65 days ago still in the field, now ready for publication: an example for post-excavation working steps

Post-excavation work is keeping us very busy at the moment in Munich, the summer term has also started with teaching and exams. Among the priorities of current tasks is the digitalization of pottery drawings in order to prepare publication-ready illustrations. These days, it was the turn of a very thought-provoking group of vessels: Egyptian cooking pots. One of these vessels is of particular interest.

A large fragment of a cooking pot from Square 4B was among my favourite finds from SAV1 East during the 2016 field season. The vessel, SAV1E P179, found still filled with ashy deposits, was sitting next to the remaining parts of a mud brick wall.

IMG_8133a1Close by, another highlight, SAV1E 1595, a small steatite scarab, was discovered. Both finds, the cooking pot and the scarab, are coming from a room to the west of Building A – traces of pavements and various deposits allow reconstructing several phases of use in the early/mid-18th Dynasty.

Coming back to the cooking pot SAV1E P179: After documenting the vessel in its original find position, we removed it and the content was sieved for further analyses. The cooking pot itself was put on the “priority list” for drawing – Daniela did a great job in Sai, and now in the office with our interactive multi-touch pen display.


SAV1E P179 gives really significant evidence: stratigraphically datable to the Thutmoside period, it finds close parallels at Elephantine in Upper Egypt. It is a typical example of a wheel-made, authentic Egyptian cooking pot. It was made in a very sandy Nile clay variant which was presumably produced at Elephantine/in the Aswan region – this cooking pot was therefore shipped from Egypt to Sai!


Whereas storage vessels and amphorae are commonly transported along the Nile, it is quite remarkable that also cooking pots were transported for long distances to places outside of Egypt. Imported cooking pots allowed Egyptian-style cooking in Sai during the early to mid-18th Dynasty. Obviously authentic cooking pots were considered to be important like SAV1E P179 illustrates. Our ongoing processing of the data suggests that this gradually changed in the course of the 18th Dynasty – the degree of dependence of Sai from Egypt became different and the local production of wheel-made pottery was introduced/increased.

The pottery from Sai Island New Kingdom town promises fascinating insights into the complex and developing microcosm of the site attesting to a co-existence of Egyptian and Nubian elements – we will work hard to decipher as much as possible in the next months.

A modified Egyptian cooking pot from SAV1 West?

Work is progressing well in SAV1 West – occupational deposits and new sections of walls with several phases of use datable to the mid and late 18th Dynasty have been exposed in the last days. The ceramics are very exciting – a large percentage of Egyptian marl clay wares, considerable amounts of painted wares and a very good state of preservation.

One context was especially interesting and I would like to share first impressions, hoping for some feedback at this early stage of processing. The stratigraphic unit in question comprises the last level of debris covering a small mudbrick structure in the south-eastern corner of Square 1SE. Because of its preservation, it is very likely that the pottery represents the original inventory that was shifted/mixed when the late antique pitting in the area occurred, cutting down to the original layers.

154 diagnostic sherds attest to a late 18th Dynasty date. 12 % of these diagnostics were Nubian cooking pots with clear traces of use (their surface is smoked and soothed) – mostly with basketry impression and one single piece with incised decoration. Except that this is quite a high amount of Nubian pottery, all is consistent with the findings in SAV1 West so far. Most of the Nubian cooking ware in the New Kingdom town of Sai features basketry patterns, whereas coarse incised patterns with diagonally cut lines below the rim (very common at Elephantine and mostly associated with the Pangrave culture) is less common.

Snapshot from the field: the pencil marks the unique sherd in question; below are some of the Nubian sherds.

Snapshot from the field: the pencil marks the unique sherd in question; below are some of the Nubian sherds.

What makes the context in Square 1SE special is one rim sherd: An Egyptian Nile clay cooking pot occurs side by side with the Nubian ones – basically, something which is not unusual, but already well attested at SAV1 West. Imported, authentic Egyptian wheel-made cooking pots and locally made examples thrown on the wheel are used side by side with Nubian-style products in New Kingdom Sai and were found in all sectors in the Pharaonic town (SAV1 North, SAV1 East and SAV1 West).

But: this authentic Egyptian cooking pot (produced in and imported from Egypt) is not smoked (so maybe was not yet used?), but displays a very unusual feature. Below its rim, there are several diagonally arranged black lines – definitely painted/drawn. With these strokes, the Egyptian cooking pot resembles Nubian style variants with incised decoration. So-called hybrid styles – Nubian surface treatments on otherwise Egyptian pottery vessels – are well attested at Sai, other Nubian sites and also Elephantine. But is this also the case with the unique piece in question? Did the “artist” of these black lines wanted to show that something is missing on this pot? Was it a spontaneous idea of someone familiar with the incised cooking ware? Or are these lines really to be interpreted as decoration, to fuse Nubian cooking tradition with the Egyptian style? Since the authentic Egyptian cooking pots are made and fired in Egypt, it was of course not possible to apply pre-firing incised decoration on them like on the Nubian ones and the hybrid forms at Elephantine. On the other hand, we have a number of locally produced Egyptian style cooking pots on Sai – and none of them shows incised decoration…

Much food for thought and a lot of open questions – but at the end of a long working day with much routine work and processing, findings like these are inspiring and give fresh ideas and much energy!

End of the 2015 season on Elephantine Island

Six weeks of excavation and study season passed by very quickly – we closed the work on House 55 at Elephantine yesterday, preparing to fly back home tomorrow.

The results are very satisfying ‒ both the new information gained from the continued excavation by Cornelius von Pilgrim and the new data from the studied material ‒ and support the special importance of House 55 as extraordinary building within the New Kingdom town of Elephantine. Meg Gundlach did a great job in object registration, assisted by Mona el-Azab, Oliver Frank Stephan and Eva Hemauer managed to get more than 350 drawings of complete vessels and diagnostic pieces done!

A preliminary macroscopic classification of the Nubian wares from House 55 was conducted by Giulia D’Ercole. Four main groups of fabrics were distinguished and – other than at Sai Island – the corpus here at the border of Egypt is clearly dominated by fine-medium and medium wares dung and/or chopped straw tempered.
I personally concentrated on processing the pottery from this season and the one from last year – more than 41.000 sherds passed through my fingers in the last weeks, including over 12.500 diagnostic pieces. The latter comprised almost 2000 Nubian sherds – quite a substantial amount which will be further assessed in the next season.

In less than a month we will be already working on the other island currently under investigation by AcrossBorders – the 2016 season on Sai Island is approaching and promises similar exciting results like our work at Elephantine.

For now, many thanks to all participants and everybody involved making our work here possible – Ma’a Salama and looking much forward to the 2016 season in House 55!


From Leipzig to Munich: A Decision Made Because of Perfect Perspectives

Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if after all these DIGS you’d like to meet…

Oliver Frank Stephan, Master of Arts in Egyptology with a thesis that dealt with wooden face fragments of (mostly) Late Period coffin-lids from the Egyptian Museum (Georg Steindorff) of Leipzig University. After finishing my masters in Leipzig, I quickly decided to take part in Julia Budka’s AcrossBorders project…

So hello from the other side… introducing myself after one fruitful year, looking back at four excavations in Egypt and Sudan: a huge amount of drawn pottery, a lot of experience and some new perspectives.

I had my first season on Elephantine for seven weeks from 18 October to 06 December 2014. My task was to draw pottery sherds and complete vessels from House 55. The current excavation of this intriguing building conducted by Cornelius von Pilgrim allows a very detailed analysis of material dating to the early and mid-18th Dynasty. Here the focus is on a functional analysis of the ceramics found at Elephantine as an important settlement in southern Egypt, at the border to Nubia. AcrossBorders is joining Cornelius von Pilgrim’s ongoing work on Elephantine, with Julia focusing her research also on the relations with Egyptian settlements in Nubia, especially Sai Island.

Before I joined Julia’s project, I worked with New Kingdom pottery and Old Kingdom stone vessels at Leipzig University for the first time. My first season on Elephantine showed me the broad variety of pottery: big and small dishes, bowls of different sizes, squat jars, cups, pilgrim flasks, beakers, flower pots, amphoras, zirs, beer jars, baking dishes, bread moulds and many more. Some of those were really challenging but with much practice I can now deal with all of those types of pottery.

For me, the most interesting thing about pottery is not only their shapes or use, but also the details of the production process. While drawing pottery you develop an understanding of their creation and it’s quite special to see that you can put your own fingers in ancient fingerprints which the potters left on the vessels. With every fingerprint I get more excited to get additional information out of these „pots“.

After my first experiences in drawing and understanding early New Kingdom pottery I planned to go to Sudan from 12 February till 15 March 2015. On Sai Island I noticed many similarities to the Elephantine material and got even more confident in dealing with pottery, seeing the importance of how easy it can be to date with the analysis of pottery (cf. Budka, J., “The early New Kingdom at Sai Island: Preliminary results based on the pottery analysis (4th Season 2010),” Sudan & Nubia 15, 2011, 23-33). Those who are following this blog already know about Feature 15 from Sai Island. From here, there was a huge quantity of complete and almost complete vessels which I drew during four weeks in Sudan.

As you can see, it’s hard to stop your interest in pottery, so I decided to assist Julia for another four weeks in Luxor with the South Asasif Conservation Project (SACP) by Elena Pischikova. The main task was to draw most of the complete vessels from TT 391 of Karabasken, which came from Area I (the courtyard of TT 391) and Room IA (a burial chamber in the north wall of the courtyard) while Julia was processing and analysing the diagnostic sherds for the database (cf. Budka, J., Pottery from the tomb of Karakhamun, in Tombs of the South Asasif Necropolis, Thebes. Karakhamun (TT 223) and Karabasken (TT 391) in the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, ed. by Elena Pischikova, Cairo 2014, 247–262). To sum up this site, I’d like to give a short overview of the vessel types I worked with: conical beakers, pot stands, large storage vessels, small two handled cooking pots, oil jars containing a black and oily substance and goldfish bowls. Most of this material is dating to Ptolemaic period and it is an excellent experience to work in a funerary context, as well as a different time period (but you will hear more about this from me later…).

Now I am again on Elephantine, working on New Kingdom pottery, with exciting shapes and types of vessels. Work started 26 October and will end 5 December. There are a few days of work left and I surely will enjoy every minute dealing with my special friends.

P1000641 smallMy enthusiasm and my will to get more into pottery and dating with it is now at an all-time high. I am looking forward to upcoming seasons here on Elephantine, Sai and Asasif. That’s why I can happily announce that I will move to Munich at the end of January 2016 to extend my knowledge of the intricacies of pottery.

Fishing for more details of 18th Dynasty contexts

We are already well into week 3 here at Elephantine. Reinforcement from Munich reached us – Giulia D’Ercole and Mona Elazab joined us yesterday. Giulia is concentrating on the petrographic assessment of the Nubian fabrics in comparison to Sai Island. Mona is assisting Meg Gundlach in the object registration while Eva Hemauer and Oliver Frank Stephan are still busy drawing ceramic vessels.

Two groups of vessels are of special interest besides the Nubian wares. First, the intriguing fire dogs – with a recent find from today, we are now up to 4 pieces directly associated with house 55. Compared to Sai Island, this is of course an almost ridiculous small amount. However, the total number of fire dogs from all early-mid 18th dynasty levels at Elephantine only comes up to 9! So actually the amount of fire dogs found in our building is quite significant within the local context. And since excavation of house 55 continues, there might even be more fire dogs waiting for us!

The second group of vessels are the so called “fish dishes” which kept us busy both at Sai and here at Elephantine in the past years. One of my first ideas was that the preference for Nile silt “fish dishes” on Sai Island compared to Marl clay version indicate that the “real” Egyptian Marl B/E trays were frequently reproduced in Nubia – and for this local material (Nile silt) was used. However, already last year things got more complicated: from site SAV1 West, a large number of Marl “fish dishes” were unearthed falling into exactly the same types as known at Elephantine, currently being studied for house 55.

Today, I just a very nice fragment of a Nile “fish dish” on my desk – coming from house 55 and closely resembling the Sai pieces – in ware, technique, shape and decorative pattern. Checking the pottery database, it surprised me a bit that from 19 “fish dishes” documented so far in house 55, 6 are made in Nile clay. For all 18th Dynasty layers and a total of 33 “fish dishes” only 9 were made in Nile clay. Thus, if one checks the proportions between Nile and Marl “fish dishes” not just on Elephantine, but takes the specific example of house 55 it becomes clear that the Nile versions were also quite frequent (31 %). The general preference for Marl clay is of course persistent for “fish dishes” at Egyptian sites (see e.g. https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/museums/2014/03/21/pottery-project-guest-blog-the-enigmatic-fish-dishes-of-the-petrie-museum/).

All in all, the current study of the material from house 55 nicely illustrates the rich potential of a focused analysis of finds from one specific context, especially if these data are at a later stage compared to other contexts on the site-level and, if possible, even on a more regional scale like we are aiming for with our study.

Linking and differentiating Sai and Elephantine further

The first week of our season on Elephantine just flew by! There are also many things and tasks keeping us busy, besides the glorious surroundings and wonderful setting.

IMG_6148aAs announced earlier on this blog, the 2015 season on Elephantine, concentrates on the material excavated by the Swiss Institute from House 55. The presence of Nubian ceramics is highly relevant, especially for establishing links between the region of the First Cataract and Sai Island.

While my assistants are busy with drawing Egyptian type vessels, I was mainly focusing on Nubian pottery this week. A set of 35 Nubian sherds was studied in detail and drawn. There are striking similarities between the Nubian pottery corpus from Elephantine and Sai – especially regarding the fabrics, both the black topped fine ware and cooking pots with basketry impressions. But there are also certain differences, suggesting maybe a more “local” Lower Nubian tradition here on Elephantine like a preference for incised decoration.

The percentage of Nubian ceramics within House 55 very nicely compares to both SAV1 North and SAV1 West – from 4119 sherds studied in this first week, 140 were Nubian pieces. 3.4 % equals our findings in Sai Island where the average was 3-5 % during the early to mid-18th Dynasty.

Among others, Egyptian water jars, so-called zir vessels, are common features here on Elephantine. A considerable number of them are present in House 55.

Typical early to mid-18th Dynasty Marl zir vessels from Elephantine (after Budka 2005).

Typical early to mid-18th Dynasty Marl zir vessels from Elephantine (after Budka 2005).

Although the typical Nile clay versions of this vessel group are also known, most of these large jars are made in a very typical Marl clay variant. And here another difference to Sai can be observed – at Sai, the Nile clay vessels dominate, the Marl clay vessels are present, but only in small numbers.



Typical Nile clay zir-like vessel from Sai (after Budka 2011).

Typical Nile clay zir-like vessel from Sai (after Budka 2011).

Whether this indicates a different system of water storage or the Nile clay variants simply replaced the Marl clay jars in Sai (produced locally “on demand” once the imported ones were no longer functionable/out of stock), will be considered further, taking related pottery types like drinking cups and beakers into account.





Budka, J. 2005 XII. Zur Keramik des Neuen Reiches – erste Beobachtungen anhand des Materials aus der Oststraße B II, in G. Dreyer et al., Stadt und Tempel von Elephantine, 31./32. Grabungs­bericht, Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo 61, 90–116.

Budka, J. 2011   The early New Kingdom at Sai Island: Preliminary results based on the pottery analysis (4th Season 2010), Sudan & Nubia 15, 23–33.

Making progress – post and pre-excavation working steps

Another jour fixe brought most of AcrossBorders’ team members together yesterday – after a very intense summer full of excavations in Egypt (Asasif, Abydos…), lab work (geoarchaeological samples, strontium isotope analysis, mollusks…), data base updates (pottery) & conferences (Florence, Vienna, Athens)!

Currently travelling back and forth between Vienna and Munich, I am very happy that the planned publications by Ingrid Adenstedt (reconstruction of SAV1; architectural report) and Florence Doyen (SAV1 North) are well in time and almost completed. Furthermore, nice first results came up from the strontium isotope analysis!

Within the framework of my FWF START-project, a first set of samples from Sai Island (soil, water, recent and ancient animal bones) were processed, thanks to a cooperation with Thomas Prohaska, at the Department of Chemistry – VIRIS Laboratory of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences. Anika Retzmann presented these data at the 3rd Doc Day 2015 in Tulln, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences on Oct. 13. The poster was entitled “Human mobility along the Nile: Preliminary strontium isotope analyses for migration studies in ancient Nubia” and illustrated the Sr isotope ratio of the environmental samples from Sai Island. Very exciting already and I am looking much forward to the next field season and further sampling!

Besides lab work and databases, we are currently also getting ready for the upcoming season on Elephantine! Work will again focus on the pottery and small finds from House 55 and is scheduled for late October until early December. With the new discovery of feature 15 and its contents at SAV1 East, I am excited to conduct a fresh comparison of aspects of the material culture from Sai and Elephantine during the early to mid-18th Dynasty. Now off to Vienna, we’ll keep you posted!

Nubian household pottery on Elephantine and its potential

Having just returned from – despite the heat wave – a very pleasant stay in Luxor, I am currently working on the ceramic database of the material from Elephantine. As mentioned in earlier posts, the striking similarities between the early 18th Dynasty levels on Sai Island and Elephantine are currently of key priority for our research.

The upcoming season on Elephantine, scheduled for October-December 2015, will concentrate on freshly excavated material as well as on Nubian pottery from House 55. The latter are of high interest, especially for establishing links between Sai and the region of the First Cataract.

At present, 28 Nubian sherds from House 55 were documented in the database and by drawings and photos. Most of them are cooking pots of various types, but also storage vessel, drinking cups and fine ware are present. Black topped Kerma beakers appear in different qualities. The rim sherd 27606G/c-01 was made in a very fine Nubian fabric and compares well to fragments from the New Kingdom town of Sai and also Kerma itself.

Nubian storage vessel and Black Topped Kerma Beaker from House 55.

Nubian storage vessel and Black Topped Kerma Beaker from House 55.

Very interesting is a large storage vessel of a type well attested both in the Kerma cemeteries and in the Pharanic town on Sai. 27605N/b-03 illustrates the use of a heavily chaff-tempered, coarse Nubian fabric – a fabric attested for large Nubian cooking pots but most often for thick-walled storage vessels.

It will be of particular value to establish, once the excavation of House 55 is completed, the percentage of Nubian pottery within the whole ceramic corpus and the total number and distribution of the various household vessel types – comparing these data with building units on Sai might allow further thoughts about the coexistence of Nubians and Egyptians at the beginning of the New Kingdom.

Ramesside blue-painted pottery from Sai Island

One of the most interesting results of the 2014 and 2015 field seasons on Sai is the presence of early Ramesside material within the town. A number of pottery sherds from SAV1 West are datable to the 19th Dynasty – among them there are examples of the famous Blue-painted ware.

Blue painted pottery is among the best known wares from Ancient Egypt. Its main characteristics are the blue colour, a large range of decorative, mostly floral motives, fancy shapes, a rather short lifespan (approximately 1430-1140 BC, from the mid-18th Dynasty until late Ramesside times). The key finding places of blue painted pottery are urban centres and capitals like Thebes, Memphis, Amarna and Gurob. New excavations at settlement and temple sites as well as in cemeteries and cultic centres (e.g. at Qantir, Saqqara, South Abydos, Umm el-Qaab, and Elephantine) have produced additional material that underscores a much broader distribution and also a great variability in use (cf. Budka 2008, Budka 2013).

Blue-painted sherds from SAV1 West chiefly feature linear patterns comparable to the material at Qantir (Aston 1998, 354-419) and can consequently be dated to the Ramesside period. They also find close parallels at Umm el-Qaab/Abydos and Elephantine, again originating from the 19th Dynasty (Budka 2013).

Fragments of an early 19th Dynasty blue-painted vessel from SAV1 W with linear decoration.

Fragments of an early 19th Dynasty blue-painted vessel from SAV1 W with linear decoration.

A particular interesting piece is a fragment from the shoulder (or neck?) of a large vessel – it was found in an area of Square 1 in SAV1 West, where we recorded a sequence of archaeological levels from the early 19th dynasty down to the mid-18th Dynasty.

The small fragment of a blue-painted amphora with vertical grooves and its context.

The small fragment of a blue-painted amphora with vertical grooves and its context.

The blue-painted pottery fragment shows a special style of decoration: vertical grooves or the fluting of a zone around the neck and/or shoulder. This style is rare at Amarna (Rose 2007, 28-29), but well known from Ramesside contexts at Qantir (Aston 1998, 414), Saqqara, Thebes and Elephantine (Budka 2013). The famous amphora MFA 64.9 with applied decoration and a lid also falls into this group. Similar ornamental vessels were recently discovered at Elephantine.

All of the blue-painted fragments with fluting found in stratified contexts on Elephantine can be associated with the 19th Dynasty, most likely with the reigns of Seti I and Ramesses II. I would propose a similar date for the small fragment from Sai – this corresponds also to its stratigraphic find position in SAV1 West.

Future fieldwork in SAV1 West will hopefully help to contextualise this significant piece further.


Aston 1998 = D.A. Aston, Die Keramik des Grabungsplatzes Q I. Teil 1, Corpus of Fabrics, Wares and Shapes (Forschungen in der Ramses-Stadt. Die Grabungen des Pelizaeus-Museums Hildesheim in Qantir-Pi-Ramesse 1), Mainz 1998.

Budka 2008 = J. Budka, VIII. Weihgefäße und Festkeramik des Neuen Reiches von Elephantine, in G. Dreyer et al., Stadt und Tempel von Elephantine, 33./34./35. Grabungsbericht, Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäolog­ischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo 64, 2008, 106–132.

Budka 2013 = J. Budka, Festival Pottery of New Kingdom Egypt: Three Case Studies, in Functional Aspects of Egyptian Ceramics within their Archaeological Context. Proceedings of a Conference held at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge, July 24th – July 25th, 2009, ed. by Bettina Bader & Mary F. Ownby, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 217, Leuven 2013, 185–213

Rose 2007 = P. Rose, The Eighteenth Dynasty Pottery Corpus from Amarna, Egypt Exploration Society Excavation Memoir 83, London 2007.


Crossing borders: from Egypt to Nubia

Remains of the ancient town in the southern part of Elephantine Island.

Remains of the ancient town in the southern part of Elephantine Island.

The importance of Elephantine as site with strategic value due to its location just north of the First Nile Cataract is well known. More than forty years of excavations by the joint German-Swiss mission have considerably increased our understanding of this beautiful island in Egypt’s South.

For a long period Elephantine functioned as base for Pharaonic expeditions to Nubia and as important trading point at Egypt’s southern border (cf., e.g., von Pilgrim 2010). With the so-called reconquest of Nubia, the Egyptian expansion towards the South during the 18th Dynasty, there was an increased demand for the transport of goods, materials and people to and from Upper and Lower Nubia. Elephantine flourished and gained significance during the early New Kingdom and especially in Thutmoside times.

Egyptian officials who participated in expedition and/or military campaigns towards the South had to pass through the First Cataract region. Obviously they spent some time there, at Aswan and Elephantine, before their departure to Nubia as hundreds of rock inscriptions attest (cf. Gasse/Rondot 2007; Seidlmayer 2003).

Further first hand testimony for the presence of these officials comes directly from the settlement of Elephantine – inscribed door jambs attest well-known individuals like viceroy Nehi. Of special interest is the context of these epigraphic sources: living conditions of people like Nehi traceable by the architecture and material culture. For the latter, ceramics are of high significance allowing reconstructing aspects of the daily life like food production and consumption and much more.

Within the framework of AcrossBorders, it is therefore of key importance that the 18th Dynasty pottery from Elephantine provides very close parallels to the corpus excavated at Sai (cf. Budka 2011). Within the next years, a detailed comparison of the two sites is planned and the ceramics form main elements of this study. This week, we just started our 2014 season of documenting and processing pottery at Elephantine thanks to our cooperation with the Swiss Institute Cairo and kindly supported by the German Archaeological Institute.

The focus is on material from the very early to the mid-18th Dynasty: Bauschicht/level 10 at Elephantine corresponds to levels 5-4 and the early phase of level 3 at Sai Island. Thanks to the stratigraphy at Elephantine, where several phases within one building from a certain building level are much better preserved than at Sai, a fine dating of the material from the earliest occupation at both sites seems possible in the near future.

Having just started to work with the material, the close comparisons are striking me once again: the main types of vessels are consistent at both sites and include carinated bowls and dishes, plates, footed bowls, stands, beakers and beer jars, cooking pots, storage jars, water jars as well as decorated jars and Nubian vessels.

Differences can be noted in small details – for example regarding the quantities of certain wares and fabrics or technical features of the finished vessels.  All in all, we have now a considerable amount of data and material and these are supporting my first assessment published in 2011: The comparison between the material from Sai and Elephantine and especially the imported Nile clay and Marl clay vessels at Sai suggest for at least part of the corpus a provenience from the First Cataract area illustrating the importance of Elephantine as trading point and for equipping expeditions and settlements located in the South (Budka 2011, 29) .


Budka 2011 = Julia Budka, The early New Kingdom at Sai Island: Preliminary results based on the pottery analysis (4th Season 2010), Sudan & Nubia 15, 23–33.

Gasse/Rondot 2007 = Annie Gasse and Vincent Rondot, Les inscriptions de Séhel, Cairo 2007.

von Pilgrim 2010 = Cornelius von Pilgrim, Elephantine – (Festungs-)Stadt am Ersten Katarakt, in Cities and Urbanism in Ancient Egypt, eds. Manfred Bietak, Ernst Cerny and Irene Forstner-Müller, Vienna 2010, 257–265.

Seidlmayer 2003 = Stephan J. Seidlmayer, New Rock Inscriptions on Elephantine Island, in Egyptology at the Dawn of the Twenty-first Century, Proceedings of the Eighth International Congress of Egyptologists Cairo 2000, ed. Zahi Hawass, Vol. 1, Cairo 2003, 441–442.