Making progress: Towards petrographic studies of our pottery samples

Today, Giulia is invited to watch first steps of works with our samples in the thin section laboratory of the Center for Earth Sciences, University of Vienna, Department of Lithospheric Research. We brought the first 12 samples for thin sections there yesterday – a group of Marl clay amphorae and another group of Oasis ware.

Samples1We are very grateful to all the colleagues who made this cooperation possible – the infrastructure at the Center is fabulous and promises high quality results, important steps forward for our petrographic studies on New Kingdom ceramics from Sai Island! The thin sections will allow Giulia to investigate under various types of microscopes the properties of the individual wares in detail and to assess the microstructure of the sherds. This will help us tremendously to understand the differences we have made between the wares from the macroscopic point of view and might already challenge some of our classification. For example, one “Marl D” sherd is a bit peculiar and different from the others – I suspect it might be a Mix clay after all, but hopefully the thin sections and the comparison between the samples will shed light on these questions.

We wish to thank in particular Prof. Christian Köberl, Deputy Head of the Department of Lithospheric Research (and Director General of the Natural History Museum Vienna) for his kind support, Dieter Mader for welcoming us at the department and Sigrid Hrabe and Claudia Beybel for the work in the lab, for realising the thin sections of our samples and especially for giving Giulia the great opportunity to learn a little bit about the technical steps of work.

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