to March – being one of the heroines fighting nimiti, wind & more!

I am very happy to have managed to bring Jördis in – not only as temporary field staff member but now enlarging the core team of my project! Being acquainted with her since 2006, I had plenty of time to get to know her as a person, both in the class room and on excavations in Egypt (Abydos), and as a very promising and highly motivated young colleague.

It was in particular her MA thesis which impressed me much: She wrote about “Egyptian Palace architecture in the New Kingdom” (original title: “Ägyptische Palastarchitektur des Neuen Reichs”) – a very difficult topic which she re-assessed meticulously and with new ideas, challenging some of the established terminology for settlement architecture in Egypt. With this excellent thesis, which received the highest grade at Humboldt University Berlin, Jördis is perfectly qualified to join AcrossBorders. She will primarily focus on the character of the fortified town of Sai Island, including the site into her envisaged PhD thesis about the so-called temple towns of Nubia in the New Kingdom. Jördis will conduct her PhD at Humboldt University Berlin and I am proud and honored acting as one of her supervisors to-be. Lots of aspects of settlement archaeology and the character of the Egyptian sites in Nubia during the New Kingdom are still little understood – with the ongoing fieldwork at Sai Island (and neighboring sites) and AcrossBorders’ focus on reconstructing the material world and its parameters, there is much potential: a study like Jördis is going to undertake seems timely and important.