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Aspects of Technology and Trade in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age

Thesis submitted in accordance with the requirements of the University of Liverpool for the degree of Doctor in Philosophy by

Susanna Thomas

March 2000

Aspects of Technology and Trade in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age
Susanna Thomas The genesis for this work was the discovery of part of a cake of Egyptian Blue during excavations conducted by Liverpool University on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, 300 km west of Alexandria and 25 km west of Mersa Matruh. The site at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham is the location for what is probably the furthest west in a chain of fortresses built by Ramesses ii in response to growing threats approaching Egypt from Libya during the Late Bronze Age. A substantial square installation with perimeter walls 140 metres long enclosed what was essentially a small town, and excavations have already revealed temples, magazines, houses, and wells. The occupants of the site manufactured their own pottery for daily use, and there is evidence that their diet included meat, fish and vegetables. That this was supplemented by imported produce is shown by large quantities of foreign ceramics found at the site, which would have contained products such as olive oil and wine. Some of these were found in Magazine 1 in association with a group of different pigments. These included part of a large cake of Egyptian blue, and substantial lumps of white, yellow, green and red. This thesis addresses the question of whether, by the Nineteenth Dynasty, some of the colour material used in Egypt was being imported from abroad. The finds are compared with pigments at other sites in Egypt, and there is discussion of possible Egyptian manufacturing sites. The technology and uses of Egyptian Blue in particular are discussed, as are the people who made and used the material. Egyptian Blue is then placed firmly within the wider context of silicate technology with discussion of, and comparison with, falence and glass industries both in Egypt and in neighbouring countries in the Mediterranean and the Near East. The final section examines general issues concerning trade and' exchange in the Late Bronze Age, and then concludes with discussion of the role played by Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham.

Abstract Contents Page List of Figures Acknowledgements



Part 1: Pigments and Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham

1. Introduction 2. Excavations at the site 3. Pigments found at the site 4. Previous pigment studies 5. Pigments at other sites in Egypt 1
12 20 38 60

Part 2: Egyptian Blue

6. Technology of Egyptian Blue 7. Shapes of Egyptian Blue pigments 8. Processing technology 9. Egyptian Blue objects and shaping technology
81 87 92 97

Part 3: Documentary evidence in Egypt

10. Colour terms 11. Pigment lists
120 133 135

12. Outline draughtsmen 13. Egyptian makers and workers

139 148

14. b sb4: lapis lazuli, falence, glass and Egyptian Blue

Part 4: Fafence, glass and Egyptian Blue

15. Introduction 16. Falence in Egypt 17. Glass in Egypt
177 182 195

Part 5: Non-Egyptian pigments, faience, glass and Egyptian Blue

18. Introduction 228 230 233 236 245 259 263 267 268 272 274 276 280 287 19. Pigments in Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine 20. Pigments in the Aegean 21. Falence in Mesopotamia 22. Glass in Mesopotamia 23. Falence in Syria and Palestine 24. Glass in Syria and Palestine 25. Faience in Anatolia 26. Faience in Cyprus 27. Glass in Cyprus 28. Falence in the Aegean and Greece 29. Glass in the Aegean and Greece 30. Glass on the Ulu Burun Wreck 31. Egyptian Blue in Mesopotan-Lia, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus and the Aegean

6: Trade and Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham

32. Introduction 297 299 318 322 349 374 388 390

33. Foreign Pottery at the site

34. Possible models of trade and the site 35. Trade and Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Abbreviations Bibliography

List of Figures
2.1 Plan of the fortress at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham after the 1999 season 11 13 15 15 15 15 15 21 24 26 29 29 31 34 35 40 49 .51 54

2.2 Looking east along Magazine 1 containing mud brick partition walls. 2.3 Temple and forecourt after excavation

2.4 (left) Magazine 2 with yellow ochre under the fallen northern jamb 2.5 (above) Magazines 3 & 4 after excavation 2.6 (above) Magazines 5, 6 & 7

2.7 Looking south along the front of the magazines

3.1 Key to magazines, and niches and corridor in Magazine 1 3.2 Pigments in the floor of Magazine 1 3.3 Plan showing the distribution of pigments in Magazine 1 3.4 Cake of Egyptian Blue from Magazine 1 3.5 Red spindle jar and feeder cup with blue staining, found in association with the Egyptian Blue cake. 3.6 Large lump of yellow ochre from outside Magazine 2

3.7 Amphora from outside Stone Circle 4 containing yellow ochre 3.8 Sherd palettes from outside Stone Circles 4 & 5 4.1 Examples of Egyptian Blue from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham 4.2 Examples of woflastonite (Egyptian green) from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham

4.3 Examples of red ochre from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham 4.4 Examples of yellow ochre from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham


4.5 Examples of yellow jarosite from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakhani 4.6 Examples of the pigments from Zawiyet Umrn el-Rakham 5.1 Examples of Egyptian Blue found at Ghurob (Liverpool Museum collection) 5.2 Yellow pigments found in the main city at Amarna (Liverpool Museum collection) 5.3 Potsherd containing blue paint from Amarna (Liverpool Museum collection) 5.4 Potsherd containing green paint from Amarna (Liverpool Museum collection) 5.5 Group of pigments found at Karnak (Le Fur 1994, 37) 5.6 Wooden chest containing pigments from the courtyard of the tomb of Kheruef (Saleh, Iskander, El-Masry & Helmi 1973, 142) 5.7 Cakes of Egyptian Blue, pottery jar containing orpiment and linen bag of realar (Saleh, Iskander, El-Masry & Helmi. 1973, 142) 5.8 Pigments from the wooden chest (Saleh, Iskander, El-Masry & Helmi 1973, 143) 5.9 Cake of Egyptian Blue with two embedded bag shapes (Saleh, Iskander, El-Masry & Helrni 1973, 145) 5.10 Painter's materials arid utensils from Dra' Abu el-Naga (Polz 1997, 35) 5.11 Small pot (left) containing blue pigment found outside the tomb of Senenmut (Dorman 1991 plate 45) 5.12 Funerary model palette belonging to Nehem-'ay (Hayes 1957, 275) 5.13 Palette with the cartouche of Amenhotep III containing six wells of pigment (Hayes 1957, 255) 5.14 Palette belonging to Meket-Aten (Hayes 1957, 296)

54 59 63 63 63 63 67 70 70 70 70 72 72 75 75 75


5.15 Palettes from the tomb of Tutankhamun (Cairo Museum)

77 77 79 84 88 88 88 90

5.16 Pigments from the tomb of Tutankhamun (Cairo Museum) 5.17 Boxwood palette belonging to the Vizier Amenemopet (Freed 1981, 58; Brovarski, Doll & Freed 1982, 288)

6.1 Egyptian Blue made by Spurrel (Liverpool Museum collection) 7.1 Large Egyptian Blue cake from Zawiyet Umrn el-Rakham

7.2 Unprovenanced large Egyptian Blue cake from Cairo Museum 7.3 Unprovenanced large Egyptian Blue cake from Cairo Museum 7.4 Small Egyptian Blue cake from Amarna (Liverpool Museum collection)

7.5 Sack-shaped Egyptian Blue cake from Amarna

90 90 102 104 104

7.6 Spherical shapes of Egyptian Blue from Cairo Museum 9.1 Two small Egyptian Blue vessels and an Egyptian Blue jug from Lisht (Lilyquist & Bril 1993, 19 fig 5)

9.2 Faience or Egyptian Blue footed dish (Friedman 1998, 139) 9.3 Alabaster footed dish (Brovarski, Doll & Freed 1982, 129)

9.4 Glass footed dish (Hayes 1957, 278) 104 9.5 Ebony statuette of a Nubian girl holding a footed dish. (Brovarski, 105 Doll & Freed 1982, 205) 9.6 Bronze bowl decorated with a rosette or daisy pattern (Brovarski, 105 Doll & Freed 1982, 124) 9.7 Pottery lentoid flask decorated with a green and black daisy (Brovarski, Doll & Freed 1982, 149) 9.8 High-necked Egyptian Blue vase and cover (Brovarsid, Doll & Freed 1982, 159) 105 108 a 108

9.9 Egyptian Blue lotus bowl with yellow decoration (Page-Gasser & Wiese 1997, 155)

9.10 Fragment of an Egyptian Blue or faience vase showing Amenhotep III offering Maat to Atum (Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 415) 9.11 Fragment of a faience vase with handle with the cartouches of Amenhotep III and Tiy facing the name of Hathor (Friedman 1998, 174) 9.12 Upper body of a (originally) blue and green faience vase, containing the cartouches of Amenhotep III. From Serabit el Khadim (Petrie Museum collection, UC 35328) 9.13 Part of a body of a falence vase, originally inscribed for Amenhotep III with blue inlay on a white background. From Serabit el Khadim (Petrie Museum collection, UC 35322)

110 110



9.14 Fragment of a dark blue falence vase with the cartouches of Amenhotep III and Tiy inlaid in green. From Serabit el Khadim (Petrie Museum collection, UC 35324) 9.15 Egyptian Blue square pectoral showing a man worshipping Osiris (Cooney 1976, 37)


114 114 115 115 115 117 117 117 119 119 119

9.16 Egyptian Blue shabti with glass eyes (Cooney 1976, 39) 9.17 Egyptian Blue head of a queen or goddess from a statuette (Cooney 1976, 38)

9.18 Egyptian Blue ibex head (Brovarski, Doll & Freed 1982, 160) 9.19 Egyptian Blue head inlay (Cooney 1976. 38)

9.20 Egyptian Blue wig (made in profile only) (Friedman 1998,83) 9.21 Falence and glass wig (Friedman 1998, 83) 9.22 Egyptian Blue tripartite wig (Friedman 1998, 82)

9.23 So-called 'archaic' Egyptian Blue vase from the Petrie Museum 9.24 Beads from the domestic area at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham 9.25 Egyptian Blue beads from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham


10.1 & 10.2 Blue falence vase from Tell el-Yahudiyeh with hieratic inscription (Naville 1890, plate 8) 12.1 Khentika holding a paintbrush and paintpot and painting figures of the seasons (James 1985, 10)

130 136 136 140 140 142 143 145 145 154 157

12.2 Mereruka holding a paintbrush and paintpot and painting figures of the seasons (Forbes 1966, 249) 13.1 Limestone stela of Hatiay, 'Chief maker/ worker of hsbd' (Scott 1986, 93)

13.2 Limestone stela of Ameneinhab, 'Overseer of the goidworkers of Amun' (Gaballa 1979, plate 2)

13.3 A falence stela showing king Smenkare offering a vase to Ptah. From Gebel Zeit. (Caste! & Soukiassian 1985, 290)

13.4 Ste!a of Rekhamun, 'Maker/Worker of faience for Amun' (Friedman 1998, 250) 13.5 Limestone stela of Hatiay, 'Chief artisan of Ptah' (Gaballa 1979, plate 3) 13.6 Fatence stela of Ameneniheb, 'Overseer of the craftsmen of the House of Ptah' (Friedman 1998, 250)

14.1 Tribute from Retenu and the Oases in the tomb of Puyemre (After Davies 1922, plate XXX) 14.2 Menkheperrasonb facing text describing an inspection of the workshop of the Temple of Amun. (after Davies & Davies 1933, plate X)

14.3 Syrian kings and Aegeans bringing various tributes in the Tomb of Menkheperrasonb (after Davies & Davies 1933, plate IV) 14.4 Syrians bringing various tributes in the Tomb of Amenmose (after Davies & Davies 1933, plate XXXIV) 14.5 The Chief of Lebanon offering gifts to Amenmose (after Davies & Davies 1933, plate XXXVI)

157 159 159


14.6 The scene of foreign tribute from the Tomb of Rekhmire (after Davies 1935, plate XXII) 14.7 Aegeans bringing tribute in the Tomb of Rekhmire (after Davies 1943, plate XVIII) 14.8 Syrians bringing tribute in the Tomb of Rekhniire (after Davies 1943, plate XXI)

161 163 163 167 167 169

14.9 Syrians bringing tribute in the Tomb of Amunedjeh (after Davies & Davies 1941b, plate XIII)

14.10 Syrians bringing tribute in the Tomb of Amenmose (after Davies and Davies 1941a, plate XXIII) 14.11 Syrians bringing tribute in the tomb of Nebamun (after Davies & Davies 1923 plate XXXI)

14.12 Huy, the Chiefs of Retenu, and Syrians bringing tribute in the Tomb of Huy (after Davies & Gardiner 1926, plate XIX) 14.13 A possible ifiustration of glass ingots or Egyptian Blue cakes from the Tomb of Amunedjeh 14.14 Blue vessels from the Tombs of Reklimire, Amunedjeh and Amenmose 14.15 Glass vessels from the tomb of Reklimire

169 174 174 174 181

15.1 Chemical and structural progressions of some ancient vitreous materials (Lilyquist & Brill 1993, 18)

16.1 (left) Bead belt made of green glazed steatite beads. From Badari 183 Tomb 5735. Predynastic Period. (right) Blue faience and malachite bead necklace. From Ballas Tomb Q24. Late Predynastic Period (Friedman 1998, 74) 16.2 Pale blue-green falence Baboon statuette from Hierakonpolis. Dynasty 1-2 (Friedman 1998, 69) 16.3 Faience spiral beads from Hierakonpolis. Dynasty 1-2 (Friedman 1998, 71) 186 186


16.4 Falence vase fragment with the serekh of Aha from Abydos. Dynasty 1(Friedman 1998, 75)


16.5 Faience tile from the step pyramid of Djozer at Saqqara. Dynasty 186 3 (Friedman 1998, 72) 189 16.6 Blue faience hippopotamus, unprovenanced. Middle Kingdom (Friedman 1998, 148) 16.7 Turquoise falence 'Concubine of the dead', unprovenanced. Middle Kingdom (Friedman 1998, 104) 16.8 Blue faience vessel (baby's feeding cup) from Lisht. Middle Kingdom (Friedman 1998, 105) 16.9 Blue faience sceptre of Amenhotep II, from the Temple of Seth at Naqada. 216cm high 189 189 191 197 197 197 197 197 200 200 203 203 205 S 208

17.1 Glass beads from Qau (Ulyquist & Brifi 1993, 49) 17.2 Pectoral of queen Aahotep with blue glass inlay (Andrews 1990, 132)

17.3 Glass plaque naming Ahmose (Lilyquist & Brill 1993, 48) 17.4 Ught blue bead naming Amenhotep I and Ahmose (Brovaski, Doll & Freed 1982, 169) 17.5 Hairpin from Assasif (Lilyquist & Bril 1993, 49)

17.6 Turquoise vase with enamel patterns, probably from the reign of Tuthmosis Ill (Cooney 1976, plate 6) 17.7 Glass vessels from the tomb of the Syrian wives of Tuthmosis III (Lilyquist & Brill 1993, cover) 17.8 Glass shabti of Kenamun (Cooney 1960, 10) 17.9 Glass shabti of Hekareshu (Cooney 1960, 13)

17.10 Glass bottle from the tomb of Maiherpri (Barag 1970, 94) 17.[1 Unprovenanced glass pilgrim flask thought to have come from Ghurob (Kozloff & Bryan 1992, 371)


17.12 Unprovenanced glass basering juglet thought to have come from Ghurob (Kozloff & Bryan 1992, 368) 17.13 19th Dynasty Glass pilgrim flask from Medinet Ghurob (Tait 1991, 31)

208 208 211 211 213

17.14 Unprovenanced krateriskos thought to have come from Malkata (Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 368) 17.15 Unprovenanced krateriskos thought to have come from Malkata (Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 368) 17.16 Glass perfume bottle in the shape of a fish from Amarna (Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 370)

17.17 Milky-white krateriskos with twisted blue and white rim thought 216
to have come from El-Menshiyeh (Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 378)

22.1 A bead from Tell Judeideh, the earliest example of glass in Mesopotamia.

247 247 257

22.2 Glass from Eridu, probably broken off from a larger lump; very bubbly. (Barag 1985, plate 179) 22.3 Mosaic glass dish probably from Malkata (Kozioff & Bryan 1982, 369)

22.4 Mosaic bowl with opaque yellow rim, which may be from Malkata 257 (Cooney 1976, plate 3) 281 30.1 Glass ingots on the sea bed (courtesy of C. Puluk) 30.2 Cobalt blue glass ingots from Ulu Burun (Bass 1987, 716) 30.3 Comparison between (left) copper and (right) cobalt glass ingots (Bodrum Museum collection) 31.1 Egyptian Blue beads from Ur III level at Ur. (Dayton 1978 plate 20) 31.2 Egyptian Blue egyptiamzing bead with eye of Horus from Tell Brak (Oates, Oates & McDonald 1997, 87) 281 281 289 289 a

31.3 Egyptian Blue beads from Alalakh (Dayton 1978 plate 20)

291 291 293 295 295 295 300 306

31.4 Egyptian Blue vase with handle in the form of a couchant lion from Alalakh. (Woolley 1955, plate 83) 31.5 Egyptian Blue cake from Beth Shan (scale 1:1) (James & McGovern 1993, fig 73) 31.6 Egyptian Blue jug from Cyprus (Dayton 1978 plate 21) 31.7 Egyptian Blue from the acropolis at Mycenae (Dayton 1978 plate 21)

31.8 Egyptian Blue rhyton from the House of Shields at Mycenae (Foster 1979, 135; Dayton 1978 plate 21) 33.1 Canaarnte amphora from Zawiyet Urmn el-Rakham 33.2 Stirrup jar from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham

33.3 Feeder cup from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham

310 313 315 317 341 385 386 387

33.4 Pilgrim flasks from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakhatn

33.5 'Late Minoan' jug from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham 33.6 Cypriote flask from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham

35.1 Suggested Mediterranean trade routes to and from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham Map 1 Sites mentioned in North Mesopotamia and Syria (Moorey 1994, 9) Map 2 Sites mentioned in Mesopotamia (moorey 1994, 7) Map 3 Sites mentioned in the Levant


For help with this work I would like to thank the University of Liverpool for the Postgraduate Studentship in Egyptian Archaeology, and my supervisor Dr Steven Snape. Professor Charles Thomas and Jessica Mann. Professor Thilo Rehren. Professor Elizabeth Slater, Professor Ken Kitchen, Professor Alan Millard, Dr Christopher Mee, Dr Christopher Eyre, Dr Ian Shaw, Dr Khaled Dawoud, Dr Mike Hayward and Ms. Patricia Winker at the University of Liverpool. Professor Mike Tite and Dr Andrew Shortland at the Laboratory for History of Art and Archaeology in Oxford. Dr Piotr Bienkowski at Liverpool Museum. Dr Lorna Lee at the British Museum. Dr Stephen Quirke and staff at the Petrie Museum, University College London. Professor George Bass, Professor Shelley Wachsmann and Dr Jemal Pulak at Texas A & M University. Dr Christine Lilyquist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dr Sara Immerwahr. Dr Donald White at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr Cohn Hope at Monash University. Dr. Jacqueline Balensi, Institut Fernand Courby. Aleydis Van de Moortel at the University of Washington. Ann Kifiebrew at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Professor Gaballa A. Gaballa, head of the the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Egypt.


Part 1: Pigments and Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham

1. Introduction

Badcground to the study The theme of this thesis, as represented in its title "Aspects of Technology and Trade in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean durmg the Late Bronze Age" is extremely wide. Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean are perhaps the most evidence-rich areas in preClassical archaeology, particularly in the Late Bronze Age, a period which must mark one of the high pomts of human civilisation. Moreover, particularly in recent years, scholars have concentrated a good deal of attention to the two major subject areas of technology and trade at this period, in this region; this is not surprising given the fundamental importance of mechanisms of production and distribution of artefacts to sophisticated human societies.

Therefore the subject matter of this thesis is potentially vast and, to be covered in any significant detail, would need many lives work. However, given the intrinsic importance of the subject area, methodologies and research strategies need to be formulated in which discrete parts of the whole subject range can be tackled in order to contribute to the understanding of the whole.

To st ate this is not to say anything particularly new. It has been increasingly realised over the past fifty years that a generalist approach to archaeology is not one which is likely to produce

meaningful work, hence the growth of archaeological specialism, whether in the form of understanding of specific technical issues (e.g. ceramic technology), archaeological techniques (e.g. palynology), range of evidence (e.g. hieratic ostraca), or subject matter (e.g. quarrying in Ancient Egypt). These approaches are ones that can produce detailed and useful data, and the skilled practitioner can amalgamate that data into cognate areas to add to overall understanding of ancient cultures.

While studying for a BA degree in Egyptian Archaeology at University College London, my interest was stimulated in aspects of the mechanisms of ancient culture and the limits to our knowledge. The theoretical base which underlay much of the teaching put effective stress on the role of scholars as interpreters of evidence. The concern, in formulating a research area for doctoral research, was to explore such issues on a way which would effectively act like the thread of a necklace, joining cognate areas to form a whole which linked together a variety of subject areas. Ideally this would produce a coherent account of various connected human activities, over a wide social and geographical range, but within a limited time frame.

The problem of formulating such a general research aim is that for subject areas likely to offer the potential for such close linkages, the basic data itself is vast. For example, it would be possible to examine aspects of production, distribution and usage of ceramic material in the Late Bronze Age, but the sheer amount of evidence which would

need to be studied in the required depth is far too wide for any one person, hence detailed studies of limited areas of such material in the doctoral work of Hirschfeld in Cypro-Minoan markings on Late Bronze Age transport vessels, or Serpico on the transport and use of terabinthus resin for a similar period.

I therefore needed a group of material which was limited enough to study in some depth, yet well-documented enough to be able to produce a coherent chain from production to distribution and use, including international trade. Luckily, participation in the Liverpool University excavations at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham gave me access (through the kind permission of the director of the excavations Dr Steven Snape) to two possible groups of such material discovered in significant quantities at the site, Ostrich eggshells and pigments/glazed materials, especially Egyptian Blue. Each was known to have been a luxury item produced, traded and transformed in the east Mediterranean mercantile encomium and beyond. However, it seemed to me that Egyptian Blue/pigments offered a wider range of possibilities for study, given that it was an artificial substance whose production, including access to raw materials, gave an extra dimension to potential studies when compared to the predominantly natural production of the ostrich.

Consequently, this work is based on pigments found at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham, which is the largest known example, and probably of the last, in the chain of fortresses built by Ramesses 11(1279-1213 BC) in 3

response to the growing unrest that threatened Egypt from Libya to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the north during the Late Bronze Age.

The site of Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham Situated approximately 300km west of Alexandria, and 15km west of the nearest modern town at Mersa Matruh, the fortress is located on the plain at the narrowest point (approximately 1km) between the high desert edge and the coast. The high desert is a harsh, stony environment with a few pockets of scrub plants sustained by winter rainfall, and is only suitable for limited seasonal grazing by sheep and goats. The plain surrounding the fortress consists of limestone outcrops and poor stony soil, and has historically been used for the cultivation of olives, figs and winter barley, with the water supply coming from wells sunk to a depth of between 3 and 4 metres into a lens of fresh water.

A team from University of Liverpool has been working at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham since 1994. In six seasons of excavation, approximately 1/6 of the site has been investigated. Building materials used at the site consist of mud brick, small stones gathered from the surrounding area and larger limestone blocks which were carved out of the hillside behind the fortress. The fortress is sited approximately 100 metres from the foot of the escarpment, and consists of a square installation with perimeter walls each 140 metres long and between 4 and 5 metres thick, which contain an area of

approximately 20,000 square metres.

The perimeter walls were constructed with mud brick courses and stone facing on the lower part of the exterior, and there is still evidence of a plastered ramp or glacis at the foot of the walls. There appears to have been a series of towers at the corners of the walls (work is stifi ongomg in these areas), and the approach to the only gateway, situated in the middle of the northern wall, was along a heavily fortified corridor. An additional area was enclosed to the north of the fortress at a later date, although the purpose of this, perhaps as an extra area for occupation or storage of horses and chariots, is as yet unclear.

The substantial size of the perimeter walls and defensive nature of the positioning of the installation indicates that the fortress had a serious military role, and was built to withstand attack. The whole expanse of the plain between the fortress and the sea is clearly visible from the site, and would have been controlled by the occupants of the installation. It is also possible that there may have been smaller additional structures between the fortress and the sea which are no longer evident. It is not clear to what extent the Egyptian occupants of the fortress had (perceived or real) control of the sea itself.

The main temple at the site is located against the west perimeter wall and was constructed of large limestone blocks. Immediately to the north of the temple is a series of nine magazines 16 metres long and

3 metres wide which are built of mud brick and have limestone jambs and lintels inscribed with the titulary of Ramesses II. In front of the magazines is a well inscribed with the cartouches of Ramesses II, and this is surrounded by a group of seven small circular stone features (possibly huts or animal pens), which may have been built by later squatters after the site was abandoned by the Egyptians. Immediately to the south of the temple are three chapels facing onto a walled courtyard.

Both the magazines and the chapels contained a number of abandoned ceramic vessels, most of which are non-Egyptian transport vessels, including Canaarnte amphorae and coarse-ware Stirrup Jars. The presence of these vessels suggests that another of the functions of the fortress was as a trading post interacting with other countries around the eastern Mediterranean.

Other features include an enigmatic structure (known as the South Building) which consists of a series of rooms and corridors surrounded by a large perimeter wall, with all the walls built of small stones. Some of the rooms contain single standing stones, and all the doorways have inscribed jambs and lintels, some with the titles of Ramesses II and others featuring the commander of the fort Neb-Re worshipping his cartouches. An area in the south east corner of the fortress, where excavation is ongoing, consists of a series of small three-roomed houses grouped around communal ovens.

Some as yet unidentified features would have been a necessary prerequisite for a functioning outpost of the Egyptian Empire, and are known from fortresses in Nubia and Palestine (although it should be noted that this fortress is bigger than any other founded in the New Kingdom yet known). Such features include the house of the commander Neb-Re, and an inscribed block found in the South Building showing the Commander and his wife Mery-Ptah raises the possibility that she may also have been at the fortress, suggesting that there may be a substantial mansion or palace. There must also have been a command centre of the fortress, which may or may not be a separate building. The workshops, including pottery production areas and metalworking, animal lines, a chariot park, granaries and other storage magazines, have also yet to be identified.

This thesis is based on a discovery made in Magazine 1 in 1995 of a group of pigments. These consisted of varying sized lumps of blue, green, red, yellow and white which were lying on the floor of the magazine. The only other artifacts in the magazine, as already noted, were substantial amounts of foreign pottery.

Various questions were raised by this material. Why was it at the site in the first place, and why specifically in this building? Was there any significance in the association between the pigments and the highstatus foreign pottery containers? Had some of the the pigments also been imported from non-Egyptian sources? Research into the nature of the pigments themselves raised more questions, such as the

potential sources of the raw materials, the methods of manufacture, and the nature and development of the tecimology needed for the production of the blue and green materials, both of which were artificially produced copper products. This led to further questions concerning the positioning of the process within the wider context of silicate production during the Late Bronze Age.

This in turn led to exploration of a potential interface between technology and trade, with the possibility that not only the pigments, but also the capacity to produce such material, may itself have been exchanged between the regions which were involved in the trade of the goods contained in the vessels found at the site.

The approach taken includes looking at a range of documentary and archaeological sources to cast light on the pigments at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham. Examination of examples of pigment production and use at other sites in Egypt sets the pigments into a wider context within Egyptian tradition. Examination of Egyptian Blue in particular, and the development of relevant silicate technologies both in Egypt and in other countries around the Eastern Mediterranean illustrates technical developments in related regions. By comparing such industries, suggestions are made as to the extent of international relations in the Late Bronze Age through the exchange of both goods and ideas.

The final section discusses more broadly issues of trade and exchange during this period, and focusses on the role that Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham may have played in such exchanges. There is an outline and discussion of several issues, including several general conceptual frameworks, and the specifics of such mechanisms that may have applied to actions at the site. There is brief consideration of the known foreign ceramic material, including discussions of possible origins and contents, as well as potential routes by which the material may have reached the site. Through such considerations, it is demonstrated which models fit best with the existing evidence, and an attempt is made to clarify the position and importance of the site in such exchanges.

Part one describes the pigments and their context at Zawiyet Umm elRakham. These are then compared with previous studies about Egyptian pigments and with pigments found at other sites in Egypt. Part two focusses on Egyptian Blue, with discussions of production technologies and use of the material as paint, inlay and modelling material. Part three looks at documentary and pictorial evidence for pigments and their use in Egypt, and concludes with a discussion of possible reinterpretations of words in certain contexts which have traditionally been translated as lapis lazuli, glass or faience. Part four is a historical overview of related silicate technologies in Egypt, with consideration of the positioning of Egyptian Blue within these traditions. Part five examines the development of similar technologies in Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus and the

Aegean, and again looks at the role of Egyptian Blue in these traditions. Part six looks at broader issues of exchange in the Late Bronze Age and the specific mechanisms that may apply to Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham and the material found at the site.

With unlimited and sole access to a class of finds from an important site, and through examining how they were produced, what they were used for, where they came from, this thesis casts light on aspects of technology, trade and exchange both in Egypt, and between Egypt and other countries in the Near East during the Late Bronze Age.


Northern tenslon (?) and Gate

00 0 Stone Circles 0 Magazines 0 Stone Circles 00


North (Main) Gate



South BUildIng

20 metres Domestic Area

Fig.2.1 Plan of the site after the 1999 season

2. Excavations at the Site

1995 Season In 1995 the first of nine magazines located due north of and next to the temple was excavated. This structure, approximately 1Gm long by 3m wide, has walls still standing to between 1 and 2 metres high, and contains a series of niches partitioned by mud brick cross walls at the rear. A large number of foreign pots was found here, some stored neatly against the walls, and others broken on the middle corridor and threshold of the magazine, suggesting hasty looting at the end of the useful life of the structure. The first indication of pigments here was a broken cake of Egyptian Blue l found in association with a red spindle jar, and one of six feeder cups which was itself stained with blue around the hp and top half. Further excavation down to the original floor level revealed a few patches of red staining on the golden yellow sand, as well as various random lumps of yellow pigment scattered within the magazine.

1996 Season. Further careful excavation in Magazine 1 revealed scatters of various pigments throughout the central part, with concentrations in the central corridor and niches S4 and S3. Exploration of the niches showed pigments in all layers down to the original floor level, most of

which were probably the result of spills not properly cleared up because of the murky half light in the magazine. A very substantial
1 ZUR/M[/2 4



Fig.2.2 Looking east along Magazine 1 containing mud-brick partition walls

lump of yellow pigment2 (17 x 14 x 13cm) was also found with a fallen door jamb outside Magazine 2. This piece was found next to another feeder cup, and it seems likely that these two had been looted from Magazine 1 and dropped here. Work on the Temple forecourt revealed six column bases and two shallow pools fed by rainwater channelled in an elaborate system of underground drains. The north and east external walls were located, and proved to be approximately 5m wide, with protruding buttresses or towers at the external corners, and plastered, sloping glacis on the external faces.

1997 season Further excavation of the magazines did not reveal any more foreign pottery or pigments. There is evidence of later occupation/activity in magazine 6; it seems likely that 'Libyans' were using these magazines as an area for industrial activities - yielding a burnt area and at least 50 denticulates on blades, plus a large quantity of smaller flint tools and debitage. The inscribed door jambs and lintels from the magazines were found face down where they had fallen. When first turned over, faint traces of yellow paint were visible within the sunken relief, although this quickly became invisible when the stone dried out. The stone circles located outside Magazines 8 and 9, although empty, have significant amounts of foreign and Egyptian pottery located all around and between them. An industrial area was also found outside Stone Circle 4, with evidence of metal smelting and casting, more flint working, and significant amounts of pumice. Some samples of green pigment (wollastonite) were found here. One
2 ZUR/M2E/2


:. -

- : =. -r

Fig.2.3 Temple and forecourt after excavation

Fig.2.4 (left) Magazine 2 with yellow ochre under the fallen northern jamb Fig.2.5 (above) Magazines 3 & 4 after excavation

Fig.2.6 (below) Magazines 5, 6 & 7 Fig.2.7 (right) Looking south along the front of the magazines


of the large pots3 from around Stone Circle 4 contained yellow pigment, with residue in the bottom and significant yellow staining on the inside of the pot. We also found some evidence of pigment use at the site, with one sherd having been used as a palette for yellow and red pairit,4 and at least two others with white plaster/paint.s The western extent of the perimeter wall was uncovered and, as with the other perimeter walls, it was found to be approximately 5m wide.

1998 Season Excavation of the magazmes was completed, but no further evidence of pigments was uncovered. However, in the granary area a large shaped lump of green wollastonite6 was found in association with various items including a Canaanite amphora, a tall stand and a small scarab7 on the floor outside Stone Circle 7. Excavation of the chapels and the chapel courtyard was completed this year, and although significant amounts of foreign pottery were found in Chapels 2 and 3, no pigments were found in this area. Excavation also began on the South Building. This is an enigmatic, two-storied structure containing various rooms, many of which have inscribed jambs and lintels, and some of which contain single standing stones. Large amounts of Egyptian pottery were found in these rooms, mainly in the form of offering bowls. Some Base Ring II and Canaarnte amphora sherds were found and room S4 also contained a small fragment of decorated Mycenaean fine ware. However, no samples of pigment 4 ZUR/G4E/37
5 ZUR/G4EI/8

3 ZUR/G4E/14

6 ZUR/G4E/2 7 ZUR/GGE/18


were found. The southern side of the external wall was located, and the fortress proved to be a square enclosure, with walls approximately 1 40m long (giving an internal area of approximately 20,000 m2).

1999 Season Further excavation of the Stone Circles 2, 7 and 8 revealed few pottery finds, but one lump of Egyptian Blue 8 was found on the ground near the well inscribed with the cartouches of Ramesses

which is located in between the north and south stone circle groups. The pigment was outside the north wall of Stone Circle 7. It is not clear why this lump was found here, as it was not in association with any other finds. It was probably dropped there, but it is not possible to ascertain whether this occurred during the life of the magazines, or at some later date associated with activity at the stone circles. Work continued on the South Building, but there is still no evidence for any pigments there. Excavation began this year in the domestic area located in the south east corner of the fortress. This contains a series of small dwellings grouped around communal ovens. One house was fully excavated, and the storeroom or cellar leading south from the front room of the house contained various domestic artifacts, including pottery such as pilgrim flasks, beer jars and small cups, as well as various types of small beads. The beads are made of. assorted materials, including plain white (bone or shell), brown stone, black and yellow banded stone and there are also 29 beads made of

8 ZUR/G7E/2


Egyptian Blue9.

Discussion The relationship between the magazines and the Temple is evident. They are located immediately adjacent to the northern wall of the Temple, and mirror the position of the three chapels at the south. Although the area in front of the magazine has not been fully investigated, and it has not yet been determined predsely how they were accessed (not least because of the intrusive nature of the later squatter settlement), they were almost certainly connected to the Temple, and can most probably therefore be considered the area where the highest-status goods were stored in the fortress. This supposition is strengthened by the discovery of significant amounts of imported pottery in both Magazine 1 and the chapels. The pottery includes some fine wares such as the Base Ring II juglet and the two Mycenaean juglets. Some of the pottery, like the Canaarnte amphorae and the coarse ware Stirrup jars, were not intrinsically valuable but would have contained precious foodstuffs and probably substances like incense and perfumed oils, which would have related to temple ritual. Certain inferences may be drawn from the inclusion of pigments with this assemblage.

As with sites in Egypt itself, one implication is that the supply of pigments was centrally controlled at the fort. There was probably a system (perhaps similar to that recorded at Deir el-Medina for the


storage of tools) lO where craftsmen were allotted rations of pigment when required. It seems likely that there would have been a production area somewhere else at the site where the material would have been transformed into paint ready for use, and it is hoped that this will be found in future seasons.

Such a system of control suggests that the pigments were viewed as valuable commodities. This would have been due, to a certain extent, to the fact that they must have been brought to the site from elsewhere, and it is not clear how regular or constant the supply may have been. This is especially the case if some of the pigments were coming from outside Egypt, and arriving at the site with other imported products. As discussed below, red and yellow ochre probably came from Egypt, and it is interesting that these native products were stored along with the foreign high status goods. Is there the implication that all pigments were valuable? Was it easiest to store them all in the same place regardless of different value? Or did the need for central control instil value in products which were not intrinsically expensive?

It is also possible that there was some religious/ritual significance to the pigments. If they were used to decorate the religious buildings and areas at the site, it was perhaps important that they were kept under the control of the religious personnel.11

10 Massart 1957, 181; Keller 1991 11 Polz 1997, 35; see also chapter "Pigments

at other sites in Egypt"


3. Pigments found at the site

The overwhelming numbers of pigment samples discovered so far (50 out of 56) have been found in a single magazine. This may be due to the vagaries of the archaeological process. Only a small area of the site has been excavated, and there could be significant amounts of pigments or paints elsewhere, perhaps in other storage facilities. Nevertheless, it is possible at this stage to extrapolate from the evidence various useful conclusions about the possible functions of pigments at the site.

Magazine 1 contained many samples of pigment along with the imported pottery discussed elsewhere.12 As already noted, Magazines 2-9 were essentially empty, and it is feasible that these other magazines continued to be in operation after Magazine 1 had been abandoned or collapsed. Evidence of flint-working and possible occupation in Magazine 6 suggests that some of the magazines were used after the departure of the original occupants of the fortress.'3

However, if any of the Magazines 2-9 had been used for pigment storage either concurrently with or after the use of Magazine 1, then pigment traces would, in all likeithood, have been evident in the layers of accumulated dirt above the original floor. No such material was_ found. Indeed the only evidence of pigments associated with these other magazines is the substantial lump of yellow ochre found 12 see below in chapter "Foreign pottery at the site" 13 The fire and extensive evidence of flint working in the form of tools, flakes and
cores, suggests that Magazine 6 was reoccupied at a later date. 20

Fig.3.1 Key to magazines and niches and corridor in Magazine

outside Magazine 2 and a small piece of Egyptian Blue found near the welLl4

Pigments in Magazine 1 Within Magazine 1, most of the pigments were found in the niches and the corridor in the (back) west half of the magazine. It has been established that the front (east) of the magazine was probably used less for storage and more for activities associated with the goods in the pottery containers, for example decanting foodstuffs from large, unwieldy vessels into smaller bowls, although it is also possible that a few large vessels such as Canaanite amphorae were stored here.

However the majority of items in the magazine was housed in the niches. Referring to the pigment plan, and the pigment distribution chart (appendix 1), it can be seen that most of the pigments were found in the south-west niches S3 and S4. It is logical to assume that items identified by colour rather than shape or size would be housed closest to the existing light source (the doorway at the eastern end of the magazine), though it should be noted that an artificial light source would have also been necessary. 15 If the eastern end of the magazine was used as a work area, then there could have been additional light sources placed here which would have cast light on the eastern niches. There may have been holes in the roof to admit

14 see above in "Excavations in 1999 season"

15 Note also that if daylight was the main light source, it would perhaps make more sense to have stored the pigments in the northern niches. 22

light, although the heavy winter rains render this unlikely.16 It is also probable that additional portable lighting was also used.

The niche S4, which is closest to the door on the south side contained the greatest amount of pigment, both in the abandonment level and in all the layers above the original floor. Indeed (bright) red ochrel7 and (yellow) jarositel8 were only found in this niche. Niche S3, immediately west of S4, also contained many pieces of pigment,19 although here there were fewer samples in the floor layers, suggesting that this niche was utilised less regularly, perhaps only when S4 was full. S2, immediately to the west of S3, contained two lumps of yellow ochre and one small slab of (green) wollastonite. However, all three were found on the surface of the final abandonment level and at the front of the niche next to the west wall. Their location is therefore probably a result of the ransacking which marked the end of the useful life of the magazine, rather than because the pigments were being stored in this area. Neither Si nor Ni (the two niches at the western end of the magazine) contained any pigments, indicating that they were almost certainly not used for pigment storage. N2 contained one spherical lump of calcium carbonate (white), which is the only example of white pigment found in the magazines.20 It was found towards the back (west) against the 16 See El-Naggar 1999, 155-157 & plate 187 for examples of oculi approximately
60cm in diameter in the roofs of magazines at the Ramesseum. Note, however, that these magazines are much bigger than those at Zawiyet Uxnm el-Rakham (50-54m long), and that there is almost no rain in Thebes. 17 seven samples 18 eight samples.There were also four examples of Egyptian Blue, five of yellow ochre, two green wollastomte and seven dark red ocbre 19 Four Egyptian Blue, ten green wollastonite and three dark red ochre 20 The brown crust on the ball is not original to the pigment, but is rather a reactive crust formed during the period of burial. 23

Fig.3.2 Pigments in the floor of Magazine 1

; I

1? I.


. 1

. 1.J_.

western wall of the niche. This was the only pigment found m N2, so either white only was stored here, or as with the other westernmost niches, pigments were not stored in this area and this one sample arrived by accident. N3 contained no pigments, again suggesting that they were not stored here.

N4, the easternmost niche on the northern side, contained one small piece of Egyptian Blue, and two large lumps of yellow ochre2l which both exhibit at least one cut edge, suggesting either that they were shorn off a very substantial piece, or that sections had been removed from both. The ochre pieces were both found against the wall, and both within the intermediate floor layers. This suggests that N4 may have been used for the storage of this pigment. The lump of yellow ochre found outside Magazine 2 indicates that this material was stored in large lumps, and it is possible that it was not always kept in containers, but may have sat in piles on the floor of the niche. It should also be noted that an amphora containing yellow ochre was found outside Stone Circle 4 in the squatter settlement.22 However, it is likely that this material had already been treated at the site and was ready for use.23

The floor layers of the corridor also contained a few examples of pigments which were found between niches S3 and N3. There were five_pieces of yellow ochre, two of Egyptian Blue and one of 21 ZUR/M1/N4/1 60x52x28mm and ZUR/M1/N4/4 5lx3lxl9mm 22 ZUR/G4E1/4 Also note that the pottery found in this area had almost certainly
been reused at a later date by the occupants of the squatter settlement 23 see W.J. Russell 1892, 44 for discussion of similar pigments found at Ghurob 25





Egyptian Blue Green wollastonite r Dark red ochre Red oclire Yellow ochre Yellow jarosite' Calcite white

Fig. 3.3 Plan showing the distribution of pigments in the floor of Magazine 1

wollastomte. These were almost certainly dropped at some point during the life of the magazine, and they perhaps reinforce the idea that the light source came from the front (east) end of the magazine, as there seem to be no dropped pieces in the lighter area in between S4 and N4. It is also possible that the front portion of the corridor was swept more regularly than the back, either on purpose, or by the action of floor-length clothes brushing past. There was also one other sample of pigment found in Magazine 1, and it is perhaps the most interesting. The eastern end of the magazine contained various different types of foreign pottery. These included three Canaanite amphorae24 which were probably in their original position stacked against the northern wall. There were also a Base Ring II juglet and seven locally made saucers2s neatly stacked in the corner of the east wall of S4 and the southern wall of the magazine, again probably where they had been used and abandoned.

There were also, however, various pieces which seem to have been left where they were dropped in the middle of the floor. It is possible that these should be associated with the sacking of the magazine which seems to have occurred towards the end of the useful life of the magazine. Whether this was done by the residents of the fortress hastily emptying the magazine for some reason (perhaps imminent collapse?) or by whoever occupied the fortress immediately afterwards is impossible to know. The latter explanation is perhaps more likely given the evidence that some at least of the foodstuffs
ZUIR/M1/4, ZUR/M 1/30 25 ZUR/M1/7, ZUR/M1/15-21 28
24 ZUR/M1/3,

Fig.3.5 Cake of Egyptian Blue from Magazine 1

Fig.3.5 Red spindle jar and feeder cup with blue staining, found in association with the Egyptian Blue cake.

seem to have been consumed in situ by those who didn't understand the mechanics of opening the pottery but seem rather to have smashed the tops of vessels to get at their contents. A group of 'feeder cups'26 and one fineware Mycenaean juglet 27 were found together, and the grouping strongly suggests that they were being stored or transported together in either a bag or basket which has not survived. Slightly north of these, a more disparate group was found. This consisted of a red lustrous ware flask, 28 another feeder cup29 and a section of Egyptian Blue 'cake'. 3 0 This is a common form for Egyptian Blue, and such cakes are known from other Egyptian sites.31 There was also noticeable blue staining on the sand around these objects, and also on the feeder cup. It is possible that some of our other Egyptian Blue samples had been cut from similar shapes at an earlier stage. This half-cake is the largest example of Egyptian Blue so far found at the site.32

Pigment outside Magazine 2 One example of yellow ochre was located outside Magazine 2. This was found in association with one feeder cup,33 and was discovered under the collapsed southern jamb of this magazine and a covering layer of plaster. This plaster is a problematic feature of the eastern facade of the magazines. There was a large wash of grey plaster
26 ZUIR/M1/9-12 27 ZUR/M1/13

28 ZTJR/M1/6

29 ZUIR/M1/8 30 ZUR/M1/24

31 See in chapter "Shapes of Egyptian Blue Pigments" 32 45x37x18mm, 30.8grams

33 ZUR/M2E/1


Fig.3.6 Large lump of yellow ochre from outside Magazine 2

approximately 1cm thick throughout the area abutting Stone Circle 1. and covered the area between the stone circle and the entrance of Magazine 1. This was linked to another large slick under the fallen jambs of Magazine 2, but above the pigment and pottery. The function of this plaster is not yet clear. It is speculated that this perhaps represents a later phase for this end of the magazine corridor, perhaps associated with the period of occupation which included the stone circles. There was evidence for plaster working on top of Magazine 2, and it is possible that it was used to waterproof the magazine roofs. Evidence of plaster facing on walls in the South building also indicates that walls were dressed with layers of mud and grey plaster and it is possible that this plaster represents that which has collapsed or slid off the front walls of the magazines. Various lumps of similar material found within magazine 1 also suggest that plaster was perhaps used as bungs for the pottery vessels. The lump of yellow ochre is the largest single sample yet found at the site.34 It exhibits constant colour throughout,35 and has probably had pieces sliced off for use, although the outside edges are now rounded with no visible cut edges. The noticeable size of this piece has interesting implications both for the amount of pigment used at the site, and also as a clue to the amounts of pigments that may have been stored in the magazines. Pigment in Magazine 8 One small sherd stained with Egyptian Blue was found in the fifi of Magazine 8. However, this was found some way (approximately 70
34 35

ZUR/M1E/2, l7Oxl4Oxl3Omm pantone 115U 32

cm) above the floor level, and it seems likely that this sherd was deposited here as part of the general wash at some later date after the site had been abandoned. Nevertheless, it indicates that sherd material was used as palettes, and this is reinforced by discoveries associated with Stone Circle 5.

Pigment at the Stone Cirdes No pottery has so far been found in the stone circles, but there are significant amounts around and between the stone circle groups located at the north and south ends of the magazine corridor. The pottery and non-ceramic finds around the southern group of stone circles (Stone Circles 1& 2) all seem to be of local production, apart from one Canaanite amphora handle with a pot mark. 3 6 However, the case is very different with the finds around the northern group (Stone circles 3,4,5 and 6). A substantial amount of both local and imported pottery has been found here, including identifiable types such as complete 'flower pots', Canaanite amphorae, pilgrim flasks, a tall stand and sherds of Cypriot White Slip II and white shaved ware.37 The non-ceramic finds include pumice, seashells, ostrich shell pieces, crude pottery beads, loom weights, an inscribed scarab, flint blades and debitage, metal fragments, slag and crude crucible pieces which indicate partially successful attempts at metal working. Most of this assemblage is unlikely to have been associated with the original Egyptian occupation of the fortress, but rather represents the material culture of a later squatter group. Whether these people were
36 see below in chapter "Foreign pottery at the site" 37 HuJin pers. comm. 33

Fig.3.7 Amphora from outside Stone Circle 4 containing yellow ochre

Fig.3.8 Sherd palettes from outside Stone Circles 4 & 5

remnants of the fortress population left to fend for themselves, or were perhaps Ubyan intruders who had occupied the fortress is not yet clear. However, whoever they were, there is also clear evidence that they were manipulating and using pigment supplies. One large amphora, complete except for the rim, which contained a significant amount of yellow ochre3 8 was found in between Stone Circles 3 and 4, and three separate sherds which had been used as palettes were found in the pottery material.39

These artifacts represent the first examples found at the site of the pigments actually being used. The sherd palettes are not unusual, as it is well attested from sites in Egypt that painters seem to have used whatever came conveniently to hand to carry their materials. 4 0 The amphora may represent a different class of vessel, something used in an intermediate stage of paint preparation. The yellow ochre found staining the sides and in the base of this vessel indicates that it contained yellow ochre in a ready mixed form, i.e. after having being combined with whatever binding material was being used. If this vessel had been imported from the Oases with the pigment already processed, then certain interesting questions are raised about the state and nature of pigment movement within Egypt. The large size of this vessel further suggests that substantial amounts of paint were being prepared at any one time. However, once again, it is not yet clear who exactly was using the materials in this area, and it is hoped
38 ZUR/G4E/14 This vessel is thought to have come from the Oases, and is the subject of further research (Hope pers. comm.) 39 ZUR/GS/5, ZUR/G4E/37, ZUR/G4ET/8 40 see chapter "Pigments at other sites in Egypt" 36

that further types of this class of container will be discovered in future seasons to help clarify the mechanisms used by the original inhabitants of the fortress.


4. Previous pigment studies

At Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham, we are in the unusual position of having so far discovered examples only of the raw or intermediate products,41 and have as yet little evidence of their final uses at the site, either as paint (apart from traces of yellow in the magazine door jambs) or (less likely given their context in association with each other) as small moulded objects.42 Identification has consequently been simple, with the use of XRD43 and SEM 44 to establish both the mineral and elemental ingredients. We have not had to scrape tiny amounts from surfaces, nor to separate the materials from other, potentially confusing layers of decoration such as undercoats, overpainting or varnish. The contexts of wadi wash and dry, windblown sand in which they were found has meant that our various samples seem to be essentially unchanged from when they were first deposited, especially those found inside the magazine (apart from a discoloured surface layer on a few examples). This suggests that the wide colour range exhibited, which indudes samples with quite subtle colour differences, such as the bright and dark red ochre, and the range of blue and green copper compounds, were intentionally different from each other. There is often debate about the range and extent of the palette available to the ancient Egyptians, and this assemblage indicates that there was a comparatively wide range of 4110 pieces of Egyptian Blue, 11 of green, 8 of red ochre, 11 of yellow ochre, 8 of yellow jaro site and 1 calcium carbonate white 42 see discussion of small Egyptian Blue beads found in the domestic area in chapter "Egyptian Blue objects and shaping technology" 43 X-Ray Diffraction 44 Scanning Electron Microscope

different shades.

The pigments fall into three main categories; synthetic pigments such as the blue and green compounds, naturally occurring red and yellow iron oxides, and those pigments where the origin or manufacture is less clear, such as jarosite yellow and calcium carbonate white.

Blue Historical interest in the nature and manufacturing processes of the blue pigment known as "Egyptian Blue", which is similar to ten samples found at the site, has far outweighed that shown in any other pigment type. Egyptian Blue has fascinated archaeologists and scientists since the beginning of the rediscovery of ancient Egypt, with the Napoleonic expedition to Egypt (1801-1802). Pigments were also found in excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, and a small pot of blue pigment found at Pompeii was examined by scientists including Sir Humphrey DavyA5

This substance can be seen as significant for various reasons. It is an artificial compound which had to be made rather than found, and indeed as modern attempts to reproduce it have demonstrated, created with quite sophisticated firing techniques. This in turn suggests that both specialists conversant in pyrotechnology and specific kiln locations were required. The copper component (and perhaps bronze in the New Kingdom) would have had to come from 45 Davy 1850 39

Fig.4.1 Examples of Egyptian Blue from Zawlyet Umm el-Rakhain

somewhere. One can also surmise that the pigment would consequently have had more value than naturally occurring pigments, especially if the special techniques, any of the constituents, or indeed the product itself was imported from outside Egypt.

Jaksch et


noted that synthetic pigments are unique amongst

ancient painting materials in the amount of information that can be gleaned from them. The nature and potential sources of raw materials are of interest for all ancient pigments, but with Egyptian Blue one can also look at the method of manufacture and so the wider picture of the development of technology in the past. Frizot 47 suggested that Egyptian Blue has been seen by some as a symbol of secret technology known by the Egyptians and since lost.

It is worth noting that there are few references to Egyptian Blue in existing Egyptian records, and no mention at all of ingredients, manufacture or method of usage. However, there is a long history of research into both the materials and also the manufacturing techniques.

Theophrastus48 stated that kyanos (Egyptian Blue) was made in Egypt, and had to be produced by fire, and Vitruvius, who claimed that 'blue' was first discovered in Alexandria, where sand flowers and copper filings were made into small balls which were then baked, wrote that "As soon as the copper and sand grow hot and unite under the 46 Jaksh. Seipel, Werner, & El Goresy 1983 47 Frizot 1982 48 Caley&Richards 1956

intensity of the fire, they mutually receive each other's sweat, relinquishing their peculiar qualities, and having lost their properties through the intensity of the fire, they are reduced to a blue colour".49

Modern analyses of the substance have tended to include reconstructions of the material, with varying degrees of success. Fouque5 analysed Egyptian samples, and established that Egyptian Blue was a copper and calcium silicate. He reproduced examples, but these were later disputed by others such as Spurreilsi who questioned his accuracy. Russell52 used silica, lime, alkali and copper ore to create samples, and noted that 2-5% volume of copper produced pale blue, whereas 25-30% copper gave dark, blue/purple and a higher percentage than that produced black. He also found that along with the correct proportions "the heating was a delicate operation"53 in order to achieve the desired result. Spurrell also managed to copy various shades of Egyptian Blue after studying samples found at Amarna.54 Laurie, McLintock and Miles SS used fine sand, 'fusion mixture' (sodium carbonate), copper carbonate and calcium carbonate to achieve "large quantities of blue crystals".56 They also found that the ideal heating temperature was between 800C and 900C, and that both above and below this "olive-green glass" was formed. These results were more recently modified by Chase57 and Tite, Bimson and 49 Vitruvius Book VII Chapter Xl 50 Fouque 1889
Si Spurrell 1895 52 WJ. Russell 1892, 1893-1894 53 W.J. Russell 1893-1894, 375 58 Spurrell 1895. see also Weatherhead & Buckley 1989 5 Laurie, McLintock & Miles 1914 56 Laurie, McLintock & Miles 1914, 422 7 Chase 1968 42

Meekss8 who indicated that Egyptian Blue could be produced at temperatures up to 1000C and Bayer and Wiedemann 59 who showed

that the decomposition temperature was 1080C.

It is now generally accepted that Egyptian Blue was made from silica, calcium and copper, with some form of alkali to form the 'fusion mixture' and that the blue lumps contain cuproroviate CaCuSi4O10, with left-over unreacted quartz, 6O and sometimes other components such as wollastonite (CaCu3Si3O9) 61 or tin oxide. 62 There is debate amongst the various analysts as to whether the term 'Egyptian Blue' should apply to the cuproroviate component or to the whole product, and also whether it is a frit or a melt. 63 Lucas64 called it a frit, and Dayton65 differentiated between Egyptian Blue and Egyptian Frit. However, as Nicholson66 pointed out, 'frit' is rather an ambiguous term which can refer to 'fritting' i.e. the solid state reaction, the fritted component within the whole, and the product itself, and Weatherhead and Buckley 6 7 noted that 'frit' refers to materials produced from silica, lime and an alkali with or without colour.

For this study I shall use the term 'Egyptian Blue' to refer both to the samples that we have so far excavated at the site, and to their colour.
58 Tile, Bimson&Meeks 1981 59 Bayer & Wiedemarm 1976 60 Tite, Bimson & Cowell 1987, 45 61 Lee & Quirke 2000 62 Jksh1 Seipel, Weiner & El Goresy 1983, 534 63 e.g Jaksh,Seipel. Weiner & El Goresy 1983, 531 64 Lucas 1962 65 Dayton 1978, 34 66 Nicholson 1993, 16 67 Weatherhead and Buckley 1989, 202


As can be seen from our own examples, the blue can actually range from a pale turquoise to a dark purply-blue. Lee and Quirke6 8 noted that the colour of the final product depends on the initial components, the microstructure of the sintered product and the final particle size. Weatherhead and Buckley, working at Amarna, differentiate between blue and turquoise samples.69 However this seems a nicety when looking at the whole spectrum of shades known of in pigment form, not least those which contain more wollastonite than cuproroviate and so are greeny-blue.7 Tite Bimson and Cowell7l indicated that a two stage firing process was required, with the components first fired together and then ground and shaped for a second, shorter firing. This seems a reasonable hypothesis, given the regular shapes of the pigment lumps known from various sites including our own. Russell, and Laurie, McLintock arid M11es72 suggested that repeated grinding and re-firing progressively produced lighter shades, but Tite Bimson and Meeks 7 3 found that repeated refiring increased hardness.

Tite et a! group Egyptian Blue into three broad colour categories; dark 68 Lee & Quirke 2000
69 Weatherhead

70 Weatherhead and Buckley suggest that the sodium-calcium-copper sificate

& Buckley 1989, 205-207

created by the addition of natron in the production of turquoise pigments should be classified separately from the calcium-copper silicates in Egyptian Blue. However, they also note that the turquoise fnts tend to include significant amounts of iron. Although none of our Egyptian Blue samples contain iron, five of our green (mainly wollastonite CaCu3SI3O9)samples do so (although note that the iron may be present as an impurity in sand). Consequently I feel unable to agree to the separation of turquoise samples only into a discrete category, but see them rather as an integral part of the whole range of colours created by this method. 71 Tite, Bimson& Cowell 1987, 42 72 Laurie,McLintock & Miles 1914,2 3 73 Tite,Bimson & Meeks 1981, 300

blue, light blue and pale light blue,74 and state that light blue is associated with a decrease in the overall dimensions of the clusters of cuproroviate crystals, and pale light blue samples have a high alkali content and a significant amount of glass. Weatherhead and Buckley found that their turquoise samples contained significantly higher ratios of sodium. Tests on our own samples have indicated that the richer and darker blue samples contain higher proportions of copper to calcium than the paler blues 7s and as noted above,76 Russell found that higher levels of copper produced darker hues. Consequently, it seems likely that the various shades were comparatively easily manipulated by alternating the proportional amounts of ingredients.

The silica and calcium components would have been easy enough to obtain in the form of sand in a country surrounded by desert. Vitruvius noted the use of sand, and Strabo said that "there was in Aegypt a kind of vitreous earth (sand?) without which many-coloured and costly designs could not be executed".77 Russell states that different colours of sand used could affect the colour of the finished product, and that white sand produced blue frit, whereas red, iron bearing sand produced greenish blue results.78 Analysis of Egyptian Blue from a Sixth Dynasty tomb found Titanomagnetite, which El Goresy et a! noted is an "important constituent of the opaque 74 Although they don't actually specify colour ranges (see, for example, Strudwick's work with a Minolta CR-221 in Strudwick 1991, and Weatherhead & Buckley's use of 'Pantone Color Formula Guide') 75 These findings were agreed by Dr Lorna Lee, Senior Scientific Officer at the British Museum, pers. comm. 76 See note 12 77 The Geography of Strabo 16.2.25 78 W.J. Russell 1892,46 45

assemblage in desert sand".79

The alkali, which would have acted as a flux to lower the required temperature, could either have been introduced with the sand as feispars and clay minerals,8 0 or deliberately as plant ashes, 81 or as natron from Wadi Natrun.82

However, perhaps the most interesting ingredient of Egyptian Blue is the copper. Whether the Egyptians used natural copper carbonates (such as malachite and azurite), or copper suiphite ores, or copper filings or even bronze is a matter for debate. Copper within Egypt is
known to have come from the Eastern Desert and the Sinai, 83 and

although early studies note that "we have practically nothing of importance to show today for all the metal that was mined, won by conquest, and received in trading operations", 84 Hume details various copper sources and ancient slag heaps indicating work in both these areas.85 From the Eighteenth Dynasty onwards, some Egyptian Blue examples also contain tin and/or arsenic, which suggests the use of bronze rather than copper. Tite, Bimson and Cowell 86 and Saleh et a187 suggested that this could have occurred incidentally with the use of scrap metal, but Jaksch et a! proposed that a new technique of 79E1 Goresy, Jaksch, Abdel Rasek & Weiner 1986, 17

Tite, Bimson & Cowell 1987, 40 81 Jaksch, Seipel, Weiner & El Goresy 1983, 532 82 Weatherhead & Buckley 1989, 203 83 Lucas 1962, 201 84 Garland & Bannister 1927 85 Hume 1937, 827-843 86 Tite, Bimson & Cowell 1987, 40 87 Saleh, Iskander, El-Masry & HelmI 1974, 153


preparation is indicated.88 It is generally accepted that there was an enormous growth in building activity from the Eighteenth Dynasty onwards, and it is possible that native resources could not cover the increase in demand for products such as paint. Sources such as the Amarna Letters illustrate the demand for metals from other Mediterranean countries and it seems not inconceivable that the copper element of Egyptian Blue was being imported from elsewhere.

However, even with the enormous body of work concerning the ingredients and possible manufacturing techniques for Egyptian Blue,89 little is known about the exact recipes and method of manufacture. Recent evidence from Amarna arid Piramesse suggests that pigment, faience and glass processing probably occurred in conjunction with each other, and probably also in association with metal working.90

Cobalt was used in the New Kingdom as a colorant in faience and glass, and also to decorate 'blue painted' pottery associated with Amenhotep III and Akhenaten at Amarna. 91 However, there are no
indications that it was ever used as a paint.

88 Jaksch. Seipel, Weiner & El Goresy 1983, 535

89 See Delamare 1998a for a comprehensive bibliography 90 Rehren pers. comm. 91 Hope 1989, 11& 51


Green The green samples found at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham are all examples of artificial green frit which is closely related to Egyptian Blue. The major component of green frit is copper wollastonite (CaCu3Si3Og). This was made of essentially the same ingredients and under the same conditions as Egyptian Blue. Reducing conditions will cause the production of wollastonite rather than cuproroviate,92 and there can also be instances of a higher lime and lower copper content.93

El-Goresy et a! suggested that copper chloride was also used as a green colorant in the Old and Middle Kingdoms, but was totally superseded by artificial green frit by the New Kingdont94 More recently, Schiegl et a! concluded, firstly, that examples of copper chloride and malachite green were inf act degradation products of the glassy phase of artificial copper frits, and secondly, that most of the greens from contexts before the New Kingdom were in fact applied as light blue, which has since changed colour.95 It seems unlikely that the greens known today were all originally blue, and experiments conducted in the British Museum have found that, for example, blue and green hieroglyphs found on a First Intermediate Period coffin were separately and deliberately coloured by Egyptian Blue and Malachite. 96 Blom-Ber suggested that combinations of copper chloride and/or malachite were used as green colorants on wood
Tile, Bimson & CoweIl 1987, 40 Lee & Quirke 2000, 112 94 El Goresy, Jaksh, Abdel Rasik & Weiner 1986, 20 95 Schiegi, Weiner & El Goresy 1992 96 Lee & Quirke 2000, 112 They suggest that malachite may have been used on wood but not on stone, although it is hard to understand why this might be the case.
92 93


Fig.4.2 Examples of wollastonite (Egyptian green) from Zawiyet Uinm el-Rakham

between the 5th and 12th Dynasties.97 Some greens seem to have been made by combining different pigments, as with a 19th Dynasty papyrus where the green was found to be a mixture of Egyptian Blue and jarosite. Green pigments found at Amarna consisted of both artificial green frit (one sample) and the copper ore chrysocolla (two samples),98 and chrysocolla was also identified in some Theban tombs.99 Green pigments found in the Karnak group were identified as chrysocolla,loo and those from the Valley of the Queens were artificial green frit.''

Consequently, although there are occasional examples of malachite and chrysocolla being used, the more common pigment (especially during the New Kingdom) was the artificially produced green fit, which was almost certainly produced in the same workshops as Egyptian Blue.

Red Although we have found two visually distinct types of red pigment at the site, they are both anhydrous iron oxide (hematite) sometimes

97Blom-Ber 1994 98 Weatherhead and Buckley 1989, 208 99 Reiderer 1974, 106
100 Le Fur 1994,41 101 Le Fur 1994, 53


Fig.4.3 Examples of red ochre from Zawiyet Uinm el-Raitham

known as red ochre.102 We have a bright red powdery formlo3 not only in the niches but also as staining across the sand, and a darker red/brownlo4 form in shaped lumps, similar to those described by Russell at Ghurob, where he stated that "a remarkable feature in all the natural specimens is that at least one side is perfectly smooth and curved; had it been a fusible substance the inference would have been that it had been melted and cast in a mould. However, when the surface is carefully examined it is found to be marked with fine lines. Instead of pounding or grinding the mineral they simply rubbed it in a curved vessel, or might be a hollow in a rock, with a little water; fine particles were thus abraded, and the water present gradually carried them down to the bottom of the vessel, from whence they could be easily removed."los Our samples are all regularly shaped, and two pieces bear the fine lines noted above.The red pigments found at Amarna between 1979 and 1986 are similarly shaped, and described as being "roughly triangular in shape with one flat surface".106 Red ochre is known to occur naturally in Egypt, notably in the Western oases.107 Egyptian red ochres are also known to have been prized in antiquity, with Theophrastus mentioning both the natural and
102 See Lee & Quirke (2000) for discussion of two types; hydrous iron oxide limonite and anhydrous hematite, and Lucas (1962) for doubts on red limonite. There is also a much rarer red pigment realgar, which is an arsenic suiphide known from the 18th Dynasty onwards. We did not find any samples of this, apart from one very small crystal in the doorway of Magazine One. It should be noted that although chemically distinct from each other, the two forms of red iron pigments are visually indistinct from each other, and the terms employed to describe red iron oxides (also known as anhydrous oxides of iron, or hematite) and red ochres (hydtated oxides of iron) are used interchangeably by many authors. 103 Pantone colour 166U 104 Pantone colour 1605 U and 174U 105 W.J. Russell 1892, 44 106 Weatherhead & Buckley 1989, 216 107 J-Iume 1937, 209 52

artificial types known from Egypt,1o8 and Pliny referring to Egyptian Earths being used by the Romans as pigments.1o9 Red was one of the most widely used colours for a whole range of decorative purposes, and red ochres are found from the Predynastic onwards.110

Yellow Our most abundant pigment at the site, both in terms of numbers and size of samples (the biggest single sample measuring 14cm by 14cm by 13cm) is yellow ochre.1'l It is also the only pigment that we have found in containers outside Magazine 1, perhaps indicating usage at particular areas of the site. Uke red ochre, yellow ochre occurs naturally in Egypt and was widely used throughout Egyptian history. El Goresy et a! reported that it occurs naturally in pockets in sandstones, shales and in gossans of sulphide deposits. 1 1 2 It can stifi be found throughout Egypt, and, like red ochre, is apparently plentiful in the Western Desert Oases. 1 1 3 Russell notes that the quality of the yellow ochre found at Ghurob was variable both in quality and in colour strength. 114 However the examples found at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham are all of a similar strong yellow,11s with the colour uniform throughout the body of each example. 108 Theophrastus (On Stones) Probably referring to the burning of yellow limonite
to produce red 109 Pliny 35 13-15 110 e.g Naqada, Hierakonpolis, Armant (Lucas 1962, 347) 111 All the bright yellow samples consist of limouite with day and siliceous matter. We have no examples of the brighter yellow pigment orpiment (arsenic suiphide) found occasionally on royal monuments from the Eighteenth Dynasty onwards, see below. 112 El-Goresy, Jaksch, Abdel Rasek & Weiner 1986, 24 113 Hume 1937, 200 114 W.J. Russell 1892, 45 115 Pantone 115U 121U 12911 53

Fig.4.4 Examples of yellow ochre from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham

Fig.4. 5 Examples of yellow jarosite from Zawiyet Urn el-Rakham

The other, paler, yellow samplesll6 found at the site are perhaps more interesting, and certainly of greater significance to current studies on ancient Egyptian pigments. In 1978 Noll identified jarosite (KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6) on Eleventh Dynasty pottery from el Tarif and also at Thera. 117 It was later noted on tomb chapel walls from the Fifth, Sixth, Eleventh and Twelfth Dynasties at Saqqara. 1 18 However, El Goresy et a! stated that, as there is no other evidence for the Egyptians looking for or even being aware of this pigment, U9 it is more likely that this was used by nustake instead of yellow ochre, and after noting that it was perhaps imported from Cyprus, BlomBer suggested that this pigment is actually a result of the degradation of a form of iron oxide.120 Nevertheless, recent findings of jarosite in the painters' materials found
at Karnak, 121

and current

research on Middle Kingdom coffins at the British Museuml2 2 have intimated that this pigment may well have been used intentionally. There can be no uncertainty about the samples discovered at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham. We found eight walnut-size balls of Jarosite in association with the various other pigments, and there can be little doubt both that they were formed into these shapes, and also that they are different to, and distinct from, the yellow ochre samples. Analysis of the jarosite indicates that the material had been finely ground before being shaped into small balls. Le Fur suggests that
116 Pantone 1205U 117 Noll&Hangst 1975, 209-214 118 Wy the Max-Planck Project (Blom-Ber 1994) 119 El Goresy, Jaksch, Abdel Rasek & Weiner 1986, 24-25 120 see Lee & Quirke 2000 121 LeFur 1994, 45 122 Andrew Milton and Sylvia Humphrey Department of Scientific

Research (see Lee


& Quirke 2000)

jarosite may have come from areas near Aswan,123 and jarosite has recently been identified in the Southern Oases.124

The third yellow pigment used in Egypt was orpiment (As2S3). We have not so far found any examples of this at the site. Blom-Ber found pure orpiment only on royal 18th and 19th Dynasty sarcophagi, and reported its use, layered with yellow ochre, on temple and tomb walls..12 5 Although there is no evidence for orpiment in private tombs at Thebes, there are examples of the pigment in pigment groups in the tombs of Kheruef, 126 Tutankhamun,1 2 7 and Horemheb.128 This suggests either that tomb painters had access to the material but use was restricted, or that the mineral degrades in a way that can render it undetectable to modern analysis. Petrie also found orpiment at Ghurob.12 9 Orpiment has been found at Amarna, with 'two large pieces and several lumps' found in House 049.17 and traces on a stone vessel found in a well at the industrial area Q48.4.130 There is also a small bottle of orpiment from Amarna in the Liverpool Museum.131 Sources outside Egypt include Kurdistan, Iran, Syria and Anatolia,132 but no source has yet been identified in Egypt itself. Some of the ainphorae on the Ulu Burun shipwreck contained orpimeflt,133

1994, p1.9 124 Hope, pers.comm.

123 LeFur
125 Blom-Ber 1994, 63-64 126 Saleh, Iskander, El-Masry

& Helmi 1973, 146 & fig 2 127 Lucas 1933, 177 128 13!ack & Brack 1980, 100 129 petrie 1890, 38 130 Weatherhead 1995, 394; identified by visual inspection only 131 56.20.195 ex. Spurrell Collection 132 Mooray 1994, 328 133 flass 1986, 278


but it is not clear if this was intended to be used as a pigment.134 The implication from the evidence in Egypt is that orpiment was al-i expensive, high-status (if not exclusively royal) pigment used to give an especially bright, golden yellow appearance to selected images.

White The one example of white pigment at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham is calcium carbonate (CaCo3). Calcium carbonate and calcium sulphate were both used from the Predynastic period until the Roman Period.135 Both occur naturally in Egypt, and it is also possible that powdered shell was used,136 as the shells of molluscs are nearly pure calcium carbonate. 137

Huntite (Mg3Ca9CO3)4) was identified by Riederer, who found it on various New Kingdom artifacts.138 Blom-Ber also found huntite from Middle and New Kingdom contextsl 39 and the British Museum also identified the pigment on a 12th Dynasty coffin fragment and on artifacts dating from the 18th to the 22nd Dynasty.140 Huntite is formed by a weathering process on magnesium deposits, and although at present the nearest known sources are in the Persian Gulf and Tunisia,141 it is possible that Egyptian sources will be identified in 134 Bass believes that it is more likely to have been used as a component of the wax writing boards (orpiment 25%, wax 75%), similar to one found on the ship, which were used in the Near East. (Bass, ) 135 Lucas 1962, 349; Blom-Ber 1994, 66 136 Lucas 1962, 349 137 used e.g. in Japanese painting (Gettens, West Fitz Hugh & Feller 1974, 162) 138 Riederer 1974, 103 139 Bom-Ber 1994, 76 140 Lee & Quirke 200, 114 141 Lee & Quirke 200, 114


the future. 14 2 Huntite, like orpiment, seems to have been used rarely and exclusively on high status objects, and it seems likely that it also was a rare and expensive pigment saved for occasions when specially bright white paint was needed.

Black Almost every analysis of black from the Predynastic period onwards has shown that carbon in the form of soot was used.143 Spurrell suggested that black ore of manganese from Sinai was used at Ben! FJasan,144 but there are no more recent findings of this.

42Riederer 1974, 104 1962, 339: Lee & Quirke 2000, 108 144 Spurrell 1895, 229; Lucas 1962, 340
143 Lucas


Fig.4.6 Examples of pigments from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham

5. Pigments at other sites in Egypt

Pigments found in a similar state to those at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham (i.e. either in their raw state, or after having been rnitial processed) are known from some other sites in Egypt. It is probable that many more examples have been found than are now recorded in published reports, as such samples have not always been identified, or seen as important in archaeological terms.

Where would these pigments have been manufactured and manipulated on ancient sites? Production of Egyptian Blue required firing at high temperature for sustained periods of time. However, no separate and distinct Egyptian Blue manufacturing and processing area is yet known from the archaeological record.

There are some sites where such finds have led to research into the processes involved in the manufacture and use of pigments, with the main concentration of existing work on finds from New Kingdom sites.

Meidum, Kahun and Ghurob Russell conducted extensive studies on frits found at Meidum, Kahun and Ghurob.145 The results can be summarised as follows:

145 WJ.

Russell 1892, 1893-1894, 1893-1895 60

Blue Russell analysed the blue pigments from Ghurob only, because he found that the blue pigments from Kahun were 'inferior'. The colour ranged from pure blue, light blue, strongly greenish blue and slightly purplish blue. The 'several large pieces' all had 'a smoothed and curved surface'. However, the furnaces necessary for manufacture were not identified.

Red The red pigments were found to be ferric oxide. Russell suggested that some of the samples found were the end result of an initial process, where the pigment had been 'reduced to a fine powder and probably to some extent purified'.146 He later suggested that some red ochre was made by heating yellow ochre, but there is no evidence for this.

Yellow All the yellow samples were found to be iron ochre. Some were light yellow, while others had a much warmer tint.

White The white pigment was calcium suiphite or gypsum. Russell suggested that it had been 'ground and carefully prepared for use'.147

Russell 1892, 44 '47 W.J. Russell 1892, 47



Amarna Petrie's excavations in the Main City at Amarna included furnaces and workshops where blue, turquoise, purple and grey frits were found.148 Various attempts were made both to analyse the composition of these frits and to reproduce them. More recently work has been undertaken both on the main dump at the western edge of the city (where Petrie had found faience moulds),149 and on the nearly seventy specimens of pigment found at the Workmen's Vifiage between 1979 and 1986.'so However, no fritting kilns were found during these latter excavations, and it is thought that the pigments found in the village came from the industrial area in the Main City. Excavation in 1987 of the industrial area in the Main City revealed nearly forty more fragments of pigments.151 The results can be summarised as follows:

Blue All the blue samples analysed from both these excavations were found to be Egyptian Blue, containing varying degrees of urireacted quartz and/or silica. There were also traces of wollastomte in some of the samples. They found neither sodium nor tin in the blue examples, implying that copper rather than bronze was used in the manufacture. A small straight-sided pot containing compacted deposit of blue material, 152 and a shell (now in four pieces) used as a
1895 in chapter "Falence in Egypt" 150 Weatherhead & Buckley 1989 151 Weatherhead 1995. None of these more recent groups has been analysed chemicallY. 152 UC 8986
149 See 62 148 Surrell,

Fig.5.1 Examples of Egyptian Blue found at Ghurob

Fig.5.2 Yellow pigments found in the Main City at Amarna

Fig.5.3 Potsherd containing blue paint from Ainarna

Fig.5.4 Potsherd containing green paint from Amarna

palette for blue paintl53 were both found by Petrie between 18911892 in the 'glass factory'.154

Turquoise The turquoise samplesiss were found to be Egyptian Blue containing additional sodium. 'The conclusion is that a significant amount of [sodium] was added during the manufacture over and above that added for blue frit'. 156 Chlorine, potassium and iron were also noted. Petrie and Russell both thought that the use of iron-rich sand would produce a greenish tint in Egyptian Blue, but Tite, Bimson and Cowell, in their analysis of Egyptian Blue elsewhere, have noted the presence of iron in true blue samples.1s7 The use of iron in the manufacture of faiencels8 and glass is discussed elsewhere.159

Green Two green samples were chrysocolla, and one other was found to have a chemical composition similar to the turquoise samples (i.e. Egyptian Blue), with traces of iron and sodium.

Red Only two examples were found in the workmen's village. One was 153 UC 24329 154 Dayton 1987, 356 fig. 3l7See Weatherhead and Buckley 1989, Table 10.2
155 Colour

division introduced at Amarna, see above

156 Weatherhead and Buckley 1989, 207, although the form of sodium is not
specified. 157 Tite, Bunson, Cowell 1984 158 'We have failed to find clear evidence that iron was ever systematically and deliberately added so as to influence the formation of green versus blue glazes with copper..all one can say is that apparently greater care was taken in selecting ow-iron sands for blue than for green glazes' Kaczmarczyk & Hedges 1983 p.39 159 See in chapter "Colorants in faience and glass" 64

Karnak A group of pigments was discovered in 1984 at Karnak in what is described as a Middle Kingdom context, 166 although unfortunately the exact context is not reported. The material included a basalt rubbing or grinding stone which had traces of red on both faces and had probably been used to crush the pigments found in the form of small cubes, and a small cylindrical pot containing blue pigment, which was similar to small pots found in other excavations at the site. Traces of pinkish red found around the sides of the pot corresponded to traces of paint found on a small paintbrush. Other fragments of pottery were also found, which bore traces of yellow and red. There was also a shell containing white pigment.

Blue The blue pigments were Egyptian Blue, and one example also included wollastonite and quartz.167

Green The green pigment was chrysocolla rather than artificial green frit, and it is suggested that it may have come from the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea.l68

Red The red material was found in two forms, both small lumps and in a
166 "La stratigraphie de la foulile des fondations du temple construit dans la cour du Moyen Empire situ cette palette au Moyen Empire" (Le Fur 1994, 39) 16? Le Fur 1994, 45 168 Le Fur 1994, 41



Fig.5.5 Group of pigments found at Karnak

fine powdery state. Both types were a mixture of hematite and goethite, and described as red ochre.169 However, Le Fur believes that the powdery examples may represent yellow ochre which had been burnt in order to obtain a red colour. He also suggests that the ochre may have been obtained somewhere in the eastern desert, although there may be sources close to the Valley of the Kings.'7o

Yellow This was found to be jarosite.

White The white paint was found to be calcium carbonate with traces of quartz, and the shell was an example of a bivalve marine mollusc from the Red Sea.

Black The black pigment was carbon in the form of soot.

Tomb courtyard of Kheruef University of Chicago excavations in 1938 on the West Bank at Thebes uncovered a wooden chest containing various pigments in the courtyard of the tomb of Kheruef (TT192 at Qurna). These consisted of:

169Le Fur 1994, 45 170 R. Janssen, pers. comm.


Blue The blue material was in the form of five round cakes each containing two bag shapes embedded in them, and two separate bag-shaped lumps. All were analysed and found to be Egyptian Blue, with minor amounts of wollastonite, quartz and tin oxide. The texture of the bag inclusions was noted to be significantly finer than that of the surrounding material. It is interesting to note that in each round cake two stages of Egyptian Blue production are present. The assumption must be that the bags represent samples of material which had been previously fired, ground, and placed into small sacksl7l before being introduced into unfired material. Although Saleh et a! believe that the presence of tin oxide was accidental,172 it is an indication that bronze rather than copper may have been used.

Red The orange-red pigment was found as a mass of small fragments in linen bag, and was identified as realgar (a form of arsenic suiphide (AsS)), mixed with gypsum and other minor trace elements.173 There are a couple of instances of realgar being identified in New Kingdom contexts at Thebes.174 However, realgar can alter into orpiment on exposure to light, and so is susceptible to misidentification in both laboratory analysis and visual inspection.175 This bagful from the tomb of Kheruef is the only recorded example of realgar as part of a pinter's palette. 171 Note that the authors state that 'the texture of the linen bag used is stifi evident
on the surface of these cakes'. (Saleh, Iskander, El-Masry & Helmi 1973, 144) 172 Saleb, Iskander, E1-Masry&Helmi 1973, 153 173 Saleh, Iskander, El-Masry & Helmi 1973, 144 and fig 4 174 Quirke&Lee 2000, 114 175 Quirke &Lee 2000, 114 69

Fig.5.6 Wooden chest containing pigments from the courtyard of the tomb of Kheruef Fig.5.7 Cakes of Egyptian Blue, pottery jar containing orpiment and linen bag of reallar

Fig.5.8 Pigments from the wooden chest

Fig.5.9 Cake of Egyptian Blue with two embedded bag shapes

Yellow The pottery jar from the same collection contained lemon yellow crystals resembling mica. These were shown to be pure orpiment,176 which is a pigment known from mainly royal contexts in the 18th and 19th Dynasties.177

Dra' Abu el-Naga A group of utensils belonging to a painter were uncovered in 1991 in an unstratified layer of limestone chips in the early New Kingdom private cemetery of Dra' Abu el-Naga on the West Bank at Thebes. This consisted of 10 pottery bowls (of early New Kingdom type), and one thick and sixteen thin paintbrushes. Most of the bowls were extensively used, with cracks and breaks, and many of them had been used for more than one colour, with layers of different colours visible. All the bowls still contained amounts of colour pigment.178

XRD indicated that the pigments consisted of:179

Blue: Egyptian Blue, Green: wollastomte, Red: red ochre, Yellow: yellow ochre, White: calcium carbonate and huntite, Black: ground charcoal (carbon).

Polz suggested that the pigments and brushes were deliberately deposited, and that due to the ceremonial and funerary nature of the 176 Saleh, Iskander, El-Masry & Helmi 1973, 147 and fig 5 177 see above in chapter "Previous pigment studies" 178 Polz 1997, 34 179 Polz 1997, 35

_______ pap,


Fig.5.1O Painter's materials and utensils from Dra' Abu el-Naga

Fig.5.11 Small pot (left) containing blue pigment found outside the tomb of Senenmut

objects that they had been used to paint, they may themselves have. been seen as sacred in some way and so purposefully buried close to the tomb for which they were employed.18o

Valley of the Queens A few examples of pigments were found in 1986 in the Valley of the Queens next to QV 80 and in front of QV 53, and they are described as an 'atelier d'artiste'. 181 A base of a pottery jar contained red and yellow pigment, and sherds bore traces of blue and green.

Blue The Egyptian Blue found on the pottery sherds had already been processed, in that it had been ground to a fine powder and mixed with acacia gum.182

Green There was also evidence of very hard fragments of green and turquoise. These were analysed and, although appearing as different shades, were both found to be a mixture of wollastonite, cristobalite and quartz.183

Red The red pigment was red ochre Yellow

180 Polz 1997, 35 181 Le Fur 1994, 53 182 Le Fur 1994, 53 183 Le Brun 1994, 56


The yellow pigment was a mixture of goethite, kaolinite, and calcite.

There are also a few examples of individual or stray pots of paint and paintbrushes, such as a small pot with blue pigment in outside the tomb of Senenmut, a small paint pot, again containing blue paint, from the floor of Chamber 1 in KV5, 184 and 'a painting brush with a paint pot or Jar' from the entrance corridor of tomb KV17, 18 5 a fragment of pottery fified with blue pigment found at Deir el Bahri,186 and a broken piece of pottery filled with blue paint found near a bundle of painters' equipment in the tomb of Montuherkhopeshef (TF2O), which included coarse brushes and a length of string stained red (used to mark out grids).187

A different sort of palette was more commonly found in high status and royal tombs. Chapter 94 of the 'Book of the Dead' states that the scribal outfit is essential for the deceased,188 and there are some examples of palettes which were obviously made for the tomb. Iversen noted that palettes made from stone were not intended for use,189 and there are also examples of funerary models which

father, keeper of the book of Thoth1 see, I have come spiritualised, besouled, mighty, and equipped with the writings of Thoth. Bring me the messenger of the earth-god who is with Seth, bring me a water-pot and palette from the writing-kit of Thoth and the mysteries which are in them. See, I am a scribe; bring me the corruption of Osiris that I may write with it and that I may do what the great and good god says every day, being the good which you have decreed for me, oh Horakhty. I will do what is right and I will send to Re daily. (Wasserman 1998, 109) 189 Iversen 1955, 33 nt.56 74

184 TMP web site 185 Tomb of Seti I in Reeves & Wilkinson 1996, 138 186 Le Fur 1994, 72 & fig.25 187 Davies 1913, Robins 1997, 27 188 Chapter for requesting a water-pot and a palette: Oh you great one who see your

- -


Fig.5.12 Funerary model palette belonging to Nehem-'ay



Fig.5.13 Palette with the cartouche of Amenhotep III containing six wells of pigment

Fig. 5.14 Palette belonging to Meket-Aten

mimicked the appearance of real palettes, such as one found at Saqqara which belonged to the Prophet of Thoth Nehem-'ay.190

However, there are also instances of small painter's palettes which contain between two and nine circular depressions fified with different coloured pigments (similar to watercolour sets used today), which had probably been used by the dead person. The implication is that painting was a popular hobby amongst the elite, and that such palettes were included with other recreational implements in order to ensure continued use.

Amenhotep ifi An unprovenanced ivory palette with a cartouche at the top reading 'Neb-Maat-Re beloved of Re' and containing six cakes of pigment may have come from the tomb of Amenhotep 111. 191 The paint colours are blue, green, brown, yellow and red, and all have been well used. 192

Meket-Aten A tiny unprovenanced palette, which Hayes describes as a toy,193 belonged to Meket-Aten the second daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. The paint colours in four oval inkwells are black, blue and green, and the box stifi contains three paintbrushes.

190 Hayes 1957, 275

note the absence of black and white in this palette, perhaps indicating that this was part of a larger kit. 193 Hayes 1957, 296 76
191 Hayes 1957, 255 192 It is interesting to



p a.

Fig.5.15 Palettes from the tomb of Tutankhamun


Fig.5.16 Pigments from the tomb of Tutankliamun

Tutaxikhamun The tomb of Tutankhamun contained 'a large number of funerary palettes, with imitation colours and reeds, obviously for ritualistic purposes'.194 Other palettes and writing outfits bore signs of use, and had probably belonged to, and been used by, the king. Small amounts of various pigments were also found scattered about in the annex, and it is not clear whether these had originally been part of a set once placed in a box, or if they were left behind by the tomb decorators. Some of these pigments were found readily prepared for use in shells, and there was also a linen bag containing Egyptian Blue.195 In fact all the blue pigment found in the tomb was described by Lucas as 'artificial frit'. The red and black pigments are carbon and red ochre in the scribal palette. In the palette with six colours, the red and black were again carbon and red ochre, the white was (probably) calcium suphatel96 and the yellow was orpiment.197

Anienemopet A (unprovenanced) boxwood palette containing eight oval cavities filled with 'much used blocks of dry pigment' including red, black, white, blue, green and yellow, belonged to Amenemopet, who was 'Vizier and Overseer of the City' (Thebes).198 A narrow compartment at the back of the box once had a sliding cover and contained paintbrushes. Another (unprovenanced) palette probably belonging to the same Amenemopet contains red, green, blue and (now) two '94 Carter 1933, 79 195 Lucas, Appendix 11, 179 in Carter 1933
196 Lucas did not test the white, and was not aware in 1933 of the use of huritite in New Kingdom Egypt. 197 Lucas, Appendix II, 180 in Carter 1933 198 Hayes 1959, 146 78


_______ .'

Fig.5.17 Boxwood palette belonging to the Vizier Amenemopet

blacks. Analysis has shown that the red is a mixture of iron ochre, quartz and orpiment, the blue is Egyptian Blue, the green a mixture of Egyptian Blue and wollastonite, and the blacks are mixtures of graphite and Egyptian Blue'99 (suggesting that one of the blacks may originally have been dark blue).


Silverman in Brovarski, Doll & Freed 1982, 288 a 1 80

Part 2: Egyptian Blue.

6. Technology of Egyptian Blue

Egyptian Blue appears in a wide range of fabrics, from soft and friable to hard and semi-vitrified, from coarse to fine textured and from light to dark blue.200

As previously discussed, Egyptian Blue was made from a mixture of silica, calcium, copper and an alkali. The ratio between the various components of Egyptian Blue can be used as a useful indicator of the technical competence involved in the manufacture. A common feature of all Egyptian Blue material tested, including that from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham has been the presence of an excess of silica (usually in the form of quartz). An excess of lime would lead to the formation of wollastonite, and an excess of copper would lead to the formation of copper oxides (cuprite or tenorite). Reducing conditions also lead to the production of wollastonite, but prevent the synthesis of cuproroviate, and so lead to a green product.201

A low alkali content (less than 1%) probably indicates that the alkali was not a specific ingredient, but rather entered the mixture as impurities (feispars or clay minerals) in the sand. On the other hand, if higher amounts of alkali are detected (over 1%) this probably repisents a deliberately added separate ingredient. The two main sources of alkali available to the Egyptians were plant ashes and
200 201

Tite, Bunson & Cowell 1987, 40 Jaksh, Seipel, Werner & El Goresy 1983, 328 81

natron. These two types can probably be distinguished by the amount of potassium and magnesium present. High potassium (over 1%) and high magnesium (over approx. 1.5%) indicates that plant ash was used. Low potassium and low magnesium content suggests that the alkali was added in the form of natron, as this is a purer form of alkali consisting of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate.202

The alkali content was also one of the main factors which determined the microstructure of Egyptian Blue.

A glass matrix occurred with a high alkali content2o3 (more than 1% potassium oxide and/or sodium oxide). This led to the Egyptian Blue crystals and the unreacted quartz crystals being held together to form a stronger, harder fabric.

With a lower alkali content (less than 1%), glass tends not to be present, and therefore the fabric is less well cemented together, and hence softer and more friable.2o4

Texture of the material, which ranges from coarse to fine grained can sometimes be visually distinguished.205 In coarse grained samples, the Egyptian Blue crystals form clusters, some of which stick to unreacted quartz grains. In fine textured samples, the Egyptian Blue
202 Lucas

203 first proposed by Noll 1975 204 Note that Tite believes that a higher firing temperature (1000C as opposed to
900C was required to produce Egyptian Blue from batches with low alkali contents. 205 i.e. close inspection can show if the material has a crystalline texture (like a sugar lump) or whether the grain is too fine to distinguish by eye. A range of types is apparent at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham. 82

1962, 263-267

grains tend to be smaller, and are more evenly distributed with the quartz grains, which also tend themselves to be smaller.206

The range in colour from dark to light blue is therefore associated with the size of the clusters of Egyptian Blue crystals in the material. Consequently, darker blue versions tend to have coarser textures.

Spurrel first proposed2O7 the now generally accepted idea that finegrained (but not coarse-grained) Egyptian Blue was produced by a multi-stage process, where the product of the first firing was ground into a fine powder in order to distribute Egyptian Blue crystals with the unreacted quartz in a sample, and re-fired (at least once). Second stage firing would occur at a lower temperature (850-950C) in order to achieve coherence but not to stimulate further reaction.208

Light blue specimens can be produced from dark blue specimens which have been ground, but very light blue (or diluted light blue)209 can only be produced by samples with a significant glass phase (and high alkali content).

El Goresy et cil2iO suggested that a chronological division existed, with 206 Work with the Egyptian Blue from Zawiyet Umm el-Raikham has demonstrated that, irrespective of the original colour of the sample, grinding with a pestle and mortar produces a nro gressivelv naler version of the material. Tests have also indicated that the darker blue samples contain higher proportions of copper to calcium than the paler blues. 20?Siiurrel 1895, 234 208 Note that Tite is now not convinced that multi-stage firing always occurred, and recent experimental work has shown that light blue, fine grained Egyptian Blue can be produced with single stage firing.(Tite & Shortland, pers. comm.) 209 as defined by Tite, Bimson & Cowell 1987 210 El Goresy, Jaksch, Abdel Razek & Weiner 1986, 15


Fig.6.1 Egyptian Blue made by Spurrel

the higher content of glass due to the deliberate addition of a flux (and therefore needing lower firing temperatures) only occurring from the New Kingdom onwards, and thus indicating a different manufacturing procedure.

However, technical advances in the production of Egyptian Blue can perhaps be best identified by analysis of the copper component. Copper ores such as malachite or azurite were probably used during the Old and Middle Kingdoms. However, technical innovations seem to have occurred in the 18th Dynasty during the reign of Tuthmosis 111. 211 Analyses undertaken by Jaksch et a! indicated that tin oxide (cassiterite) was present in numerous samples taken from 18th, 19th and 20th Dynasty sites. 212 This suggests either that there was a new technique of preparing Egyptian Blue, or that a copper ore which also contained tin was now being used. However, Egyptian copper ores do not contain tin.213 There is therefore a strong possibility that for the first time bronze was being used as the copper-containing component (perhaps as scrap from metallurgical activity).214 Arsenic and lead may also indicate the use of scrap metal rather than copper ores, but it should be noted that lead may also have been present in the lime, the sand, and the flux.215

Nonetheless, there is evidence from the tomb of Nefertari that local 211 Probably similar to those undergone in both the falence and glass industries
(see below) 212 1983, table 1 213 Jakcsh., Seipel, Weiner & El Goresy 1983, 532 214 Note that el Goresy et al. believe that copper could only be added as an oxide form, and that the copper or bronze would have been processed first. (El Goresy, Jaksch, Abdel Razek & Weiner 1986, 18) 215 Rehren pers. comm. 85

copper ores were still in use during the 19th Dynasty, as one sample of Egyptian Blue contained gold, and was probably made with copper oxide from Egyptian gold mines.216

216 Jaksch., Seipel, Werner & El Goresy

1983, 535 86

7. Shapes of Egyptian Blue pigments

Ongoing work at Amarna and Qantir has facilitated a database of different shapes for Egyptian Blue samples. These forms were obviously dependent to a large extent on the vessels used during manufacture. It is possible therefore that some shapes represent the initial stage of manufacture (i.e. the result of single firing only). Analysis of flat cakes of Egyptian Blue indicates that there were two basic sizes. Large cakes (above 18cm diameter), and small cakes (approximately 10cm diameter). It is not clear if these two different sizes are related to different manufacturing stages, although Weatherhead thinks that more coarsely granular samples tend to be made into the larger forms.217 However, the pale and fine-grained cake from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham is one of the largest examples known.The types are as follows:218 1. Large round flat cakes

Zawiyet Umm el Rakham: diameter 20cm, height 2cm 219 Kheruef (5 cakes): diameter 18cm height 2-3cms22o Deir el-Medina: diameter 22cm, height 2cm221 Cairo Museum: diameter 19cm222 Cairo Museum: diameter 22cm223
217 Weatherhead and Buckley 1989, 210 218 after Weatherhead and Buckley 1989, 210 219 ZUR/M1/24. The other samples, although

some have flat or rounded faces, are not large enough to estimate accurately the original shape from which they may have been taken. 220 Saleh, Iskander, El-Masr &, Helm!. 1974 221 Dayton 1978, 32; said to be 19th Dynasty 222 Unprovenanced, Cairo Museum 2110 223 Unprovenanced, Cairo Museum 2112 87

Fig.7.1 Large Egyptian Blue cake from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham

Fig.7.2 Unprovenanced large Egyptian Blue cake from Cairo Museum

Fig.7. 3 Unprovenanced large Egyptian Blue cake from Cairo Museum

2. Small round flat cakes

Amarna: Amarna: Amarna: Deir el-Medma: Tell el-Yahudiyeh:

diameter 9.5 cm1 height 2cm224 diameter 9.5cm, height 3cm225 daimeter 9.5 cm1 height 2 cm226 diameter 9cm, height 4cm227 diameter 10.3cm, height 3

3. Large flat rectangular cakes


17cm x 17cm, height 2cm229 described as 10cm thick23o dimensions not given23l

Deir el-Medma: Deir el-Medma:

4. Bowl-shaped cakes with flat top and rounded base

Aniarna: Thebes: Qantir:

diameter 11.5 cm232 diameter not known233 various examples, diameters not known234

224 Liverpool Museum 1973.4.352 225 Bolton Museum 1966.A22 no.2 226 Bolton Museum 1966.A22 no.1 227 Dayton 1978, 31; said to be 19th Dynasty 228 BM 229 Petne Museum UC 24686 230 Dayton 1978, 32 231 Dayton 1978, 32 232 Liverpool Museum 56.2 1.786 233 flritish Museum 5561, mWeatherhead&Buckley 1989, 210 234 Rehren, pers. comm.

Fig.7.4 Small round Egyptian Blue cake from Aniarna

Fig.7.5 Sack-shaped Egyptian Blue cake from Amarna

Fig.7.6 Spherical shapes of Egyptian Blue from Cairo Museum a

5. Small sack-shaped pieces indicating that the ingredients were sometimes placed into small bags before firing

Kheruef: Kheruef: Amarna: Qantir:

13.5cm x 10.1cm (height not known)235 10.7cm x 6.2cm (height not known)236 10.5cm x 8.5 cm (height not known)237 sizes not kriown238

6. Thin cylindrical sticks Qantir: Tell Fara: Nimrud:

sizes not knoWn.239 9cm x 1.3-0.9cm diameter24o sizes not knowfl24l

7. Spherical shapes (Graeco-Roman period onwards)

235 SaIeh1 Iskander, El-Masr &, Helini. 1974, 143 236 Saleh1 Iskander, EI-Masr &. Helmi. 1974, 143 237 Weatherhead & Buckley 1989, 213; a flattened example which probably burst or
became untied at the beginning of the firing process. 238 Rehren, pers. corn. 239 Rehren, pers. corn. 240 Dayton 1978, 32. In an area under Egyptian administrative and military control during the New Kingdom 241 sticks and lumps of Egyptian Blue were found at Nimrud, and Mallowan suggested that the material was imported as a substance used in the incrustation of ivories (Majiowan 1966, 180). Egyptian Blue was also found in potsherds, at Persepolis and Schmidt thought that 'the ingredients of the compound were Imported and that the artisans who made the objects were foreign experts from either Egypt or the Two River Land' (Schmidt 1957, 133 a 4). Egyptian Blue in the first mifiemijum BC is outside the remit of this study, but is included here as an example of continujng use of manufactured forms. 91

8. Processing Technology

As has been discussed elsewhere, pigments in the form found at Zawiyet Umrn el-Rakham and other sites in Egypt are probably representative of an intermediate stage of production. The artificially manufactured materials had (self evidently) been made, and the natural materials (ochres etc.) had probably undergone some sort of processing and refining. The way that these materials were processed is unknown, but various mechanisms have been suggested. For blue and green artificial substances at least one stage of firing had occurred, and the solid state reaction undergone in the firing process had sintered the material into a solid body. In order to turn this into paint, the material would have to be ground up once more, and then mixed with some form of wetting medium to render it suitable to paint onto various surfaces. Each stage of the process therefore involves:




Natural materials, such as red and yellow ochre, calcium carbonate and gypsum white, jarosite, and carbon would also have required processing in order to remove impurities and to achieve a suitably fine-grained material.242

Russell believed that lumps of red ochre found at Ghurob were grated


Le Fur 1994, 66


in water in order to obtain fine particles of material to use as paint.243 However, it is likely that this or a similar form of processing also occurred before such lumps were included in the painters' palettes. There is also the possibility that some substances were heated as part of the purification process. Le Fur suggested various models for the processing phases:

1. washing > drying 2. washing > decanting > 3. sieving > grinding >

grinding drying


4. grinding z> washing 5. grinding > washing

decanting .z> drying



After pigments had been prepared for use, there would still have needed to be some form of suspension medium to dilute and liquefy them into paint, and to ensure that they adhered to whatever they were painted onto. The word for scribe, and the verbs to write and paint are represented by the hieroglyph ideogram showing a palette, brushes arid a small pot containing water for dissolving the ink (ss:). It is likely that water was a sufficient medium when black and red ink had already been prepared with some form of binder which was water soluble. However, it is likely that different binding media were used, dependent on the canvas (limestone, plaster, wood etc.), and_although this has been the subject of research, it is still an area of speculation.244 243 w.J. Russell 1892, 44
244 e.g.

British Museum binding project was unable to define materials. Quirke, pers. 93


Possible binding media include:

Glue Glue is made from mima1 gelatin (collagen).245 It is easy to make and can be prepared with low-level technology, as 'bones, hides, etc. should be cleaned of any extraneous matter and then boiled in water'. 246 The resulting jelly is then dried, powdered and mixed with water. Fish glue is also possible, although Newman and Serpico point out that it has poorer adhesive qualities and an unpleasant smell.247

Glue may have been used to bind paint in the tomb of Nefer at Saqqara,248 but all other identified examples date from the GrecoRoman Period. Nonetheless, Newman & Serpico note that 'glue was a major adhesive that served many purposes in ancient Egypt'.249

Egg white or yolk

Eggs consist of albumen, ovalbumen, water and sugar.250 Egg white needs to be whipped in order to break up stringiness, and yolk can be used both alone and mixed with water. Egg white and gum were both found in the tomb of Nefertari, but it is not clear if the egg was used as a binder or varnish, or indeed if it was present as a result of later restorations.251

245 Lucas 1962, 352; Le Fur 1995, 56 246 Newman & Serpico 2000, 475 247 Newman & Serpico 2000, 475 248 Le Fur 1994, 59; doubted by Newman & Serpico 2000, 483 249 Newman & Serpico 2000, 484 250 Lucas 1962, 352; Le Fur 1995, 56 251 Newman & Serpico 2000, 485

Gum Most gums are water soluble,252 and are produced by vegetable material (consisting of polysaccharides and sugars).253 The two gums probably most commonly used were acacia gum (genus acacia) and tragacanth gum (genus astragalus).254 Acacia wood was often used for boat building, and the bark was used in the preparation of leather from hides. 2 55 The plants grow both in sandy areas and along the banks of the Nile, and the best acacia gum, known as gum arabic, comes from acacia senegal which is distributed in Eastern Africa as far north as Sudan.256 It is likely that this is one of the materials traded between Punt and Egypt.257

Astragalus is not native to Egypt, but grow on mountain slopes in

Turkey, Syria/Palestine and Mesopotarnia. The best tragacanth gum is obtained by tapping the roots of the shrub.25 8 Locust bean, tamarind and cherry gum may also have been used.259

Analysis of New Kingdom painted stone surfaces at Karnak has indicated that the paint was bound with gum (perhaps acacia gum),260 and wall paintings from Nefertari's tomb were bound with acacia 252 Jlepper 1990, 20 253 Lucas 1962, 352; Le Fur 1995, 56; Newinan& Serpico 2000, 485 for
monosaccharide structure and identification 254 Newman & Serpico 2000, 476 255 Hepper 1990, 22 256 Newman & Serpico 2000, 476 257 se e.g. Davies 1943, 19 foreign tribute in the tomb of Rekhmire. 258 Newman & Serpico 2000, 478 259 Newman & Serpico 2000, 479 260 Identified by Le Fur 1994, 56 but disputed by Newman & Serpico 2000, 488, who doubt that the analyses that were carried out could specify which species of gum was used. 95

gum. 261 Paint on wood and stone objects in Boston were bound with gum mixed with some other material.262

Resin and Bitumen Resins, such as those made from conifers, are insoluble in water but will dissolve in alcohol or turpentine (made from pLctacia atlantica). Conifers available to the Egyptians would have included pine, cicilian fir and oriental spruce.26 3 Mastic and chios balm were made from pistacia, found in the Aegean, Cyprus and Turkey.264 Resins were used as incense and in the manufacture of cosmetics, 26s and there is some evidence that they were used as adhesives.266 These wood products, along with wood itself, were imported from Syria/Palestine.

Although resins and biturnens were used as varnishes, there is little evidence for their use as binders. Le Fur identified resin from pistacia
lentiscus (mastic bush) in paintings from the 18th Dynasty tomb of

Saranput II at Aswan, 26 7 but Newman & Serpico doubt this analysis.268 Bitumen was also used in mummification, and it is possible that it was also used as an adhesive.

261 Newman & Serpico 2000, 488 262 Niwman & Serpico 2000, 489 263 Flepper 1990, 20 264 Flepper 1990, 26 265 Newman & Serpico 2000, 480 266 Lucas 1962, 8 267 Le Fur 1994, 59 268 Newman & Serpico 2000, 491

9. Egyptian Blue objects and shaping technology

Egyptian Blue was used in the production of small objects such as beads, scarabs, inlays and statuettes.

From the Middle Kingdom onwards, Egyptian Blue was also used to make various forms of vessels, and these almost all exhibit high levels of technical competence.

It is unclear whether, or to what extent, technical advances in the production of Egyptian Blue facilitated the manufacture of large items, but it should be noted that the material used for vessels tends to be fme-grained.

There has been little work on the specific technical requirements of producing objects made of Egyptian Blue, but the technology can probably be related to those of faience and stone working.

The two main ways that faience was manipulated were through modelling and moulding. Modelling was almost certainly done by hand, where objects were shaped and then dried and fired. Moulding involved using a mould or template in order to provide the shape of the product. Most moulds found in Egypt (at sites such as Amarna and-Qantir) are single sided, which allowed for easy access to the material. There is also evidence that moulded objects could be joined together before firing with slurry, as the sintering achieved on firing

would bind separate pieces together, and very large objects such as the sceptre of Amenhotep II were made in this way.

It is not clear whether the same technique of joining pieces together was suitable when working with Egyptian Blue, although some objects, such as a Middle Kingdom jug from Lisht (see fig 9.1), must have had pieces such as handles added at some stage. It is also undear when inlays were added to Egyptian Blue objects, although here it seems likely that this would have occurred after the material had been fired, ground, mixed into a paste and reshaped and before a second firing.

Fine finishes and details were probably added after drying and before firing, although Nicholson notes that faience 'easily cracks and chips, requiring great skifi on the part of the craftsmen'.269

Faience items could not be finished after firing, as any abrasions on the surface this would have adversely affected the surface glaze of an object. However, this is not the case for Egyptian Blue (or glass), where the colour of the material is constant throughout the body. Kozioff noted that Egyptian Blue could be carved into intricate patterns when in a leather hard state after drying and before firing.270 However, it is also possible that it was easier and more effective to work on the material after firing, when it had reached a stable and durable state. 269 Nicholson 1998, 31
270 Kozioff

& Bryan 1992, 393 98

Although initial moulding probably took place, most large objects seem to have also been carved, and the tradition should perhaps be thought of as allied more closely to stone working rather than to those of related silicate technologies. Peltenburg first suggested that glass and metal working should be considered as closely related 'hottechnologies', whereas faience and pottery were 'cold-state technologies'.271 It could now be suggested that there was a separate but relate finishing tradition, where objects of Egyptian Blue and glass were worked in a similar manner to stone.

Evidence from both tomb paintings and existing tools indicate that techniques in stone working remained constant between the Old and New Kingdoms. In order to make stone vessels, blocks of raw stone were dressed with chisels into a rough shape, and this would then be smoothed and finished with an abrasive stone (probably granular sandstone)272 in vertical movements from top to bottom. The interior shape of the vessels was hollowed out either with a stone bit set in a drill or a copper tubular drill, which could extract a core thereby saving time and energy. The cutting agent would be an abrasive material (probably sand).

Cooney noted that there were various problems inherent in carving glass, in that 'it is very hard, brittle and intractable and liable to damage when on the verge of completion'.273 Again, it is unclear to what extent these problems would have been present when working 271 Peltenburg 1987, 20 272 SpallngerinBrovarski, Doll & Freed 1982, 273 Cooney 1960, 1.1
126 99

with Egyptian Blue. However, by the New Kingdom at least, a level of technical proficiency sees to have existed where very hard Egyptian Blue was produced (with a glassy phase).

As with related technologies of falence and glass, there are various problems in trying to identify Egyptian Blue objects in the archaeological record. Imprecise terminology, and indeed the difficulty of accurately identifying material from visual inspection alone are widespread.

Small Egyptian Blue beads were 'fairly common' from the 4th Dynasty onwards274 (i.e. from the same period that the pigment is first identified), and there are also a few examples of cylinder seals from the Old Kingdom.275

Vandiver noted that with Middle Kingdom faience 'glazes are more durable and have brighter hue; bodies are less friable, indicating better control over composition and firing'.276 It is probable that the production of Egyptian Blue was also improved during this period, and Cooney noted that 'the composition of Egyptian Blue shows a very definite development from the pale blue colour and soft granular composition of the Old Kingdom to a slightly darker blue and a slightly more compact composition of the Middle Kingdom'.277 This development may explain the appearance of larger objects and
274 Lucas

1962, 343; Cooney 1976 37 stated that he found beads and cylinder seals on1y dating from the Old Kingdom 275 Lucas 1962, 343 276 Vandiver 1983, A92 277 Cooney 1976, 37 100

vessels during this period. By the New Kingdom, Egyptian Blue was often very dark blue, and also very compact (due to a significant glassy phase).278

Two small Egyptian Blue vessels found at Lisht and dating from the late Middle Kingdom279 are the same size and shape as contemporary vessels in other materials. The cylindrical jar is one of the most common forms of everyday vessels in Egypt, 280 and pottery examples are known from the Late Predynastic and First Dynasty, 281 and the form was also made in stone from the Old Kingdom onwards. 282 In the Middle Kingdom the form appeared in stone, 283 blue faience284 and blue anhydrite, 285 and it seems likely that these Egyptian Blue examples fit into this tradition. 286 There is an unprovenanced example of the same form made out of glass,287 and an unprovenanced blue and black falence version (probably 18th Dynasty). 288 An example from Kahun contained resin, and the form is often described as an unguent or ointment jar.289

Another vessel from the same site is an Egyptian Blue jug with a pear shaped body, pronounced shoulder, ring base and handle joined at 278 see chapter "Technology of Egyptian Blue" 279 MMA 15.3.119, MMA 22.1.112, inLilyquist &Brill 1993, 8, fig 5 280 Friedmann 1998, 227 281 see e.g Kelly 1976 pls.2.12, 2.28 282 Petrie 1937, 99 283 see e.g. Vandier d'Abbadie 1972, 12 5-129. 284 Petrie 1937,5 285 Friedmann 1998, 227 286 There is another example of an Egyptian Blue version in the Fitzwilliain, (E 287 MMA26.7.1179 288 Brovarski, Doll & Freed 1982, 158 no. 169 289 Friedmanu 1998, 227
101 275.1939)

Fig.9.1 Two small Egyptian Blue vessels and an Egyptian Blue jug from Lisht

the shoulder and the r1n1 290 This appears to have been modelled rather than moulded, and it is also possible that it was constructed around a core which was later removed. Interestingly, the shape is characteristic of Middle Bronze Age II pottery from Palestine, 291 which was copied by Egyptian potters in the period between the 13th Dynasty and the Second Intermediate Period.292

An unprovenanced footed dish or tazza in Baltimore may also be

Egyptian Blue,2 93 although it is also sometimes described as blue

faience.294 The form first appeared during the reign of Tuthmosis Ill and was common during the first half of the 18th Dynasty. Dishes with three ribs and a separate foot appeared during the reign of Amenhotep 111, 295 and this dish was probably made during the latter period. 296 The daisy motif in the centre of the dish is defined with white paste inlay. 297 This is a little vessel (height 4.2cm, diameter 7.65cm) and is probably a copy of similar, larger forms known in stone (with either two or three horizontal ribs), 298 pottery299 and glass.30 0 There is also a larger faience version of the same footed dish form, 301 and the shape suggests that they were all derived from a 290 MMA 22.1.64 291 see e.g Arniran 1969, 112, 119; Bourriau 1981, 138 no.271 292 Bourriau 1981, 139 no.2 72 293 Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 406 no.107
294 Brovarski, Doll & Freed 1982, 149 no.153; Friedmann 1998, 228 no.122

295 Bournau in Brovarski, Doll & Freed 1982, 129 296 Spalinger in Brovarski., Doll & Freed 1982, 149 297 Spallnger in Brovarski et a! 1982, 149 and Kozioff in Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 406
think that the central daisy is a paler turquoise colour, but Friedmann and Leveque in Friedmann 1998, 237 nt.136 disagree. 298 Vandier d'Abbadie 1972, 106-107 299 Hope 1989, fig 1 300 Hayes 1959, 278 fig 170 described as 'one of the most beautiful objects in our collection, a wonderful shade of bright turquoise blue; Nolte 1968, 137 nos. 3 & 4; Brovarski, Doll & Freed 1982, 165 no.181 301 MMA.18.2.6 a,b 103

Fig.9.2 Faience or Egyptian Blue footed dish

Fig.93 Alabaster footed dish

I-- -: U -..---!*&J--J U Fig.9.4 Glass footed dish

Fig.9.5 Ebony statuette of a Nubian girl holding a footed disk

Fig.9.6 Bronze bowl decorated with a rosette or daisy pattern

Fig.9.7 Pottery lentoid flask decorated with r green and black daisy

metal prototype.302

Whether faience or Egyptian Blue, it is difficult to determine the technique involved in the production of this vessel. The bowl may have been formed over a core, with the decoration incised before (or after) firing, or the whole vessel may have been carved into this shape. If the bowl is falence, then the even, glossy surface and saturated blue colour may be the result of either a glassy phase in the faience, or of glass being included in the material of the vessel.303 The daisy may have developed from earlier wheel patterns on astronomical ceilings, and the motif was frequently used during the reign of Amenhotep 111.304 This type of bowl is often shown filled with ointment and handed around by servant girls in Theban tomb paintings,305 and there is an ebony statuette in the Petrie museum3o6 ifiustrating a Nubian girl holding a similar dish. The precision of the craftsmanship and the quality of the glaze are exceptional, probably reflecting the artistry and kiln control of a royal workshop,307 and the small size of this example suggests that it may have been made specially for burial.

An unprovenanced Egyptian Blue vase (which may be from Luxor) exhibits an 18th Dynasty form also known in stone vessels. Described by Petrie as 'high-necked vases',308 they were only made during the 302 Bpuniau in Brovarski, Doll & Freed 1982, 129 303 As may have occurred in the falence rings from Amarna (see above). 304 Kozioff in Kozioff and Bryan 1992, 406 305 e. g Tomb of Nebamen and Ipuki, Davies & Gardiner 1936, p1 61
306 tiC

14210 106

307 Friedmarm 1998, 228 308 p etrie 1937, 13 and p1. XXXIII nos.846-959

reigns of Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III, and stone versions have been found in tombs at Sedment,309 Maket and Abydos.310 Similar green/blue vessels described as frit (i.e.faience or Egyptian Blue) are known from Aniba in Nubia 3 ll and from Rifeh. 312 The form is occasionally found with a lid, as in this example, and probably contained scented oil or ointment.

Egyptian Blue was also used to fill hieroglyphs and decorative borders on objects made of faience, ivory, wood and stone.31 3 It is interesting to note that these are usually high status objects with a royal connection, perhaps reinforcing the idea of related workshops in temples and palaces producing a range of objects in a range of different media.

The material was also used to form objects which were then decorated with inlays of different colours and materials. An example of this is an (unprovenanced) fine lotus bowl made of Egyptian Blue with yellow decoration. The bowl has a rounded base, wide, vertical neck and a small flaring rim. The bottom of the bowl is decorated with the common motif of an open lotus flower, and the shoulder shows a row of gazelles lying down. This animal as a decorative motif was popular in the 18th Dynasty. The decorations were incised into the body of the vessel, and then filled with yellow paste. Again, the. high quality of workmanship suggests that it was produced in a royal 309 Brovarski in Brovarsid, Doll & Freed 1982, 159
Petrie 1937, 13 and p1 XIA Stemdorff 1937, 141-143, pL 9lnos. 9, 10 312 Petrie 1907, p1 27a 313 Kozloff&Bryan 1992, 395
310 311


Fig.9.8 High-necked Egyptian Blue vase and cover

Fig.9.9 Egyptian Blue lotus bowl with yellow decoration

workshop.3 14

An interesting group of objects which demonstrate other forms of inlays are those where hieroglyphics of one colour naming the king in association with various deities are inlaid into an object of another colour. A vase fragment from Turin shows Amenhotep HI offering Maat to Atum. Both body and inlay are described as Egyptian Blue by Berman, 315 although this is disputed by Pierrat-Bonnefois, 316 who compared the piece with another from the Louvre which shows the cartouches of Amenhotep III and Tiy facing the name of Hathor mistress of Dendera.317 This latter piece consists of a cobalt blue falence body and copper blue/green falence inlay, and PierratBonnefois suggests that the Turin piece has been mistaken for Egyptian Blue due to the completely deglazed nature of the surface, 'undoubtably due to poor preservation conditions'. 3 18 However, the ifiustration of the broken area shows that (although encrusted with dirt) there is no evidence of a faience core, and that the blue colour is constant throughout the body. It seems likely that these pieces demonstrate the close association of related silicate products, and the use of Egyptian Blue does not preclude the two objects being made by the same factory or craftsmen.

Other similar examples of the type include a fragment with the king -

Gasser & Wiese, 1997, 155 no. 17136 in Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 402 316 in Friedmann 1998, 261 317 E 22662 318 inFriedmann 1998, 263 nt.33 109

314 Page

Fig.9.1O Fragment of an Egyptian Blue or faience vase showing Amenhotep ifi offering Maat to Atum

Fig.9.11 Fragment of a falence vase with handlle with the cartouches of Ainenhotep ifi and Tiy facing the name of Hathor

and Sokar,319 a bead with Neith of Sais,320 and a plaque with Amun Re,321 and a nemset-vase fragment in blue and green (possibly made of Egyptian Blue). 322 These were all found at Thebes, but there are examples from other sites, including the Turin fragment (above) found at Heliopolis, and other fragments found in the temple of Hathor in Smai. 323 Most of the examples from Serabit el Khadim are small vases made of faience rather than Egyptian Blue, and with the exeption of one small body sherd which has traces of what may be the cartouche of Merenptah, they all date from the reign of Amenhotep III. Petrie believed that they were brought from somewhere in the Nile Valley (perhaps Thebes) to act as dedicatory offerings in the Hathor temple.324 The group includes various different faience colour combinations, such as pink or white inlaid with blue, and the most common combination of either green inlaid with blue or blue inlaid with green. There is also one rim fragment of a cup made from Egyptian Blue.325

All these objects demonstrate a high level of technical proficiency, and may well have originated in the same workshop. The royal associations, and the use of high status goods (such as cobalt colorant and Egyptian Blue) indicate that they came from an elite production centre. It is possible that they were official (royal) pducts distributed to temples throughout the country.326 319 Louvre E 25564 320 Louvre E 22630 321 Louvre E 3043 322 E 25565 inKozloff&Bryan 1992, 405 nt. 1 323 UC 35322 - UC 35335 324 Petrie 1906, 140 325 UC 35336 326 see Pierrat-Borinefois in Friedmann 1998, 261 for discussion

Fig.9.12 Upper body of a (originally) blue and green faience vase, containing the cartouches of Amenliotep ilL From Serabit el Khadim

Fig.9.13 Part of a body of a falence vase, originally inscribed for Amenhotep ifi with blue inlay on a white background. From Serabit el Khadim

Fig.9.14 Fragment of a dark blue faience vase with the cartouches of Amenhotep ifi and Tiy inlaid in greem From Serabit el Khadim

There are various small objects, such as pectorals and shabtis, made of Egyptian Blue, and there are some examples of Egyptian Blue used to make inlays. The British Museum collection includes an unusual square pectoral which was almost certainly made in a single sided mould, and shows a man adoring the figure of Osiris.327 There is also an unprovenanced shabti made of Egyptian Blue with black and white glass inlaid eyes and eyebrows of a sem-priest and chief w3b priest called '13y, which is an unusual example of Egyptian Blue inlaid with glass. A head of a queen or goddess (said to be from Thebes) suggests that comparatively large statuettes may have been made in this material.328 There is an example of an Egyptian Blue ibex head, although this is more likely to have been attached to some other material, as there is a large peg under the neck, presumably to slot the object onto another piece (perhaps a cosmetic dish in the form of an ibex).329 Inlays include an Egyptian Blue head of a king (or perhaps a god with blue flesh).330

Another instance of the colour blue being used in a royal or divine context is that of various complete and fragmentary examples of Egyptian Blue and blue faience wigs and crowns known from the Amarna period. Votive statues were commonly found in the private house and garden shrines at Amarna, usually depicting Akhenaten and Nefertiti, 33 1 and some of the wigs and crowns were probably part. of these composite statues. Such statues were usually made of 327 Cooney 1976, 37 no.333 328 Cooney 1976, 38, no.340 329 Brovarski in Brovarski, Doll & Freed 1982, 160 330 Cooney 1976, 38, 339 331 Johnson 1996, 74

Fig.9.15 Egyptian Blue square pectoral showing a man worshipping Osiris

:- T:

Fig.9.16 Egyptian Blue shabti with glass eyes

Fig.9.17 Egyptian Blue head of a queen or goddess from a statuette.

Pig.9.18 Egyptian Blue ibex head

>1 ji liii

Fig.9.19 Egyptian Blue head inlay

limestone, and there are also examples in granite and quartzite.332

It is interesting to note that in this instance both Egyptian Blue and faience were used for exactly the same purpose, and it is probable that they were made in the same workshop. There is an exact mouldmade counterpart in blue faience of the New Kingdom female wig in Egyptian Blue.333 These wigs are made in profile only, and so were probably intended for relief figures rather than statues. However, the polychrome, faience and glass example and the tripartite wig (probably from a falcon deity)334 are modelled in the round, and would have been part of composite statues, which may also have had faience or Egyptian Blue inlays on other parts of the body.335 The round wig was a common Nubian-influenced hairstyle in the New Kingdom, and particularly popular in the Ramesside period.336 Fragments of similar wigs are also known.337 The divine wig may have come from a metal statue of a god intended for a temple, as these are known from the Third Intermediate Period,338 which is the suggested date for this piece.339 All the wigs were almost certainly made in (or on) moulds, although the striations on the divine wig were probably added by hand before firing. They illustrate the high level of technical excellence reached in this method, and probably all originated in palace or temple workshops. 332 Friedmann 1998, 184. Note that she also suggests that the statue may have been
wooden. 333 Friedmami 1998, 185 334 Sholke, 1990, 113 335 see e.g. an 18th Dynasty wooden statue fragment with traces of blue in the eyes and eyebrows (Muller 1964, 72) 336 Vandier 1958, 409 337 Samson 1973, especiallyUC 23413, UC 23406 338 Friedmarm 1998, 185 339 Scholke, 1990, 113 116

Fig.9.20 Egyptian Blue wig (made in profile only)

Fig.9.21 Falence and glass wig

Fig.9.22 Egyptian Blue tripartite wig

A so-called archaic Egyptian Blue vase in the Petrie Museum is sometimes cited as the earliest example of an Egyptian Blue object in Egypt.34 However, although the material is undoubtedly Egyptian Blue, 34 1 the object is not archaic, and is thought to date from the Late Period at the earliest.342

The only Egyptian Blue objects found so far at Zawiyet Umm elRakham are a small group of beads found in the domestic area.343 These were in association with other small beads of various different materials including shell and stone, and may well have been made locally at the site. Ongoing analysis may establish whether the material is the same as that of the samples found in Magazine 1. These beads were almost certainly carved rather than moulded. They vary in size from between 2-4mm and perhaps represent the efforts of a soldier or artisan who had access to a supply of Egyptian Blue.

e.g . Friedmann 1998, 17 & 21 note 37 Tite, pers. comm. 342 Alter inspection by the author, Dr Snape and Dr Quirke. 343 ZUR/K/385
340 341


Fig.9.23 So-called 'archaic' Egyptian Blue vase from the Petrie Museum

L c/


. WT
- .'( L...

Fig.9.24 Beads from the domestic area at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham

Fig.9.25 Egyptian Blue beads from Zawiyet Uimn el-Rakham

Part 3: Documentary Evidence in Egypt

10. Colour terms

It is not my intention to specifically discuss colour in ancient Egypt, either in terms of use, or in fashions or expansion of use, as this is a separate subject too big for this study; nor is it my intention to discuss the Egyptians' perception of colour, or how that may have differed from our own.

This is rather a discussion of the materials available to the Egyptians to make up the colour palette. Here, however, there will be some inevitable foray into the world of colour (in the artistic sense) as often the same terms and phrases that were used referred, as far as the modern translator can ascertain, to colour (hue, brightness, intensity etc.),344 to the substance that the colour was made out of (natural ochre, artificial frit etc.) or even to the objects and artifacts that any colour might imitate or represent (as with orange today).

Consequently the defining features regarding any colour term may have been derived from meanings and associations other than that of the actual colour itself.

There are some difficulties in trying to establish what the exact traiislation of the various Egyptian terms are, not only because of the ambiguities highlighted above, but also because of the uncertainty involved in defining exactly how different colours were perceived and 344 after Conklin H. 1973, 932


Understanding which terms were used to describe which pigments or colours is more difficult then one might first suppose. Colour perception and definition of different colours is a subjective process. Berlin and Kay suggested that all humans possess the same basic colour categories, even before the development of the language to describe them34s and, working from their theories, Baines has argued that Egyptian language possessed four basic colour terms: black (km), white (lid), red (ds'r), and 'grue' or green/blue (w3d).346 The mass of material available is due to the fact that all Egyptian forms of two and three dimensional art were, ideally, painted, and as Baines notes, "it is still possible to make a better comparison between linguistic and artistic classification in Egypt than almost anywhere else".347

However, it should be remembered that the surviving database of terms is very limited, and represents no more than a fraction of the original output in textual material. 348

The palette available in the Old Kingdom contained black, white, red, green, yellow, blue and grey349 and by the New Kingdom the range extended to include pink, brown and distinguishable bright blue and

345 Berlin &Kay 1969 346 l3aines 1985, 283 347 Baines 1985, 285 348 Quirke 1996, 1 349 see e.g Robins 1997

and refs. 121

light blue.35o

There are various driving forces behind the expansion in colour usage. Added to the notion of basic human progression expounded by Berlin and Kay, which accepts that innovation and drive for change is generated within a society, it seems likely that there must also be external forces for change.

The expansion of the Empire in the New Kingdom into large areas of Syria/Palestine, and the growth of international sea-going trade (especially with the Aegean) must have exposed the Egyptians to many new foreign influences and opportunities. The "democratisation" of, for example, tomb decoration and the explosion in monumental architecture would have led to a greatly expanded market for pigments, and once again it is possible to consider the growth of imports into Egypt from elsewhere.

purple and orange which are included in Berlin and Kay stage 7 are absent, although there are some orangy yellows. Barnes offers no explanation for the absence of purple. Perhaps the representational nature of colour use preduded the need. 122

Terms 3 51

inm/iwn colour

Both words are translated as 'colour', and it is possible that both were used as such in certain contexts. Both are certainly to do with visual appearance, and it is possible that mm denotes the material or substance, while iwn denotes the quality or appearance.352

bsbd blue

Seems to be an umbrella term which encompasses everything blue. The term is used to describe blue pigment, and is foujid in major pigment lists.353 bsb(t was also used with qualifying terms to describe different pigments (as well as different substances).354

bsbd nfr nfr (very good hsbd) on an ostracon dealing with pigments,3s5

suggests that different qualities of blue were recognised, and it is also occasionally found on documents which also list plain bsbd.356

bsb4 n s (hsbd for writing/drawing) frequently


and may

refer to a specific type of blue pigment.

351 See

Harris 1961; Lucas 1962 for discussion of identification of different terms.

352 see Quirke 1996 3-4 for further discussion 353 harris 1961, 149. Ostr. Stras H.41; Ostr. Tor A.11; Ostr. Cairo 25594; P. Cli. B.V.
rt.8, 13 354 Harris (1961, 148) believed that the term referred to the material that the colour was imitating. 355 CemyinHarris 1961, 149 356 Ostr. Cairo 25649; Ostr. Cairo 25247 rt.6 vs. 8 357 Ostr. Cairo 25247 rt.6; Hier. Ostr. 69, irt 7; Kawa VI, 12 123

bsb1 m (true hsbd) suggests a genuine, or naturally occurring blue

pigment, and probably means azurite.358 However, it is also possible that this sometimes refers to lapis lazuli.3s9

The term is also translated as substances such as lapis lazull, cobalt, blue falence and blue glass.

bsbd is often found in mineral lists36O and is sometimes described as

blocks or lumps.36 1 In this case this is probably not a pigment or paint. bsbc! is sometimes translated as falence or glass. An example of this is on the blue faience 19th Dynasty stela which self-evidently describe craftsmen who worked with faience.362

bsb4 m (true hsbd) may therefore also be translated as true (or

genuine) lapis lazuli, especially when shown with a stone determinative.363

bsbd nfr n bbr (good hsbd from Babylon) probably describes either

lapis lazuli that has passed through Babylon on the way from Badakhshan to Egypt, or artificial lapis lazuli (Egyptian Blue, glass or faience) coming from Babylon.

358 Harris 1961, 149 359 Note, though, that

lapis lazull was never used as a pigment 36OEdfoull, 215, 4-5; Dend. Mar. I, 22; Urk. N, 744; Harr. 13a, 1 361 Urk. lv, 638; Urk. N, 668; Urk. IV 732; Harr. 14a 2-3 362 see in chapter "Workers" 363 e.g. Urk IV, 638 124

bsbl n tJrr (hsbd from tfrr) by the same token describes something

which has come through or originated in tfrr (perhaps Tiflis or Tebris, both south of the Caspian).364

'frr blue

This term is occasionally used alone, probably to describe lapis lazuli from tfrr (as above). Harris suggests that it may have been a synonym for bsbd, and it is also possible that different classes of lapis lazull were distinguished by origin. Use of the term alone is relatively rare, and known mainly from the Ptolemaic period.

bsbd iryt (made/worked hsbd) is also known, 365 and may describe one

of the blue vitreous materials.

bshd wdh (molten hsbd) is known from one context, where it is

associated with mjk3t w/J and it is probable that these both refer to an artificial material (falence or glass).366

Consequently, some examples of bsbd are almost certainly describing a vitreous material. ,nhw m hsbd (filled with hsbd) is used to describe walls in a 20th Dynasty papyrus,3 67 and may be a reference either to blue paint, or to blue faience or Egyptian Blue inlays, and when' Piramesse is described as being 'dazzling with halls of bsbd and 364 Harris 1961, 125 365 Harris 1961, 125 366 Harris 1961, 129 367 Erman & Lange 1924, 12, 3

mfkt', 368 it seems likely that faience or glass tiles and inlays of these colours are being described.369 A crown of bsbd37o was almost certainly faience or Egyptian Blue.371

mfk3t turquoise This is probably the term for turquoise, and that mainly from the Sinai. There is some debate about the exact colour, as Egyptian turquoise was often green, 37 2 rather than the blue/green associated with the term today. There are also numerous examples of the term used to describe artificial frit and pigment of turquoise colour, although one cannot know exactly what colour is being described. It is also possible that the term may refer to malachite.373

w3d green The basic term, and the most common, for green. Harris notes that when used to describe a semi-precious stone it almost certainly referred to malachite, but that it was also often used in a more general sense to include any green stone, as well as any green colour or colouring agent.374 It was also used to describe green eye paint.375 Iversen agrees that the term meant "green, fresh" and that it also 368 "How happy is a day of thy time, how sweet was thy voice speaking when thou
didst build Pirainesse-miamun (l.p.h), the forefront of every foreign land and the end of Egypt, the (city) beauteous of balconies, radiant with halls of lapis lazull and turquoise" (In Praise of Meneptah and of his Delta Residence: Pap. Anastasi 111,9) 369 Newberry 1939, 120 370 P.Tur. PR. 32, 6 371 see in chapter "Egyptian Blue objects and shaping technology" 372 see Harris 1961, 108 for discussion and refs. 373 Shaw, pers, comm. '4 Harris 1961, 102ff. Harris also notes that the term was used for green frit, although he incorrectly states that the frit was made from malachite. 126

covered malachite.376

Jsmt green Another term for malachite, probably specifically that obtained from the Sinai desert.377

izrnt green A term for green frit connected to the terms zmt craft and hmtwty craftsmen.378

Jsyt Egyptian green A term for artificial green pigment, not made from malachite.379

flFnt green Green semi-precious stone, probably felspar.38o

mnt red The most common word for red ochre, 381 and perhaps specifically describing that coming from the western oases.382 376 Iversen 1955, 4. He also suggests that it sometimes means blue or blue/green.
referring for example to BerLVs. 1.9, with w31 nfr light blue and w3d kkw dark blue viens, arid w3d-wr the sea. These are not persuasive to me as I think that green could easily be being meant. 377 see Newberry 1931, pp 316-323 for discussion of copper from sm and the identification as Sinai. 378 Harris 1961, 117 379 Harris 1961, 152 380 Harris 1961, 116 381 Harris 1961, 147. Note that it is measured in nint vessels (eg. Harr. 65a, 2) 382 Suggested at Dendera, see Mariette 1870, 71 127

niiy red

A term for a type of red ochre, perhaps from near Elephantine. Harris suggests that it specifically refers to the reddish-brown colour used for male skin tones,383 which is similar to the harder dark red ochre found at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham.
pr red(?)

Probably red ochre, a word of later usage.384

3wt-ib red

The term for realgar, which is found occasionally from the New Kingdom onwards. 385

sty yellow

Almost certainly originally referring to ochre from Nubia (t3-sty),386 the term is used more generally for soft ochres as opposed to hard, artificial frits. Iversen notes that it is often listed with mnst, 387 and is probably more often specifically describing yellow ochre.388

knit yellow

The term for yellow orpiment. Often found listed in association with
3wt-ib (realgar), and with sty (yellow ochre).

383 Harris 1961, 154 384 Harris 1961, 145 385See Blom-Ber 1994 p73. Harris 1961, 142 noted that although the term was known from New Kingdom pigment lists, there was no evidence of use in Egypt at that time. However, see pigments from Kheruef's tomb below 386 see Gardiner 1988, 512 387 Iversen 1955,21 388 Harris 1961, 151 and refs 128

sw white Harris was not clear about the meaning of this term, and disputes the analysis of others that it refers to black ink. 389 It appears in various mineral lists, 390 and is listed as tribute from Retinu and Syria.39' Interestingly, as tribute from Syria ssvw is illustrated as white, oblong bars.39 2 Consequently, ssvw can be viewed as a valuable mineral substance imported into Egypt. Huntite is now known to have been used as a pigment in New Kingdom Egypt, and it seems probably that this is what ssw describes.393

drwy hard, artifidal pigments

A general term for colour and/or pigment, probably usually specific

to the hard, artificial pigments Egyptian Blue and Egyptian green. Occasionally described as made into frit, or cakes, lumps or sticks of pigment.394

kmyt gum This term is sometimes found in association with pigment terms, such as sty,395 and bshd,396 and there is a passage which mentions a scarab that was drawn 'm hsbd hr mw nw kmyt (with hsbd on water of

389Harris 1961, 149150 390 P. Ch. B. IV vs. 7, 6; Urk. 1V, 706; Urk. IV, 731; Urk. 1V, 744; Urk. IV, 1729 391 Urk. lv, 731; UrkIV, 744; Urk. IV, 1101 392 Urk. IV, 1101 393 Note that huntite had not yet been identified as a pigment used in the New Kingdom when Harris was writing in 1961. 394 Harris 1961, 158 for refs. 39 Ostr. Cairo 25246 396 Ostr. DM. 280; Ostr. MMA. 90.6.3 rt. 5. vs. 2 (Harris 1961, 159)

Fig.l0.1 & 10.2 Blue faience vase from Tell el-Yahudliyeh with hieratic inscription

kmyt).397 It is, however, unclear which form of gum or binder is

described. 398

tznt falence or glass The more common term for faience or glass. The textual evidence for the term is quite extensive, and includes a blue falence vessel from Tel el-Yahudiyeh which has a black hieratic inscription 'the gift of a vase of mnt and gold'.399 There are various contexts which suggest that thnt was often green, such as with the leaves of a tree.400 Related to the term thn (gleaming), Newberry suggested that the term derived from thnw, the name for the north west delta region and the area from where glass first appeared in Egypt.4o1

iznt psc! (t) (shiny thnt) occurs in the Harris papyrus 4o2 and probably indicates especially brilliant or glassy faience.

tint m (true thnt) is sometimes listed with precious stones,403 or as a material for amulets.404 Harris lists all the arguments for the meaning of this term, and reaches the conclusion that a white or transparent mineral is being named, such as rock crystal or quartz. This raises interesting implications for the translation of t,int as faience or glass, 397 Totb. Leps. 165, 12 (in Harris 1961, 146) 398 see chapter "Processing Technology" 399 Naville 1890, 19-20, pL 8. Note that Naville (mistakenly) believed that thnt had to
be yellow 400 Love Tur. 2,4 (in Harris 1961, 146) 401 Newberry 1920, 160 402 Harr. 15b, 9; Harr. 34a, 6; Harr. 53b, 2 403 Edfou II, 215, 4-5; Dend. Mar. IV, 36, 49-50 404 Dend. Mar lv, 87 131

as it is possible that the term describes the shiny surface of a material, rather than the fabric or the colour.


ii. Pigment Usts

There are a few New Kingdom and later examples of lists of minerals including colouring materials and binders. Iversen noted three from Luxor Temple which related to offerings to the bark of Mut of Karnak.405 The most extensive is part of an offering list in the Colonnade Opet festival procession scene, and contains ntyw (myrrh), wd (green), msdmt (black eye paint), knit (orpiment), /jsbd (blue), ty ((yellow) ochre), db(n (t) (black).406 There is also a tabulated block vt (red from the 30th Dynasty in Cairo which includes dbt (black), m ns ochre), wt-ib (realgar), bd (natron), msdmt (eye-paint?). 4 7 Quirke describes this later list as 'an interplay of words perhaps between those perceived as more and those less ancient'.408 However, these lists were associated with offerings in temple cults, rather than directly with artists.

There are also a few examples of shopping lists made by the craftsmen themselves, including a hieratic papyrus of the Ramesside Period which lists a group of items needed for temple supplies. 'Apply thyself to have provided everything (required) for the temple in all its property, namely, oxen, younglings, short-horns, steers, goats and their little ones, pigs, live geese, ro-geese, fatted geese, trpgeese, sr-geese, water-fowl, green-breasts, loaves, srmt, bs3-grain, dates, wheat, figs, grapes, pomegranates, apples, olives, green 405 Jversen 1953, 26-27 406 Iversen 1955, 26 407 Iversen 1955, 27 408 Quirke 1996, 8

moringa-pods, sweet moringa-pods, fresh fat, cream, unguents, baskets, mats, castles, pylons, bkr of rushes, hnr, reeds, hd-fish, all manner of assorted fish, papyrus, ink, reed pens, black metal, lead, red, yellow, blue, mixed greens, 3w, falence, and everything which is demanded for the treasury of Amen-Re', king of the gods. Take cognizance thereof.'4o9 (Translation of tmty, km. dht, twr, kniw, bsbd, wkl, wThnw, w, timn).

A similar example from the reign of Ramesses H is a letter from a workman called Inherkhau, who wrote 'we have been working [in] the places which my lord said must be decorated in proper order, but there are [no morel pigments at our disposal...List for my lord's information: yellow ochre, gum, orpiment, realgar, red ochre, blue frit, green frit, fresh tallow for lighting and old clothing for wicks'.4'O

Quirke notes that draughtsmen often seem to have specified mineral names and general terms for hard pigments and ochres, rather than paint colours, and there is a Ramesside ostracon which records when a scribe called Amenhotep received green and blue diw (artificial pigments) and sti (ochres) which were reduced to dust.411

4 O9Gardiner 1935, BM 10685, P. Cli B. VRt 8,6-14

410 Robins 1997, 29; 411 Cerny 1931, 396

Egyptian terms not given 134

12. Outline draughtsmen

Two scenes from private tombs in the Old Kingdom show the tomb owner sitting painting in front of an easel. These are almost certainly representations of art as a pastime for the rich, and it is interesting to note that, in both cases, the artists are using pots of paint rather than the delicate palettes sometimes found in tombs and associated with the hobby.412 In the 6th Dynasty tomb of Khentika known as Ikhekhi at Saqqara, the tomb owner is shown painting three creatures named after the three seasons, which may have some sort of ritual or religious significance. The scene is oriented right to left, and he is shown holding a paintbrush in his right hand and a shell (or shell shaped dish) in his left hand which presumably held paint. There is also a jar on a tall stand and a second, unsupported jar. Two assistants are also shown carrying small scribal palettes.413 There is a similar scene at Saqqara in the tomb of Mereruka, which is oriented left to right, where the tomb owner is again shown with the paint pot in his left hand and the paintbrush in his right, this time with his arm reaching across the front of his body. Indeed all depictions of scribes and painters tend to show the brush in the right hand and the paint receptacle (either palette or pot) in the left.4'4

Draughtsmen or painters seem to have spent some years in training, which consisted of imitating models given by teachers, and probably 412 see in chapter "Pigments at other sites in Egypt" 413 James 1983, 10 414 Le Fur 1994, 79

Fig.12.1 Khentika holding a paintbrush and paintpot and painting figures of the seasons

Fig.12.2 Mereruka holding a paintbrush and paintpot and painting figures of the seasons

also copying existing illustrations on temple and tomb walls.415 There is also evidence that on large painting jobs, such as royal tombs, less experienced artists probably filled in solid blocks of colours, while master draughtsmen executed more detailed work.416

There are many representations of scribes shown at work dealing with administrative matters in tomb and temple scenes. There are also a significant number of representations of sculptors' workshops in private tombs of the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms.4'7 However, there are comparatively few depictions of painters working with similar groups, even though it is likely that artists (like other craftsmen) usually worked in teams.4 18 Evidence from Deir el-Medina includes a list of specialised crew members (rmbw-ist hmww) who worked in each royal tomb.419 These included relief sculptors, carpenters, stone cutters and outhne draughtsmen (s s -kd), who were organised into two crews (one for each side of the tomb) under the control of the chief workmen, and the scribe (or scribes) of the tomb.420

Le Fur believes that a certain number of differences could be distinguished between 'outline draughtsmen'. He suggests that the term outline draughtsmen was used both when painters worked in groups with other craftsmen on statues and other objects, and also 415 Keller 1991, 51 46 Keller 1991, 56 417 Eaton Krauss 1984 418 Robins 1997, 29 419 OC 25581 in Keller 1991, 51
420 Cerny 1973 137

when describing individual artists who were attached to temples. However, there is little evidence for this, and it is disputed by others who believe that artists always worked in teams.42'

421 Robins

1997, 29 138

13. Egyptian makers and workers

There are a few examples of the craftsmen involved, where Egyptian Blue, faience or glass working is mentioned within descriptive titles.

From the Middle Kingdom, a Thirteenth Dynasty 'Overseer of faience makers/workers' called Debini is known from Lisht.422

A limestone pyramidal stela found at Saqqara and now in Cairo,423 which shows blue colour in some of the hieroglyphs, belonged to Hatiay, a 'Chief maker/worker of hsbd' (hry irw bsb1).424 Gaballa dated this to the late 18th/early 19th Dynasty on stylistic grounds.425

There are parallels for irw to be translated either as maker (of cakes, bread, baskets etc)426 and as also as worker, as with Ptah-May a 'Chief worker of fine-gold',4 27 and also on an 18th Dynasty round-topped stela showing Arnenemhab and his wife Satamen, 428 where Amenemhab is described as 'Overseer of the goidworkers of Amun'
(imy-r nbwy n lmn). This stela was purchased in Luxor and may have

come from the Theban area.

422 Unpublished, cited in Nicholson 1998, 55 423 JE 25641 424 Gaballa 1979, 46 no U 425 Gaballa 1979, 50 426 Gaballa 1979, 51 427 Jamb in Cairo Museum room 19 (cited in Gaballa 1979, 51 nt.28) 428 Scott 1986, 93 no.46


Fig.13.1 Limestone stela of Hatlay, 'Chief maker! worker of hsbd'

Fig.13.2 Limestone stela of Amenemhab, 'Overseer of the goidworkers of Amun'

There are a few examples of faience stelae dating from the Second Intermediate Period at Gebel Zeit on the Red Sea coast, including one which shows a little-known king called Smn-M-R offering a vase to Ptah.429

A 19th Dynasty innovation was the appearance of funerary stelae made of faience,43 sometimes, not surprisingly, belonging to people connected to the falence industry. A blue falence example in Eclinburgh43l (sometimes incorrectly described as glass)432 belonged to Rekhamun, who is described as a 'Maker/Worker of falence for Amun' (irw bsbd n 'Jmn),433 with the context suggesting that, in this case, hsbd means blue faience. The stela may come from Thebes,434 arid it is possible that Rekhamun worked in a workshop at the Amun temple.

Other stelae are known which bear similar titles, such as a limestone stela from Abydos belonging to Hatiay the 'Chief artisan of Ptah' (fry
simwy n Pt,)435 and a dark blue and pale blue faience pyramidal stela

(probably from Saqqara) belonging to Amenemheb an 'Overseer of

craftsmen of the house of Ptah' (imy-r fzmwwt(yw) n pr Pth) and his Castel & Soukiassian 1985, 290. 'Plusieurs fragments de stles en faience ont t retrouvs. Des petites dimensions, ces stles pouvaient tre fadilement transports avec le materiel sacr que les expeditions apportalent de la Vale.' 430 Friedmann 1998, 250 431 RSM 449 432 Liift 1977, 49; Gaballa 1979, 51 433 Friedman 1998, 250 no 166. For discussion of the translation of /jsbd, see in chapter "Colour terms" 434 The museum record (cited in Friedmann 1998, 253 a 159) says presumably aquired at Thebes by Rbind in 1857 435 Gaballa 1979, noffi 141

w. $p SA.4 ilI
-I , -


Fig.13.3 A faience stela showing king Smenkare offering a vase to Ptah. From Gebel Zeit.


Fig.13.4 Stela of Rekhamun1 'Maker/Worker of faience for Amun'

wife. 436 Although in this case the exact nature of what he oversaw is not given, the material of the stela suggests that faience working probably came under his remit.

A 19th Dynasty funerary papyrus belonging to Ptahmose describes him as the 'Chief maker/worker of hsbd for the lord of two lands' (zry irw bsbd n nb twy),437 and there is another funerary papyrus belonging to Qenenhor which refers to him as 'Overseer of makers/workers of hsbd' (imy-r irw bsbi).438

Luft suggests that these various titles represent different ranks within the profession, and that Rekhamun was the producer or labourer, Hatiay and Ptahmose were master craftsmen and Qenenhor was the supervisory official connected to the treasury (pr-4).439

The profession seems to have been divided between: supervisors and foremen of work sites, workshops, or expeditions; craftsmen; and labourers.44o Standard Egyptian practice would suggest that various workers would have been involved in the production of a single piece of faience or Egyptian Blue. These may have included labourers who prepared the paste, craftsmen who formed the mItial shapes and a perhaps a senior artist to carve and grind the final product.44' Firing would probably have been under the control of separate kiln
436 Friedmann 1998, 250 no. 168 437 Luft 1977, 48 438 Bellion 1987, 320 439 Luft 1977, 49; Friedmann 1998, 440 Valbelle 1997, 46 441 Friedman 1998,18

253 nt. 164 144

>; / - - _______

1 ,


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Fig.13.5 Limestone stela of Hatiay, 'Chief artisan of Ptah'

Fig.136 Falence stela of Amenemheb, 'Overseer of the craftsmen of the House of Ptah'

workers,442 who may have been in charge of various different pyrotechnical procedures, perhaps for a range of different media.443 By comparison with existing data for stoneworking, it seems likely that the overseers responsible for the design of the craft productions were more highly regarded (and better paid) than the faience/Egyptian Blue workers themselves,444 and the level of success was probably judged as much in terms of technical accomplishment as of beauty.445

However, there are no definite representations of falence or other vitreous material production,446 which is perhaps surprising considering the many ifiustrations of working with wood, leather, metal, pottery and stone.

This lacuna in the pictorial record has led to speculation that such depictions were taboo in some way. One suggestion is that falence working was deliberately shrouded in mystery because of the inherent magic and religious significance of the material.447 Bianchi goes further and suggests that coded messages were present in the materials used by ancient craftsmen, and that members of the Egyptian elite hired craftsmen to manufacture images and transmit 442 Firing at temperatures probably between 800-1000C. 443 Note however that Peltenburg 1987, 20 believes that faience working was
essentially a cold-state industry, and had less in common with pyrotechnological crafts such as metal and glassworking than they had with each other. 444 Bianchi 1998,23 445 This leads into areas beyond the remit of this study to do with notions of the purposes and functions of art in ancient Egypt in general. 446 Nicholson 1998, 56 suggests that a Late Period scene in the tomb of Ibi (T36) may show a workman mixing faience ingredients. 447 Friedman 1998, 17 146

this system of visually consistent messages.448

The name for faience, t,iflt, is etymologically related to words connoting luminosity and scintilation.449 Thus the material was associated with brilliance, and they may have been symbolic attributions to the material itself as well as the objects formed out of it. For example, Bianchi45o suggests that the falence tiles used as architectural features such as inlays around doorways in Early Dynastic temples symbolically represented all the minerals contained on the earth, and that faience used as inlays on other materials (such as on wooden furniture), imbued the objects with symbolic properties.

However it may be that faience and Egyptian Blue production in particular, where the process was based on transformations effected within a closed kiln, predominately through the use of moulds, was not considered visually stimulating, or satisfactorily renderable, by the Egyptian artist, and therefore did not find a place in the repertoire of 'daily life' scenes connected to production in workshops.

448 l3ianchi 1998, 22 449 Bianchi 1998, 24 450 Bianchl 1998, 26


14. bsbd: lapis lazuli, falence, glass and Egyptian Blue

There are two main sources of documentary evidence from the 18th Dynasty where it is possible that the term bsbd may refer to one or more of the various substances listed above. These are diplomatic letters exchanged between various rulers in the Eastern Mediterranean world (notably the Amarna letters), and private tomb depictions of trade or tribute brought by foreign envoys.

There is no question that lapis lazuli (the most common translation for bsb1)45' is visible in the archaeological and historical record. There is a wealth of documentary evidence describing the gift and transport of both unworked and worked lapis lazuli between various states around the eastern Mediterranean and the near east, and many examples both of ornamental items of lapis lazuli alone, and also where the material is used as a decorative part of larger artifacts. The Amarna letters illustrate that lapis lazuli was traded between various different powers, with routes including; Assyria Mitanni Babylonia . Egypt Egypt 451 see in chapter "Colour terms" 452 e.g. EA 15 453 e.g. EA 19, 21, 22, 27, 29 454 e.g. EA 7, 8, 9, 10, 13 455 e.g. EA 14 456 e.g. EA 41

Egypt4S2 Egypt4S3 Egypt4S4 B abylonia4 55 Hatti4S6

However, it is perhaps possible, with the Egyptian records at least, to re-examine those references which have traditionally been interpreted and understood as lapis lazuli, and to suggest that on some occasions a synthetic compound, such as faience, glass or Egyptian Blue, is meant.

Ambiguity may stem from the imprecise nature of our understanding of the terms used by the Egyptians and others when referring to substances and artifacts, especially those which were primarily identified by their colour. As discussed elsewhere, 457 colour terms of pigments, paints and objects seem to have functioned in a primarily descriptive sense, with the colour of an object acting as the main identifier. This inexactitude is particularly noticeable when terms that were used for blue are discussed. With the occasional exception of
frr (from bsbd n lfrr), which seems to refer to the geographical origin

of lapis lazuli, hsbd, either alone or with qualifying terms, was always used to describe both blue substances and also the material that made them blue. The term was also used more widely for objects that were blue. In many cases it is therefore impossible to identify precisely what is being described.458

The qualifying terms sometimes used with bsb4 give some indication that different forms of blue substances were recogrnsed and identified by the Egyptians. As previously discussed, 'real' or 'genuine' lapis lazuli (bsbd m) was sometimes distinguished. This
457 See 458 See

in chapter "Colour terms" in chapter "Colour terms" 149

indicates that there were also types of lapis lazuli recognised that were not considered 'real'.

An inventory of gifts from Tushratta king of Mitauni to Nimmureya (Amenhotep 111)459 contains a list of hundreds of high status items and luxury goods made with 'genuine' lapis lazuli. At the end there is a small list of items which contain 'lapis lazuli' without the qualifier 'genuine'. These include 2 sets of toggle pins of gold, their tops of lapis lazuli, 9 maninnu-necklaces, of lapis lazuli, 2 'weaves' of lapis lazuli and hiliba-stone, [1 maninnu-necklaces of lapis lazuli, with a gold knob, for the two principal ladies in waiting. There are also 30 sets of earrings, of gold, their cones of lapis lazuli, and 10 spindles of lapis lazuli destined for 30 dowry-women.

It is significant that these items were specifically intended for ladiesin-waiting and dowry-women, rather than to be gifts to the Egyptian royal family or as part of the personal dowry of a Mitannian princess. They were obviously both less prestigious and less expensive than the gifts containing real lapis lazuli.

It seems likely that the less prestigious articles listed at the end of the inventory were made using a substitute for real lapis lazull, either blue coloured glass or blue falence, or even that these items were painted to look like the precious stone.

A material labelled as bsbd was sometimes illustrated as a trade or

459 EA 25 (see Appendix 2)


tribute item in Theban private tombs during the 18th Dynasty. Foreigners and their goods as illustrated in tomb paintings have been subject to much debate, usually from the perspective of interaction in the form of trade between Egypt, the Aegean and the Near East.460 It is impossible to know how accurate these portrayals are, or to what extent they may be the result of ifiustrative traditions and motifs, rather than a reflection of real people and events. Wachsmann suggests that important aspects to consider with such tomb scenes are hybridism, where subjects were created by bringing together aesthetically pleasing aspects of different images, and the possible use of 'stock scenes' which may have been copied in whole or in part from pre-existing tomb scenes or collections of 'master' ifiustrations. Thus, in the tomb of Menkheperrasonb, for example, a man with Syrian hair, features and skin is seen dressed in a traditionally Aegean kilt. It is possible in this case that the artist was representing a generic 'foreigner' without having recourse to accurate source material. This suggests that the articles of foreign tribute represented in such scenes may also be generic foreign type goods, rather than actual representations of imported items by any particular group at any particular occasion. Nonetheless, Wachsmann suggests that it is possible to differentiate between such composite images and actual representations of real people and events, where physical appearance and product types coincide with evidence from other documentary and archaeological sources (such as Aegeans carrying rhyta, Nubians carrying ivory and Libyans carrying ostrich eggs).
460 Kantor 1947; Vercoutter 1956; Merrfflees 1972; Kemp and Merrillees 1980; Wachsmann 1987


Although no pattern books or stock sets of designs have been discovered in the archaeological record, it has sometimes been suggested that they may have existed. Davies considered that the lack of such material indicated that pattern books did not exist,461 although he believed that foreign tribute scenes in the tomb of Rekhniire may have been copied from those in earlier tombs.462 Vercoutter believed that if pattern books had existed, then all the tomb representations in them would have been identical,463 which is not the case. Schafer believed that pattern books must have existed,464 and Merrillees thought that it was possible that painters learnt 'stock scenes' (although he is unclear as to the mechanisms used when new images were being represented).46s Wachsmann believes that master drawings must have existed which included the basic elements of each scene, and which were used as the basis for illustrations, but 'were not copied slavishly'.466

Whether or not such templates existed, the question as to whether or to what extent illustrations were copied from earlier tombs is dependent on the extent to which such scenes were accessible to the artists. The group of Theban private tombs which show depictions of foreigners bringing goods covers a comparatively short period between the reigns of Hatshepsut and Amenhotep III (1479-1349BC). Workmen from Deir el Medina were probably responsible for all of. the scenes, and it is likely that illustrative knowledge and tradition 461 Davies 1917, 7 462 Davies 1943, 18 463 Vercoutter 1936, 197 464 Schafer 1974, 62 465 Merrillees 1972, 288 466 Wachsmann 1987, 24

would have been accessible in some form to those involved.

ifiustrations of bsbd467 Baskets containing blue, pale blue and red materials are shown as tribute (or trade items) from both Aegeans and Syrians. These are either labelled as

or else the exact material is not specified. As

discussed elsewhere, it seems certain that both lapis lazuli and lapis lazuli-coloured silicate products were traded between various different countries, and geographical point of origin alone is not a sufficient indicator of material.

Tomb of Puyenire (T39)468 Puyemre served in the Amun Temple at Thebes during the reign of Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III. He was 'Second Prophet of Amun', and as such, probably dealt with revenue to the temple and had some role in the supervision of craftsmen and artists.469

The north panel of the west wall of his tomb shows two scenes of three rows each and, while one shows tribute from Punt, the other shows 'The count, royal chancellor, companion rich in love, great chief of Nekheb, second priest of Amun, Puyemre, first in honour, receiving the tribute of Retenu and also the tribute of Wat-Hor, also the tribute of the southern and northern oases, which the king has assigned to the temple of Amun'.47 The top register is labelled 467 The following discussion is based on the premise that the events ifiustrated 468 Davis 1922 469 Davies 1922, 27 470 Davies 1922, 79 & pl.XXX
actually occurred. Locations are based on true north (after Porter & Moss 1994)


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Fig.14.1 Tribute from Retenu and the Oases in the Tomb of Puyemre

'tribute of further Syria', and the emissaries are from 'Retenu', which Davies suggests means north Syria47l (perhaps Kadesh or Ugarit?). The second man, with a long white robe and pale pinkish skin, is shown carrying a bowl full of blue-green material which is not labelled. Behind the (now missing) figure of Puyemre there is a group of objects already delivered. These include Canaanite amphorae, oxhide ingots, a pair of two-handled vases and a large footed dish of blue material labelled bsb!. The second register is labelled as 'tribute from Wat-Hor' which was the area of Wadi Tumilat.472 This area was part of Egypt's expansion into Syria and Palestine, arid this was the only time that people from this area were shown as foreigners. The first figure is described as 'overseer of the vineyard of the glebe lands of Amun' reflecting the continuation from the Second Intermediate Period of the wine-producing industry in the north east Delta area.473 Fruits such as pomegranates and grapes are ifiustrated, as are two tables piled with blue and red material. Davies suggests that nomads may have brought mineral products, such as lapis lazuli or turquoise, and jasper or carnelian, from the Sinai or 'the nearer mountains'.474

Tomb of Menkheperrasonb (T186)475 Menkheperrasonb was First prophet of Amun during the reigns of Tuthmosis III and Arnenhotep II. He was also the Superintendent of craftsmen and of the treasury, and in this capacity he is depicted on a 471 Davies 1922, 80 472 Davies 1922, 81 473 Davies 1922, 81 believed that the 'glebe lands' referred to the north east Delta. 474 Davies 1922, 82 475 Virey 1891; Davies & Davies 1933
See in chapter "Foreign pottery at the site; Canaanite Amphorae" 155

the southern wall of the east transverse corridor of his tomb inspecting the temple workshops, with illustrations of leather workers, carpenters and metal workers. He faces a text which reads 'An inspection of the workshop of the Temple of Amun and the activities of the craftsmen.. .of genuine lapis lazuli and newly mined turquoise, which his majesty made on his own initiative excellently for his father Amun at Karnak'.476

On the northern wall of the east transverse corridor Tuthmosis is depicted in a kiosk viewing four rows of decorative vases, and five registers showing various tributes brought from the north. The top row shows three men dressed as Syrians and labelled as kings of Keftiu, Hatti477 and Tunip. 478 These are followed by nine Aegeans carrying various vases, statues of bulls, bull-headed rhyta, bead necklaces, strips of decorated cloth and goat horns. The second register shows three identical figures, this time labelled as chiefs of Kadesh and the Syrians. These are followed by a row of Syrians alternating with Syrian/Aegean hybrids, and followed by women and children (perhaps as slaves). This group are bringing vases, cloth, helmets, bows, quivers, a sword, and daggers.479

Above the prostrate and kneeling chiefs there are two baskets, one 4?6 Davies&Davies 1933,11 477 The Hittite king is shown as a Syrian/Aegean hybrid (see above). Wachsmann
(198Z, 8) suggests that Egypt had only recently encountered the Hittites at this period, and as there was no existing Hittite model, the artist created a generic foreigner by combining features of neighbouring races. 478 Wachsmann (1987, 35) suggests that this is an example of transference from earlier tombs (e.g.Amemnose 1T42), where Asiatics usually lead Aegean figures. It is otherwise hard to explain why a king of Keftiu (Crete) is shown as a Syrian. 479 Davies & Davies 1933, 6-9 156

7 Uiii1

Fig.14.2 Menkheperrasonb facing text describing an inspection of the workshop of the Temple of Amun

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Fig.14.3 Syrian kings and Aegeans bringing various tributes in the Tomb of Menkheperrasonb

containing gold rings and the other containing blue material which is labelled bsbl. The first Aegean is shown carrying a red one-handled libation vase, a strip of cloth and a basket of turquoise (labelled mjk3t).480 There are also four registers of luxury goods displayed on the left of the scene. There are various elaborate gold and silver vases, one with a (unlabelled) blue frog probably on some sort of a central pedestal and one with a (unlabelled) blue bird in a similar position.481 There are also three baskets of (unlabelled) raw materials described as blue or green.4 8 2 Vercoutter suggested that this material was either lapis lazuli or emeralds, 483 and Wachsmann suggests that they may represent raw glass.484

Tomb of Anienniose (T42)48s Amenmose was a Captain of the troops, and the 'Eyes of the King in the Two Lands of the Retenu' during the reigns of Tuthmosis III arid Amenhotep II. On the northern wall of the outer hail of his tomb there is a scene of Amenmose offering a vase to Tuthmosis III, and behind him four registers of Syrians bringing tribute or trade items. The top row shows men in both Syrian robes and Aegean-type kilts carrying vessels, weapons and 1:wo large dishes of (urillabelled) blue material described by Davies and Davies as lapis lazuli.4 8 6 They are facing a group of gold and silver vessels which are very similar to
by Virey (1891, 202-203 & pL 1) but not catalogued by Davies & Davies 1933, 8 481 Davies & Davies 1933, pl.1V 482 Davies & Davies 1933, 6 no.4 483 Vercoutter 1956, 364 484 Wachsmann 1987, 54 485 Davies & Davies 1933 486 Davies & Davies 1933, 29 158
480 Recorded

_\_. . .

Fig.14.4 Syrians bringing various tributes in the Tomb of Amenmose



(I II i II


a Fig.14.5 The Chief of Lebanon offering gifts to Ainenmose

those shown in the tomb of Menkheperrasonb. Here, however, there is one bowl of blue material and one of red. The next row shows similar men and objects, with another large bowl of blue material, again facing a group of ornate vessels.

The north part of the west wail in the outer hail of the tomb shows a scene unique in tomb decoration, with a scene 'almost certainly drawn from the personal experience of Arnenmose when he followed the campaigns against Retenu'.487 On the right of the scene a Syrian fortress with crenellated walls and turrets stands in the middle of a pine forest. The scene is labelled 'the arrival of the captain of infantry, Amenmose, at Negau' and the prostrate figure in front of the (missing) figure of Amenmose on the left of the scene is called 'the chief of Lebanon'. The chief is followed by servants carrying an elaborate vase, cloth, a large dish of (unlabelled) material, and two small cows. 488 The trade/tribute offered no doubt represented the local produce of the area, and there are various possibifities for what is being represented in the bowl of material.

Tomb of Rekhmire (TT100)489 Rekhmire was Vizier and Governor of Thebes during the reigns of Tuthmosis III and Amenhotep II. On the west side of the northern wall of the transverse corridor of his tomb there is a scene of Rekh.rnire inspecting five registers of different foreign peoples
487 Davies & Davies 1933, 30 488 Davies & Davies (1933, 30) 489 Davies 1943

do not specify the colour of this material. 160




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bringing goods. These are from Punt, Keftiu (and 'the islands which are within the Great Sea'),490 Nubia, Syria, and with the bottom register showing a mixture of Nubian and Syrian captives. Davies suggested that the registers were ranked according to each country's relationship with Egypt, and that men from Punt and the Aegean 'lay out of reach of the military forces of Egypt', as opposed to 'the conquered Nubians and Syrians'.491 Vercoutter suggested that the first four registers expressed the idea of the pharaoh's control over all four corners of the earth, with the north represented by Syria, the east by Punt, the south by Nubia, and the west by the Aegean.492 Wachsmann points out that this is the latest tomb in which Aegeans are portrayed, and that the Aegean figures in this tomb were repainted with more elaborate kilts at some stage in the tomb's decoration, either for stylistic reasons, or perhaps because some change in foreign fashion had been noticed.493

In the first register the Puntite goods consist of gold, gum, ebony, ivory, leopard skins, and ostrich feathers and eggs. Puntite men are shown carrying similar goods and also leading a baboon, a monkey, an ibex and a cheetah.494

In the second (Keftiu) register, the goods piled in front of busy scribes include blocks and rings of silver, various elaborate gold and, silver vessels, animal head vessels (probably rhyta), three copper or 490 Davies 1943, 20 491 Davies 1943, 18 492 Vercoutter 1956, 57 493 Davies 1943 22-25; Wachsmann 1987, 37 494 Davies 1943, 19&pl. Xvii

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Figl4.8 Syrians bringing tribute in the Tomb of Rekhmire

bronze ox-hide ingots, and two blue vessels.495 One is a tall vase with gold bands and handles labelled 'ijsbd (w)', and the other is a vase.496 Sixteen Aegeans leading to this group are carrying similar types of gold and silver vessels, weapons and beads.

The Nubian goods include rings and bars of gold, ostrich feathers and eggs, a monkey, skins arid tusks, six jars of sty (perhaps yellow ochre) and a basket of green smt (perhaps malachite).497 The Nubian men are carrying a similar range of goods, and also bring hunting dogs, cattle, a leopard, a baboon and a giraffe.498

The fourth register is labelled 'the arrival in peace of the chiefs of Retenu and all the lands of further Asia'.499 All the men have pale skins and long white gowns, and their hair is either very short, or down to their shoulders with a headband, or short and shaggy, and many of them have pointed beards. Unlike representations in other tombs, none of the Syrians is depicted wearing a short kilt. Davies points out that their gifts 'do not suggest a very high civilisation or great wealth'.soo The pile of goods includes (only) three large gold vessels, two white tazza dishes (silver or perhaps glass?),501 logs and planks of wood, bundles of reeds, four ox-hide ingots, and canaarnte amphorae filled with (olive?) oil bk, incense sntr, and ointment sfl. 495 Davies 1943, 21-22 &pls. X\'H-XX 496 Coloured blue by Hay (Davies 1943, 21 a 10) 497 see colour terms section 498 Davies 1943, 26-27 & pis. XVIII-XX 499 Davies 1943, 27 500 Davies 1942, 28 501 see in "Egyptian Blue objects and shaping technology" for discussion of this form

The scene also includes two patterned vessels which Davies thought were 'apparently of glass',502 a basket of turquoise mft3t and a basket of lapis lazuli ijsbd. The Syrians are carrying similar gold vessels, and also bring a chariot and horses, weapons, a bear and a small elephant.

Tomb of Amunedjeh (TT84)503 Amunedjeh was First Royal Herald and Overseer of the Gate during the reign of Tuthmosis III. The northern wall of the transverse corridor of his tomb shows scenes of Nubians (west side) and Syrians (east side) bringing tribute to Tuthmosis. Davies and Davies point out that Amunedjeh was a contemporary of Rekhrnire, and that 'the details of the corresponding scenes in the tomb of Rekhinire appear to have been in the memory of the draughtsman, making it likely that the same man was employed in both cases'.504 The action occurs in front of the king, who is seated 'on the great throne in the palace of Heliopolis in Upper Egypt, his heart very greatly uplifted in prowess and victory'. Amunedjeh was aide-de-camp to the king during the Syrian campaign, and it is possible that the Syrians and their goods presented here are comparatively accurately portrayed.505 In the first of two surviving rows,506 two types of Syrians are shown alternately, one having pale skin, short hair and a long white robe with blue edging, arid the other having dark skin, bushy hair and wearing a short kilt with blue edging. The scene is described as 'the arrival in'
1943, 28, also see below & Davies 194 lb 504 Davies & Davies 1941b, 97-98. However, the tomb of Amunedjeh has no fflustratiOns of Aegeans. 505 Note that Wachsmann (1987, 54) doubts the realism of the vessels ifiustrated in this tomb. 506 There were probably originally five registers (Davies & Davies 1941b, 96) 165
503 Davies 502 Davies

peace of chiefs of Retenu'.5o7 All the men in this register are shown standing, rather than kneeling or lying down as in other scenes, and there is a possible distinction between men who came in peace (and perhaps brought trade items) and those who are portrayed as having been defeated. The first man is carrying an ornate gold vase (labelled
nbw znw) with pomegranates around the rim. This contains a blue

frog which is not labelled, but described by Davies and Davies as lapis lazuli (?) (sitting on an unseen pedestal in the centre of the dish).508 The second man is carrying a small blue vessel. The next four men are bringing weapons and horses, and the seventh man is carrying a large blue double handled jar which is labelled 'vessel of lapis lazuli'

(bsbd hnw).59

The second row shows four men (two of whom are now visible) kneeling and with their hands raised. These men have closely cropped hair and their gowns are open at the front. The scene is described 'the chief of Naharin prostrates himself, while giving praise to his majesty because of his greatness throughout the land'.SlO A similar gold vessel and (unlabelled) blue frog sit on the floor in front of the first man.1l Behind these kneeling men the first standing man holds a large basket of big balls or discs of blue material labelled jjsbd (w)
(?). The next two men are carrying vessels and strips of material, and

the fourth standing man is also carrying a large basket of balls or discs of blue material (label now missing). 507 Davies & Davies 1941b, 96 & pL XIII
Davies & Davies 1941b, 97 Davies & Davies 1941b, 97 ii 6 510 Davies & Davies 1941b, 97 511 Described by Davies & Davies as 'the seductive frog vase'.
508 509


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Fig.14.9 Syrians bringing tribute in the Tomb of Amunedjeh

Fig.14.1O Syrians bringing tribute in the Tomb of Amemnose

Tomb of Amenmose (TF89)512 Amenmose was 'Steward of the Southern City' during the reigns of Tuthmosis III and Amenhotep III. He is described in his tomb as 'chancellor of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, sole companion, follower of the king in his journeys through the lands to the south and the north', and it is within this context that a scene on the eastern face of the northern (back) wall shows Amenmose presenting foreign tribute to Amenhotep Ill from Syrians, Nubians and Egyptian soldiers. It is possible that the Egyptian soldiers are depicted to emphasise their role in New Kingdom expansions both north arid south.513 The Syrians are all dressed in long white gowns edged with blue, decorated sashes and have long hair and beards. The materials already given by the Syrians include a group of elaborate gold and silver vessels (similar to those in the tombs of Menkheperrasonb and the other Amenmose), a lion headed rhyton and two bull head rhyta, a hst vase described as being made of lapis lazuli,514 and seven dishes of blue and green materials. A row of standing and kneeling Syrians are carrying similar objects, with more vessels, animal heads, dishes of materials and also chariots, javelins and bows and arrows.

Tomb of Nebaniun (TT9O)Si5 Nebamun was Standard-Bearer of the sacred bark 'Beloved of Amun', and captain of troops of the police on the West Bank during the reign. of Tuthmosis IV and Amenhotep III. One of the scenes in a recess in 512 Davies & Davies 1941a 513 Davies & Davies 1941a, 134 514 Davies & Davies 1941a, 134 no.6 515 Davies & Davies 1923

'11 U\LLX\

Fig.14.11 Syrians bringing tribute in the tomb of Nebaniun

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Fig.14.12 Buy, the Chiefs of Retenu, and Syrians bringing tribute in the Tomb of Huy

the rear of his tomb shows Nebamun offering Syrian prisoners to Tuthmosis IV, with the words 'To thy ka, oh good god, the spoil of the countries chastised and the sons of the chiefs of Nahary by the attendant of the lord of the two lands in the south and the north'.'516 Eleven Syrian prisoners are shown with their arms tied behind their backs. Other men follow bowing in submission and bringing gifts. These latter men are not shown as prisoners, but are stifi ifiustrated as subordinates, either bowing or kneeling. The offerings/trade items include horses, gold, vases and dishes of 'lapis and other substances'.517

Tomb of Ainenhotep also called Huy (TT4O)5's Amenhotep/Huy was Viceroy of Nubia or 'King's son of Kush' and 'Overseer of the Southern Countries' during the reigns of Amenhotep IV and Tutankhamun. His tomb, as expected, shows various scenes of Huy inspecting arid receiving Nubian tribute. However, there are also scenes on the north side of the west wall which depict Huy introducing the pharaoh to chiefs from Upper Retenu, and scenes of Syrians bringing tribute, as well as depictions of Huy himself receiving Syrian dignitaries or diplomats.

It is possible that these scenes were included to serve a purely artistic function, in that they mirror and balance scenes of Nubians. As, Davies and Gardiner point out, Huy is still depicted carrying the fan and crook, which were the insignia of the Nubian viceroy. However,
& Davies 1923, 33 & Davies 1923, 34 518 Davies & Gardiner 1926
170 516 Davies 517 Davies

one of his titles here is 'king's envoy over every land',519 and it is possible that this had been his job before becoming Nubian Viceroy, or that his job gave him access to foreign tribute in some way.

The scene shows a large figure of Huy offering to the king, and behind him there are two registers which subdivide into four. In the top half Huy is shown carrying a large dish of 'a blue substance which we may guess to be lapis lazuli' (not labelled).520 There are also two bowls of red and blue material on the floor in front of him. The text begins 'The king's son of Kush, overseer of the southern lands, fanbearer to the right of the king, Huy, justified', and ends 'Presentation of tribute to the Lord of the Two Lands, that which is offered by Retenu the vile, by the king's envoy to every land, the king's son of Kush, the overseer of the southern lands, Amenhotep'. The bowls of material (described as minerals) 521 are all blue with the exception with the one in front of Huy in the upper register. The vessels in the lower register are described as 'vessels of all the choices and best of their countries, consisting of silver and gold, lapis lazuli, and turquoise, and of all precious stones'. Although it is unclear how accurate the portrayal of such objects usually was,522 there are examples of similar vessels made of Egyptian Blue.523

519 Davies & Gardiner 1926, 28 520 Davies & Gardiner 1926, 29 521 Davies &Gardiner 1926, 28-30 522 see Wachsmarin 1987, 4-11 523 see in chapter "Egyptian Blue objects and shaping technology"

Discussion It is not really possible to ascertain the extent to which these various illustrations of foreigners and their wares are accurate portrayals of historical events. A number of striking similarities between various motifs and scenes in separate tombs suggest that, even if copy books or stock scenes of some form did not exist, then a certain amount of copying certainly took place from one tomb to another. It should be remembered that all these tombs are sited close together on the west bank at Thebes, that tomb chapels by their nature were meant to be accessible to later generations, and that the draughtsmen and painters involved in their decoration would have also been drawn from a small pool of local workers. However, various features, including nationally discrete forms of hairstyles and clothing, can be corroborated from other sources, such as Minoan and Mycenaean palace decorations, and were probably fairly accurate portrayals.

It seems unlikely that groups of foreign traders or diplomats were commonly found at Thebes, and perhaps either at least one Theban tomb painter had seen such people in Memphis, or such foreigners had been described by people who had seen them. There are also a few scenes of Syrian ships portrayed in the tombs of Nebamuns24 and Kenamun.s2s It should be remembered that many of the tomb owners would have encountered these various foreign peoples (and perhaps have been on similar ships) in the course of their jobs. Indeed, this factor suggests that the portrayals may have been quite accurate, as
524T 17, in Save-Soderbergh 1946, 55-56: Sve-Soderbergh 1957, 25-27 525 Ti' 162; Davies & Faulkner 1947. see in chapter "Trade and Zawiyet Umm



an important function of tomb scenes was to portray accurately (and in glowing terms) the career highlights of the deceased.

It is also not possible to ascertain the extent of accuracy with which various goods were associated with different groups of people. Documentary evidence indicates that gold, for example, was a material usually exported from Nubia through Egypt northwards to countries around the eastern Mediterranean, and yet large gold vessels are one of the most common items shown being brought to Egypt from elsewhere. There are also examples of lapis lazuli bsbd being requested from Egypt by both Babylonia (1 small container of gold, and a stopper of lapis lazuli in the middle), 52 6 and Hatti ("and, my brother, send me the 2 silver statues of women, and a large piece of lapis lazuli").527 It seems probable that these are examples of materials that were imported in a raw state to one country, processed and finished with local techniques, and then re-exported, sometimes to the countries of origin.

The baskets and piles of blue and green material which are sometimes labelled hshd and mfk3t may always represent lapis lazuli and turquoise. However, glass, faience and Egyptian Blue were often produced in imitation of these precious materials. Glass in particular was also itself valued as a precious commodity (often requested 1n the Amarna letters),528 which came to Egypt from Syria/Palestine. The form of the lumps of hsbl shown in the tomb of Amunedjeh is more 526 EA 14 527 EA 41 528 See Appendix 2

'V -


Fig.14.13 A possible ifiustration of glass ingots or Egyptian Blue cakes from the Tomb of Amunedjeh

Fig.14.14 Blue vessels from the Tombs of Rekh'mire, Amunedjeh and Amenmose

Fig.14.15 Glass vessels from the tomb of Rekhmire

separately defined and rounded than in other illustrations. It is possible that these represent ingots, either of blue (copper or cobalt) glass, or perhaps cakes of Egyptian Blue.

The two blue vessels in the tomb of Rekhmire are similar to one shown in the tomb of Amunedjeh, and one shown in the tomb of Amenmose (TT89). It is interesting to note the similarity between such vessels and the Egyptian Blue vessel with handle from Lisht. It is also possible that these vessels are glass, but it should be remembered that glass vessels from the Near East did not have handles (unlike those made in Egypt),529 and also that Late Bronze Age glass vessels are much smaller than the vessels depicted (although these were no doubt exaggerated in these scenes for visual effect). The two vessels depicted in the tomb of Rekhmire may be glass. However, their marblised pattern suggests that faience is perhaps a more likely material (similar to the material from Nuzi and the tomb of the Syrian wives of Tuthmosis I11).53 0 There are later examples of glass vessels illustrated in the tomb of Ramesses 111,531 and these show more typical glass colours and patterns with drapes and festoons.

The blue frogs illustrated in the tomb of Amunedjeh also appear in the tombs of Puyemre and Huy,532 and the blue bird from the tomb of Amunedjeh also appears in the tomb of Useramun.533 Wachsmann 529 see in chapter "Glass in Egypt" 530 see in chapters "Glass in Egypt" and "Falence in Egypt" 531 KV11 532 Davies & Gardiner 1926, p1. XX 533 Wachsmann 1987, 63

notes that the bowls these animals are sitting in (or on) are not typical Aegean types, and he suggests that these were actually imported from Syria. Animal figures in faience are known from many sites in Mesopotamia and Syria/Palestine, and falence frogs have been found at Ur and Tell al-Rimah.534 There were also a few Egyptian Blue vessels with zoomorphic features found at Alalakh.535

S34 see in chapter "Falence in Syria and Palestine" S35 see in chapter "Egyptian Blue in Mesopotamia, Syria,Palestine, Cyprus and the
Aegean" 176

Part 4: Faience, glass and Egyptian Blue

15. Introduction

Egyptian Blue is a crystalline compound of silica, copper and calcium. These were heated together to form a solid compound. However, other vitreous materials such as falence and glass were also made from a combination of these ingredients.

These materials can be categorised as ceramics, which is a group divided by Vandiver into Egyptian Blue, Egyptian faience, glass, glazed stone and clay-based ceramics.536

The compounds listed above were all made by processes which involved the selection and combination of suitable raw materials, (natural, inorganic and polycrystalline),537 which were subjected to irreversible treatment by heat that formed the product into a solid, durable material. Egyptian Blue, faience and glass can be further defined as the products of heat treatment on natural materials that led to the formation of oxides of sodium, calcium and silica. The materials are therefore defined as soda-lime-siicates.538

Essentially, Egyptian Blue was made from sifica in the form of crushed quartz, or flint, or sand, calcium either introduced with the

536 Vandiver 1983, A-9 37 Vandiver 1983, A-9 538 Vancliver 1983, A-9. See also Chase 1968, Noble 1969, Kiefer, Allibert 1971,
Lilyuist, Brill 1993, Nicholson 1993 177

sand or added in some form of calcite lime,s39 alkali in the form of natron or plant ashes, and copper. Falence was produced by combining silica, calcium, and an alkali.54 The glaze on the outside of the object was formed and glazed either by efflorescence,541 cementation,542 or application.543 Glass was made from combining silica, lime and an alkali.

These products could also be mixed together. In some cases, the problem of defining what material is represented can be caused by trying to establish whether, for example, Egyptian Blue was mixed with falence to produce a finished product which was seen as a combination of the two substances, or whether Egyptian Blue was used as an ingredient in the recipe. It has been suggested, for example, that in Mesopotamia Egyptian Blue was added to colourless glass in order to obtain blue glass.544

An issue which has often caused confusion in the reporting of objects of Egyptian Blue, falence or glass, is that it is often impossible (short of a detailed, and destructive, chemical analysis of an object) to tell 539 there is no direct reference to the lime component in tests either from Mesopotamia or later classical authors, hence the assumption that it may have been present as an impurity in one of the other ingredients. 540 Nicholson 1993, 9 541 Where the water-soluble alkali salts such as carbonates, suiphates and chlorides of sodium migrate to the surface of the object during (pre-firing) drying, and then melt and fuse during firing. 542 Where the faience object is placed (after drying) in a container fified with powder made of lime (calcium oxide), ash 1 charcoal, silica and a colorant. During firing the powder reacts with the surface of the faience vessel and forms a glaze. 543 Where a glazing powder or slip is painted onto a falence object prior to firing. It should be noted that these processes were sometimes used in combination, with, for example, black pattern being painted onto a vessel which has glazed by the efflorescence method. 544 Brifi 1970 178

exactly what material an object is made from.545 As has been discussed above, these three different substances are essentially made from the same ingredients, and differences between them can represent no more that a slightly differing ratio of ingredients, or an alteration in the length or temperature of firing times.546 There is also the further complicating factor of materials which represent intermediate phases between various different vitreous materials, such as 'glassy faience'.547 This can be further blurred by materials which are a combination of the above, such as 'glass faience with glass'. 548 Any Initial visual differences can also have been further obscured by weathering or other chemical degradations which may have occurred since the objects were first made.

However, it is likely that many of the differences documented today, some of which depend on subtle differences at a microscopic level, were irrelevant to the original teclmician. Egyptian Blue, falence and glass would have been perceivably different substances that were manufactured and used for different purposes. Beyond these distinctions it seems unlikely that the small differences discovered today have much bearing on the motivation and functioning of ancient technology production centres. Many of these distinctions, as Ulyquist notes, 'may be the results of accidental occurrences: a little
confusion still for research of the subject is caused by the various interchangeable descriptive terms such as frit, melt etc. used by excavators. 546 Nicholson 1993,16, agrees that Egyptian Blue, falence and glass are part of a contnluum of materials based on silica, alkali, lime and copper, but thinks that they had distinct compositions, specifically concerning the amount of alkali included, and that it would not be possible to turn one into another by simply prolonging or altering the temperature of the firing phase. 547 Lucas Variant E 548 such as in Lilyquist & Brifi, 1993, 16 and 20 fig 10 179
54S Further

extra alkali in the mix, inclusion of a crushed waster, a somewhat higher temperature, a little longer time in the kiln - or a dozen other day-to-day variations in working conditions.'549

Consequently, any research into the manufacture of Egyptian Blue cannot fail to take into account exisling work on production sites for the related products of faience and glass. Indeed, it is often the case that the excavators themselves are not able to distinguish exactly which of the various products were being produced, and in some cases it is clear that various products, especially Egyptian Blue and faience, were being produced together.

Lilyquist & Brifi 1993, 16 This problem of exact identification of materials is ifiustrated at even rigorously excavated production sites such as Amarna and Qantir. 180



Cl Cl

cI C) IC) C)



0 C) N t NC)

N p
'1 '- ',

C) t
C) 0


- Li


1D D

Fig 15.1 Chemical and structural progressions of some vitreous materials

16. Faience in Egypt

Falence first appeared in Egypt during the fourth millennium B.C. (Naqada I). The development may have been independent, and have grown out of experimentation with steatite, or it may have been influenced by trade with Mesopotamia.550 It is not known how the technique was first discovered, although it almost certainly grew out of an initial practice of glazing small pebbles and steatite shapes. This method was probably established when 'men may have found that fires built in certain spots and under certain conditions left some of the stones beneath them coated with a lustrous blue.'ssl

These early discoveries may have been made in association with metal working,552 not least because the desirable green and blue colourss3 was obtained with the inclusion of copper. However, it has been pointed out that the manufacture of glazed steatite and faience may predate metal technology.554 Early manufacturing techniques had much in common with those used with stone working for flaked or ground tools, such as reduction and heat treatment, and 'the advantages of shaping a fairly complex piece from plastic materials and working it to a final shape rather than carving it from stone must have been greatly appreciated.'sss
SsOFoster 1979, 26; Bianchi 1998, 22 551 RiefstaN 1968,1 552 Moorey 1985, 137 notes that 'where umovatory faience production is evident, contemporary potting and metalwork exhibits a considerable mastery of pyrotechnology and a willingness to experiment with both ores and pigments'. 553 Thought to have been desirable both for reasons to do with various symbolic significances inherent in the colours, and also as a cheap alternative to turquoise and lapis lazuli. 554 e.g Nicholson 1998, 56 555 Nicholson 1998, 56 182

Fig.16.1 (left) Bead belt made of green glazed steatite beads from Badari. Predynastic Period (right) Blue faience and malachite bead necklace from Ballas. Late Predynastic Period

Predynastic falence The earliest stage of technological development is characterised by a wide diversity of materials and methods of production. Small objects were glazed in a variety of ways. Glazes were applied on quartz or steatite, and also applied, effloresced or cemented onto a crushed quartz faience body.556 Glazed faience beads are known from Predynastic graves at various sites including Naqada, Ballas, Badari, el-Amrah, Matmar, Harageh, Abadiyeh, and el-Gerzeh.557 However, entire faience bead necklaces are only known from the Late Predynastic Period.558 All the falence dating from this period was made with a combination of modelling the wet substance, and then scraping and grinding into shape while drying. Nicholson also suggests that these small beads were glazed with the application method in a similar manner to glazed steatite.559

Early Dynastic falence Falence was used extensively for religious and funerary purposes,56o and small animal sculptures have been found in Early Dynastic deposits at Abydos, 561 Fiephantines62 and Hierakonpolis. 563 It is probable that these votive offerings would have been manufactured in workshops associated with, if not attached to, the temples.564 It 556 Vandiver 1998, 122 557 Nicholson 1993, 18 558 Friedman 1998, 177n. 2 559 Nicholson 1998,56 560 Friedman 1998, 16 561 Petrie 1902, 23-28 562 Dreyer 1986, 68-76 563 Adams 1974, 20-30 564 However, it has been suggested that falence wall tiles may have been
manufactured in a single location and exported to various temples. See Friedman 1998, 16 184

also seems that the focus of innovation in this period was on forming technology rather than technological advances in glazing. 565 Falence spiral beads are also known from Hierakonpolis,56 6 and these are thought to have been used as wigs for wood and stone statues, or perhaps beaded curtains for temple doorways. Faience wall tiles with reed patterns have also been found at the same site, and these predate the blue green faience wall tiles found in the Osiris temple at
Abyc)os, at E)ephan tine, and in Djosefs step pyramid.

A fragment of a vase with the serekh of Aha found at Abydos imonstrates that experiments with laying one colour of I aience with another were undertaken at the begirming of the Dynastic period,567 and faience manufactured at this site includes polychrome and has relief techniques,568 with evidence of different body colours being mixed together to form a marblised effect.569 Manganese or iron-oxide black slips, paints and inlays were used to produce purple/brown/black decoration at this time.570

Decorative use of falence inlay (probably in imitation of precious stone) was well established by the early Dynastic period,57' with evidence that wooden furniture was adorned with this material.572 565 Vandiver 1998, 122 states that efflorescence was the 'method of choice' during the Old Kingdom. 566 Quibell, Green 1902, 30 567 petrie 1903, 25; Kozloff 1998, 179 568 \Tandiver 1983 A86 569 Nicholson 1993, 21 570 Vandiver 1998, 122 571 Kozloff 1998 180, a 14. Emery 1954, 44 found small blue glazed inlays in tomb 3504 at Saqqara. 572 see e.g. Friedman 1998, 19 fig 5 185

Fig.16.2 Pale blue-green falence Baboon statuette from Hierakonpolis. Dynasty 1-2

Fig.16.3 Faience spiral beads from Hierakonpolis. Dynasty 1-2

Fig.16.4 Falence vase fragment with the serekli of Aha from Abydos. Dynasty 1

Fig.16.5 Faience tile from the step pyramid of Djozer at Saqqara. Dynasty 3

Old Kingdom Falence Thousands of blue-green convex rectangular wall tiles from the 3rd Dynasty step pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara probably represent the first large scale use of moulds rather than modelling and/or grinding.573 More complicated pieces of jewellery also appear, including for example funerary collars.574

There is less evidence for the use of faience during Dynasties 4-6, although the mortuary complex of Raneferef at Abusir has produced quantities of faience blue tablets, tiles with added gold leaf, and faience in1ays575

Vandiver believes that all faience material dating from before the Middle Kingdom, whether moulded and shaped and ground, or moulded, or formed around a core, was glazed by the simple method of efflorescence. 576 However, Nicholson suggests that all three main techniques of production were in use during the Early Dynastic Period.577

Falence production continued during the First Intermediate Period in major centres such as Abydos, where an Old Kingdom/First Intermediate Period faience factory has recently been discovered,s78 arid 'demand for amulets in the late Old Kingdom and First 573 Vandiver 1983 A83.

7S \Terner 1984, Nicholson 1993 2 1-22, Nicholson 1998, 57. Although recent
inspection by the author suggested that the material in question may be Egyptian Blue rather than faience. 576 Vandiver 1983, A92 '7 Nicholson 1993, 18 578 Lilyquist & BrilI 1995, 1 187

Patch 1998 43 note 4

Intermediate Period seems to have been great and local rulers prided themselves on furthering crafts.'579

Middle Kingdom Faience Development in Middle Kingdom included the manufacture of vessels, ornaments and faience elements for architectural decoration.580 Cementation, core-forming and the use of a fine layer of white quartz between body and glaze to create brighter finishes were all common features at this period.581 Animal figures, including hippopotami, apes, cats, lions, crocodiles and jerboa were popular, many with black line decoration applied. There were also female figures, known as 'Concubines of the dead', and food offerings. While votive figures in the old kingdom are known from temple contexts, these Middle Kingdom objects are known from private tombs in cemeteries throughout Egypt. 582 Saucers, bowls and jars were also made, and drinking vessels developed in the Second Intermediate Period. Technological advances are still evident, as 'glazes are more durable and have brighter hue; bodies are less friable, indicating better control over composition and firmg.' 583 Nevertheless, even with the more diverse methods of production, almost all the faience known from before the New Kingdom was blue or green and coloured by copper.

579 Arnold in Nicholson 1998, 58 580 Riefstahl 1968,3 581 Nicholson 1993, 23 582 Patch 1998,32 583 Vandiver 1983, A92


Fig.16.6 Blue falence hippopotamus. Middle Kingdom

Fig.16.7 Turquoise falence 'Concubine of the dead' Middle Kingdom

Fig.16.8 Blue faience vessel (baby's feeding cup) from Lisht. Middle Kingdom

New Kingdom Faience In the New Kingdom a variety of glazes of various different colours was produced, and faience was put to a variety of different uses.584 Technological advances probably connected to the manufacture of glass also led to the development of a stronger faience body material.585 Powdered glasses and frits as well as other colorants were included in both body and inlays. 586 Different faience types seem to have been used intentionally for different objects, with for example harder, glass-containing mixtures used in open faced moulids which allowed large scale production of amulets, beads and rings.587 Statues, shabtis, game boards, sistra, headrests and vessels such as canopic jars are known, mainly from funerary contexts.588

Large scale objects which pushed the material to the modelling limits include the 216cm high was-sceptre of Amenhotep IT found at Naqada, and 70cm high faience lions from Qantir. Architectural elements such as tiles and inlays remained popular, and the increased range of faience colours enabled the production of elaborate polychrome tiles and plaques.

1968, 4 1983, 108, Boyce 1989, 160 586 Vandiver 1998, 122 Note however that Shortland believes that the glass found in such_objects was a result of the interaction of the raw materials, rather than a deliberate addition (Shortland in Nicholson 1998, 51). 587 Nicholson 1998, 60. Although he believes that this innovation probably made falence available to a wider section of society than ever before, it should be noted that these moulds have only been found in royal production centres (Malkata, Amarna, Qantir). 588 Patch 1998, 32 190
585 Vandiver

584 Riefenstahl

Fig.16.9 Blue falence sceptre of Amenhotep U, from the Temple of Seth at Naqada. 2 16cm high

Discussion Faience production occurred throughout Egyptian history, and Kaczmarczyk and Hedges note that the tremendous output and the great variety of Egyptian faience of all time periods are clearly indicative of a large number of workshops, some in operation long before the unification of Egypt.589

Nevertheless, there seems to be a marked contrast between local vernacular traditions, where small scale production continued with the manufacture of limited ranges of small blue and green artifacts, using essentially unchanged forms, ingredients and production processes,590 and state controlled production centres, which had access to both innovative techniques of manufacture and to an expanding range of ingredients which affected both the texture and colour of the finished product.

It has been suggested that there was a change in manufacturing systems from one where a few regionally diverse factories were involved in limited production (probably related to the copper industry) of small high status beads and objects, to one involving centrally controlled workshops producing large amounts of similar objects for elite consumption.591

Vandiver (1998,12 1) now rejects her earlier ideas that falence production can be divided into various unchanging techniques, (efflorescence, cementation etc.), and now believes that it was rather an evolving high-tech production sequence, and that 'in examining falence, establishing the variation in these production sequences as part of a culturally distinctive technocomplex that changes spatlo-temporally is a prime goal'. 591 Vandiver 1998, 123 192

589 Kaczmarczyk and Hedges 1983,22 3 590 r'Levertheless, it should be noted that

However, it seems more likely that different traditions continued simultaneously, with on the one hand, small scale domestic industries which produced locally required votive and decorative items, and that were able to function more or less continuously, unaffected by social and political upheaval, and on the other, state controlled centres of production, which, although embodying the opportunity to push the technological and creative possibilities of the medium to its limits, were nonetheless constrained by the vagaries of centrailsed power and control. This latter tradition can be identified in the New Kingdom in those centres of general vitreous material production and manipulation where there was also access to new and exotic raw materials, such as glass.

Considering the vast amount of falence production that occurred throughout Egyptian history, there is extraordinarily little archaeological evidence of where it was made. There must have been faience workshops in the early dynastic period,592 and these were almost certainly connected to the major urban arid religious centres at Memphis and/or Saqqara, Abydos and Hierakonpolis.593 During the Old Kingdom factory sites were probably attached to the major temple and mortuary sites, but it should be stressed that there is currently very little documentary or archaeological evidence for this. a From the Middle Kingdom, an 'Overseer of faience workers' is known from Lisht.594 This ties in with the evidence for a late Middle
1998, 17 Vercoutter 1993 for discussion 594 see in chapter "Workers"
593 see 592 Friedman


Kingdom/Second Intermediate Period faience production site near the temple enclosure of Amenemhat 1.595

There is also evidence of falence use during the Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period at the Egyptian forts in Nubia. Although the falence found there may have been imported from southern Egypt, a local tradition of falence tiles made either from ground and re-used Egyptian material, or produced locally, is evident.596 After the reconquest of Nubia in the Eighteenth Dynasty, falence production seems to have occurred within Egyptian tradition, with, for example, Nineteenth-Twentieth Dynasty falence shabtis inscribed for local residents.597

For the New Kingdom, the main evidence for faience manufacture comes from those sites where glass production occurred. These are all either royal or centrally controlled sites, such as Malkata, Amarna and Piramesse.598 Although Petrie considered that the thousands of moulds found at these sites represented an intermediate stage in production, where faience was shaped prior to glazing and firing, it is now thought that most of the small objects produced were glazed by efflorescence.599

595 See in chapter "Glass in Egypt" for discussion of this site as a New Kingdom
glass factory. Note that the date of this structure is not clear, and may all be late NewTkingdom. Further work is planned at this site to clarify the picture. (Nicholson 1998, 69 note 64) 596 Lacovara 1998, 49 597 O'Cormor 1993, 140 598 See in chapter "Glass in Egypt" 599 Petne 1894, 28, Nicholson 1998, 60 194

17. Glass in Egypt

There are various examples of small glass items which date from before the New Kingdom cited in works concerning glass in Egypt.600 Early assumptions were that they are probably either imports, or the result of accidental overfiring of faience. 6 01 The various examples of pre-l8th Dynasty glass objects listed by Lucas and Harris have almost all been deleted by later authors, including two 10th Dynasty udjat eyes from Sedment 6 o2 found to be faience,6o3 an 11/17th dynasty blue lion spacer bead 6o4 which is actually Egyptian Blue, 605 a 12th Dynasty black and white rod6o6 which is almost certainly Roman, 607 and a 17th Dynasty blue kohl pot from Qau 608 either 18th Dynasty or Roman.609 12th Dynasty jewellery from Dahshur containing turquoise colour inlays are sometimes cited as glass, 610 but are in fact turquoise.61 1 A bull 'mosaic' from the 12th Dynasty tomb of Princess Khnumet at Dahshur is painted blue frit covered in rock crystal rather than glass, 6 12 and a 12th dynasty frog from Abydos 6l3 is also thought to be
1920, Beck 1934, Barag 1962 23-25, Nolte 1968, Barag 1970, 181-184, Lucas & Harris, 1962 179-184, Cooney 1976; Kozioff 1992 373-378, Nicholson 1993, Lilyquist 1993,Lil yq uist & Brill 1993 601 Cooney 1960, 11 suggests that 'the scattered examples of glass claimed for Egypt prior to Dynasty Eighteen fall into two classes, either they are misdated, actually belonging to a period much later than the New Kingdom, or if indeed of glass and of early date they are invariably compositions intended as falence but OneS which turned completely vitreous when they were overfired'. 602 Lucas & Harris 1962, 182 (c) 603 Lilyquist & Brifi 1993, 5 604 Beck 1934, Lucas &Harris 1962, 183(g) 605 Cooney 1976, no 362 606 Newberry 1920, 155; Lucas & Harris 1962, 182 (f) 607 Lilyquist & Brill 1993, 6 608 Lucas &Harris 1962, 183(h) 609 Cooney 1962 23 610 Wilkinson 1971,58; Andrews 1990, 173 611 Lucas & Harris 1962, 183; Lilyquist & Brifi 1993, 7 612 Nicholson 1993, 46 613 Lucas & Harris 1962, 182 (e) 195
600 Newberry

rock crystal rather than glass.614

Glass before the reign of Anienhotep Ill Two 12th Dynasty scarabs in the British Museum may be glass,615 a toggle pm probably from Avaris (17th Dynasty) has glass inlay, 616 and the Antef diadem may have dark blue glass inlay.617

Some of the earliest dateable examples of glass are beads from graves at Qau found by Brunton.618 Comparison with pottery suggests that the beads date from the beginning of the 18th Dynasty (1550 BC).619 Some of the jewellery from the tomb of Ahhotep II (circa. 1550BC, probably wife of Kamose) contained glass inlay, including round pendants thought to be imported from Syria/Palestine. 6 2 o A pectoral from the same tomb showing Ahmose with Re and Amun-Re is almost certainly Egyptian, and the opaque turquoise inlay at least is made of glass.6 21 Similar glass is known on an unprovenanced plaque with the name Ahmose 1,622 an unprovenanced square light blue bead bearing the names of Ahmose I and Amenhotep 1,623 and an amulet with the name of Amenhotep 1.624 614 Nicholson 1993, 46
615 Martin 1971, 39 no.441, 94 no. 1198; Cooney 1976, xv; Nicholson 1993, 45; Lilyquist & Brill 1993, 6. Described by Cooney as opaque blue glass and turquoise blue glass, and dated by Martin to the second half of 12th Dynasty! first half of the 13th Dynasty. 616 Lilyq uist 1993, fig. 24a. 617 Lilyquist &Brffl 1993,7 618 Brunton 1930, pL5 619 BourriauinLilyquist&Brffl 1993,23 620 Lilyquist & Brill 1993,2 3 621 Lilyquist & Brill 1993,24. Other possible examples include dark blue glass in a sphinx armiet (Anclrews 1990 p1140) 622 Unpublished, cited in Lilyquist & Brill 1993,24 623 Brovarski, Doll & Freed, 1982, 169 no. 192; Nicholson 1993, 47 624 Petrie, 1909, 120; 1917 p1 24 15 196


i 4LI,

ni 'r:: '--


Fig.17.1 Glass beads from Qau

Fig.17.2 Pectorall of Queen Aahotep with blue glass inlay (9.2 cm wide)


Fig.17.3 Glass plaque naming Ahmose

Fig.17.4 Blue bead naming Amenhotep I and Ahmose

Fig.17.5 Hairpin from Assasif

'A long tapering glass hairpin, the head decorated with a rosette' was found by Lansing in a late 1 7th/early 18th Dynasty62s tomb at Assasif,62 6 and glass beads and amulets are known from this period at Ballas627 and Ghurob.628 A few beads were found at the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri which are inscribed with the name of Senenmut. The beads are dark blue, light blue, and green and there are also three colourless examples. This evidence of colourless glass suggests that it may have been 'through choice and not lack of technical skifi that glass was chiefly used for the production of brightly coloured imitations of semi-precious stones'.629 Consequently, as with the Near East,630 there is some indication that the Egyptians may have been aware of the possibilities of glass well before the flourishing of glass production after the reign of Tuthmosis Ill.

Glass vessels are extremely rare before the reign of Amenhotep fl.631 The earliest are represented by two fragments of blue glass with white, yellow and blue threads found in the tomb of Tuthmosis I (1504-1492BC). 632 However, there is debate about the date of this tomb, and it is thought that Tuthmosis I was probably reburied during the reign of Tuthmosis III (1479-1425BC). 633 A few sherds of glass are also known from the tomb of Tuthmosis Ill. These include 625 Lansing 1917, 10 626 Lansing 1917, 21 627 Lilyquist & Brifi 1993,24 628 Wrunton&Engelbach 1927, pls.2lnos.15 & 23, 22 no.21 629 Reeves 1986, 388 630 See in chapter "Glass in Mesopotaniia" 631 Barag 1970, 181 632 Barag 1962, 23; Lilyquist & Brifi 1993,25

Winlock 1929; Reeves & Wilkinson 1996, 95-96 198

an opaque blue kohl jar lid,634 and two turquoise blue sherds, one with dark blue threads,635 arid another with a black and yellow twist embedded in the body.636 There are a few other small pieces which may date from this period. These include a blue bead from Ghurob inscribed with the name of Tuthmosis 111,637 and 'piece of glass vase with an inlaid name of Tahutmes I11'.638

An unusual (unprovenanced) turquoise blue jug in the British Museum may also date from the reign of Tuthmosis 111. 63 9 It is inscribed with 'the good god Men-kheper-Re given life' and decorated with numerous yellow and white dots and three stylised yellow tamarisk trees. Cooney notes that the decoration is enamel (crushed glass painted on and then fired), and that this is the first example of the technique in Egypt.64o Lilyquist & Brifi note that dots and botanical forms, as well as the shape of the jug, are more typical of Palestinian traditions, and suggest that the jug may have been made, if not in the Near East, then probably by foreign craftsmen working in Egypt. 641 A kohl jar from Riqqeh642 and a kohl tube in Cairo 643 may also be ascribed to the reign of Tuthmosis III on stylistic grounds. A goblet of turquoise blue glass with blue and yellow thread pattern and the 634 Nolte 1968, 47, 4 635 Nolte 1968, 46, 1 636 Nolte 1968, 46. 2. There is a similar (unprovenanced) sherd in the Brooklyn Museum (Lilyquist & Brifi 1993,2 5). 637Thomas 1981, 270pL 14 638 Petrie 1909, 120, apparently now lost (Lilyquist & Brifi 1993,2 6) 639 Newberry 1920, 155; Nolte 1968, 50; Barag 1970, 182; Cooney 1976, 764 640 Cooney 1976, 71 641 Lilyquist & Brifi 1993,2 7. Note that Cooney (1976, 71) also believes 'that so sophisticated a technique was so well executed implies considerable experience and tradition', suggesting a non-Egyptian source. 642 Engelbach 1915, 16; Nolte 1968, 48, 6 643 Lilyquist &Brill 1993,2 7

-" '.. t ....,". V.

________ -

Fig.17.6 Turquoise vase with enamel patterns (8.7cm high)

Fig.17.7 Glass vessels from the tomb of the Syrian wives of Tuthmosis ifi

cartouche of Tuthmosis 1ff may date from the same period.644

The tomb of three Syrian minor wives of Tuthmosis III in Wadi Qirud (two miles west of Deir el Baliri) contained a large group of glass objects.645 These included over one thousand glass beads and inlays, as well as a few vessels. The vessels comprise a glass turquoise opaque lotiform cup incised with the king's name, which is closely connected to some 18th Dynasty faience vessels, 646 and two other vessels which are categorised either as falence or glass. 647 A pale green krateriskos with a lid and gold trimming is very weathered, and may be either faience or glass. 64 8 The other vessel, with a globular body, broad neck and flaring rim, is of marblised fabric.6 49 Redbrown, brown, blue, green, white and yellow glass are mixed and fused together in imitation of veined stone. This dosely parallels both vessel-type and fabrics from Nuzi, 650 and it was thought to have been imported 6 5l even before lead isotope analysis indicated a Near Eastern origin for the vessel.652 The fabric is much more complicated than the other glass vessels from the tomb, and can probably be seen in terms of a luxury foreign import which influenced later Egyptian glass manufacture, such as, for example, the glass with swirled 644 Newberry 1920, 155, pL VI:2 believed it to be Egyptiai Barag 1970, 182 thought
that it may be an import, with pattern (but not shape) very similar to Mesopotamian piriform bottles; and Lilyquist & Brifi 1993, 26 obviously doubt its authenticity, not least because of the peculiar (sideways) orientation of the cartouche. 645 Winlock 1848 646 Barag 1970, 182 647 eg. Barag 1970, 182; Lilyquist &Brffl 1993, 9; Friedmarui 1998. 215 G48 Lilyq uist&Brffl 1993,9 649 Winlock 1948, 61 p1 XXXV; Nolte 1968 49-50; Barag 1970, 182; Friedmarin 1998, 215:90 650 See below in "Glass from Mesopotamia" 651 flarag 1970, 182 652 Lilyquist&BriIl 1993, 11,61-66

Fig.17.8 Glass shabti of Kenamun

Fig.17.9 Glass shabti of Hekareshu

Amenhotep II and Tuthmosis 111. 661 Both were cast in moulds and then reworked, a technique which Cooney thought 'typical of all Egyptian sculptures in glass'. 662 Although neither man was royal, the nature of the material suggests that both shabtis were royal gifts. No glass factory sites are known from this period, but it seems likely that there would have been one or more at Memphis and/or Thebes,663

An interesting glass vessel was found in the tomb of Maiherpri at Thebes.664 The tomb of a man who was probably a childhood companion of a king, rather than a son by a lesser wife, 665 has been variously dated from the reign of Amenhotep 11,666 to that of Hatshepsut or even Tuthmosis IV. 667 The vessel has a piriform body, flaring rim and rounded base, and is made of blue green glass with green, white, orange and yellow meander and festoon decoration. It is very similar to vessels found at Nuzi and Assur, and may well have been imported from that region. 668 However, more typically Egyptian glass was also found in the tomb, including dark blue, light blue and red beads, a blue glass inlay of a jackal and opaque blue eyebrows on an anthropoid coffin.669

661 Lilyq uist & Brifi 1993, 30 nt.66 662 Cooney 1960, 13 663 Cooney 1960, 14 664 Fossing 1940, 8; Barag 1962, 13; Nolte 1968, 51; Barag 1970, 183; Lilyquist &
Brill 1993, 30 665 Reeves & Wilkinson 1996, 179 666 Barag 1962, 15 nt.45; Lilyquist & Brill 1993, 30 667 Reeves &Willdnson 1996, 180 668 J3arag 1962, 13. See below for discussion of Mesopotamian glass vessels 669 Lil yquis t & Brifi 1993, 30 204

Fig.17.1O Glass bottle from the tomb of Maiherpri

The tomb of Tuthmosis N contained 35 glass vessels,67o but 'the vessels [are] small, their decoration more homogeneous: the vessels are completely in line with what one imagines of "Egyptian cored vessels".67 1 Three violet glass bangles, one with white decoration and one with yellow decoration, and various colourful furniture inlays were also found in the tomb. This expanded repertoire of colours, which was almost certainly manipulated by Egyptian workmen (or foreign workers living in Egypt),can be seen to presage the greatly expanded glass industry which flourished under Amenhotep Ill.

Although there has long been interest in establishing the location of glass producing factories in Egypt, there is little concrete evidence for this from any sites apart from Amarna and, more recently, Qantir. This is due in part to the historical lack of emphasis on settlement rather than cemetery sites. However, there are also indications that glass workings, if not glass producing areas, have been found at other centres in Egypt. Newberry672 noted that all the materials required for making glass are found in the north-western Delta, and that this was a major glass producing area in the Graeco-Roman period (concentrated in and around Alexandria).673 There are also remains of glass works in Wadi Natrun and south and south-west of Lake Mareotis, although the date of these is not clear674 Newberry speculated that 18th and 19th Dynasty glass may have been supplied from these areas, perhaps in the form of ingots which were then
670 Nolte 1968, 63 671 Lilyquist & Brill 1993, 31 672 Newberry 1920 673 See StraboXVl, 11,25 674 Newberry,

1920, 160

worked elsewhere. During 1902-1903 he apparently excavated a glass factory at Malkata, and he also mentioned two 20th Dynasty factories, one at Lisht and one a short distance south of Menshiyeh.675

Ghurob The earliest known glass working centre is at Ghurob, where Petrie found that "many pieces occur in the town" of what he called "Phoemcian glass".676 He also found various examples of glass vessels in New Kingdom tombs at the site. 677 However, the only identified production centre is mentioned by Bnmton and Englebach, who note "glass factories and lime-kilns" built on top of a small square enclosure678 which was outside the north east corner of the outer enclosure wall of a temple built by Tuthmosis III at the site.679

Kozloff suggested that the glass factories at Ghurob may have functioned during the reign of Tuthmosis lv, when his queens lived there with the young Amenhotep 111. 680 Cooney suggested that this factory produced glass vessels with vertical handles formed from two or more rods joined side by side 68 l and with heavy, dense fabric. It is also possible that production at this site died out during active periods at Malkata and Amarna, but was restarted later with the 675 el-Mansha (Ptolemais Hermiou) 676 Petrie 1890, 38 677 Petrie also found three glass vessels in a tomb dated to Tutankhamun. (1891, 17
P1 XVII 3 5,37), dark blue glass with wavy yellow and white lines in a 19th Dynasty burial, (1890, 44), and various glass bottles and a bowl in a tomb of a similar date the following year, (1891, 17 and PIXVffl 13, 18, 19, 26). Newberry (1920, 156) also mentions a "perfect bottle of the time of Amenophis ifi" 678 Dated either to the Archaic or the Second Intermediate Period by the excavators, so the glass factory must be at least New Kingdom in date. 679 Brunton & Engelbach 1927, 3 680 See Bryan 1991 681 Cooney 1976, see also Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 383 and plate 43 207

Fig. 17.11 Unprovenanced glass pilgrim flask thought to have come from Ghurob

Fig. 17.12 Unprovenanced glass base-ring juglet thought to have come from Ghurob

Fig.17.13 19th Dynasty Glass pilgrim flask from Medinet Ghurob

production of glass amulets perhaps made from scraps of glass melted down and poured into moulds.682 Kozloff suggests that these later shops would have "cannibalised the materials left behind by the earlier one, leaving few traces of it. "683 This is one possible explanation for the very different classes of glass found at Ghurob. However, fine vessels are found in tombs dating throughout the 18th and early 19th Dynasties arid it is also possible that small-scale glass production continued at the site throughout this period.

Malkata It seems probable that Tuthmosis IV and (more likely) Amenhotep Ill may have had glass workshops somewhere in the Memphite area.684 However, the only major glass workshop known from this period is at Malkata, the palace of Amenhotep III located one mile south of his memorial temple on the west bank at Thebes. The site consists of a group of large, rambling buildings facing onto open courts or parade grounds along the western edge of an artificial lake. 68s The first evidence was found by Newberry, who noted that "Pieces of at least a hundred vases and scores of amulets, ear-rings and broken bracelets have been brought to light among the ruins of the palace of Amenophis III at Thebes; and near by was discovered the earliest known glass factory, in which were found small crucibles containing dark blue glass and a quantity of different coloured rods of the same material".686 The Metropolitan Museum conducted five seasons of 682 See Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 377 683 Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 378 684 See Kozioff 1998, 106, note 44 68S See Stevenson Smith & Simpson 1981, 282-29 5 686 Newberry 1920, 156. The footnote to this passage reads "Notes made by me in
1902-3, when Mr Tytus and I were digging at this site." 209

excavation at the palace between 1910 and 1921,687 and the University Museum of Pennsylvania have worked more recently at the lake and the harbour. 688 Two separate areas of glass manufacture were located, one south of the main palace complex6 8 9 and another actually in the middle of the main palace area,690 which Simpson suggested69 l was in a small village immediately adjacent to the North (kthg's) Palace. "Crucibles, glass rods of different colors, which were employed in the manufacture of polychrome glass, as well as many varieties of the glass itself, have been found". 692 Modern analysis of the glass found at Malkata has identified various trends which may indicate specific production tecimiques or availability of materials. Kozioff notes that blue glass coloured with cobalt is much more common than copper-blue glass, indicating that the Malkata workshops had access either to a source of cobalt or to a supply of

687 Winlock 1912, EvelynWhite 1915, Lancing 1918 688 See Kemp and O'Connor 1974, Hope 1977, Leahy 1978 689 "Farther south a dependent village of workmen's quarters was cleared, in which
artisans had carried on the manufacture of falence beads, rings, scarabs and other types of ornament for the inmates of the royal building." (Uthgoe, 1918, 6) 690 "A settlement of artisans sprang up within the palace area, as has been noticed above, and the ruins of their factories have yielded fragments of the crucibles in which they melted the glaze in the manufacture of falence, hundreds of moulds for beads, pendants, and finger rings, and many examples of the objects themselves, often in their incompleted condition, showing in a most interesting way the method of their manufacture, On laying and firing mosaics of colored glass paste into a ground of white or blue falence was practised, and glass cut for this purpose, as well as fragments of the finished products, have been found." (Winlock 1912, 187) 691 Stevenson Smith and Simpson 1981, 282 692 "Work began on November I on a section west of the residential building uncovered in the season of 1914-19 15, and in reports already received from Mr Lansing he describes that section as proving to have been occupied by manufactories of glass and faience, Crucibles, glass rods of different colors, which were-employed in the manufacture of polychrome glass, as well as many varieties of the glass itself, have been found; also material illustrating the processed followed in the making of objects in faience, including many terracotta moulds in which the various types of objects were cast, as well as unfinished material in different stages of its manufacture" (Lythgoe 1918, 6) It should be noted that, apart from the brief reports in the MM Bulletins, this area of the site remains unpublished (see also Keller 1993). 210

Fig. 17.14 Unprovenanced kraterfskos thought to have come from Malkata

Fig. 17.15 Unprovenanced krateriskos thought to have come from Malkata

raw cobalt blue glass.693 There is evidence for cobalt blue glass at Amarna, and it is possible that it was manufactured there (see below). However it is also possible that such pieces were either transported from Malkata, or that they represent work dating from the beginning of the Amarna factory.

Amarna Petrie considered that many of the finds he made at Aniarna were concerned with the production of falence and glass.694 He found masses of small moulds for faience in the west edge of the city, of which he saved "nearly five thousand from Tell el-Amarna, after rejecting large quantities of the commonest".695 He also located evidence of glass-working in a dump associated with a palace on the east edge of the city, and later discussed "the remains of the factory",696 stating that the glass was "free of lead and borates, and consisted of pure silica from crushed quartz pebbles, and alkali doubtless from wood ashes. It was fused in pans of earthenware". He suggested that the colour in the glass was introduced not by a primary ingredient such as copper, but with the addition of a coloured frit. "This glass was coloured by dissolving the blue or green frit in it, or mixing other opaque colours". Petrie then went on to describe specific manufacturing techniques, with "samples taken out by pincers" and lumps of glass "patted into a cylindrical form, thei rolled under a bar of metal, which was run diagonally across it, until 693 Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 376. This is contradicted to a certain extent by Nicholson,
who has found quantities of cobalt glass and slag at Amarna. Also see below for examples of cobalt blue glass at Lisht. 694 Petrie 1894 695 p etrie 1894, 30. See also Nicholson 1995b, 11 696 Petrie 1909, 123-125 212

Fig.17.16 Glass perfume bottle in the shape of a fish from Amarna.

it was reduced to a rod about the size of a lead pendil."697

However, as Nicholson points out, Petrie's report was from the beginning interpretive of the evidence, and both uncertainty and confusion are apparent, which are then compounded in later reports. For example, he seems to confuse the size of pans from the two different sites, and to state later that the quartz pebbles were used as a kiln floor rather than as an ingredient.698 It should be noted that Petrie's discussion of 10 inch diameter fritling pans is confirmed by an example in the collection at the Petrie Museum.6 99 This pan was found in association with the glass making materials from the east of the city, rather than the falence moulds from the west. Nevertheless, as Nicholson notes, "it seems safe to assume that very little, if any, technological evidence was discovered in situ, and that no glass kilns or furnaces were discovered."700

Working from Petrie's evidence, Nicholson has re-excavated the area on the west of the city where the faience moulds were originally located.701 Here he has found evidence for pottery making and firing, falence moulds and objects, glass slag as well as glass canes and rods, kilns for glass and/or faience making, various items termed "kiln furniture", and (cobalt) blue slag and (cobalt) blue frit.7o2 There are also examples of coarse yellow plaster, many with one surface coated'
1909, 124 698 See Nicholson 1995b, 12 699 UC 36457 700 Nicholson 1995b, 13 701 See Nicholson 1989, 1993. 1995a, 1995b, 1996, 1997 702 Shortland & Tite 1998. Note that cobalt-blue glass and cobalt blue painted pottery are both known to have come from Amarna at this period.
691 Ptrie


in blue or green powdery material, which Nicholson suggests may represent an intermediate stage in the processing of Egyptian Blue arid Egyptian green.703

EI-Mensbiyeh El. Menshiyeh in Middle Egypt was described by Newberry as another location of both complete glass vessels and a glass production centre. He noted that the site had been 'completely plundered' by the time he got there in 1911, with the exception of 'some glass slag and a few rods of coloured glass'.704 It has been suggested that Middle Egypt was an area of development during and after the reign of Amenhotep III, with important cemeteries at Herakleopolis Magna, Hermopolis Magna and Akhniim, 7 5 and an "unusual amount of building activity" occurring at El-Menshiyeh during this period.706 Glass vessels said to come from this site tend to be made of milky white glass, with thick fabric and heavy design, and often with blue and white twisted rod rims, which Kozioff suggest may be a stylistic hangover from Malkata. An opaque yellow jar with handles trimmed in twisted rods was said by Theodore Davis to have been found at el-Mansha (=FJMenshiyeh)707 and is made of glass very like that from Amarna.

703 Spurrell 1895, 234, suggested that red ochre, yellow ochre and Egyptian Blue were purified by being ground into water and then strained. Nicholson speculates that "It is known that a second firing was given to blue pigments after grinding, and that they were sometimes put into bags for this process, Could the ground pigm.ents have been drained through a plaster-lined trough, and could the damp powder have been placed in such bags? The thin layer of blue left on the rather coarse plaster would support this function as a kind of filter" (1995, 15, ii 23). 704 Newberry 1920, 156 705 Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 282 706 Kozioff & Bryan 1992 378 707 See Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 382 a 26 for refs. 215

Fig.17.17 Milky-white krateriskos with twisted blue and white rim thought to have come from El-Menslhiyeh

These factors indicate that this site probably functioned after the production centres at Malkata and Amarna had ceased, and Kozioff suggests7o8 that an Amarna glassworker may have set up shop there after the dissolution of the factories at the capital. However, so little is known about the level of state control of the production and supply of glass that it is not known to what extent any glass worker would have been able to function in a freelance capacity, if such was the case at this site.709

Qantir The site of Qantir in the eastern Delta was first identified as the ancient location of Tell el-Daba and Piramesse by Hamza who undertook survey and excavation there in 1928. 7 1 0 While digging in a field to the south of a location where a small boy had unearthed some "blue tiles of glazed faience with hieroglyphs in alabaster inlay", ?" he discovered "a faience and glazing factory of great size". 712 The finds included ten thousand terracotta moulds (similar to those found at Amarna), many of which still had traces of the colour of the original paste, faience tiles, hundreds of pieces of alabaster, flint tools, and stone grinders and polishers. He also describes "lumps of the favourite blue colour in vogue, as well as pieces of the glazing material in the form of the pan in which it was smelted. A small lump 708 Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 378
709 Note that Keller (1983, 20 ii. 4), having consulted Newberry's notes, doubts the existence of the existence of this site. The suggestion is that Newberry may have been-fobbed off with the name of this site, as the complete and virtually complete vessels said to have come from there may in fact have been the result of illicit digging at an unnamed cemetery site. Nevertheless, it should be noted that Newberry records some evidence of manufacture (slag, glass rods). 710 Hamza 1930 711 Hamza 1930, 40 712 Hamza 1930, 42 217

of blue colour still preserves the form of the packet in which it was placed when diluted with water."713

The moulded packet is certainly Egyptian Blue, as examples are known both from other sites and from more recent excavations at Qantir. It is not clear whether the blue lumps or the glazed pieces in the shape of bowls described are falence or Egyptian Blue, but the latter seems likely. Inscribed jambs and lintels found in association with the material indicate that the factory was founded during the reign of Seti I, and continued in use until the 20th dynasty. Debris from the area included many falence beads, some of which bore traces of "gilding material".714 This suggests that gold working existed in association with falence and pigment manufacture.

The northern part of Piramesse has been the subject of further excavation since 1980, with a joint German/Austrian project working on the palace area identified by Bietak. 715 The area under investigation, to the west of the site of Hamza's work, has yielded a large-scale metal factory of the late 18th and early 19th Dynasties, which is covered by a 19th dynasty military complex. 71 6 This bronze casting factory was accompanied by a range of other, non-metallic, high-temperature industries.717 These include falence and glass manufacture, as well as the production of Egyptian Blue. Theses products seem to have been manufactured simultaneously at the site, 713 Hamza 1930 42. It should be noted that Hamza did not mention examples of
the red glass which is so prevalent in modem excavations at the site. 714 flamza 1930, 52 715 Bietak 1979 716 Pusch 1990, 1991, 1994 717 gehren, Pusch. Herold 1998, 227 218

with evidence for copper-red glass (in the form of fragments and slag), faience objects and moulds, arid cakes and lumps of Egyptian Blue.718

Initial mixing of the ingredients for glass making seems to have occurred in pits in the ground which were lined with slag, and the workshop area has produced a range of different fireplaces, hearths and furnaces.719 At least forty crucibles (and hundreds of fragments) have also been identified. These crucibles are all flat based, cylindrical vessels, which are either vertical or slightly widening at the top. They can be compared with the crucibles found at Amarna (originally identified by Petrie as stands for fritting pans). Similar vessels have been cited for the production of faience.720 It should be noted that this is the only site where there is recognised evidence for all the stages of glass production. However, there is not yet any evidence for the final working of glass (canes etc.) or finished glass products, suggesting that this area of the site was concerned with production of the raw materials.

It seems likely that this and other factories at the site provided the materials for the decorative motifs used at the palaces and the city in general, and it is also possible that this was a major production centre for the rest of the Delta region, and also perhaps for items fore

719 Rehren& Pusch 1997,138 720 e.g in Vandiver 1983 A1-A144. Although there is no definite evidence that such
crucibles were also used for Egyptian Blue production, the similarity in size and shape of copper glass ingots and cakes of pigment is indicative that similar vessels must have been used. See Nicholson1 Jackson & Trott, 1997, 149 for chart companng thicknesses and diameter of glass ingots from Amarna, Qantir and Ulu Burun 219

See in chapter "Pigments at other sites in Egypt"

international trade and exchange.

Lisht There is some evidence for glass production at the pyramid site of Amenemhat I at Lisht, where the Metropolitan Museum of Art conducted excavations between 1906 and 1934. Although their primary foci were the Middlle Kingdom pyramids, they had to dig through later occupation levels around the base of the pyramid. "The clearance of the Twelfth Dynasty structures was greatly complicated by the presence of later house walls and silos, built partly on the lower slopes of the pyramid itself, and covering all the ground in its immediate proximity." 721 The east and north sides of the pyramid were cleared between 1906 and 1908, and in addition to the walls of later structures (dated between the Second Intermediate Period and the Twenty Second Dynasty), they discovered many examples of scarabs, rings, beads and fragments of glass.722 There was also evidence for glass and faience manufacture, with "accumulations of slag from glass fusing".723 This area can tentatively be dated to somewhere in the latter half of the New Kingdom,72 4 based on both inscribed scarabs and amulets, 725 and by more recent analysis of the

the village was composed were all of crude brick and in some cases are sufficiently well preserved to admit of a definite plan, one showing , remains of an arched roofing and of a staircase. Scattered through and over the house walls there were a number of interesting small objects- flint implements of all kinds, weights, spinning-whorls, scarabs, and rings, quantities of beads and a great number of fragments of finely colored glass." (Mace 1908, 185) 723 Mace 1908, 185 724"From the objects found in them it was possible to date them to a period earlier than was at first supposed- the Twenty Second and innnediately succeeding Dynasties." (Mace 1908 184) 725 See Hayes, 1959, 397-398

721 Mace 1908, 184 722 "The houses of which

glass fmds.726

Both cobalt and copper were used as colouring agents for blue glass from the site, although, unlike at the other sites, copper seems to have been a more common ingredient here. There is no evidence of Egyptian Blue being found at the site, but the woeful publication record of this part of the excavation indicates that negative evidence should be cited with caution.727 Keller suggests that the Lisht factory post-dates those at Malkata and Amarna, but notes that conclusive archaeological evidence on this point is lacking.728

Bril states that the chemical composition of the glass found at Lisht is identical to that from Malkata and Amarna, 729 but the rods of glass found at the site are murkier and more bubbly than those from the two royal palace sites. Kozloff notes that the glass vessels found at the site are "of two distinctly different levels of quality - one of the highest quality similar to that found at Malkata and el-Amarna; the other, poorer both in design and fabric."73o He suggests that the factory functioned during the Ramesside period, and that it recycled earlier vessels taken from the nearby tombs at Saqqara. Cooney also believes that glass pilgrim flasks found at the site represent a revival of an earlier Eighteenth century tradition.731 However there is no 726 Keller 1983, 24 727 The later occupation levels were viewed as an inconvenience by the excavators:
and the only ref rence to production is that beads and glass "seem to have formed the thief industry of the village, for in certain spots there were accumulations of slag from glass fusing, while lumps of crude amethyst, garnet etc. were found in large quantities all over the site." (Mace 1903 185) 728 Keller, 1983, 28. 729 Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 382 note 37 730 Kozioff & Bryan 1992, 378 731 Cooney, unpublished, cited in Kozioff &Bryan 1992, 378 221

material evidence for this theory other than a typological one, and there are other possible explanations for the instance of poorer quality glass production, including lack of suitable raw materials or workmen with imperfect skills.

Tell el-Yahudiyeh Griffith mentions a glass factory at eI-Yahudiyeh in a Twentieth Dynasty context. He found various beads made of black opaque glass, pale blue and green translucent glass, and variegated yellowish white and blue glass in tombs which he dated to the reign of Ramesses 111.732 He also located "A factory of glass and porcelain [falence] beads, &c., in the south-east part of the town, furnishing us with many objects."733 The factory area contained similar glass beads to those found in the tombs, as well as various items which indicated that production of the objects had occurred at the site. These included "terracotta" moulds for small amulets, "white-glazed ware faded from green" (which almost certainly means falence), and miscellaneous pieces of greenish slag, fragments of pottery crucible with bubbles of iridescent pearly-white glass, and a number of cylindrical rods of the same pearly half-decomposed glass. There are various examples of fragments of glass fragments and inlays known from the site, and Cooney suggested that the factory concentrated on glass production for funerary use and temple decoration during the reign of Ramesses 111.734 732 Griffith 1890, 47 733 "The untouched earth was full of beads and minute ornaments in porcelain."
(Griffith 1890, 48) 734 Cooney, unpublished, cited in Kozioff and Bryan 1992, 379 222

Discussion Consequently, although there is a significant amount of evidence for glass working in New Kingdom Egypt, unequivocal evidence for the production of raw glass is still slight. Ongoing work at Amarna and Qantir continues to expand knowledge of this area. The location of glass working centres indicate that glass was possibly a royal prerogative, and certainly a material that was worked (if not produced) at elite centres, such as palace and temple workshops. It is possible that different classes of glass produciton or working occured in different sites. The evidence for red glass at Qantir may indicate that this site was involved in the production of raw glass which was then refined and worked elsewhere, and the evidence from Amarna suggests both that glass may have been produced there from local materials, and more certainly that glass was worked there to produce luxury products.

As both Nicholson working at Amarna73s and Rehren working at Qantir736 point out, it is difficult to clarify exactly the divisions between different pyrotechnologies in the archaeological record. It is also hard to establish to what extent these divisions actually existed for ancient craftsmen. It seems possible that various different but related techniques for manufacturing or working with products such as glass, falence, pigments and even metals and pottery were made in the same or adjacent areas by the same people. Nicholson thinks that pottery falence, glass and pigment were manufactured together, but 735 Nicholson 199 Sb, 6
736 Rehren

1997 140-141; 1998 242-248 223

that metal working took place somewhere else at Amarna. He categorises this as a 'generalised vitreous materials industry'.737

Rehren takes a slightly different view based on the work at the industrial area (Qi) at Qantir, specifically that 'The crucial common feature of this compound appears to be the mastering of lightly controlled redox conditions for copper in a range of chemical environments'.738 Various craft activities have been found in association in this area, including bronze casting, glass making and colouring, faience production and gold melting. Here, however, they have not found any evidence of pottery manufacturing or firing, and have concluded that this took place somewhere else at the site. A number of examples of Egyptian Blue have also been found, and during the most recent (1999) season, they also discovered strong evidence of Egyptian Blue manufacture, indicated by finding many crucible fragments.739

It seems likely that the particular combination of; copper use, manipulation of high temperatures; and mechanical skills required for the production of metal, faience, glass and pigments would have been concentrated in the same few areas and under the control of a few skilled practitioners.740

Friedman also thinks that craftsmen who specialised in the

1996, 18 pers.comm. 739 The Egyptian Blue samples found at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham are being compared with these samples. 740 see Rehren, Pusch1 Herold 1998, 247 for further discussion.
738 Rehren 224 737 Nicholson

manipulation of, for example, multicoloured falence inlays, would also have worked on wood, ivory and bone carving, which were all crafts requiring 'similar meticulous cutting into soft materials'.741

The assumption is therefore that Egyptian Blue (with green and turquoise) was one of many craft products produced at specific industrial sites within larger complexes at Egyptian settlements. It can be further suggested that as the supply and use of metals (and glass) was strictly controlled by the state, production of Egyptian Blue may well have also been a royal prerogative, and that production centres were limited to those areas under centralized control. This would include sites in major cities such as Memphis, Luxor, Piramesse, and major temples such as Karnak, Luxor and also royal memorial temples on the west bank at Thebes. These last are known to have functioned as small towns in their own right in the New Kingdom, and there is ongoing work at, for example, the Ramesseum where a major industrial complex adjacent to the magazines has been investigated in recent years.742

It can be tentatively suggested that some or all of the blue and green pigment samples found at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham may have been fabricated at one of these centres of production.

It is also possible that an industrial centre will be found at Zawiyet Unim el-Rakham in future years. It seems likely that pottery
47. Work in this area has so far been concentrated on a stone working area (flint working, stone picks etc.) but there is also some evidence of pigment use, including yellow ochre found in bivalve Nile shells 225
741 Friedman, 1998,17 742 see Debono 1993-1994,

production and metal working (if not casting) took place there. However, it is unlikely that workmen and workshops with the technical sophistication required to produce glass, falence and/or Egyptian Blue would have been present. It should also be noted that we have not yet found any evidence of faience or glass items, apart from one small scarab, which was probably someone's treasured personal possession that had been brought from home. The small Egyptian Blue beads found in the kitchen area could equally well have been brought from Egypt, or carved from existing supplies of Egyptian Blue at the site.

Condusions In that it has been established that Egyptian Blue was used as a pigment on temples and tombs from the fourth dynasty onwards, the substance must have been made somewhere, and almost certainly in association with faience and later with glass. Any research into the manufacturing sites of falence is at the same time an exploration into the production centres of Egyptian Blue, both as a pigment to be used as a paint, and an investigation of the production and use of Egyptian Blue as an ingredient and colorant in the manufacture of falence and copper blue glass. Kaczmarczyk & Hedges point out that from at least the Middle Kingdom onwards, all blue and blue green falence was coloured by copper compounds, and sometimes by Egyptian Blue,3 reinforcing the idea of the massive volume of Egyptian Blue that must have been produced from the Middle Kingdom onwards. Given this fact, it is surprising that there is not more archaeological evidence for
143 Thought

unlikely by Tite and Shortland (pers. comm.)


manufacture. The only conclusion that can be drawn from this lacuna must be that Egyptian Blue was manufactured at the sites which have previously been identified as falence production centres only. Rigorous re-examination of existing archaeological evidence would surely reveal features, like suitable fritting pans, which have been previously misinterpreted or overlooked. From the volume of Egyptian Blue that must have been used in Egypt, it is tempting to suggest that production must have occurred both in state-controlled production centres which had access to large volumes of the required ingredients, especially copper, and at the same time that there may well have been a certain level of Egyptian Blue production on a more local, small scale basis. It can further be suggested that the Egyptian Blue which has been found to contain scrap bronze or tin is more likely to have been produced at those centres which would have had access to larger amounts of precious (often imported) metals.744

744 Copper,

lead and tin are explicitly listed as tribute from foreign lands during the eighteenth dynasty. (Kaczmarczyk & Hedges 1983, 224) 227

Part 5: Non-Egyptian pigments, faience, glass and Egyptian Blue

18. Introduction

If the premise is accepted that Egyptian Blue was only one of many related craft products manufactured simultaneously, then this can be borne in mind when looking at potential sources outside Egypt for such material. There is as yet no non-Egyptian evidence for the manufacture of Egyptian Blue. Nonetheless, there is evidence that this product was used in other regions bordering the eastern Mediterranean. It is possible that Egyptian Blue was also manufactured at some or all of these other sites, but that such manufacture has not yet been recognised in the existing evidence.

However, compared with evidence from Egypt, there is a general lack of published analyses of material from excavated sites from around the eastern Mediterranean. There is also a limited range of material available from pre-classical period sites. These factors are due, for the most part, to political uncertainties, notably in countries in the Near East. It is possible that the situation will improve in future years (as is currently happening in Iran, for example).

There is also the major drawback of significant lacunae in documentary evidence. Cyprus has yet to yield any written evidence at all concerning the extensive Bronze Age trade in metals that undoubtedly centred upon the island. From the Aegean there are

some (untranslated) Linear A inscriptions, but it is known that most of the recorded Linear B material is concerned with internal movement and cataloguing of livestock, rather than with technologies and international exchanges. The picture is somewhat clearer in the Near East, especially from major trading centres such as Ugarit, and production centres such as Nineveh and Babylon. Even here, however, there are difficulties with the exact interpretation of the mearnng and function of such texts.745 There is some documentary and archaeological evidence for falence and glass production in some areas, such as in Mesopotamia. It is possible, therefore, that in other existing archaeological and documentary evidence already known there are clues to other possible production centres which have not yet been recognised as such.

745 Even Egypt should not be omitted from this list. Amongst the mass of surviving documentary evidence, especially from the New Kingdom, there is surprisingly little concerning the movement of goods between Egypt and her neighbours (with the exception of the Aniarna Letters) and almost none about the production of silicate products (falence, glass, Egyptian Blue). 229

19. Pigments in Mesopotaniia, Syria and Palestine

There is evidence of painted decoration on plaster wall faces in various buildings from sites in Mesopotanila and Syria/Palestine. These include Tepe Gawra746 in the fourth millennium BC, and Tell 'Uqair747 and Dur-Kurigalzu748 in the third millennium BC. Colours at this stage tend to include black, white, red and yellow,749 with red and white stripes on houses at Eridu,750 and black and red 'colour washes' on many architectural features at Mari.751 However, 'traces of bright blue paint on pieces of fallen plaster' were found in what may be a third millennium context at Ur.752

There are also early second millennium paintings at Nuzi and KarTukulti-Ninurta, and by the middle of the second millennium, wall paintings 'were almost universally used in conjunction with sculptured reliefs'.753 The paint used at Nuzi was analysed by Gettens, who found that the red ochre, carbon black and gypsum were used.754 'The private individuals at Nuzi gave expression to an aesthetic sense in their frequent attempts at decorative wall painting',755 and it seems likely that, as in Egypt and the Aegean, painted surfaces were popular within houses of all ranks of society. The houses at Nuzi 746 Tobler 1950, pL XLI 747 Lloyd and Safar 1943, pls. X-Xll 748 Baqir, 1945. Although there is some evidence of wall paintings, modern analysis
of the pigments used is not yet evident. See e.g. pis XI-X[V 749 Lloyd and Safar 1943: Moorey 1994, 323 750 Hall 1930, 210 751 Moorey 1994 323 752 Woolley 1974, 3 753 Jaqir 1946, 80 754 Starr 1939 491 755 Starr 1939, 57 230

contained wall paintings using red, pink, white, black and grey. 756

At least 26 rooms in the palace at Man contain traces of wall paintings. Colours include black red yellow and also brown, orange, pale red, grey-green and pale blue.757 With first example of the blue, which is 'almost certainly blue frit'758 appearing between 1800-1700 BC. Red paint (ochre) was also used to imitate other materials at the site, including marble and textiles.759 However, there is no published analysis of the pigments used at the site.

From the level VII palace at Alalakh and from the palace at Qatna, there are Minoan-style wall paintings on lime plaster, and from Tell Kabri painted plaster floors76O (as in the Aegean) dating from between 1700-1650 BC.

Palace terraces at Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta dated to 1250 BC were decorated with stylised scenes of nature and imitations of textiles.761 The main colours used were red, black, white and blue. Andrea described the pigments used, with 'red midway between vermilion and Indian red, and the blue, very pure, and corresponds to the light blue frit'. 762 Once again, however, there is no scientific analysis available.

756 Starr 1939, 57 757 Parrot 1958, 87 758 Moorey 1994, 324 759 Pierre 1987, 569 760 Niemeier 1991 761 Andrea 1925, 11-12 762 Trans. m Moorey 1985,

325 231

The painted palace at 'Aqar Quf contained geometric and floral decoration on the walls , a processions of human figures on the lower part of door reveals.763 The paint used included black, red yellow and blue. Without scientific analysis it is difficult to be precise about the pigments, but the 'weak cobalt'764 blue referred to 'are likely in the main to be of blue frit'.765

Different Mesopotanilan and Syrian iconic traditions can be identified in wall paintings from sites in the Near East. However, it is less apparent what pigments and techniques were used in their execution.

Although the evidence of pigments used in these various periods is not very clear, with a combination of poor field records and little technical analysis,76 6 the colours used in Mesopotanilan wall paintings can be summarised as follows:

black: usually carbon, probably soot red: red ochre white: calcium carbonate and gypsum yellow: yellow ochre blue: Egyptian blue

763 Baqir 1946, 80 764 Baclir 1946, 81 765 Moorey 1994, 325 766 Moorey 1994 322 notes that 'At one point or another every predictable fault is
encountered and exposed when specialists study at leisure what has survived in museums: large and small inaccuracies in restoration and copying; overconfident restoration of designs; inaccurate descriptions of design and technique; very partial study of the surviving pieces; unstable colours.' 232

20. Pigments in the Aegean

As in the Near East, painting in the Aegean was primarily a mural art used to decorate palaces, private houses and tombs.767 In the Early Minoan Period (3000-2000 BC), coloured mortar was used with ashlar or coursed masonry, and at Vasiiki and Myrtos in eastern Crete there is evidence for plaster walls coloured red. By MMIIIA (1700 BC) hard white lime plaster was used which was suitable for mural paintings.768 That such plaster was sometimes decorated when wet is indicated by the impression of string guidelines and the penetration of some colours.769

Extensive analysis of pigments from Thera, Knossos, Mycenae, Pylos and Tiryns has identified the materials used, and indicates that there was a general Aegean tradition in materials as well as pictorial themes and techniques of execution.

Blue 7 7 0 Two different blue pigments were used in the Aegean; a naturally occurring glaucophane and Egyptian blue. Glaucophane either alone or mixed with Egyptian Blue has been found at Knossos and Thera in contexts dating from before 1500 BC. Pure Egyptian Blue was also used at Knossos between 3000-17 50 BC. No examples of glaucophane are known from contexts after 1500 BC, and it seems likely that there 767 Immerwabr 1990, 11 768 Cameron. Jones & Philippakis 1977 769 llmmerwahr 1990, 14
770 filippakis,

Perdikatsis & Paradeffis 1976


was a supply of the material either on Thera or controlled by the inhabitants of that island which was lost after the volcanic eruption which destroyed the site. After 1400 BC all the blue pigments used at Knossos, Mycenae, Tiryns and Pylos were pure Egyptian Blue. It is possible that this is a reflection of greater Mycenaean access to the material.

Green A specific green paint does not seem to have been used in the Aegean, but rather Egyptian blue and yellow ochre were mixed or overpainted.

Red Red ochre (iron oxide) was used at all sites. There is no evidence for the use of realgar.

Yellow Yellow ochre (iron oxides) was used, and there is no evidence for the use of either orpiment or jarosite

White The white lime plaster used as the canvas for Aegean wall painting was often left unpainted when white areas were required. The same material may occasionally have been watered down and used as paint.


Black Carbon was used at all sites, and there is also evidence for the use of black manganese at Thera.771

771 Profi, Perclikatsis & Filippakis 1977, 110


21. Falence in Mesopotamia

There is some evidence from Mesopotamia for glazed or burnt steatite and glazed quartz during the Ubaid Period (4500-3800 BC).772

A few faience objects are also known from this period, although the exact dating of many finds remains problematic.773 The two main sites from which such items occur are Tepe Gawra and Tell Arpachiyah. Faience beads and stamp seals were found from levels dating between 4300-3900 BC at Tepe Gawra.774 A disc pendant, and faience and glazed steatite rings were found at Tell Arpachiyah,775 which probably dated from the same period.776 Foster suggests that 'on the basis of the proximity of the two sites and in the absence of falence antedating these finds, one can conclude that falence was first invented in this area of Northern Mesopotamia'.777

From about 4000BC, a few beads and seals are known from sites such as Ur, Eridu and Susa.778 However, it is possible that these had been imported from northern sites. The two main production centres seem to have been in the north, at Tepe Gawra, where faience beads are
772 Moorey

773 see Moorey 1985, 142 for discussion. Stone & Thomas 1956, 41 point out that
Tepe Gawra was a site that 'could have been expected to have yielded the required information had modern methods of excavation and recording been adopted; as jt is digging by arbitrary levels with inadequate appreciation has merely added confusion to what ought to have been a site of first rate importance'. 774 tobler, 1950, 192 (levels XLX-XVI) 775 Mallowan&Rose 1933, 97; Beck, Stone 1936, 222 776 Stone & Thomas 1956, 41 suggest that these may be the contents of later burial inclusions into earlier levels. Note also that Peltenburg (1987, 12) tested some 'frit' found at the site, and des covered that it was in fact azunte. 777 Foster 1979, 22 778 Moorey 1985, 143 236

1985, 138-140 -

common in fourth millennium burials,779 and Tell Brak. The 'Grey Eye Temple' at Tell Brak had been built on many levels, and falence and black steatite beads 'of which there were hundreds of thousands'78o were found in all the layers. Some of the mud bricks in the foundations also had falence beads embedded in them. One bead examined by Stone and Thomas was segmented, and consisted of a soft white core with traces of a light greenish glaze, and the authors note that this is the earliest bead of its type known, and that it 'suggests a very active industry in northern Syria towards the end of the fourth millennium'.781 There were also many amulets or seals shaped as ammal figurines, trees, rosettes and (perhaps) model kidneys.

Towards the end of the fourth millennium, the repertoire of falence extended into small vessels, and there is some evidence for these at sites in southern Mesopotanila, although it is possible that these once more represent luxury trade items rather than the product of local manufacture.782 A blue faience jar (which Woolley thought was coreformed) and a small pale turquoise vase were found at Ur,783 and similar vessels have been found at Khafajah7s4 and Telloh.785 Plaques, beads, amulets and cylinder seals were found at Susa 786 and further

779 Moorey

1985, 143. One grave alone contained 25,192 beads (Stone & Thomas

1956, 41) 1947, 43 & Thomas, 1956, 42 782 Moorey, 1985 144 783 Wooley 1956, 63 784 perkins 1949, 153 785 Moorey 1985, 144 786 Schmidt 1937, 61
781 Stone 780 Mallowan


east at Tepe Hlssar, 787 and it is possible that faience was being produced somewhere on the south eastern border of Mesopotarma during this period.788

Consequently, it appears that glazed steatite and faience make their first almost contemporary appearance in northern Mesopotanila during the fifth millennium
BC 789 and that,

by about 3000BC, there

was a major centre of faience production in northern Mesopotamia, with perhaps a subsidiary centre in the southern790 or southeast of the country.

Early in the third millennium, between 3000 and 2600BC (Early Dynastic I and II), there is some evidence for faience beads, amulets and pinheads from burial contexts at sites such as Khafajah, Ur and Kish.79' Between 2600-23 50 BC (Early Dynastic Ill) beads became more common in graves at Kish (with the introduction of manganese black),79 2 but only a few were found in the royal cemetery at Ur. Falence vessels are known from a house at Khafajah,793 a tomb at Kish,794 and from Tell Agrab.795 Towards the end of the third millennium (Akkadian Period 2350-2100 BC), there are various examples from northern Mesopotamia/Syria, with material from Tell 787 Foster 1979, 26, although Stone & Thomas (1956, 43) note that the evidence is contained in 'an account exasperatingly marred by the total absence of expert opinion on the composition of many of the beads and seals found'. 788 Moorey 1985, 144 789 Stone & Thomas 1956, 44 790 Foster 1979, 27 791 Moorey 1985, 144 792 Moorey 1978 793 Delougaz 1967, 28 794 Moorey 1978, 74 795 Delougaz 1942, 268 238

Taya, Chagar Bazar, Tell Brak and Hama.796 Finds from Tell Taya include beads, some with granular faience decoration, and amulets, pendants, a fragment of a blue beard, and several bowls, some with lids, and a beaker of green falence with zig-zag incisions and a perforated rim,797 and Reade believed that the falence was probably made locally. 798

Many beads were found at Nineveh, and here for the first time they were in association with a number of pieces of slag,799 indicating that this was almost certainly a site of manufacture. Although there is some debate about the exact date of this factory,800 parallels with the finds from Tell Taya suggest a similar date for the thousands of beads, which included new colours in addition to blue and green with white, red, black, pale blue and some two-colour beads (black and red, blue and yellow, and black and white stripes).801 It seems likely that the expanded range of colours and forms found at this site was due in part to the fact that they remained local to the centre of production, and also perhaps the results of experimentation ultimately deemed unsuitable for trade remained in situ.

Foster suggests that the industry in the north was using faience as a cheaper substitute for lapis lazuli, whereas southern Mesopotarnia had more ready access to precious stones through trade. 796 Foster 1979, 27 797 Reade 1971, 98 and plate XXV d 798 Reade 1973, 161 799 Beck 1931, 427
& Thomas and Foster think that the site is contemporary with Tell Brak, while Moorey suggests the Akkadian period due to contemporary parallels. 801 Beck, 1931, 430 239
800 Stone

Consequently, she assumes that the smaller but more adventurous types of falence from these areas were due to artistic experimentation, rather than being made in imitation of valuable stones, as in the north.8o2

In the last century of the third millennium (Ur Ill), there is continued evidence for an expanded repertoire of faience types, with finds of beads, small vessels and animal figures at major sites such as Ur and Nippur in the south arid Assur in the north. More colours were also used, such as white, light blue and yellow on animal figurines at Assur.803

In the first half of the second millennium (2000-1600BC) Ur, although an important archaeological site in southern Mesopotamia, has few faience artifacts in burials. 80 4 An area to the north of the city contained various animal figurines; those of frogs, ducks, monkeys, fish and tortoises. It is not clear, however, to what extent this represents a shift in the value or use of the material. There are a few finds from scattered sites in other areas, including a faience doll's head at Susa in the east, and faience inlays for furniture, miniature lamps, cups and jars at Mar! in the north west.805

Chagar Bazar in the north seems to have remained a centre of falence

production in between 2000 and 1500 BC, with finds of beads,
802 Foster 1979, 2 803 Moorey 1985, 804 Moorey 1985,

7-29 147 147 805 parrot 1937, 83 240

amulets, animal figurines and miniature lampS.806

Between 3000 and 1500BC, as with Egypt and the Aegean, there seems to have been no fundamental change in the falence repertory, with concentration on personal ornaments and a limited production of small vessels. However, again in concert with other countries in the region, there was a profound extension in the range and intensity of production of falence in the middle of the second millennium.807 Between 1600-13SOBC, the Mitannian kingdom spread across northern Mesopotamia, and the expansion of falence colours and styles may have been stimulated and facilitated by their desire for luxury objects.808

The two sites where this expansion is most evident are Nuzi and Tell al Rimah. The celia of Temple A, which was destroyed in Stratum II at Nuzi, which Starr thought was at approximately 1400 BC (although Moorey suggests a terminus of 1350BC),80 9 contained 'thousands of beads scattered over the floor, some still retaining remnants of the copper wire on which they were strung'.810 These were glass, blue frit and stone. Two 'blue frit' vessels where also found, 811 but none of faience.

is related to increased glass production is discussed below. 808 see Moorey 1985, 151 for discussion. 809 Moorey 1985, 150 810 Starr, 1939, 92 811 See in chapter "Egyptian Blue in Mesopotarnia, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus and the Aegean" 241

806 Mallowan 1937, 122 137, 1947, 174 807 The extent to which this acceleration

The frit beads were chalky in texture, and most were grey-blue,812 although red frit was also found in knobbed beads and a plaque.813 There were two examples of faience vessels, which were both found in the palace, with a bowl of mixed red and white with 'touches of yellow', and a vase fragment, which is red, white and yellow with 'touches of blue glass'.814 These two objects are sometimes referred to as glass,815 demonstrating the indistinct interface between the different media at this time.

The other major group of falence objects from Mesopotan-iia during this period comes from Tell al Rimah. A side room (V) in the temple contained various examples of frit, faience and glass, with 'hundreds of glazed quartz fnt beads, some grouped in strings', animal figurines including lions, flies, hedgehogs and frogs, two cylinder seals in the 'Mitannian style' and four cylindrical capsules, thought to have contained either cosmetics or perfume. There were also glass beads, and a plaque pendant of a nude female.816 The excavator believed that 'most of these trinkets were presumably intended as offerings in the shrine, and they must have been stored, or perhaps even offered for sale, in the room'.8 17 The site also contained evidence for the manufacture of glass objects.88

140 who states that the material should be categorised as glass as it 'consists of a colourful mixture, contrary to the separate base material and glaze typical of falence.' 816 Oates, 1965, 73 817 Oates, 1965, 73 818 See in chapter "Glass in Mesopotamia"

812 Starr 1939, 446 813 Starr 1939 447 814 Starr 1939, 461 815 e.g. Barag 1970,

The indication is that faience production in Mesopotaniia at this time, as in Egypt, was divided between what was largely a 'prestige' activily, conducted in workshops at centrally controlled sites (such as palaces and temples) having access to an expanded range of materials with products found in shrines, palaces and wealthy burials; and also continued small scale local production to serve local purposes.

With the rise in power of Assyria from circa 1420 BC onwards, and in the following Middle Assyrian period (1350-1200 BC), as the balance of power shifted, there was an expansion in both important production centres and local workshops. Assur became the capital of northern Mesopotamia, and the variety of falence objects found in temples at the site indicate that there was almost certainly a local production centre.819 Beads, amulets, gaming pieces, furniture inlays, plaques, statuettes, human heads, eyes, feet and genitals, animal figures and a few vessels including a blossom bowl82o and a mouthpiece for an ostrich-egg rhyton have been found in the Ishtah Temple and the earlier temple at Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta.821

'Mitannian style' faience cylinder seals and fragments of several faience vessels were found in association with glass at the second millennium palace at Tell Brak.822 The vessels included examples of a rhyton, rim sherds of yellow bowls and also conical gaming pieces, blu, yellow, white green and red falence beads.823
819 Note, however, that no site has 820 see below in falence in Cyprus 821 Andrae 1935, 96-101 822 Oates 1997, 88 823 McDonald

yet been identified

p1 34-42 243

1997, 101

A thirteenth century elite tomb at Tell a! Rimah also contained Assyrian falence beads, a frit cylinder seal of Mitannian type, and a quantity of beads of frit and other materials.824

There were various examples of faience at Marl in a cemetery which also contained a falence plaque naming Amenhotep Ill. However, the cemetery may nevertheless be dated to the thirteenth century BC.82s There are similar finds from Babylon, including beads, amulets and vessels, some with lids and geometric designs.826 There was also some evidence of fire pits which may have acted as kilns to fire local products.827

Falence vessels have been found at other important sites including Nippur and Ur dating from between 1300-115OBC. However, small faience vessels were an important trade item, and similar examples have been found throughout the near east.828

824 Oates, 1965, 74, 1967, 93. 825 Peltenburg 1977, 192 826 Reuther 1926, 13-15 827 Reuther, 1926 58. Note that Moorey 1985, 153 questions this attribution 828 Peltenburg (1972) classified sinillar vessels found in Cyprus into two categories;

Egyptian or Egyptianizing and Western Asiatic. The latter was further divided into North Levantine and International Western Asiatic. However, some of these types are quite hard to distinguish. 244

22. Glass in Mesopotamia

Although the evidence for glass production is less abundant than that found in Egypt, there is little debate that glass vessel production first occurred somewhere in the region of Mesopotamia/North West Syria. Manufacturing debris is known from such sites as Tell Brak, and dating of contexts has shown that glass vessels first appeared at a few sites in this area between 1600-1500BC. The earliest known glass vessels in Egypt probably appeared during the reign of Tuthmosis III, i.e. after 1479 B.C., and these are thought to have been either trade or tribute items coming from the east. As before, a distinction must be drawn between those small glass items which were produced as a byproduct of the faience industry, and those which belong to the corpus of material which appeared after the development of a separate and distinct glass industry.

As stated elsewhere, glass-making grew out of related pyrotechnical sfficate technologies. There is evidence for small glass or glassy objects from the middle of the third millennium onwards at various sites across Syria and Mesopotamia.829 The earliest glass was found in Phase G83o (3000-2SOOBC) at Tell Judeideh in the Amuq plain, in the form of a 'short oblate spherical bead'.831 Matson described the bead as pale yellow-green coloured by iron, with many bubbles on the surface and the interior. He also noted many seeds and cords in the 829 Catalogued by Beck, 1934, and from which much of this section is drawn. 830 (Braidwood & Braidwood 1960, 516) with cultural artifacts compared by the 831 Braidwood & Braidwood 1960, 34 1-342
excavators with the Eye temple complex at Tell Braq (see below) 245

glass, which suggested that it had been melted at a 'fairly low temperature'.832

A 'plain copper pin with a large spherical glass bead at one end'833 was found in Stratum IV (2350-2100) at Nuzi, and Starr noted that 'as far as outward appearances show, the glass is identical with, and as perfect as, the beads made in Nuzi almost a thousand years later.'834

Two glass beads were found at Nippur in association with tablets from the Akkadian period (2350-2100BC). One is white and olive green, the other yellow and bluish green.835

Two early examples of intermediate stages in the production of glass artifacts are also known, with a pale blue-green chipped glass rod found in the layer of debris corresponding to the period of the desertion of the Akkadian Palace (i.e. circa 2100BC) at Tell Asmar,836 which Beck described as "modelled or moulded to its present shape, and not cut out of a solid block.'83 7 The glass was free from inclusions and only contained a few small bubbles, implying a higher firing temperature and a grater degree of technical expertise than that demonstrated on the earlier glass from Amuq.

A lump of aquamarine glass dating from between 23 50-2000BC wts found under a pavement at Eridu, and Beck thought that it was
832 Matson 1960, in Braidwood 833 Starr 1939, 32 834 Starr 1939, 380 835 Moorey 1994, 190 836 Frankfort 1934, 837 Beck 1934, no.7

& Braidwood 1960, 341

56; Degoulaz 1967, 189


Fig.22.1 A bead from Tell Judeideh, the earliest example of glass in Mesoopotaima.

Fig.22.2 Glass from Eridu, probably broken off from a larger lump.

'probably a manufacturer's piece of material and the probability is that it was made in the immediate neighbourhood of where it was found.'838 Garner established that the colour was caused by cobalt, and suggested that the source for the colorant was mines at Khemsar, near Kashan (Iran), which are less than 400 miles from the site.839

Both these lumps were found in secure and accurately datable stratigraphical contexts. However, there are so few glass objects known from this period that it is possible these glasses were meant to be ground into powder and then used for glazing, rather than for the production of glass objects.840

Two third millennium graves at Ur contained a few examples of glass beads, with collections of 'Beads: necklace of carnelian, lapis lazuli, silver, jasper and glass'841 and 'Beads: a few small agate. lapis lazuli, and carnelian, and some small glass ring-beads'.842 There were also some glass beads in early second millennium graves at the site.843

There is some evidence for glass beads in a deposit in the Ziggurat at Assur, although there is some debate about the date of this cache.844 Glass beads were also found in grave 486 at Assur.8 45 Fragments of a glass rod and a glass bowl have been found in an early second 838 Beck 1934 no.8 839 Garner 1956, 148 840 Barag, 1985,35 841 l.L 11427 842 U.12003. Note, however, that Woolley states that 'beads are not very
satisfactory material for dating because they are almost indestructible and may be in use for a long time indeed.' Woolley 1934, 371 843 Moorey 1985, 198 844 See Beck, 1934, 17; Moorey 1985, 198 845 Hailer 1954, 39 248

millennium context at Tell Asmar.846

Moorey notes that 'from such meagre and scattered evidence little of significance may be concluded'.847 Nonetheless, it is evident that there was some production of glass prior to the major changes in glass technology in the second millennium in and around Mesopotanila.

In Egypt a survey of glass production sites can be made through analysis of existing factory evidence. Glass beads and vessels themselves are useful as supplementary evidence, where material or chemical composition can perhaps indicate common locations through similarity in type or form, but the (large number) of artifacts do not contain proof of origin in themselves.

In Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine, however, there is less evidence for such workshops. Consequently, previous bodies of' work on the subject have had to rely on the archaeological evidence of the end product - the glass objects themselves. The drawbacks inherent in this technique are clear. Nonetheless, unless or until more evidence is found for the processes involved, then it is only possible to try and extrapolate backwards. As with the study of faience, a preponderance of evidence in one place, especially in major urban centres, is probably a comparatively accurate indication of local production.

As in Egypt, in most Mesopotamian sites glass vessels were mainly 846 Delou,gaz 1967, 263. These finds have not yet been compared with the glass lum p from the same site 847 Moorey 1985, 198

found in temples and graves, and less frequently in palaces or elite private houses.848

Although Starr points out that existing evidence of glass at Nuzi is obscured both by looting in antiquity and by the 'excessively poor condition of the fragments',849 he nevertheless identified many examples of glass beads found in Temple A, and it is possible that these represent the remains of extensive architectural decoration on the walls, where beads had been hung as wall hangings.8s0 Two plaques coated with green glass were also found in the Ishtah section of Temple A,851 a shallow monochrome bowl, and four different shapes of glass vessels were found in the great court, in rooms north west of the palace and the temple, and also a few examples were found in elite private houses at the site. These are; a high straight sided cup, small open mouthed vases, small bottles, and small bottles with a fluted surface.852 Most of the glass was blue (although some has now turned green),853 and white, yellow, orange and black are also present. The designs included single or compound scallops of separate colours.854

The decorative patterns of some of the glass are very similar to contemporary ceramic designs from the same period (Nuzi II 1500848 Barag 1.970, 135 849 Starr 1939, 457 850 S.tarr 1939, 91 851 Starr 1939, 456 852 Starr 1939, 457-458. Both types 1 and 2 may include knob bases, and Barag
1962, 12 adds a hollow cylinder stand as a fifth type.

853 Starr believed that all the glass now green was originally blue, but Barag
suggests that green may also have been used as a base colour.

854 Starr 1939, 458.


1400BC),sss and Starr believed that the 'quantity, distribution, and likeness of material and detail to the glass beads and plaques of the temple leave no doubt that it was of local manufacture.'856 Three lumps of blue, raw glass were also found at the site which reinforces the idea that glass was at least worked there. Two staff-heads of green and yellow glass, a blue macehead and pendants moulded with stars (similar to those found in the Aegean) were also found.857 The large number of glass finds at the site (11,000), and the range of manufacturing methods and ingredients utilised indicate that glass technology was already well developed by the time the site was destroyed (circa. 1400BC).85 8 The marblised goblet from the tomb of Tuthmosis III's wives has been shown to contain lead from a near eastern source, and the closest parallels for vessel's shape and fabric are at Nuzi level II and Assur tomb 37. This evidence further emphasises the idea of Nuzi glass manufacture during the fifteenth century BC.

According to Mallowan, similar glass and pottery forms were also found at Chagar Bazar and Tell Brak, also dating from between 1 5001400 BC,8s9 but he did not publish the glass, although there was apparently a 'considerable output of glass vessels' at Tell Brak.860 including two fragments which are blue, white and yellow.861 855 Note that Moorey 1985, 150 pushes the date to 1350 BC 856 SIan 1939, 457 857 Starr 1939, 459 One vessel of mosaic glass, which Starr thought was faience, is
discussed below. 858 Vandiver 1983b, 246 859 Mallowan 1947, 77 860 Mallowan 1947, 243 also see below 861 Barag 1970, 146 251

More recent work at Tell Brak has cast considerable light on the activities of the glass workers. The earliest glass find from the site is a single spacer bead in a Late Middle Bronze Age context. 862 A few sherds of vessels, including an unusual example of mosaic glass patterned with blue and white rhomboids and a fluted vessel with chevron pattern were also found in earlier levels (i.e. pre 1 500BC). However, the majority (73) of the glass items come from the Mitannian Palace destroyed in approximately 1283 BC.. 863 Piriform bottles, piriform bottles with fluted bodies and footed beakers similar to those found at Nuzi and Tell al Rimah were found, as well as one example of mosaic glass and an unusual bowl or cup with granulated glass decoration.864 Moulded plaques, pendants, a cylinder seal and single-coloured and polychrome glass beads were also found in the Temple at the site. Glass colours included black, brown, green, blue, amber, orange yellow and red.865

More interestingly, thirteen glass ingots and fragments were discovered in the palace, some in a store (room 5) next to a workshop (room 7). The ingots are similar to those known from other sites, such as Ulu Burun, and were cast in 'slightly concave crucibles'866 with an average diameter of 15cm. Most of the ingots are light blue copper glass, and some dark blue examples were also found which were coloured with cobalt867 Copper blue and red and white glass' waste was also found in room 5. Analysis of the glass found at the
862 contemporary with the glass finds at Alalakh, see below. 8G3Oates 1997, 35 864 Oates 1997 82 865 Oates 1997 87 866 Oates 1997 85 867 Precise measurements are not given of these dark blue glass ingots. 252

site suggests that they are 'typical Mesopotamian soda glasses' resembling that found at Nuzi and similar sites.868 There is no primary evidence for glass production at Tell Brak, but it seems likely that glass working at least occurred there as early as the fifteenth century BC, and continued until the destruction of the Mitannian palace.

Various glass vessels have been found at Assur, especially in association with falence finds in the altar room of the Ishtah Temple. Others were found in a group of elite graves at the site, notably in tomb 37 which was at the same level as the Ishtah temple.869 Four glass vessels were found in this tomb, including a brown glass tripodal beaker similar to the faience example found in the Ishtah temple; a piriform bottle with blobs marvered on the body but sticking out on the neck, a knob base and flared rim; a brown and blue piriform bottle with fluted body, pointed base, flared rim (Nuzi shape 4) and feather pattern on the body; and a piriform bottle with pointed base and flared rim made of either blue or green glass with blue and yellow draped festoon pattern. The neck and rim both have twisted rod patterns. This last bottle is very similar to the one found in the tomb of Maherpra,870 and consequently was probably buried 1500-1400BC. A pair of glass pins also from tomb 37 have parallels with one found in a tomb at Megiddo dating from about J500BC. 871 ' A piriform bottle was found another grave (133) at the site, and this is
& Shirahata 1997, 89 1954, 114 fig 148 p124. There has been debate about the date of this tomb, with suggestions ranging from 1500-1000BC. (See Barag 1962 14-15 for discussion). 870 An official under Amenhotep II (1427-1396BC), see in chapter "Glass in Egypt" 871 Barag 1970 142 253
869 Hailer 868 BrIll

also brown and blue with draped festoons and meanders, knobs on the neck and a blue glass rim. 8 72 The glass vessels are all similar to those found at Nuzi, but Barag thinks that 'differences are too numerous to allow for both to have originated in the same workshops,'873 and Moorey notes that "the archaeological evidence certainly indicates a local industry making glass of all kinds as well as a complementary production of artifacts in glassy (sintered quartz) materials. '874

A similar piriform bottle was found at Ur, but here Woolley thought that the vessel came from a grave below the floor of a private house dating from approximately 1300BC.8 7 5 The bottle is opaque brown glass with turquoise thread in chevron patterns, 876 and is similar to the vessel from tomb 37 at Assur.

There is also evidence for glass production in association with falence at the site of Tell al Rimah, although no raw glass or industrial debris has been published from the site. 877 Most of the glass was found in Middle Assyrian levels (1350-1250 B.C.). These included beads, glass pendants, and a plaque pendant of a nude female found in the Ishtah Temple,878 a glass cylinder seal of 'Mitannian type' and a light blue glass bottle with white, yellow and orange festoons, 87 9 and a deep blue glass beaker with a twisted pole round the rim and band y of
872 Hailer 1954, 18 873 Barag 1962, 17 874 v1oorey 1985, 204 875 This date is confirmed by Barag (1970, 147) 876 Woolley, 1927, 387; Fossing 1940, 31; Barag 877 Moorey 1985, 203 878 OateS 1965, 73 879 Oates 1967, 93

1962, 18; Barag 1970, 147


yellow, grey, blue and white.88o Once again, the forms of the vessels resemble ceramic shapes found at Nuzi.

Most of the glass finds from the site of the Kassite capital at Dur Kurigaizu are dated between 1332-1308 BC,881 and there are also texts dating from 1232 BC which refer to glass being given to artisans to decorate the 'Palace of the Stag',882 and it seems likely that as at Nuzi, Assur and Tell Rimah, glass making and working occurred here in a centrally controlled workshop. The material includes greenishblack plaques with white paste and red plaques inlaid with turquoise blue and yellow, both types with patterns of stars, circles (similar to those found at Nuzi) and one example of the head and shoulders of an eagle. There are also patterned and mosaic glass fragments, including the ring base of a bowl, which were found as 'closely packed striations of various coloured glass or paste, ground smooth on both faces.'883

There is less evidence for glass production and use in Babyloma at this time, with the exception of a few moulded blue glass votive axeheads found at Nippur in association with small polychrome faience discs and semi precious objects perhaps representing a jewellers stock,884 and few fragments of long tubular dark blue glass rods with white decoration found at Susa,88s and a white glass handle *ith 880 (Yates 1968, 30 p1XXXV 881 Moorey 1985, 205 882 Gurney 1953 no.22 883 Baqir, 1945, 91
1898, 186-188; Moorey 1985, 206 885 Barag 1970, 149 255
884 Peters

darker blobs found at Babylon.886

Most of the glass discussed above has parallels with that found in Egypt, and it is not surprising that there has been a history of debate as to where the industry started, and which cultures were importing from or imitating the other.887 There are a few typological differences that can be highlighted, such as the lack of handles of any vessels from Mesopotaniia, and the limited repertoire of mainly piriform bottle shapes.888 From at least the early fifteenth century BC, vessels are found in Nuzi, Assur and Alalakh, 889 sites which Barag suggests are 'in the Mitannian sphere',890 and it seems likely that the production of glass vessels originated somewhere in this area.

However, there is one glass tradition which is commonly found in Mesopotamia, yet has almost no parallels in Egypt. This is the technique of mosaic glass, where vessels were built up on a core from sections of circular glass rods of various colours. The whole object was then surrounded by an outer mould or mantle and fired. It has been suggested that the production of these glass objects represents the transition from mosaic work in other materials such as falence. Such experimentation with glazes and ceramics may have contributed ideas to the manufacture of these glass vessels.891 A few such vessels have been found at Tell al Rimah and Dur-Kurigalzu.892 There are also 886 Barag 1962, 19 887 e.g. Beck 1934; Fossing 1940; Barag 1962 888 Barag 1970, 171
889 see


890 Barag 1962, 22 891 Von Saldern 1970, 207 892 Harden1 1968 42

Fig.22.3 Mosaic glass dish probably from Malkata

Fig.22.4 Mosaic bowl with opaque yellow rim. which may be from Malkata

a couple of examples of mosaic glass dishes having been found in Eighteenth Dynasty contexts in Egypt (Malkata, tomb of Amenophis III), 89 3 and it seems likely that these were imported from Mesopotamia.

Another form which, although occasionally found in Egypt, is probably Mesopotanan and perhaps relates to the above technique, is that where objects are made of a marblised, or mixed opaque composition imitating veined stone. There is an example of this style in Egypt, in the form of a goblet found in the tomb of Tutmosis Ill Syrian wives.894 Examples from Mesopotarnia include a bowl and goblet from Nuzi,895 marblised beads from Nuzi and Tell Brak, and a beaker base from Susa.896 Thus, variegated glass vessels may be related to mosaic work in other materials, and to the practice of imitating objects traditionally of one material with another.

Analysis of glass vessels found at sites such as Tell al-Rimah, Nuzi and Nippur has indicated that similar industrial and decorative techniques were employed at each site, suggesting a common technical tradition. However, subtle differences in the raw materials suggests that each production centre was exploiting locally available raw materials, especially colorants and opacfiers.897 893 Friedmann 1998, 390. There are two dishes known from Egypt, one in the British Museum (Cooney 1976, 145, no.1748) and one in Brooklyn (Kozioff 1992, 390 no. 98) 894 friedman 1998 215 fig 90: Lilyquist 1993, 9-11. 89 Barag 1970, 13 9-40. (These vessels are also discussed in "Falence in MesoPOtamia" above) 896 Lilyquist 1993, 10 897 McGovern, Fleming and Swann 1991, 401 258

23. Faience in Syria and Palestine

Faience found from the second millennium in Syria/Palestine can be described as an amalgamation of indigenous styles and foreign artistic traditions derived principally from Egypt, the Aegean and Mesopotamia.898 The dominance of artistic influence from abroad has led some commentators to believe that 'the native contribution was practically limited to assimilation and inlitation'.899 However, many of the necessary metals and raw materials required for silicate production were native to the area, and it is possible that contributions were made to the innovations in sificate technology in the middle of the second millennium when a range of new ingredients were used as colorants and opacifiers.900

Several clay tablets and small faience head found in the bottom of an oven may represent a centre of production at Ras Shanira. 901 A number of unusual faience artifacts have been found at the site, including a chariot, a spoon with a duck or goose head handle, a rhyton with a painted animals flanking a tree, and plaques showing bearded Syrians.9o2 Several faience vessels were also found at Minetel-Beida.903

jJl the second millennium levels at Alalakh contain significtnt

898 Foster

1979 47 Moorey (1985, 158) believes that

899 Gray 1964, 161 900 McGovern, Fleming & Swann 1993, 1 901 Schaeffer 1962, 37; Foster 1979, 47, although

this is very unlikely from the evidence cited. 902 Foster 1979, 47 903 Schaeffer 1933, p1 2 259

amounts of faience.9o4 Faience beads were found in graves in all levels between level VII (1780-1750BC) and level 1 (1220-119OBC). The beads included various types of bead included plain, striated and fluted balls, date shaped, cylindrical and double conoid shaped.905 Although 'vessels of glazed frit were not numerous',906 a combination of Mesopotamia, Syrian and Egyptian styles were in evidence, with examples including cylinder seals and amulets, a human mask, a vessel fragment covered in a seed pattern, bowls and goblets in bluegreen faience with lotus patterns, and a bowl showing a seated figure in front of an offering scene. Woolley believed that this may have been a local product imitating Egyptian styles, as the decoration was painted after firing with 'some sort of water-colour paint'.907

Four hundred and forty five faience objects were found in an offering deposit of the pro-celia of the nineteenth or eighteenth century BC Obelisk Temple at Byblos.9o8 These included many small figurines of hippopotami and other animals, induding a Syrian bear.99 Seven small vases of 'Syro/Palestinian type'910 suggests that there may have been a production centre at the site. All classes of finds in the Late Bronze Age levels consist mainly of Egyptian imports, 911 although there is still some evidence of local production with a vase bearing the name (in cartouche) of a local ruler.912 904 Woolley 1955, pls. 68, 74, 83. See below in chapter "Glass in Syria and Pa1estne"
for full discussion of the importance of the site. 905 Woolley 1955, 270 906 Woolley 1955, 297 907 Woolley 1955, 297 908 Ijunand 1958, 741, the objects 'en pte blanche vitrifie'. 909 Dunand 1958, p1. 108 910 Dunand 1958, 768-769; Foster 1979, 48 911 Foster 1979, 48 912 Montet 1928, 212

Thousands of beads and pendants have been found in Levels VIII (1294-1279BC) and VII (1279-1213BC) of the main temple prednct at Beth Shan, where the artifacts attest to a combined Egyptian! Canaanite cult.913 A votive deposit or cache was found deposited below a stairway which included beads, pendants, animal figurines and bowls. The excavators believe that a 'local variant of the SyroPalestine silicate industry' existed during the Middle Bronze Age at the site which was then adapted by the Egyptians,9'4 with locally used colours including yellow, white and grey entering the Egyptian falence repertoire. Falence vessels, again found in or near the temple precinct, include ten blue bowls with black line decoration, five goblets, and various sherds of drop shaped and polychrome vessels.915

Manufacturing evidence at Beth Shan included pieces of misshapen and overfired refuse glass and falence, pieces of Egyptian blue9lG and a mould.917

There was almost certainly at least one centre of faience production at Megiddo and/or Lachish. Both Egyptian and local falence found at Megiddo include various unusual pieces, with sherds of geometric and floral designs,918 a naked dancing girl, 919 and a horse with a 913 McGovern, Fleming & Swann 1993, 3
914 "After the site was converted into a military garrison, faience of standard New Kingdom type, which was lower fired than Syro-Palestinian faiences, became very prevalent." (McGovern, Fleming & Swann 1993, 6) 915 James & McGovern 1993, 146 916 see below in chapter "Egyptian Blue in Mesopotainia, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus and the Aegean" 917 McGovern, Fleming & Swann 1993, 9 918 Loud 1948 p1191 919 Loud 1948 p1241 261

garland in its mouth.92o

The Fosse Temple at Lachish included many examples of 'scarabs, cylinder seals, glass and faience vessels and several carved ivories'.921 The faience at Lachish is noteworthy for the 'high quality and unusual character' 922 of the vessels found there. These include decorated vases, flasks, bowls and kohl pots.923 There were also thousands of faience beads, including many floral forms which the excavator thought were 'typically XVIII dynasty'.924 Some of the pieces are thought to be either locally produced, or 'Syrian' copies of Egyptian ware, with, for example, a bowl with two human faces as handles, which is much coarser in technique.925 Tombs at Jericho arid Tell Fara contained similar faience vessels to those found at Lachish.926

The best evidence for a Late Bronze Age faience workshop in Palestine is at Tyre,927 where various beads were found, including red ones coloured by iron oxide.928

920 Loud 1948 p1 245 921 Tufnell 1940, 19 922 Foster 1979, 48 923 Tufnell 1940 pis. 14, 21, 22, 23 924 Tufnell 1940, 75 925 Tufndll 1940, 63, p1 XXII no.58 926 Foster 1979, 49 927 "In Strata XVI 11425-1360BC1, XV [1360-1200BCJ and XIV E1200-1OSOBCI were
found a great quantity of beads, including about fifteen 'kiln wasters', beads which had been crushed during or before firing. The quantity of beads would mclicate that the area, during the periods of Strata XVI and XV, and probably Xlv, was given over-to the manufacture of beads; the presence of other objects, pendants, scarabs, etc., indicates that jewelry was also put together here. The pebbles may have been the result of sifting the sea sand to be used in the preparation of the paste for the falence beads. The 'work table' of Stratum XVI was used in the preparation of the paste. The pithos-kiln of Stratum XV was probably used to fire falence beads." (Bilcal 1978, 8) 928 Brill 1978, 91 262

24. Glass in Syria and Palestine

The colourful falences found in Palestine are chemically very similar to the first Late Bronze Age coloured glass found in the same area, and it is possible that the change in medium took place in a well established faience workshop in this region. At Alalakh, for example, the simultaneous appearance of glazed terracotta929 and glass vessels and the end of the Middle Bronze Age suggests that these may have been two aspects of a similar technological breakthrough in existing faience workshops.930

Alalakh is a site which seems to bridge the distance between Syria and Mesopotamia. Although it is situated in the Amuq plain, the city shows strong cultural and commercial ties with Mesopotanna, and as Woolley wrote, 'Alalakh was a North Syrian - perhaps one should say Hurrian - city whose allegiance fluctuated between Amorite lands to the east and the 1-littite power in the North.'931

Glass fragments first appear in Level VI (circa 1600BC),932 and are found in all levels until the end of Level II (circa 1250BC). The earliest example of a core formed vessel was a fragment from the neck of a bottle in translucent blue glass.933 The high level of competence demonstrated by this sherd indicated that core-forming must Fave 929 Woolley 1955, 229 found green and blue glazed terracotta sherds in level VI
(1650-15 50 BC). 930 Moorey 1985, 201 931 Woolley 1955 932 See Barag 1962 19 note 64 for discussion of 'chronological problems' at Alalakh 933 Woolley, 1955, 300; Barag 1962, 19; Barag 1985, 42 no.7 263

25. Falence in Anatolia

The state of faience production in Anatolia during the second millenium is less clear. Moorey suggests that there may be some evidence for production of faience at Alishar, where 'Mitarinean' cylinder seals, a faience cup and sherds of similar vessels were found.952 However, Foster thinks that the beads and an Ishtah figurine found at Alishar HUyk were probably imported from northern Syria.953 There is also evidence for a variety of luxury goods at AcemhyUk and Kultepe, including falence and glass, but Foster believes that 'there do not seem to have been any second millennium centres of faience production in Anatolia'.954

Moorey 1985, 149 Foster 1979, 46 954 Foster, 1979, 46

952 953


26. Faience in Cyprus

Faience beads first appeared in tombs on the north coast of Cyprus at Vounous95s and Lapithos9s6 during Early Cypriote lI/Ill (2 500-2000BC). These were found in sites associated with metal mining and smelting, and were almost certainly imported from the Syria/Palestine.957

There is no evidence for faience production in Middle Cypriote contexts, and a number of beads found in contexts from this period reflect the expansion of the Cypriote copper industry and the widening of foreign contacts. Spherical, globular and cylindrical beads have been found at Lapithos, Ayios lakavos and Lambertis.958

From the Late Cypriote period, faience beads have been found 'in quantity at nearly all sites'959 particularly in LCH levels (1450122 5BC). Native faience production occurred during the Late Cypriote period, stimulated by the establishment of cities and workshops at, for example, Enkomi and Kition, and by the influx of pottery and other finished products from the Aegean, Egypt, and Syria/Palestine.960 The interface and overlap between local and imported motifs and types has led to much debate over the extent of local production.961 955 Dikalos 1940 956 Grace 1940 957 Foster 1979 958 Astrom 1957, 158 959 Foster 1979, 54, see Astrm 1967, 48-51 960 foster 1979, 50 961 Peltenburg (1972) classified vessels found in Cyprus into two categories;
Egyptian or Egyptianising;, and Western Asiatic was further divided into:North Levafltme and International Western Asiatic.Some of these types are quite hard to distinguish. 268

Egyptian or Egyptianised local forms found at Enkomi include blue/green and white bowls with black interior decoration,962 kohl jars963 and pear-shaped jars.964 Pilgrim flasks, which may have been influenced from pottery shapes in Mycenaean or Syria/Palestine,965 were found at Enkomi and Kition. 966 Stirrup jars from Enkomi were decorated with geometric patterns, 967 and with circles, stripes, rosettes and dots.968

Examples of faience rhyta include the fine polychrome example found in an early 13th century context at Kition. 969 The rhyton is pale blue/grey, with the upper register showing a pastoral scene of red bulls and a yellow goat among red flowers on green leafy stems, the middle register showing two red hunters catching two yellow bulls, and the bottom register contains a series of vertical panels filled with yellow spirals. The rhyton shows an amalgamation of Aegean and Near Eastern motifs, and the vivid colours and manganese brown/black outlines are reminiscent of Egyptian falence techniques. There is debate as to the origin of this vessel; Astrm thinks that the vessel was made by a Cypriote artist 'working under influences from abroad',97 Peltenburg thinks that it probably came from Byblos,97' and Dayton thinks that it was made by Levantine or Aegean
962 Foster 1979, 50 963 Murray 1900, fig. 40 964 Murray 1900, fig. 63 96 See in chapter "Foreign pottery at the site" 966 Murray 1900, fig 71 967 Foster 1979, 51 968 Foster 1979, 51 As with the Tuthmosis ifi pale

blue glass jug (see glass in Egypt), the pattern of dots and botanical forms are typical of Palestinian or Mesopotamian traditionS. 969 Astrom 1967,55 & fig. 68; Karageorghis 1976, pis. A, B & C; Foster 1979, 53 970 Astrom 1967, 124 971 jnKarageorghis 1976, 134 269

craftsmen working somewhere in the Egyptian Delta. 972 Other examples of falence rhyta include those in the shape of female and animal heads.973

A number of bowls have been found at Enkomi with both rounded bases and base rings (similar to contemporary Cypriote pottery forms), and these are often decorated with bands of dots around the rim.974 There are also similar 'blossom bowls' with pentagons arranged like petals around the exterior,975 and petal colours include yellow and white, 976 black, green and yellow, and blue and yellow.977 Plain and blossom bowls were sometimes fitted with a horizontal spout, and examples have been found at Enk0m1978 and Idallon,979 and similar forms have been found at Assur and Megiddo.980 Another form found at Enkomi and Kition is that of carinated bowls, sometimes with pentagonal or rounded petals. These bowls have curved stems and two perforated projections at the rim, probably in order to attach lids.981 Similar examples have been found at Lachish and Assur. 982

Other faience forms include a flat, circular plate with a loop handle,983 972 Dayton 1978, 256 & 288 973 Astrom 1967, 53-55 974 Murray 1900, figs. 62 & 63 975 Astrom 1967, 120 976 Murray 1900, fig. 62
977 Foster

1979, 51

978 Atrom 1967, 120 & fig. 70 no. 22 979 Murray 1900, fig. 62 980 Astrom 1967, 120 981 Murray 1900, fig 63; Astrom 1967, 120 & fig. 70 no. 23; Foster 1979, 52 982 Astrom 1967, 120 983 Astrom 1967, 51

a rectangular tray with sloping sides984 and a small, two handled bucket9s 5 which probably imitate metal prototypes. Two faience pomegranate juglets were found at Enkonii, and both examples are decorated with wavy bands imitating similar glass pomegranate vessels, and a single example of a falence cylindrical jar decorated with chevron patterns,986 which is one of the most common forms in Egypt, where it is known in pottery, stone, falence, glass and Egyptian blue.987 The chevron pattern is reminiscent of glass designs from Tell Brak988 and this interesting piece, which Astrm believed was
imported from Egypt,989 encapsulates craft traditions from both Egypt and the Near East.

53 fig 63. Peltenburg noted the popularity of faience buckets in MesOP Ota-tflia and Syria/Palestine (in Foster 1979, 52) 986 Astrm 1967, 52 & fig. 70 no. 26; (Cyprus Museum mv. no. G72) 987 See in chapter "Egyptian blue objects and shaping technology" 988 see in chapter "Glass in Mesopotamia" 989 Astrom 1967, 121 271

984 Astrm 1967, 985 urray 1900,

27. Glass in Cyprus

Globular beads were found in all Late Cypriote periods,990 and a number of glass objects have been found in LCII contexts on Cyprus, and there is debate as to whether or not they were imported from Egypt of the Near East, or were products of local industry during the Late Bronze Age. One example of a moulded blue glass plaque with a female figure on from Milia was almost certainly an import from Greece or the Near East.991

Core formed glass vessels similar to those found in Egypt and the Near East are also known from Cyprus. Shapes include roundbottomed amphoriskoi,992 round-bottomed jugs,99 3 arid lentoid

flasks,994 which Harden believed were all imported from Egypt,995

There are a few examples of glass vessels from Hala Sultan Tekke, Maroni and Ayios Iakovos996 which mimic Cypriote Base-ring ceramic forms, and although a few examples are known from elsewhere (Egypt and Megiddo), it seems likely that these may be the result of local glass production, probably at Enkomi and/or Kition.

Pomegranate shaped glass vessels are known from other countries


990 Astrom

1967, 125 In the Late Cypriote II period (1225-1O5OBC), the glass material consists mainly of beads. 991 Btrag 1962, 21; Astrm 1967, 55 & 124; see glass in Greece 992 Astrm 1967, 58; Nolte 1968 163, form ifia 993 Nolte 1968, 161, form lEa 994 Astrom 1967, 59 & fig 71; Nolte 1968 172 form VII a 995 Harden 1981, 32 996 Astrom 1J67, 125 272

including Egypt, with a few fragments from Amarna and Ghurob,997 and Syria/Palestine, with one example from Megiddo998 and one from and Beth Shan.999

However, thirteen examples of pomegranate vessels have been found at Enkomi, with others from near Larnaka,1000 Koukila and Lapithos,lool and although Astrm thought that 'the evidence is not strong enough to prove a local Cypriote glass industry',loo2 Barag believed that 'the possibility that local production of core-formed glass vessels can not be ruled out',1003 and Harden, who originally believed that all examples of pomegranate glass vessels known from Cyprus were Syrian imports, later believed that 'the predominance of Cypriote find-spots can be accepted as firm evidence that these vessels were made on that island'.loo4

Significantly larger numbers of pomegranate glass vessels have been found in Cyprus than in all other countries, and it seems likely that both this type and the examples of glass vessels based on Base-ring shapes were locally produced, probably at Enkomi.

997 Cooney 1976, 50 no. 437;151 998 Barag 1970, 186 999 JThwe 1940, p1. XXI;22

nos. 1772-1774

1000 Harden 1981, 37 1001 Barag 1970, 185 1002 AsITm 1967, 126 1003 Barag 1970, 186 1004 Harden 1981, 37 273

28. Falence in the Aegean and Greece

Numerous faience vessels are known from the Aegean, but from relatively few contexts, including Knossos, Zakros, and Mycenae.'S There are also many examples of small beads, and also what seems to have been an Aegean tradition of using falence in combination with other materials, such as inlays in wooden boxes, and necks and decorative motifs on ostrich eggs.

The earliest Minoan made faience, a shell and a piece of inlay, was found at Knossos and dates from circa 2000BC (MMIa). lOO6 Knossos is generally agreed to have been a major (perhaps the only) production centre between 2 000-1 700BC (MMTa-MMIIJa), arid finds included thick cakes of unfired falence and a black steatite mould.loo7

Two major changes seem to have occurred after 1550 BC (LMI). A production centre was established at Zakros in eastern Crete, where grinding stones, tools, partly vitrified pieces and other fragments were found.1008 The site produced cups, bowls and shell-shaped inlays.1009 Foster states that falence from these two centres was now disseminated throughout Crete and the rest of the Aegean.101O

The shaft grave period (1650-1510 BC) shows the appearanc of

1005 Dickinson, 1994, 140 1006 Foster, 1979, 153 1007 Evans, 1902, 64 lOO8 p laton, 1971, 215-218 1009 Foster, 1979, 155 1010 Foster, 1979, 155 274

Minoan faience on mainland Greece, while at the same time there may have been a local industry which produced mainly monochrome vessels. However, the similarity between the two styles renders identification difficult, as the Mycenaean tradition seems to have drawn heavily on Minoan prototypes.

Between 1450-1300BC there seems to have been little Aegean falence manufacture. A group of monochrome and polychrome vessels dating from 1300-1250BC (LHIIIb) found at Mycenae and similar to those found at Kition in Cyprus has led some commentators to suggest that there was a brief resurgence of native faience production at this time. 1011 However, others have argued persuasively that these artifacts represent elite, palace-based trade between the Aegean, Cyprus and the Levant.1012

1011 Wace, 1955, 111, Foster 1979, 127-130, 1012 HigginS, 1967, 129, Cadogan 1976, 19, Peltenburg 1991, 166 275

29. Glass in the Aegean and Greece

Glass core-formed vessels are known from various sites in the Aegean, but there is little evidence that any were ever manufactured in these areas. There are also small glass beads and other ornaments that were almost certainly being produced in Mycenaean centres, but again there is no evidence that the glass was manufactured at these sites.

Vessels (and fragments) have been found on Crete at Phaestos, Karteros and Knossos,1013 Rhodes,1014 Mainland Greece, and Cyprus. Although there has long been debate as to where exactly these vessels originated, the majority of commentators have assessed that most originated in Egypt,lols and a few probably from somewhere in the Levant. 1016

Glass does not seem to have been used on Minoan Crete. There is

evidence from the shaft graves period that the Mycenaeans used blue glass cast in steatite moulds,1017 and these have been found at Knossos, Mycenae, Paliakastro and Nichoria.1018

The majority of these ornaments date from 1400-1200BC (LHIII). However, there are a few earlier exceptions to this, including varkus
1013 See Fossing 1940, 1014 Fossing 1940, 24

Harden 1981, 165 note 6 for rels.

1015 e.g. Fossing 1940, Nolte 1968, Barag 1970 1016 Flarcling 1981, 31 and ref s. Harding divides the LBA glass vessels from Greece in the British Museum into Egyptian. Syrio-Cypriote and Cypnote types. 1017 Vermeule 1966, 1967 1018 see Dickinson 1994, 186 for refs. 276

examples of disc-pendants with six or eight point stars, and longitudinal spacer beads. Harding and Barag suggest that all these glass objects represent the beginning of the glass trade between Greece and Mesopotarnia (specifically Nuzi and connected sites where such beads are common).1019 Some other objects, however, which include a helmet from Dendra with blue tusks, a blue glass sword hilt from Mycenae, and a fluted turquoise bowl from Kakovatos in the western Peloponnese are distinctively Mycenaean in shape.1020 Haevermck assumes that these were all made locally, and demonstrate the beginnings of a glass industry in the Aegean.1o21 However, Harding suggests that the imported glass beads from LI-H and LHII gave the Mycenaeans a taste for blue glass which they then continued to obtain from external sources. He points out that if glass manufacture had spread to Greece, then glass of other colours would surely have been made.

Jewellery workshops are known from LHIII at Thebes (Boeotia), with evidence of gold, falence and glass used as raw materials.1o22 Although Vermeule assumes that the glass workshops would have been mixing, tilting and melting the glass, as well as casting it, there is no material evidence for the manufacture of the raw materials.

There is some documentary evidence of glass and glass working, if

1019 Starr 1939, 451 p1120 for disc pendants, 453, p1130 for spacer beads. 1020 Harding 1981, 40. Although Webb (1987, 146) suggests that this bowl copies

Minoan metal prototypes. 1021 Flaevernick 1963, 192 1022 Tournavitou 1988 1023 Vermeule (1967,2 1) and Harding (1981, 167) point out that the existing evidence need signify the activity of casting only. 277


is interpreted as glass. Kuwanowokoi, or glass workers, are

listed along with other craftsmen as recipients of rations,1o 24 and glass is mentioned in a description of furniture at Pylos,1 0 25 with a table "inlayed with aquamarines arid

and silver and gold", and

a "chair of rock crystal, inlaid with kyanos".1026 The ffiad includes mention of kyanos as glass paste inlays on furniture, weapons, and as tiles on a palace wall.

Some commentators, like Tournavitou, maintain that 'Glass, like falence, was apparently extensively manufactured in the Near East, including Mycenaean Greece during the Bronze Age'.1027 However, there is no evidence for these having been manufactured in the Aegean. Blue glass was the only colour used, and Harden suggested that such glass was probably imported in ingot form even before the tJlu Burun shipwreck was found,1028 which indeed showed that this material was traded around the eastern Mediterranean. Minoan and Mycenaean craftsmen almost never made glass vessels in the round, and the material was most extensively used to make small beads, and occasionally inlays.1029

The blue glass in Greece is variously described as both cobaltl o 3 o 1024 In the Mycenae-Citadel House 01 series (Chadwick 1962 58-59)


1025 Pylos Ta furniture series, in Tournavitou 1995, 237. The debate over the exact functions of these pieces is not relevant here. 1026 TA 642 and TA 714, cited in Foster 1979, 10 1027 Tournavitou 1995, 237 1028 Harden 1981, 39. Note that Nicholson 1997 now suggests the possibility that cobalt blue glass was being exported from Amarna, see below 1029 Webb 1987, 147 suggests tht the lack of core-formed vessels in the Aegean may be attributed to the fact that they were difficult to make, or perhaps that glass was already established as a cast material for plaques etc. 1030 e.g. Haevernlck 1963 278

copperlO3l blue. However, the cargo on the Ulu Burun wreck demonstrates that both types of glass were trade items, and it is likely that both types were involved.

The small amount of Egyptian blue known from Greece therefore probably indicated trade with the areas from which the Mycenaeans obtained their raw glass, in other words either Egypt or somewhere in the Levant.

1031 Harding


30. Glass on the Ulu Burun Wreck

One of the most interesting finds from the ship sunk off the coast of southern Turkey in approximately 1305 BC1032 was over 170 blue glass ingots.1033 There are approximately one hundred and fifty coloured by cobalt, and over twenty coloured by copper. The cobalt glass ingots are approximately 15% larger, with diameters over 15cm and thicknesses averaging around 5cm, whereas the copper glass ingots tend to be smaller, with diameters between 10-13cm, and most are 3.5cm thick.1034

There has been much debate as to the origin of these glass ingots.1035 The diameter of the ingots is obviously a function of the internal crucible width. Based firstly on comparison with crucible sizes, Nicholson and Shortland have recently suggested that the cobalt blue glass ingots came from Egypt, possible Arnarna, while the copper glass ingots may have come from Mesopotamia. At the same time Rehren, Pusch & Herold suggested that the copper ingots may have come from Qantir.1036

As discussed above, both natron and plant ash were used as alkali in faience and glass manufacture, and these can be distinguished by assessing the levels of impurities (potash, magnesium) in a silicate product. Egyptian cobalt from the western desert may also be identified through the presence of specific impurities (Magnesium,
1032 Scafuri 2000, 1 1033 Bass 1987; Nicholson,

Jackson & Trott 1997 1034 Nicholson, Jackson & Trott 1997, fig. 2 1035 See "fleets" in chapter "Trade and Zawiyet Urtun-el Rakham" 1036 Rehreiz.Pusch & Herold 1998

Fig.30.1 Glass ingots on the sea bed

Fig.30.2 Cobalt blue glass ingots from tJlu bunm

Fig.30.3 Comparison between (left) copper and (right) cobalt glass ingots

aluminium, nickel and zinc) which naturally occur with the alum.1o37 Shortland and Tite have recently analysed examples of blue glass from Amarna, and suggest that this falls into two types, with cobalt coloured glass made with a natron-based alkali made from local Egyptian materials, and copper coloured glass with a plant ash alkali, which they suggest follows a Mesopotamian tradition of glass making, and may indicate a Mesopotamian origin for the glass.1038

There is some documentary evidence for glass manufacture in the Near East during the Bronze Age.1039 However, the texts were found in the library of Assurbanipal (669-62 7 BC) and so probably recorded over 500 years later. They are also in the form of religious ritual and instruction, And 'the texts should not be treated as explicit recipes and instructions for glassmakers'.1o40 Terms mentioned include, the Akkadian uknu sadi 'lapis lazuli from the mountain', and uknu kuri 'lapis lazuli from the kiln'. There is also reference to (Sumerian) NA.ZA.GIN ba-as-lu 'lapis lazuli produced by boiling'. An Egyptian Blue peg from Nimrud is inscribed with 'peg of NA.ZA.GIN', and it is possible that, as with Egyptian colour words, these terms which may be lapis lazuli, blue glass or perhaps Egyptian Blue depending on the context in which they were used.. Other terms from these texts include various words such as mekku, tersitu, anzahhu, busu, zuku and tusku, which are thought to be 'primary, alkali-silicate glasses1o41 (although Foster believes that mekku is quartz, and busu and dusu are
1037 Kaczmarczyk 1986 1038 Shortland & Tite 2000, 1039 Oppenheim,

141 Brifi, Barag & von Saldem 1970 1040 J3rffl 1970, 106 1041 Oppenhelin 1970, 87-100


faience)1o42 NA.GA an alkali plant-ash, immanakku and anzahhu thought to be quartz pebbles or quartz sand. Tersitu may be a primary glass,1043 or blue glass,1044 and uqnu may be lapis lazuli coloured glass.

Evidence from the Amarna letters indicates that glass eh!ipakku 1045 was demanded by Akhenaten from cities in Syria and Palestine.1046 Shortland and Tite suggest that this strengthens the notion that copper blue glass was imported into Egypt. However, although it is clear that some glass was indeed sent by vassal states, this does not mean that Egypt did not also produce its own supply. It can be argued that the demand for tribute from dependent regions was a function of power and control as much as a demonstration of need. If glass or a glass product was the best or most expensive thing that such areas could offer, then demanding large quantities of such high status products could be interpreted as a mechanism for emphasising continuing dominance over these areas.

Analysis of early blue glass in Egypt (i.e. from the reign of Tuthmosis Ill) has shown that the glass is identical to that found at Amarna. This suggests that the same raw materials (copper-plant ash glass) were present at the beginnings of glass production in Egypt. It is not clear whether this represents the importation of some raw ingredients, or the importation of glass, or if small-scale local glass production
1042 Foster 1979, 21 1043 Oppenheim 1970, 1044 Foster 1979,21


1045EA 235, 314, 323 1046 Appendix 2


occurred. Analysis of cobalt blue glass from Egypt, Ulu Burun and also Tell Brak has indicated that all the cobalt blue glass had a natron alkali, and so probably an Egyptian source.1047

Consequently, it is possible that glass in Egypt and the Near east was both locally produced and internationally exchanged. As more anaiyses are undertaken of Late Bronze Age glasses, it is possible that the exact mechanisms of such exchanges may become clearer.

Condusions General discussion of colorants in Egyptian and Near Eastern faience and glass in not appropriate here. However, some general points may be mentioned in relation to copper and Egyptian Blue. In Egypt, copper was the main colorant used prior to the New Kingdom. From the 18th Dynasty onwards, and allied with the introduction of glass, various new colorants occur, including lead antimonate to make yellow and calcium antirnonate to make white falence and glass.1048 In the Near East, glazing by application was the favoured method for faience, with different colours painted on both side by side and in layers one on top of another.1o49 Blue, green and black were in use by 3000 BC, brown/red and yellow by 2000 BC, and a variety of colours were used in the second millennium.lOsO The main colouring agent employed for falence in Mesopotamia was copper,1051 for blue, gteen 1048 for further discussion see Lucas 1962; Kaczmarczyk & Hedges 1983; Nicholson
1998; Nicholson &.Peltenburg 2000
1047 Sliortland


1049 Moorey 1994, 185

1982 1051 pollard &Moorey 1982, 47 284
1050 Vandiver

and turquoise, iron and manganese for black.1o52

At Tell Brak, there is one example of blue glass coloured by what is thought to be Egyptian cobalt.1053 Brown and orange glasses were coloured with Iron oxide, and the turquoise and blue glasses were coloured by cupric oxide.1o54 Calcium antimonate was used as an opacifier.1055 Most of the glass analysed was a soda-lime-silica glass with high levels of magnesia and potassium oxide.1056

In Minoan faience, copper was the main colorant for green falence, whereas the few examples of blue may have been coloured specifically by Egyptian Blue.157

Glass core-formed glass vessels appeared during the sixteenth and fifteenth centuries BC at Mesopotamian sites such as Assur, Nineveh, Nuzi, Tell al-Rimah, Tell Braq and Chagar Bazar. The shapes and decorations of these vessels show that they belong to a homogeneous group. All these sites belonged to an area either controlled or directly influenced by the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni, and it seems likely that the person who first realised that glass vessels could be made independently of a permanent core lO58 came from this area.

The rapid development of glass making in Mesopotaniia influel3ced

1052 Tell Taya (Bjmson, 1973); Tell al Rimah (Pollard 1053 Oates 1997, 95 1054 Oates 1997, 97 1055 Oates 1997, 99 1056 i.e. plant ash rather than natron 1057 Foster &Kaczmarczyk 1982, 147 1058 see Barag 1985, 36 for further discussion

and Moorey 1982)


other areas. Experimentation with glass in Egypt before the reign of Tuthmosis III is demonstrated 'a long and rather slow formative stage" 059 during which there were almost certainly contacts with and influence from Mesopotaniia. Mesopotamian vessels, blue glass spacer beads, disc pendants and plaques were also prevalent in Syria and northern Palestine, at Alalakh, Ebla, Hazor, Megiddo, Beth Shari and Lachish. Similar blue glass objects found in Mycenaean Greece suggest that Mesopotan-ilan glass traditions also influenced this area via Syria/Palestine.


Barag 1985, 37


31. Egyptian Blue in Mesopotanila, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus and the Aegean
The evidence for Egyptian Blue is disappointingly sparse, given the long tradition of silicate production in these areas. This is to a certain extent due to the adverse, acidic conditions which are not condusive to preservation of samples, and, as Moorey notes, organic materials perish rapidly in the soil of Mespotamia and the adjacent regions.1060 Nevertheless, the survival of glass and faience would suggest that, had there been large amounts of Egyptian Blue produced, then they would have been found. Nonetheless, there are occasional glimpses of what may have been a comparatively common material.

There is also little evidence for both production sites and the apparatus involved. A proportion of the evidence of frits and pigments in Egypt comes from factory sites, collections of painters' materials, or palettes in tombs, and this evidence is absent in Mesopotamia. There are also a significant number of analyses of painted surfaces from Egypt and the Aegean which have shed light on the evolving range of pigments available to the Bronze Age artist.

Ur The first evidence for Egyptian Blue used as a plastic substance comes from the early Akkadian (2350 BC) cemetery at Ur, where Woolley found 'beads of 'synthetic lapis', a bright blue paste made partly of ground up stone, a substitute which would only be

1060 Moorey

1985, x 287

employed when genuine lapis of good quality was hard to obtain'.1o61 Although these beads are categorised as glass paste in the finds register, 1062 it is thought that they may be Egyptian Blue.1063 Dayton also ifiustrates a necklace made of Egyptian Blue beads dating from Ur III (2 100-2000 BC).1064


There is then a gap in the evidence until the Mitannian period at Nuzi, where Egyptian Blue vessels, beads,1o65 and a 'blue frit mace-head'1o66 appear. The blue frit objects were analysed by Gettens, who confirmed that they were all Egyptian Blue.1067 A bracelet from the same period at Dur Kurigaizu contained Egyptian Blue

Tell Brak

Egyptian Blue objects from the Mitannian level at Tell Brak include two beads, a 20cm diameter bowl and an 'egyptianizing' bead with an incised eye of Horus.1o69

Work in recent years has concentrated on the colourants used in the Mesopotamian glass industry, and there are a number of blue glass examples which have been coloured by copper. However, it is not always clear whether this copper was introduced in the form of 1061 Woolley 1934, 372 10621]. 13531, U. 13598 1063 Moorey 1994, 187 1064 Dayton 1978, pL2O 1065 Vandiver 1983b 1066 Starr 1939, 460
1067 Starr 1939, 460, 1068 Maxwell Hyslop 1069 Oates 1997, 87

confirmed by Vanthver 1982 1971, 164 288

Fig.31.l Egyptian Blue beads from Ur ifi level at Ur.

___ r?

Fig.31.2 Egyptian Blue egyptianizing bead with eye of Horus from Tell Brak

Egyptian Blue.

The evidence for Egyptian Blue in Syria/Palestine during the Late Bronze Age is slightly better. Alalakh If it is accepted that Woolley's 'synthetic lapis' is actually Egyptian Blue, (as at Ur, above) then there are various examples at Alalakh of the material both as a modelled substance and a pigment. Cylindrical beads, including some of 'lapis paste', were found in graves dating between 1800-1220 BC,1070 and plain and striated ball beads made of 'lapis paste' were found in graves in levels Ill and 11(1358-1220 BC).'7 ' It is interesting to note that the material was only used to make the simplest forms of beads found at the site, whereas falence beads ('glazed frit') appear in more complicated forms (such as cogwheel, spoked-wheel, petalled etc.). This perhaps suggests that Egyptian Blue was more difficult to mampulate when making small objects. There was also at least one cylinder seal, which Woolley thought was Mesopotamian. 1072 However, there were also a few examples of vessels made of 'lapis lazull paste',1073 which demonstrate a high level of skifi in the exploitation of the material. These include a slender vase with a handle in the form of a couchant lion found in a cupboard in level II but thought to be older,1o74 an open bowl with a similar couchant lion handle from level VI, 107 5 and.
1070 Woolley

1955, 270 does notspecify the first date that the 'lapis paste' form

appears. 1071 Woolley 1955, 269 1072 Woofley 1955, 297 pL LXV, 91 1073 'The material as found is always soft and powdery, light coloured and with a matt texture' (Woolley 1955, 297) 1074 Woolley 1955, 297 pL LXXXIII, f 1075 Woolley 1955, 297 290

Fig.31.3 Egyptian Blue beads from Alalakh

Fig.31.4 Egyptian Blue vase with handile in the form of a couchant lion from Alalakli

part of a head of a bull.1076

Ras Shanira Egyptian Blue seals have been found at Ras Shanlra,1o77 as have cakes of Egyptian Blue.1078

Byblos At Byblos, a vase, a female head and a fragment of a plinth were found in the l8th-l7th century temple deposit.1o79

Beth Shan A few Egyptian Blue beads were found in level IX (1400-1300 BC)1080 at Beth Shan, 1081 and large fragment of a small Egyptian Blue cake (diameter 8cm if complete) was found in a context contemporary with the Level VII (contemporary with Ramesses II) temple. 10 82 Additional pieces were found nearby, and there is one example of an anklet or bracelet fragment. 1083 However, as other evidence from the site shows that Beth Shari was essentially an Egyptian garrison at this time, there is no reason to doubt that such examples would have been imported from Egypt (perhaps Piramesse).

1076 Woolley 1955, 297, fig 74a, 9

1077 Moorey 1994, 187, 1078 Jacqueline Balensi pers.comm dimensions not given 1079 Dunand 1958, 767 1080 McGovern., Flernrng & Swann 1993, 7 1081 The beads contained additional calcium oxide compared

to the cake (McGovern1 Fleming & Swami 1993, 7). This may have been the result of adding lime to tile mixture, or because the slightly earluier beads were made from a different (pehaPs local) form of Egyptian Blue. 1082 James & McGovern 1993, 151 1083 James & McGovern 1993, fig 73 no 1 292

Fig.31.5 Egyptian Blue cake from Beth Shan (scalel:1)

The small amount of Egyptian Blue known from Greece and Cyprus probably indicates that they represent trade items with the same areas from which glass was obtained, in other words either Egypt or somewhere in the Near East.

Cyprus Dayton illustrates a jug in Nicosia museum, apparently LCII in date, and made of Egyptian Blue,1o84 although it is described as faience by Astrm,1o85 who could find no parallels for the form and thought that 'it cannot be assigned to the Late Cypriote period with certainty'.1086

Mycenae Schliemann found red and blue material (described by Dayton as raw frit)l087 in the acropolis at Mycenae, and an Egyptian Blue rhyton in the House of Shields. This was apparently made in two halves and then lightly refired to fuse the join, indicating that it was probably mould-made. The pattern may have been incised after firing.

So what does this evidence demonstrate about the manufacture and use of Egyptian Blue in the Eastern Mediterannean and the Near East at this time? Although there is a tradition amongst modern scholars to assume that silicate technology of all types was widespread throughout the region, and was in many instances in advance of similar traditions in Egypt, the archaeological evidence for Egyptian 1084 Dayton 1978, 288 1085 Astrom 1968, 53 Amphora no.2 & Fig 70, 27; (Cyprus Museum mv. no. G82) 1086 Astrm 1968, 122 108? J)ayton 1978, 272 1088 See in chapter "Egyptian Blue objects and shaping technology"

Fig.31.6 Egyptian Blue jug from Cyprus Fig.31.7 Egyptian Blue from the acropolis at Mycenae

Fig.31.8 Egyptian Blue rhyton from the House of Shields at Mycenae

Blue in particular is slight. Suggestions that Egyptian Blue might more probably be called Mesopotaniian, Syriari lO89 or Mycenaeanlo9O cannot at this stage be justified by the material remains.

It seems from the evidence that there may have been a different tradition of use for Egyptian Blue in the Near East to that in Egypt. From the middle of the third millenmum onwards, Egyptian Blue seems to have been used as a material from which to make small items such as beads. However, there does not seem to have been the extension of use as a pigment (as in Egypt and the Aegean). The first example of Egyptian Blue used as paint comes from 1800-1700 BC context at Man. It is difficult to determine why two dimensional art in Mesopotamia was slow to progress beyond the initial colour stage of black red and white. Innate conservatism is possible, but this seems unlikely given that, from the first, faience was produced in blue and green. It is also possible that the various possibilities of Egyptian Blue as a pigment had not been recognised. It seems that two different traditions can be recognised. The first, where Egyptian Blue was used in a similar fashion to falence, and then later, perhaps mfluenced by Egypt or the Aegean, when the material was exploited as a pigment.

1089 Quirke, pers.comni

1090 Dayton

1978 296

Part 6: Trade and Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham

32. Introduction

Theories about Mediterranean trade have been debated for as long as trade items have been recognised in the archaeological record. In some ways however, the various theories and assun-iptions made to describe such systems have themselves in some ways hampered useful evolution of ideas. The two main stumbling blocks for modem scholarship have been first, the inherent bias of many scholars to favour their own area of interest, and second, the need to define the single answer as to how trading systems worked. Hence Aegean archaeologists have argued for Minoan/Mycenaean control of international trade, and Near Eastern archaeologists for Canaanite/ Semitic control.' 9 ' There has also been a perceived need to define the exact exchange mechanism involved, with issues of, for example, state controlled versus freelance trade.

However, it should be noted that the majority of works on Late Bronze Age Mediterranean trade have examined mechanisms from and between the Aegean, Cyprus and Syria-Palestine, rather than trade involving Egypt. Although the absolute chronology of these other Mediterranean cultures is largely based on Egyptian archaeological and documentary evidence, theoretical analysis of Egyptian participation in and contributions to international trade in
1991, 77 notes that "every Near Eastern Scholar who has mentioned the Cape Gelidonya wreck in print has accepted its Levantine origiii.without exception, archaeologists who work in Greece or Cyprus disagreed with or dismissed my primary conclusions about the nationality of the ship" 297
1091 Bass

the Late Bronze Age has been rather margmalized. This is due in part to the assumption that significant Egyptian involvement effectively ceased post-Amarna (approximately 1 300BC). Nevertheless, recent work on 19th Dynasty settlement sites at Piramesse arid Zawiyet Umni el-Rakham has added to the already extant evidence from sites such as Saqqara, Deir el-Medina and Ghurob, and has demonstrated that there was still substantial Egyptian participation in international trade until at least 1200 BC and possibly until after the reign of Ramesses Ill i.e. 1150 BC. It is also possible that the abundance of textual and artifactual evidence from Egypt has actually lessened the scope for modelling and interpretation, and has hindered the growth of analytical approaches.


33. Foreign Pottery at the site

A long history of pottery analysis has been based on visible attributes of form, decoration and fabric. More recently scientific residue analysis has demonstrated what was contained in pots at some point. Metals can be sourced, due to modern scientific techniques, and so unlike pottery, where the form and contents can be attributed to a particular region, the actual geographical source can be pinpointed. Consequently the route may be reconstructed from source to final abandonment. Canaarnte amphorae The morphology of Canaanite amphorae may have been introduced to Syria-Palestine from Mesopotamia at the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age.1092 Traditional Levantine fiat bottomed storage vessels began to demonstrate rounded bases sometime after 2000BC. The stress on the junction between bases and walls in flat based vessels is greatly reduced or eliminated with a rounded, more pointed base.1o93 This allows greater volumes to be transported (especially of liquids).

Canaanite amphorae represent the biggest single type of foreign pottery identified at the site so far. Magazine 1 contained two complete jars and one broken jar fallen forwards from their original placement against the side (north) wall of the magazine,1o94 and five

1092 Leonard 1995, 237

1093 Wood 1987, 76 1094 ZUR/M 1/3, ZUR/M1/4, ZUR/M1/3 0 299

Fig.33.1 Canaanite amphora from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham

others smashed in the magazine corridor, steps and threshold.1o95 Chapel 3 had two amphorae still standing in the north east corner by the door,1o96 and one smashed in front of the threshold.1097 Three more amphorae were found in association with many other imported and local pottery types in the squatter area around Stone Circle 41O98

One pot contained a mass of unidentified small bird bones.1099 One amphora was found still standing against the wall of the courtyard area to the south of Stone Circle 6.1100 This was found in association with a tall pottery stand and bowl and an inscribed scarab. It is possible that this was an area of cult or votive practice.

Canaanite amphorae tend to average around 50 cm tall, and have ovoid or piriform bodies and pointed, rounded or stump bases with two large vertical loop handles attached opposite each other just below the shoulder. The neck and mouth are narrow enough for stoppering, but wide enough for easy pouring or extraction of the contents.11o1 It has been suggested that a more triangular profile developed in, and is an indicator of, the Late Bronze Age.1102 However, a variety of rounded and more piriform profiles have been discovered in association together at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham. 1095 ZUR/M1/27, ZUR/M1/31, ZUR/M1E/1, ZUIR/M1E/2, ZUR/M1E/3 W96 ZUR/C3/1, ZUR/C3/2 1097 ZUR/C3/3 1099 Compare with an amphora found with fowl in at Malkata, (Hayes 1951 92). Also
the fowliiig scene from the tomb of Nakht, where birds are netted, and then plucked, gutted and sun dried before being stored in amphorae. (Davies 1917, 6970 & pis. XXII-XXIII) 1100 ZUR/G4E/35 1101 An average-size person (me) can reach an arm into the vessels 1102 Amiran 1969 42; Leonard 1995 237
1098 ZUR/G4E/1,

ZUR/G4E/6, ZUR/G4E/1 5


Canaanite amphorae are known from many Middle and Late Bronze Age sites around the eastern Mediterranean. It has been suggested that they primarily contained Syrian and Palestinian wine, and that 18th Dynasty Egyptian control of the Canaanite region contributed to an explosion in both supply and demand of 'fine wines' from this region; hence the growth in numbers of amphorae found in high status sites in Crete, the Aegean, Greece, Cyrus, and Egypt. However, this view has been recently challenged by Leonard who posits that wineskins may have been the main container for this product.1103 It should also be noted that the final contents of the amphora may be a completely different product from that for which it was made. amphorae seem to have functioned like a 'tupperware' box in the ancient world, in that they were used and reused many times to transport a wide variety of food and drink commodities. Evidence from Ulu BurunhlO4 also demonstrates that they were used for nonedible items such as resins, glass beads and perfumed oils, and even as containers for other smaller ceramic vessels.

Fifteen complete Canaarnte amphorae have been found at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham so far, as well as various sherds including five handles, two with inscribed signs, from five different jars. This assemblage comprises the single biggest group of intact vessels known in Egypt. Canaanite amphorae are also known from various New Kingdom sites in Egypt, including Ghurob,"os Malkata,uo6
1103 Leonard 1104 Bass


1987 1105 Petrie 1890 1106 Hope 1977


Amarna, Deir el-Medina, Memphis,11o7 Avans-Piramesse, and the Ramesseum.11o8 Evidence was until recently weighted in favour of cemetery sites. However, current work on major New Kingdom settlement sites at Amarna, Memphis and Piramesse has shown that Canaanite amphorae were present in significant numbers in domestic contexts.

The fabrics of the amphorae found at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham conform with those found at Kommos. The southern group have light red or reddish brown fabric. These are common in Palestine particularly between Jaffa and Gaza. 1 109 The northern group are concentrated in sites between Akko and Ugarit, and have reddish or grey bodies. All of these amphorae have a pale green/white surface. This was apparently achieved by dipping the vessels into salt (probably sea) water prior to firing, rather than by the application of a separate wash or slip, and is demonstrated by the total coverage of the vessel both inside and out.11lo

Two-handled storage jars are a common feature in 18th Dynasty tomb scenes. However, it is often difficult to ascertain whether imported or local products are being illustrated. Equivalent New Kingdom Egyptian storage jars (sometimes wrongly described as 'Syrian Jars') were obviously influenced by the morphology of Canaanite amphorae, and are superficially similar. Nevertheless, the 1107 J3ourriau 1990
1108 Spiegclberg 1109 Wattrous

1923 1992 1110 Oren, pers. comm.


various examples found so far at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakhamiiii are fairly easily distinguishable. They are slimmer in shape with a much less well defined shoulder, and the handles are smaller and lower on the body.

Handles appeared on Egyptian storage jars at the beginning of the New Kingdom. It has been suggested that this innovation was copied from Canaarnte examples which were imported into the country, either as booty during the reign of Tuthmosis 1 1 1 1112 or more generally as trade items. However, Woodlll3 points out that the North Eastern Delta was a region of cultural interface between Egyptians and Semitic/Asiatic settlers during the late Middle Kingdom and the Second Intermediate Period (especially at Avaris/Tell el-Dabai'14 and its environs). These settlers continued to both use and produce their own fabric traditions, as evidenced by the large numbers of Canaanite finds from this area. The Delta was the main wine producing region for Egypt, 1 1 1s and it is reasonable to assume that the vessel type was first introduced to the Egyptian wine makers in this area.1116

Typological development then occurred during the New Kingdom in Egypt separately from that in Syria/Palestine. 18th Dynasty examples are squat and fat with handles approximately half way down the body. By the 19th Dynasty, the form is taller and more slender, and the handles tend to be higher towards the neck. The examples found
1111 Such as ZUR/M1/25, ZUR/C2/13, 1112 Grace 1936; Parr 1973 1113 Wood 1987, 79


1114 Bietak 1996 and refs. 1115 Hope 1978; Lesko 1995; Leonard 1995 1116 See for example Bietak 1996 Fig 51 and

P1. 25 304

at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham can be most closely compared with amphorae found in a Ramesside tomb at Deir el-Medina (no.359).1117

Comparisons can also be made with amphora sherds found at the Ramesseum, 111 8 Malkatalll9 and wine jars found in Tutankhamun's tomb.1120 There is a 20th dynasty group of Canaanite amphorae ifiustrated in the tomb of Ramesses III (118 5-1154BC).

Stirrup Jars Stirrup jars first appeared during Middle Minoan HI, and they probably represent a development from Middle Minoan oval-mouthed storage amphorae. 1121 By Late Helladic hA the Mycenaeans also used the same shape and form. The jar has been described as representing Mycenaean and Aegean activity and influence in every area reached by them and their products until the end of the Bronze Age.u22

Five Coarse Ware Stirrup jars have so far been found at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham, 1123 and one of small Fine Decorated Ware.1124 These vessels were found in association with other imported wares in Magazine 1 and Chapel 2.

111?Nagel, 1938, figs. 8.2 and 10.11 1118 Spiegelberg 1923, fig 27 1119 Hope 1977 1120 Leonard 1995, 240 1121 Hankey 1995, 116 1122 Leonard 1981; Leonard,Hughes,Middleton,Schofield 1993, 105; Hankey 1995, 116. 1123 ZUR/M1/1, ZUR/M1/2, ZUR/C2/5, ZUR/C2/14, ZUR/Ml/23 1124 ZUR/M1/22 305

Fig.33.2 Stirrup jar from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham

Large Stirrup jars were almost certainly used to transport olive oil. Much work has been done on the Cretan olive oil industryll2s and it is likely that the jars found at the site originally contained this prestigious foodstuff. The particular shape of the jar, with the bulbous body, solid central handles and a slightly offset spout, is well suited to contain and dispense liquids, and Leonard points out that the shape appears to have been specifically designed to facilitate the extraction of the contents of thin, pourable 011. 1126 Hankey suggests that similar jars found at Amarna and Deir el-Medina had arrived in Egypt via Cyprus, through Aegean trade routes with the Eastern Mediterranean. 1127 Work on Cypro-Minoan pot marks sometimes found on the handles ll28 (including the jar from Amarna and two from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham) suggests that such pots must have passed through, if not been originally fired by, Cypriot hands.

Only one large Coarse Ware Stirrup jar has previously been identified in a 19th Dynasty context in Egypt, in a Ramesside cemetery at Sedment.1129 Tomb 59 in Cemetery B contained a group of 'culturally homogenous' 113o objects which can be compared to assemblages at Ghurob (discussed below) and Tell el-Yahudiya.113' The Sedment tomb and this latter group all contained Egyptian imitations of fine ware 1125 Haskelll98l,234-7; Hallager 1987; Wattrous 1990178-80; Dickerison 1994,254 1126 Leonard 1981, 91; Knapp 1991, 29-30 1127 Hankey 1995, 117 1128 Hallager 1987; Hirschfeld 1993 1129 p etrie and Brunton 1924 25 & pl.LIX suggest an l8thDyn date, but Kemp and
MerrilleeS (1980,246) argue persuasively for a Ramesside date. 1130 Kemp and Merrillees 1980, 248 1131 Small Stirrup jars were found in 20th Dynasty tombs at the site. These included one small dark-yellowish example, another with a flat foot and horizontal circles, stained red. Fragments of a large specimen with red ornament, and several others. (Graville 1890,46 n. 15, pIxili) 307

Stirrup jars. The base of one handle is also known from Amarna,1132 and one sherd has been identified from Deir el Medina.1133

Small fine-ware Stirrup jars are thought to have contained limited amounts of expensive perfumed 011. 1134 Examples similar to that found at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham are known from Ghurob and Amarna. The Stirrup jar from Ghurob is thought to have come either from the Greek mainland or islandsll3s rather than from a Mycenaean colony in Cyprus. There is also a Stirrup jar possibly from somewhere fri the Levant at Ghurob.1136 All are thought to have originally contained perfumed oil. It should be noted that the jars from Gurob were found in an undisturbed 19th Dynasty burial.

Large Stirrup Jars probably contained a different product from the small fine ware vessels, and other products apart from olive oil have been suggested, such as olives, honey, wine, dried grain or fruit.

There are no 18th Dynasty representations of Stirrup jars, but there is a 20th dynasty group illustrated in the tomb of Ramesses 111(118511S4BC).

The five coarse ware Stirrup jars from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham all conform to the third type recognised from Chania, which is a tall jar 1132 Bourriau, 1981, 124-125. Bourriau thinks that the sherd is not of Mycenaean
origm (due to the coarse fabric and lack of technical skill), but certainly contained olive oil, which is contra Pendilebury who excavated the sherd and thought that it came from a wine or water jar. 1133 Bell 1982, 151 1134 Cook 1981 1135 Bourriau 1981,126 1136 Bourriau 1981,137 308

with a dark pattern on a light background.1137 One example from Magazine 1 is pale cream/grey with faint red banding, while the other is cream with bold red/black banding. The decoration of this second jar was quite sloppily applied, and there are splashes of dark paint on the body and in the lip of the spout. One jar from Chapel 2 is creamy yellow with red banding around the body, wavy lines around the shoulder and lines around the handles and spout.

Feeder Cups Discussion of these ceramic forms is hampered by the fact that few parallels are known. Six have been so far found at the site, five in Magazine 11138 and one in the corridor outside the entrance to Magazine 2.1139 Four of these vessels were found together in a grouping which suggested that they had originally been stored together in a bag or basket which has since perished. The fifth pot found inside Magazine 1 was in the middle of the floor in association with what appeared to be a random grouping of a red spindle jar and a cake of Egyptian Blue. Possible analysis of the original contents is being undertaken on sherds from the (broken) teapot from the magazine corridor. They are all small (10-12cm high) pots, with bulbous bodies and a base ring foot. They have one spout set at approximately 90 degrees to their one handle. Where modern vessels have lids, these exhibit integral strainer tops, with rather random (between S and 7) holes punched in from the top. They are currently thought to be Cypriot, based on visible fabric and decoration. The
1137 Watrous 1992, 130 1138 ZUR/M1/8, ZUR/M1/9. 1139 ZUR/M2E/1

ZUR/Mi/lO, ZUR/M1/1 1, ZUR/M1/1 2 309

Fig.33.3 Feeder cup from Zawiyet Umm el-Ralkhani

bodies are orangy/red, and all show traces of white lines on the top, the body and around the handle and spout.

The form is not unknown, although it is classified as extremely rare. One similar jug is discussed by Yon, 1140 and described as Late Cypriot Base Ring I with the main opening at the top closed and then pierced with holes. In this case she suggests that the central slightly larger hole was used to fill the jug, and that the smaller holes around the edge were for straining whatever was contained.1141

They were either transported with their contents already inside, or they were a necessary or useful implement for something. It is hard to envisage how whatever was in them could have been kept secure during transport. The spout is blockable, but the strainer top exhibits no visible means of securing a cover.1142 However, if these vessels were a clever tool to help with the consumption of something known to the Cypriots at least, then why have no parallels been found at other sites? Honey and/or opium seem possible candidates for substances which were strained and served in small quantities, or perhaps oil which had been flavoured or perfumed by vegetable or fibrous matter that needed to be removed before use.

1976, 103 and Fig 37,b ouvertures a filtre prsentent un cas beaucoup pius rare, dont il y a des exceptionnels a des priodes varies: au Chyp. Rc., un type de vase a large col en Base-Ring I ...l'ouverture prmcipale est obture puis perce de trous, qu'ils soient gauX ou que de plus petits entourent un trou de remplisage." (Yom, 1976, 103) 1142 See Leonard 1981 figs 6 and 7 for a suggested lid for a Mycenaean alabastron 311

1140 Yon, 1141 "Les

A final consideration is that these were pots could have been manufactured specifically for an Egyptian market. However no examples have been found at any other Egyptian site, and there are no illustrations of this type of ware. Pilgrim Flasks Pilgrim flasks are known from all over the ancient near east, and the shape may have originated in the pottery of Mycenae or SyriaPalestine. The form has a long history of use from the New Kingdom until the Byzantine Period. The term was originally coined because flasks, often with saints embossed on the body, were manfactured as Christian souvenirs for pilgrims visiting shrines in Egypt and the East. 1143 The term is now used to describe all lenticular two handled flasks, also described as vertical lentoid flasks in some publications.1 144

Two complete flasks have been found in the fifi around Stone Circle 4, 1145 two in the domestic area, and necks with handles have been identified between Stone Circles 1 and 2, outside Stone Circle and in the South Building.

Hankey notes that the flasks are the most common ceramic type found at Arnarna, and that the shape is known throughout Egypt and

Bourriau 1981 95 for St Menas flasks. ll44 Hankey 1995, 123, (FS 189) 1145 ZUR/G4E/18 was complete, ZUR/G4E/22 was squashed against the stone circle walL 1146 ZUR/G4E/39 312

1143 see

Fig.33.4 Pilgrim flasks from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham

the Levant.1'47 An example from the reign of Tuthmosis III is known from a tomb at Abydos.1148 It is thought to be Egyptian, but was found in association with Cypriot pottery.

The flasks may have contained oil, 1149 or some sort of cosmetic material.1150 Leonard notes that the form is well suited for transporting and dispensing oil, that they have morphologically similar spouts to those on Stirrup jars, and that the contents of both forms must have been secured in the same manner (by a simple stopper).11s1

Jugs Another pottery type with few exact parallels comprises three large jugs found in Chapel 2.1152 These are between 42cm and 47cm high, with bulbous globular bodies (possibly wheel-made in two parts), narrow necks, beaked spouts and handles going from near the top of the body to the top of the rim. Two of the jugs have three cream painted horizontal lines around the widest part of the body and three wavy cream lines above them. The fabric is thin and brittle, with mica, silica and shell inclusions giving a rather glittery appearance to the red sand-tempered appearance.

114? Flankey 1995, 123 1148 Bourriau 1981, 75 1149 1-lankey 1995, 123

1150 Bourriau 1981,75 1151 Leonard, 1981, 92

1152 ZUR/C2/1, ZUR/C2/4, ZUR/C2/6 314

Fig.33.5 'Late Minoan' jug from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakhain

The fact that rims had been broken on all three jugs suggests that the contents were extracted in this clumsy manner, perhaps because the original sealing was hard to remove. It further suggests that the jugs may have arrived at the site with their contents inside. It is thought that they may have come from somewhere in the Eastern Aegean, and a possible match is a jug found in Kos. 1153 There is no clue as to the contents, except that the form implies that it was a liquid of some nature, and the width of the original rim perhaps indicates wine rather than oil. No parallels are known in Egypt.

Flask The flask has a globular body, cylindrical neck, and a vertical handle which extends from rim to shoulder, with a round mouth. It conforms to Late Cypriot monochrome wares,1154 with reddish brown fabric with small grit inclusions and a slipped and smoothed or burnished surface. A similar fabric has been found on Bates' Island. The flask is a common form, and similar examples have been found at Mycenae, Tiryns, Khania and Kommos, Kition and Enkomi.115s

1153 Momcone 1973, 176

1154p.J. Russell, 1991, 134 1155 pilides 1991 316

Fig.33.6 Cypriote flask from Zawiyet Unini el-Raitham

34. Possible models of trade and the site

There is a long history of modern academic interest in prehistoric trade and exchange systems, not least because of potential insights that may be gained into the organisation and development in political and economic terms of any participating societies involved in such trade. This proposition can be characterised as a substantivist approach, which is a form of institutional economics, where economic behaviour is seen as an outcome of the particular institutions that characterise a society; consequently economic behaviour is not separable from other types of behaviour but is "embedded" in the broader institutional fabric of the society. This is also a structural approach, in that the structure of a society determines individual behaviour.i 156

One mechanism for the study of trade is the use of theoretical frameworks into which archaeological and documentary evidence can be fitted. This processual modelling approach was first developed by Renfrew,1157 who suggested four models for external trade or exchange in the Aegean; Down-the-Line Exchange,1158 the Prestige

1156 Earle

1985, 106, after Polanyi 1957. See also Kemp 1989 232-234

which involves an immediate contact zone around a natural or industrial source, and exponentially decreasing areas of contact illustrated by a steady falling off of contact as distances increase. 318

1157 Renlrew 1972, 465-471 1158 Down the line exchange

Chain,1159 Freelance Commercial Tradeit6o and Directional Commercial Trade.1161 Evidence of 'Specialised production' has also been used to infer cultural complexity, although there is debate on the causal order. Other schemes used to exan-iine exchange include world systems theory, structuralism, and structural Marxism.1162

Brumfield and Earle suggested three main theoretical systems of trade; commercial,1163 adaptionistll64 and political.1165 Knapp and Cherry proposed four kinds of trade mechanisms: 1 166 Centrailsed regional or interregional political control, from cultures such as Minoan or Canaanite; Localised control by single polities, such as Ugarit, Enkomi, or Kommos, with intermediaries knking them 1159 Prestige Chain trade involving valuable or prestigious items which conform to a set of rules: 1. Transfer of prestige goods taking place between specific notable persons 2. Prestige goods are frequently handed on in subsequent exchanges 3. Prestige goods are not expended or utilised in daily life 4. Prestige goods generally appear in the archaeological record either as a result of deliberate burial (with the dead) or through loss or accidental damage 1160 Commercial trade involves contact with strangers, often over considerable distances, and frequently uses middle men, intermediaries who are specialists or semi specialists in trade. Common features include: 1. Goods not usually high prestige objects, although sometimes luxury objects, with wide salability and appeal 2. The merchant operates on a freelance basis. Often a middleman, occasionally a producer 3. Profit is the main motive 4. Such goods are found within the radius of movement of the trader, and very rarely beyond. Such range is determined by available transport 1161 Commodities transferred preferentially to specific locations. Generalisations include: l.Primarily raw materials or other useful commodities 2. Trade generally carried out on a regular basis, although the merchants need not be under the direct control either of the exporter or the importer 3. Specific sites at considerable distance may be well provided with goods, while others nearer to it may be less well supplied. 1162 See Knapp & Cherry 1994, 125 for refs. 1163 Commercial development is where production and exchange are integrai with economic growth and are fuelled by economic efficiency and individual profit. 1164 Adaptiomst models have political elites joining in the process and assuming key roles in the organisation and centralisation of production, yet with speciiulisation and certain amount of profit still remaining with individual producers and traders. 1165 In political models the elites direct all aspects of trade and exchange in order to maintain social inequality and to legitumse and strengthen their own wealth and status. 1166 Knapp & Cherry 1994, 128ff for extensive discussion of these models applied to the Aegean, Cyprus, Syria and Egypt 319

together; Freelance or entrepreneurial trade; Ceremonial or gift exchange.

However, these formalist approaches have recently been rejected as too restrictive. Variations in exchange relationships and different types of trade within the same societies can be obscured by such rigid modelling. Kemp also noted the level of information required for such modelling to occur. 'We can construct models of how they [transactions] worked only from the ancient sources themselves, from a judicious use of ethnographic literature, and from certain points of reference which seem to be generally valid for economies in early complex societies.'1167

Liverani put forward theories of reciprocity and redistribution, which are 'rather interpretive than descriptive of reality'. 1168 As both models fit best with small-scale transactions, such as interpersonal or small group relationships, then both socio-economic situations were part of the corm-non experience of all economic transactions. Any more evolved or new trade experience (such as inter-regional) would therefore have been perceived as extensions of these models.

Liverani further suggested that 'the centralized versus symmetrical arrangement of the circulation of goods corresponds in more general terms to a centralized versus symmetrical view of political interaction asa whole'. 1169 Consequently parity in rank does not (or need not)
1167 Kemp

1989, 233

1168 Liveram, 1990, 205. Redistributive trade is that where the periphery supplies
the centre; reciprocal trade is where partners trade equally with each other. 1169 Liverani 1990, 22 320

exist in reality for reciprocal relations. Two partners need only agree to each other as peers, and that the exchange of goods is equivalent in the long run. The adoption (by the protagonists of the exchange; secondarily by the outer observers) of one pattern or another is therefore the result of an ideological decision. The same episode can be described as redistributive (periphery to centre) for an internal audience, yet reciprocative when addressing peers.

A possible position for the site at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham within a theoretical trade context can be posited. As part of the Egyptian empire, built by the Egyptian state under Ramesses II and staffed with Egyptian soldiers, the fortress was obviously an outpost of the state, and as such functioned as a representative of superior wealth and resources and as a receiver of trade goods from the centre. At the same time, Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham was located on the furthest periphery of the Egyptian empire, with a vast geographic distance between the Nile Valley and the site, and an isolated position as the last in the chain of fortresses stretching out westward from the Delta. This may have meant that the site also itself functioned as a centre for redistributive and indeed reciprocal trade. The fortress would have been the dominant power in the surrounding area, and must have functioned as the centre and focus for trading activity.


35. Trade and Zawiyet Umm el-Rakhain

If, as was ahnost certainly the case, the foreign products arrived at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham from somewhere else on the Mediterranean littoral, then there are various questions to be addressed:

35.a Where had ships come from before their arrival at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham? 35.b Where had the ship originated from, if different from (a) above? 35.c Where was the ship going to, after Zawiyet Umm el-Rakhani? 35.d Where was the ultimate destination for the ship and/or cargo, if different from (c) above? 35.e Who did the ship belong to, who was it controlled by, and who were the people on board? 35.f What did the Egyptians trade or exchange in return?

In order to address the points listed above, it is necessary to examine evidence from related sites in the Eastern Mediterranean which may have participated in similar trade or exchange systems, both on land and in the sea with shipwrecks like those found at Cape Gelidonya and Ulu Burun.

5.a Where had ships come from before their arrival at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham? It is currently thought that trade items coming to the site from other

countries in the eastern Mediterranean arrived from Crete. Few other maritime origins are feasible, and there is a wealth of evidence from the classical period to illustrate that the southern Crete-Egypt route was accepted in the itinerary of sailings. Other possible explanations are that the products arrived either overland or by coastal sail from Egypt proper. However, the bulk of ceramic evidence is foreign (Mediterranean) rather than from Egypt (only two Nile marl ware pots have so far been identified). If such products arrived from Crete, then it seem most likely that the ship either arrived from, or had at least stopped at, the southern Crete port site at Kommos.

Trade between Egypt and the Aegean Trade between Egypt and the Aegean is attested from the Old Kingdom onwards, with the earliest Egyptian objects found in Crete being a group of Late Predynastic/Early Dynastic stone vessels found mainly at Knossos. 117O Egyptian and egyptianizing scarabs are known from the First Intermediate period onwards,n71 and from the Middle Kingdom precious goods from Crete have been found in elite contexts in Egypt, such as the Tod treasure, and Kamares ware at Lisht, Kahun, Harageh and Abydos. 1 1 72 Iconographic transference from Crete to Egypt is also apparent during this period with Minoan motifs (probably copied from textiles) appearing in Egyptian tombs.1'73 During the Second Intermediate Period royal contact may have been sustained, with the cartouche of Khyan found on an alabaster lid at
1170 Warren 1991 for discussion of the problematic nature of these finds 1171 Warren 1980, 494 1172 Kemp & Merrillees 1980 1173 Barber 1991, 345

Knossos. 1174

The most immediately apparent evidence of contact between Crete and Egypt at the beginning of the New Kingdom is that from the North East Delta Site of Avaris/Tell el-Daba. Thousands of fragments of wall paintings have been from an early 18th Dynasty 'royal building' constructed by Ahmose, 1175 with Minoan motifs and styles, such as bull leaping and bull grappling, acrobats, 'priests', mazes, and decorative friezes similar to those found at Knossos, Phaistos and Thera. It is generally agreed that these illustrations not only represent Cretan scenes and decorative motifs, but also that they were created by Minoan artists.1176

However, it is harder to establish the exact nature of the MinoanEgyptian coimections that are represented by this discovery. Bietak believes that paintings at Tell el-Daba/Avaris are to be seen in the
context of a royal architecture that was of equal importance to that of

Knossos', il77 and Morgan believes that the scenes were painted in a Minoan shrine. 1178 The wall paintings can be compared with Minoan frescoes found at other sites in the Near East including Alalakh, Qatna and Tell Kabri (although this is the only example of bullleaping outside Knossos). Niemeier 1179 suggests that Minoan artists were employed in the Levant to decorate royal palaces, and that this
1921, 420 1175-Bietak 1996, 80 Note that the 18th dynasty attribution is contra to earlier assertions that the building dated from the Second Intermediate Period Hyksos rule 1176 Morgan 1995, 44 Bietak 1996, 75 and refs 1177 Bietak 1996 79 1178 Morgan 1995, 44. Note that at time of writing the earlier date of the frescoes was still assumed. 1179 Niemeier 1991, 197 324
'174 Evans

is referred to in Ugaritic poetry where the god of art and handicrafts from Kaphtor is summoned to decorate a palace for Baal. Consequently, it seems that this is an exceptional site within Egypt, and few inferences can be drawn about the level of Cretan-Egyptain contacts during the 19th Dynasty.

Trade during the 18th and 19th Dynasties between Egypt and Crete is indicated both by representations of Keftiu in Theban tomb scenes, and by foreign pottery.1180

Kommos is a large Bronze Age town with a harbour complex in southcentral Crete. Foreign pottery found at the site includes wares from the Aegean, Greece, Anatolia, Cyprus, Syria/Palestine and Egypt. Egyptian vases are most numerous at the site from LMIIIA contexts (contemporary with Amenhotep IH). 1181 However, imported vessels at the site dating from LMIIIB, including Egyptian storage jars, indicate that it continued to be part of an active international trading network into the reign of Ramesses II. As at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham, coarseware stirrup jars from Charna were found in 'final floor deposits' in the town. 1182 However, 'southern type' Canaarnte amphorae found at the site are mostly dated to LMIIIA contexts, although four are dated to LMIIIB. Unlike at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham, Italian vessels are also present from this period.118 3 Watrous believes that the presence of Egyptian pottery at Kommos indicates that direct Egyptian-Cretan
1180 See

in chapter "foreign pottery at the site" 1983 for discussion of possible Italian traders at Chania

1181 Watrous 1992, 175 1182 Watrous 1992, 181

1183 Hallager

iaritime contact occurred, with Kommos and Knossos playing entral roles in such interchanges. With the discovery of similar lasses of foreign pottery at Zawiyet Un-im el-Rakham, it is possible [iat this site was also an important station on the route during the eign of Ramesses II.

' this is the case, then the evidence from Kommos and Zawiyet Umm l-Rakham contradicts the view accepted by many that direct Cretegypt contact had stopped by the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty. respective of the nationality of the sailors and ship, the traders at .ommos cannot have been unaware of the ship's' itinerary and may 'ell have either initiated or joined in any potential trade venture with awiyet Umm el-Rakham and probably Memphis or Piramesse.

5.b Where had the ship originated from, if different from (a)?
vera1 Late Bronze Age coastal sites functioned as emporia or as ateway communities' 1! 8 4 where they were strategically situated to ploit factors of supply (raw materials/finished goods from the nterland) and of demand (foreign or freelance merchants who rived by sea), as well as facilitating the control of goods within their here of influence. 1185 It is possible that ships which went to Lwlyet Umm el-Rakham came originally from one of these sites. ifortunately it is not possible to identify the original port. )netheless, there is a certain amount of documentary and 2haeological evidence which indicates potential starting points for
Burghardt, 1971 35 Knapp and Cherry 1994, 135 326

international trading ventures. Harbour sites It is not known what sort of ships would have arrived at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham. There is no evidence of any form of harbour near the site, although it is likely that, even if any structure had once existed, all traces would have been washed away; and evidence from other harbour sites around the eastern Mediterranean littoral has demonstrated that the sea level has changed since the Late Bronze age.1186 However, the beaches are sandy in parts with a gently sloping incline, and it would be possible to land small vessels without harm, and larger vessels could have anchored in the submerged reefs which lie approximately 50m out from the shore.

Many Bronze Age settlements in the Aegean are located on or near peninsulas, and some were established in relationship to offshore islands, as at Amnisos, Nirou Kharn and Kommos on Crete. 1187 Large structures found at Kommos have been interpreted as sheds used to store ships during the winter, and large amounts of foreign pottery found at the site have reinforced ideas that Kommos was a major trading centre with Egypt and elsewhere.1188

There are no clearly identified Bronze Age sea harbours in Cyprus and the Levant, due to both natural erosion and later rebuildiig. However there were large coastal settlements at sites such as Ugarit
1986, 267 believes that the sea has risen between 1-3m at Konimos; White 1986, 80 believes that the sea level has dropped 1.3m at Mersa Matruh. 1187 Shaw 1990, 425 1188 Watrous 1992. 327
1186 Shaw

(with a port at Minet el-Beida and four known harbours but few harbour remains),1189 Byblos and Tyre, and Kition, Enkomi (which also had a river harbour that was silted up by the 11th Century BC),1190 and Hala Sultan Tekke in Cyprus. 1 ' 91 A 40m x lOm quay at Tel Dor in Israel has masonry associated with early Canaanite settlement (circa 1200BC),1192 and at Kition there is evidence of walls that may have been quays associated with Bronze Age lagoons (now silted up).1193

fleets The two best examples of Bronze Age ships are the wrecks at lJlu Burunhl94 and Cape Gelidonya.1195 These were both found with cargoes and much of the bodywork essentially intact, and yet there is little consensus of opinion as to where the ships originated from, who they belonged to, or who they were being sailed by.

In, or soon after, 1306

BC 1196 a

large ship sank at Ulu Burun, near Kas

in southern Turkey. The ship's cargo consisted mostly of raw materials, including approximately 10 tons of copper in the form of 354 oxhide ingots and approximately 120 copper bun ingots. There were also the earliest examples of ox-hide and bun ingots made of tin." 9? Other materials included approximately 170 cobalt and copper blue glass ingots, 1198 thousands of beads of agate, carnelian, quartz, 1190 McCas]in 1980,91 1191 see McCasIin 1980, 10 n. 17 for refs. 1192 Raban 1983, 229-238
1193 Collombier 1988 1194 Bass 1986; Bass 1987; Bass et a! 1989; Bass 1991; 1195 Bass 1967; Bass 1973; Bass 1991 1196 Most recent date on Scafuri 2000, 1 1197 Scafuri 2000,1 1198 See in chapter "Glass on the thu Burun Wreck" 1189 Schaeffer

1933; Astour 1970

Pulak 1994; Scafuri 2000


glass, falence, ostrich egg shell and amber, 150 Canaanite amphorae full of teribinth resin, an amphora full of orpiment, Egyptian ebony, ostrich eggs, elephant tusks, hippopotami teeth, murex shells, and plant remains including coriander, safflower, figs, grapes, pomegranates and olives.1199 Worked items included Cypriote fine and coarse ware ceramics, Mycenaean ceramics and four faience drinking cups in the shape of ram's heads. Small items included Canaanite and Egyptian jewellery, Mycenaean weapons and jewellery,l200 two wooden diptychs, and Mycenaean, Cypriot, Egyptian, Babylonian and Kassite seals. 1201 The excavators currently believe that the ship was probably Levantine or Cypriote in origin, based on typology of the stone anchors and the predominately SyrioPalestinian origin of most of the shipboard tools, weapons and personal effects of those board (see further discussion below).1202

Approximately 100 years later, in about 1200 BC, a merchant vessel foundered in Cape Gelidonya off the southern coast of Anatolia. The bulk of the cargo consisted of 34 ox-hide copper ingots, copper and tin bun ingots, metal working tools and scrap bronze ready to be recycled. Other goods included pieces of unworked crystal, a jar full of coloured beads made of stone, faience, and glass, five scarabs arid a cylinder seal. The pottery consisted of Mycenaean stirrup jars, a Late Cypriote Base Ring II jug, and cooking pots, water jars and bowls. Egyptian and Syrian pan-balance weights also found indicate that
1199 Haldane 1990 1200 Pulak 1994, 9

1201 Bass 1991, 74 1202 Pualakl994, 10


someone on the ship was involved with metal trading. The ship may have originated from Syria, 12o3 Cyprus l2 O 4 or Mycenaean Greece,12o5 (although it is generally agreed that the previous stop had been at Cyprus, where most of the ox-hide ingots came from)1 2o6 and may either have belonged to one of these states, or represent an example of 'freelance entrepenurial trade'.12o7

The material evidence from both these ships has demonstrated that although certain aspects of nationality may be deduced, it is also true, as noted by Kemp and Merrillees, that "archaeology by itself often cannot resolve issues of identity".1208

Ships from Ugarit Texts at Ugarit identify Ugarit as a commercial maritime partner with Byblos, Tyre and Akko.12o9 There is also evidence of commercial maritime contacts between Ugarit and Cyprus, and of Cypriote merchants living in Ugarit.1210

A letter from the king of Tyre to the king of Ugarit says "Your ship, which you sent to Egypt - it is (till now) in Tyre".1211 This evidence indicates that at least the return leg of the journey was in an anti1967 1204 Bass 1973 1205 Muhly 1977 1206 Gale 1991, 199 1207 Merrillees 1974 1208 Kemp & Merrillees 1980, 278 1209 Heitzer 1978, 151 1210 I-leltzer 1978, 152. See also Lipmski 1997 concerning a letter (RS. 113) to mcnhotep ifi from an Egyptian official at Ugarit who had apparently been to Cyprus 1211 PRU, V, 59 (KTU. 2. 38) in HeitLer 1978, 151 330
1203 Bass

clockwise direction. A letter from someone in Ugarit to the king of Egypt says "by all the gods of Alashia, Nimmuria (Amenhotep III), the king of the world...and the ships will enter",1212 apparently indicating a complicated trade route to Egypt or back to Ugarit via Cyprus. McCaslin believes that such texts and others similar indicate that Ugarit had its own merchant fleet.1213

Ships from Cyprus A number of bronze and clay ship models and anchors are known from Cyprus, and it is likely that Cyprus (or a Cypriote city) possessed its own fleet. 1214 McCaslin cites a Cypriote fleet mentioned in EA 36, 1215 although Moran states only that it is too fragmentary for translation, and concerned with the exchange of goods.1216 Nonetheless there are a number of references in the Amarna Letters to goods, especially copper, being sent to Egypt from Alashia.1217

EA 39 from the king of Alashia to the king of Egypt says "My brother, let my messengers go promptly and safely so that I may hear my brother's greeting. These men are my merchants. My brother, let them go safely and promptly. No one making a claim in your name is to approach my merchants or my ship". EA 40 from the governor of Alashia to the governor of Egypt repeats the plea, with "my brother, these men and this ship belong to the king, my lord. So send me bk the ship promptly and safely".
2.42 inHeltzer 1978, 152 1213 McCasIin 1980, 101 1214 McCaslin 1980, 111 nt. 46a 1215 McCaslin 1980, 101 1216 Moran 1992, 109
1212 KTU.

1217 EA33-EA4O

Ships from the Aegean Before the discovery of Bronze Age frescoes at Thera, evidence of ships from the Aegean consisted of schematic depictions on glyptic surfaces, simple models,1218 and references in Linear B texts which indicated that ship construction was a specific trade.1219 The West House at Akrotiri contains several painted panels which show various maritime scenes.1220 On the north wall there is a scene of the apparent aftermath of a battle, with three ships and three bodies floating in the water, and a sea shore containing marching soldiers and a large flat roofed building. Kemp and Merrillees believe that this depicts a raid somewhere on the North African coast, 1221 but Shaw suggests the building is an Aegean boat shed, and that the scene may represent fighting somewhere in the Aegean.1222

On the south wall of the same room, the scene shows a fleet of ships which have left a small town set in a desert scene with a lion and deer, and situated at the mouth of a river next to the sea. It is again possible that this represents somewhere on the Libyan or Egyptian coast (although Kemp and Merrillees note that the river would therefore represent the Nile, and there is nothing distinctly Egyptian about the town). 1223 The ships are heading towards a small town on the right of the scene set in a double harbour containing two boats, and three ships have already been partially pulled onto the shore. On the shore behind the ships are a row of rooms with triangular 1218 Morgan 1988, 121 1219 Morgan 1988, 129 1220 Marinatos 1974 1221 Kemp &Merrillees 1980, 272 l222Shaw 1990,432
1223 Kemp

& Merrillees 1980, 274 332

openings, which may be either dovecotesl224 or beehives.1225 The town may be Akrotiri itself 1226 or somewhere else on Thera.

There is considerable debate as to the exact locations portrayed in these scenes. Nonetheless, they are an indication that ships from the Aegean may have travelled considerable chuferences to other countries around the eastern Mediterranean.

Ships from Egypt Although there is evidence for New Kingdom Egyptian maritime travel along the Levantine coast, it is less clear whether the ships used actually belonged the Egyptians, and there is little independent evidence for an Egyptian Mediterranean fleet in the New Kingdom. In the 6th year of his Syrian campaigns, Tuthmosis III transported troops north in ships. 1227 In the next year, he inaugurated a policy of seizing port towns in Palestine to serve as supply stations for the Egyptian army. 1228 Annals for the 9th campaign indude "Behold all the harbours of his majesty were supplied with every good thing of that which [his] majesty received in

/7 hy, consisting of keftiu ships,


byblos ships and Sk-tw 1 2 29 ships of cedar laden with poles and masts, together with great trees for the [ of his majesty'.1230 Save-

Soderbergh thought that these were all Egyptian ships, and the
1224 Mannatos

1974, 43

1225 Shaw 1990, 433 1226 Morgan 1988, 161; Shaw 1990, 433 1227 BAR 11 463b 1228 Save-Soderbergh 1946, 36; Wilson 1969, 239 1229 Glanvific 1932, 14 suggested that this was the name for a subsidiary dockyard
at Byb10S

I23OBAR 11492


geographical names referred to the origin of their Cargoes.1231 However, it is now generally acknowledged that such ships Were probably named after the locations that they sailed between. 1232 Nonetheless, evidence from the Punt expedition at Deir el-Bahri indicates that 'Byblos ship' (kpn.wt) was used as a general term for seagoing ship during the 18th Dynasty,123 3 and records from the royal dockyard of Tuthmosis III describe several keftiu ships being built and repaired at Prw-nfr. 1 234 Syrians are known to have worked in the dockyards, and men with semitic names were clearly involved in building or repairing ships.1235 Thus a vessel called an Aegean ship was built in Egypt by Syrians.

Evidence from Theban tomb scenes show Aegean and Syrian visitors l236 and Syrian maritime trading missions arriving in Egypt (probably at Memphis, although the scene is depicted in a Theban tomb)12 37 and the Amarna letters show that there were various maritime trade routes functiornng between Egypt and other countries around the Eastern Mediterranean. It is considered unlikely that luxury imports at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham were brought by Egyptian ships from somewhere in the Delta. However, although there is almost no evidence that Egyptian ships ever went beyond the Levantine coast, it is not impossible that Egyptian ships were involved
in' Save-Soderbergh 1946, 36

1232 Vercoutter 1956, 53; Wachsmann 1987, 121; Knapp 1993, 336 1233 Save-Soderbergh 1946, 50 1234 Glanville 1932 1235 Save-Soderbergh 1946, 50; Wachsmann 1987, 120 1236 see bsbd: lapis lazull, glass, falence and Egyptian blue above 1237 tombs of Nebamun IT 17 and Kenamun TF 168. See Jeffreys 1985, 48-53 for
discussion of harbours at Memphis. 334

in maritime trade with Crete.

There are almost no examples of scenes showing Egyptians travelling abroad. This may be because of artistic selection (i.e. no artists went abroad with Egyptian trading missions), or perhaps because Memphite rather than Theban officials tended to be involved in such foreign missions. 1 2 38 One possible exception to this is in the tomb of Khaemhet (IT 57), where Wreszinski believed that a damaged scene,1239 showing sailors trading with stall holders, depicted an Egyptian flotilla on a trading mission to a foreign country, and its return.

35.c Where was the ship going to after Zawiyet Umm elRakliam?
There are three possible (and two likely) directions that a ship may have taken after calling at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham.

35.c.1 North west across the Mediterranean to Crete There is almost no documentary evidence for trade routes in the Late Bronze Age, and studies have tended to extrapolate backwards from modern sailing traditions and also from records from classical authors.1240

1238 As archaeological work continues in the Memphite necropolis, it is possible that 18th Dynasty depictions of foreign interaction may be discovered in future years. 1239 Wreszinski 1923, p1. 199; Porter & Moss 1994, 115 Scene 9 1240 Casson 1971; McCaslin 1980, 87-108 & refs

Weather between Egypt and Crete Hesiod urged all sailors to stay away from the sea except for fifty days after the summer solstice in July and August, 1241 and Vegetius (who was a sailor) said that the best days for sailing were between 27th May and 14th September. Casson believes that 'all normal activity was packed into the summer', 1242 and it seems likely that clouds, which blocked view of the stars, and storms at other times of the year would have made navigation very hazardous both for short journeys which hugged the shores and longer journeys that were made without the benefit of visible landmarks. All voyages between Crete and Egypt would have involved sailing out of sight of land, and some sort of celestial navigation would have been essential.

During late spring and summer, the prevailing wind in the Mediterranean is usually from the north and northwest. Odysseus supposedly sailed 400 miles from Crete to Egypt in five days 'on a north wind that was favourable and fair', 1243 and Strabo stated that 'the voyage from Samonium [in Crete] to Egypt takes four days and nights; though some say three'.1244 Casson worked out that, with favourable winds, the average speed of sailing vessels in the Classical period was between 4 and 6 knots over open waterJ24s

However, it should be remembered that local conditions (caused. by topographical features such as mountain ranges) can alter wind
1241 Hesiod, Works and 1242 Casson 1970, 270 1243 Odyssey

Days 663-665

XIV 252-257 1244 Strabo 10.475 in Casson 1970, 287 1245 Casson 1970, 288 336

direction, and also that winds can change. Experience at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham between August and October has shown that there can be large variations in wind direction and force even in summer months. In one year there can be no perceivable wind for a month, and in another there can be strong winds from the south for a week. There can also be great variations in wind patterns within a single day. McCaslin notes that winds often blow away from the land in the evenings,1246 but at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham it is more common for wind to die away completely in the late afternoon.

Direct sailing from Egypt to Crete contradicts ideas of an exclusive anti clockwise sailing route due to prevailing northerly winds in the Mediterranean. Nonetheless, during March, April and September, prevailing winds can often be from the south.1247 There is evidence for direct voyages from Alexandria to Crete during the 17th century AD, and Warren notes that during the 18th century AD sailing from Alexandria to Crete was a common occurrence, and was usually expected to take not more than five days given favourable winds.1248 Watrous, working at Kommos, noted that enormous amounts of Minoan pottery have been found on Thera, Melos and Kea, which indicates that northward sailing within the Aegean was possible.1249 He also reports that local villagers in Crete remember sail boats from Egypt and Libya regularly landing near Kommos to sell rum, pottery and wood and to buy grain, grapes and olives.125o One interesting 1246 McCaslin 1980, 89 1247 'Mediterranean Pilot' in Watrous 1992, 177 1248 Warren 1995, 10
1249 Watrous 1992, 177 I2SOWatroUS 1992, 178 337

point is that when the wind was not from the right direction such boats would regularly reach port by means of rowing.1 251 Although present knowledge of Bronze Age boats is limited, it is also possible that direct northern sailing to Crete also occurred from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham.

35.c.2 East along the north African coast towards the Egyptian Delta The presence of Minoan, Mycenaean and Cypriote pottery at sites in the Delta and the Nile Valley,1252 and the African or Libyan nature of the Thera frescoesl253 suggest a direct Aegean-Egyptian trade route. If a direct route was followed from the Crete to the Delta and/or back to Crete, then it seems likely that coastal ports of call or harbours would have existed on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa other than that at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham (and the earlier nearby site at Bates' Island).1254 Probable locations include El-Alamein and Gharbaniyat, both suggested by Habachil25s and Kitchen l2S6 as the sites of other forts in the chain built by Ramesses II. However, a recent survey carried out by Whitel2sl between Salum on the Libyan border and Sidi Abdel Rahman west of el-Alamain found no evidence for any occupation earlier than settlements of the Greco-Roman period apart from few sherds of Archaic-dassical Greek materiaLl2s8 However it should be noted that many potential sites have been 1251 Watrous 1992, 178
1252 See in chapter "Foreign pottery 1253 Marinatos 1974, 44-57 1254 See in chapter "Bates' Island" 1255 1-labachi

at the site"

1980 71 338

1256 Kitchen 1982, 1257 White 1996

1258 White 1986, 26

extensively developed as holiday resorts in the last twenty years, and also that large areas of the coast are still minefields, and are therefore inaccessible for modern study.

35.c.3 West along the north Africa coast towards Libya It is currently believed that Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham is the furthest west of the chain of Ramesside fortresses. It is not known whether the fort was supplied by sea from Egypt proper, and if Egyptian ships travelled west along the coast. So little is also known about the existence or level of Aegean-Libyan contact that it is not possible to establish whether non-Egyptian ships would have ventured west towards a potential major area of settlement in Cyrenaica..

35.d Where was the ultimate destination for the ship and/or cargo, if different from (C)?
There are various possible routes that a ship sailing between Crete and Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham may have followed.

35.d.1 South from Crete to the North African coast, then east along the northern Egyptian coast to the Nile Delta, north around the coast of Palestine and Syria, and west to Cyprus, Rhodes and back to Crete.

This route was proposed by Vercoutter,1259 and has gained general acceptance in recent years.1260

1259 Vercoutter

1956, 417-422 1260 e.g. Bass 1973; Bass 1987; Bass 1991; Kemp & Merrillees 1980; McCaslln 1980 339

35.d.2 East to Rhodes, Cyprus and Palestine, south along to the coast to Egypt, then either back the same way, or north west across the sea back to Crete.

This route can be verified by archaeological evidence in Rhodes,1261 Cyprus,1262 Syria and Palestine. 1263 Watrous believes that the presence of Southern Canaanite jars and Egyptian pottery at Kommos, coupled with Minoan fine wares on mainland Greece and Minoan coarse ware Stirrup jars at Cyprus, Rhodes and Ugarit indicate that this route linked Crete with the east during Late Minoan JTIB.1264

35.d.3 Crete to Egypt to Crete. Discussed above. It should be noted that this trade route would fit into the category of point-to-point trade which clearly existed. Specific Egyptian orders for goods, such as wood from Lebanon, or copper from Cyprus, involved directional trade which can be differentiated from trade missions and routes (as exemplified by the Ulu Burun wreck) where a continuous route involving exchange of goods at different ports would not necessarily have had a specific end-point.

1261 Stubbms 1951, 5-20 1262 Stubbins 1951, 25-46 1263 Stubbms 1951, 53-56 1264 Watrous 1992, 178-179

J/7 I
-... ICj ' "I1J r ,r U) U)

C5 woco


a, U)

A >

j i/

' I c9


Fig.35.1 Suggested Mediterranean trade routes to and from Zawiyet Umm el-Raitham

35.e Who did the ship belong to, who was it controlled by, and who were the people on board?
The best surviving archaeological evidence for the nationality of Late Bronze Age sailors should come from the Thu Burun wreck. However, as discussed above, at the time of sinking, the ship contained Mycenaean, Cypriote, Egyptian, Babylonian, Nubian and Syrian goods.126s One of the excavation's two directors believes that the ship originated from mainland Greece and was run by Mycenaeans,1266 and the other believes that, although the presence of at least two Mycenaeans on board is revealed by the finds, the ship originated from Cyprus or the Levant and was run by a Near Easterner (Sjc).1267

Perhaps the least satisfying but most reasonable conclusion is that trade was conducted by various different people in various different ways at the same time, with "a multidirectional, complex network of state-run and entrepreneurial traders, inter linked on more than one social and/or ideological level".

For trade both within Egypt and

between Egypt and her neighbours around the eastern Mediterranean, Kemp points out that for a centrally administered economy to be overwhelmingly dominant, "either the system itself was able constantly to assess every individual's needs and satisfy them, or the needs of very large sections of the population remained not so much static as passive, offering a mirror image of fluctuations within the state system". 1269 Private greed and ambition also have little place in
Bass 1991, 74 in Bass 1991,74 1267 Bass in Bass 1991, 74 1268 Knapp 1991, 50 1269 Kemp 1989 234
1266 p ulak,


a centrally controlled system.

As the amount of archaeological evidence for trade around the eastern Mediterranean grows year by year, it becomes evident that there were extensive trading contacts between most regions most of the time. It is possible that there has been a general underestimation both of the volume of goods moving around any one time, and of the expectations of the people who were the producers and recipients of such trade items. It is not likely that only exceptional cargoes sank, and the Ulu Burun shipment should be seen as emblematic of a thriving international trade and exchange environment between both public and private partners in the Late Bronze Age.

To try to identify too closely the cultural origin of such freelance traders is perhaps to impose anachronistic constructs onto people who may have defined themselves in other ways. Muhly defined the metal artifacts found at Cape Gelidonya as an indication of 'a koine of metalwork throughout the eastern Mediterranean'12 7 0 and it is possible that a crew who travelled between different countries would have defined themselves by their lifestyles rather than their (possibly diverse) racial identities, and would have been merchants in an international sense, with distinctiveness defined by language and cultural or religious beliefs rather than geographical origin. the general unrest and mass population movement at the end of the Late Bronze Age could easily have led to the construction of new arid nonregional tribal identities.
1270 Muhly

1982, 256 343

35.f What did the Egyptians trade or exchange in return?

It is not possible at this stage to identify the exact mechanisms and systems of trade used or participated in by the occupants of Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham. Current understanding of trade at the site is that there were various different exchanges functioning simultaneously, which can be summarised as follows:

3 S.f. 1 Supply trade from Egypt proper (not enough is currently known about the systems for supplying such outlying forts, and whether state sponsored or entrepreneurial trade played any part).

35.f.2 Interaction with the indigenous population. Evidence from the domestic area excavated in 1999 shows that the fortress was supplied with a variety of foodstuffs (cow, goat, fish, ostrich and ostrich eggs) which were almost certainly obtained locally. The exact nature and level of contact with surrounding nomadic or settled peoples is not known, but it is hoped that work in future years may illuminate this issue.

35.f.3 Trade with the Oases. The ceramic vessel containing yellow ochre found outside stone circle 41271 suggests the possibility that the fortress was dealing directly with the chain of Oases. !272 The stumbling block in this theory is that no New Kingdom remains.are known from Siwa, which must have been a way-station on this route, populated either by Egyptians, or (more likely) by a group of Ubyans
1271 ZUIR/G4E/14 1272 Cohn Hope, pers. comm. 344

who were engaged in trade with both the Oases and the Egyptians on the coast. Nevertheless, it is possible that there was a small active settlement not yet known from the archaeological record. Again, future work at the Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham may cast light on this activity.

35.f.4 Participation in trade on the eastern Mediterranean trade routes (see above). The site fulfils a previously unrecognised function (apart from the tentative role played by Bates' Island, see below) of being the 'first contact' for seagoing vessels arriving from the North. Again, the range of foodstuffs found in 1999 indicates that there was a variety of edible goods available at the site, all of which could have been offered as trading items. The relative values of such goods compared with the luxury foreign items indicated by the eastern Mediterranean pottery found at the site is not clear. It seems likely that wine and olive oil could have had greater value than than cattle or goats.

However, there would not have been an equal trading position between the incoming sailors and the members of the fortress. Various scenarios are possible, including the most unfriendly where the Egyptians indulged in piracy, murdered the crew, looted the ship and burnt the evidence. As the Ulu Burun and Cape Gelidonya wrecks bear testament, it cannot have been unusual for ships to disappear without trace. The military strength of the fortress could have been exerted as easily against those arriving by sea as those from the land.

However, the amount of foreign goods found at the site and the probability that a number of ships passed by suggests that this most aggressive policy may not have been followed. Nonetheless, the garrison would have been in the controlling position in any trading exchange, and could have effectively set the relative prices of goods. It is also possible that other goods were also traded. One product found at the site which is known to appear in high status sites in the Aegean and the Near East is ostrich eggs. It is not thought that there was a systematic trade in these items based at Zawiyet Urnm elRakham, 1273 but it seems likely that two or three eggs (like those found on Ulu Burun) were traded, if not as food items, then as curios for future sale.

Bates' Island Some discussion must also be made of the nearby site of Bates' Island, a place that has attained a totemic quality in studies of Bronze Age trade connections with Egypt's Mediterranean coast. 1274 However, evidence from this site should be assessed with great care. Bates' Island is a tiny islet in a lagoon (which was an inlet in the Bronze Age) on the coast at Mersa Matruh. The excavator noted both that the islet was probably too exposed to the bitter winds of winter to have been used year-round by its Late Bronze Age Inhabitants, 1275 and that it
was too small to have functioned as Matruh's only port facility even

in the pre-Greek period. 1276 The architectural evidence consists of a

1273 Snape pers. comm. 1274 see e.g. Bass 1987, 1275 White 1986, 84 1276 White

Hankey 1993, Knapp 1993 346

1996, 27-28

few small stone hut foundations of uncertain date. There are large amounts of Roman ceramic material, and there are also Roman villa and cemetery sites on the hills around three sides of the island. The Bronze Age elements consist of over 1000 fragmentary ceramic remains, of mainly Cypriot origin, and also evidence of metal working including slag and crucible fragments. Such evidence is potentially consistent with a single ship having stopped once at the site. Such a ship could have traded metal artifacts with putative local (Libyan?) settlers, which would explain the ostrich egg fragments found at the site.

This is the minima! interpretation of the evidence, but ifiustrates the extent to which tiny amounts of material evidence have been used to formulate complex theories of international connections. It is possible to see that the site at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham may answer many of the questions raised by the site at Bates' Island. However, the questions of which, if any, major power controlled the Island, and whether it was run by Cypriots, Egyptians, locals or freelance merchants and traders cannot be answered by the material evidence. Nor can it be shown whether or not it was merely the location of a single stopover on a voyage from Crete to Egypt.


Condusion At Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham. the picture is much clearer. The site was constructed and maintained by the Egyptian army, and documentary evidence relating to other frontier forts shows that there may have been a rigid system of controls from the centralised state. The primary function of the fort was undoubtedly a military one, and concerned monitoring and controlling local groups as well as incursions towards Egypt from the west and north.

The extent of centralised state involvement in trade and exchange at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham has not as yet been established, but there is certainly enough artifactual evidence of non-Egyptian/Mediterranean goods at the site (most noticeably ostrich egg fragments) to indicate that either local nomadic or Libyan groups were interacting with the inhabitants at the fortress. It would seem reasonable to assume that any contact between such groups and foreign merchants would have been tightly controlled by the Egyptian population of the fortress.

The artifactual evidence from the site, as well as its advantageous positioning on the Mediterranean littoral indicate that it functioned as a trade or exchange centre. It is not yet possible to establish what percentage of the activity of the fort was occupied in this secondary function, although future archaeological discoveries (records office, foreign quarter) may clarify the situation.


Appendix 1 List of Pigments from Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham 199 5-1999 m mI-

d m


00 L __ __


d c


'-4 N.


00 Q
rJ 00 C'J - 00 C\J

00 LrJ


- 0

X C,



cJ C) C, c.'j


ri C, cJ

sJ cJ rJ

LILC\ 00


.0 1
.01 bO



0 0)

0) CO
0) 0)






0 _____

. .0 -: .0 I 0

.0 0)










CO c..J 0 0 U, C') V) p.4 c..J -


- c,



C/) -

C#) -


o U

N N ______________ N N N




00 0



Li) Li)
Li) 00

0 '-4 00

00 N.






If) N-
















U) en





V 1 0)





0) .4..'



Cl) U)

,4j) o

, PC



U) U)

. 0) U)


E U)








V 4_I

V 4_I







4-.' Cl)

. 4_I

. 4_Il

. 4_I

. .4_I






.. ______




en -

U -

II -

cn -

- -








Lt Cs

C) C)


C) 0


C) - -





o c














0 (0


C) C) C) -c C) C)

en 5
6s a)

4-I -4



-. 4 .o


C) U C)

C) U C) .-

C) U)


E U)




C) -











C) -

_U) _U)
c c



H H H - a)

C) ___



en en


C#) -








0 - - 0 0 en






U O - 00 N. (0 cO (0 (0 (0 (0 (0






) U ii



0) 0)

_ ___ _ _ _ - -




0) 0 0)

0) 0) 0 0)
0 0

0 -



0 0)

0 0)












(0 00



Cfl CJ




00 di


r4. 0






0 (0



En en En


(0 En

U Q..

rs.a -

ri -

rj -


____ -__
LA tI)





4- 0)


a.' a.'

_______ _______________ _______ _______

2 _ 2 _ -_ i. _ _


_____ 353


c .J

C c'J
- -



- -

(0 ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ C.1 ___ rn

00 (0 - CJ

- - -

.1 -
N. en
x LI
















LI) 0



Cl) Ce')

V 0) 0) 0 0 0 .0 0


,0 o
Cl) 4-' .-









4-' .-

U 0 0

U 0 0

U 0 0

0 . 0

0 ..



4-' .





0 0 0 0




en -

cJ -


LP - c.J 00 -

- - i-f p-f





N __ N __ N __ N N __ __ __ __

- e







Lfl N.. r-4 C\J

- 0 N..


LI, v-f

en N. 0












O c U



0 -

0 en

cO Ln v-i v-I v-f N.


4..I C,)




C) C)


. 4-;







__ __ __ __ __ __
C) 3-. -
C,) o

0 0 0



0) 3-' .Cl)

0) '''


0) 0)

0 ___ ______ ___ ___ ___

'.cJcJ 355

Egyptian Blue 5 4 3 2


Al. Distribution of Egyptian Blue

ID Green Wollastonite


M2E M8 G4E G55

A2. Distribution of green wollastomte


IU Dark Red Ochre

A- -- --


M2E M8 H4E H5E

A3. Distribution of dark red ochre

6 -

3 2

'liSt MIS2 MiS. \lI4 'liNt MIN? M1N3 M1N4 MIC

M2E M8

i-14E HSE

A4. Distribution of red ochre


5 4 3 2

Yellow Ochre

0 MIS1 MIS2 M1' 1I-1 \IINI MIN2 MIN3 M1N4 Nill 1E H4L i-13E

A5. Distribution of yellow ochre

8 7 6 4 3 2 -- _________________________ - ________ =

Yellow jarosite]

\ISI 'flS2 \tIS3 '1IS4 'tINI 't1\2 (IN3 M14 \IIC \12E M8 H4E H5E

A6. Distribution of yellow jarosite









0 2

>= w

o a)

w tr:




a) E

-1 z

N z

-1 2:

2: N

O(P CnN N N N N '-

i- - -

A7. Pigment distribution at the site


Appendix 1
Analysis of the Pigments from Zawiyet Umm el-Raithain

In order to identify the exact nature of the pigments found at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham a representative sample of each different type was analysed in order to establish the chemical constituents present.'

It has thus been possible to compare and contrast the pigments found at the site with those found at other sites in Egypt. Additional quantitative analysis is currently being undertaken at the Laboratory for History of Art and Archaeology in Oxford 2 (this facility being unavailable at Uverpool) in order that the results may be added to a growing database of similar analyses from other collections.

Although similar analyses are rare from none-Egyptian sites, it is to be hoped that future work in these regions will allow for similar comparisons to be made with material from the Near East.

The pigments consist of blue and green artificial copper compounds, red and yellow iron oxides, pale yellow jarosite and white calcium carbonate. They were examined by X-ray powder diffraction to determine their mineral content, and by Scanning Electron Microscope in order to identify elemental composition. This was achievec by mounting a small sample and coating it in gold.
1 These were done at the University of Uverpool and I am very grateful to the staff in the Geology, Chemistry and Life Sciences departments. 2 Many of the results mentioned below have been discussed with Professor Tite and Dr Shortland, and their advice has had much bearing on what is discussed below 360

Blue All of the blue samples tested were shown to be Egyptian Blue consisting of cuproroviate CaCuSi4OlO and quartz.

Green The green samples showed strong indications of a green glass phase coloured by wollastonite CaCu 3Si3O9, and it is not clear if they were intentionally made green, or are examples of Egyptian Blue that either went wrong during production (in which case it is hard to explain why they were found at the site) or are examples of Egyptian Blue that has degraded in some way. However, the most likely explanation is that they represent examples of artificially produced green frit which have weathered more severely than the similar examples of Egyptian Blue due to the higher glass content. This would explain why the green samples are all now similar very pale green colours.

Red Both types of red pigment are red ochre coloured by anhydrous iron oxide/hematite Fe 203. The dark red solid samples contain higher amounts of clay, which leads to greater bulk adherence.

Yellow The yellow samples are yellow ochre, consisted of clay and quartz grains coated with a thin iron coating in the form of goethite FeO.OH. Yellow ochre was the most common yellow pigment used in Egypt. Significant deposits of goethite occur in the oases of the Western

desert, and chemical comparisons with yellow ochre from the Southern Oases are ongoing. 3 It is probable that the lumps of both red and yellow iron oxide found at the site are still in the natural state, i.e. have not yet undergone any refining process.4

Pale Yellow The pale yellow samples, which were found in small round balls with a darker brown crust on the outside (the size of walnuts). These are all jarosite, which is a potassium iron sulphate KFe 3 (SO 4) 2 (OH)6. The material is very fine grained and has pore cohesion, suggesting that initial processing has occurred.5

White The one example of white pigment is calcium carbonate CaCO 3 , arid

the same material was also identified on one of the sherd palettes from the stone circles.

3 With Cohn Hope as part of the Dakhla Oasis project 4 1t would be otherwise hard to explain the cohesion of the various samples. The clay content alone is not sufficient to bond the material once processing or refinement has occurred. Hayward, pers.comm. 362

Fig.A.8 Scanning electron micrograph of Egyptian Blue sample ZUR/M1/24. Scale bar of 100 microns. Cuproroviate crystals, glassy matrix and air spaces are all visible

Fig.A.9 Scanning electron micrograph of Egyptian Blue sample ZUR/M1/C4. Scale bar of 100 microns. Cuproroviate crystals, slight glassy matrix and small air spaces are all visible



Fig.A.10 Scanning electron micrograph of Green sample

ZUR/M1/C5. Scale bar of 100 microns. Note lack of glassy phase and large air spaces.

Fig.A. 11 Scanning electron micrograph of Green sample

ZUR/Ml/S3/8. Scale bar of 50 microns. Note lack of glassy phase.


Fig.A.12 Scanning electron micrograph of Yellow sample ZUR/Mi/Ci. Scale bar of 100 microns. Quartz grains rimmed by iron-rich material. Groundmass mainly composed of small quartz fragments and clay minerals

Fig.A.13 Scanning electron micrograph of Yellow sample ZUR/M1/C3. Scale bar of 100 microns. Quartz grams rimmed by iron-rich material. Groundmass mainly composed of small quartz fragments and day minerals. Small bright patches are Fe oxides.



Fig.AJ4 Scanning electron micrograph of Yellow jarosite sample ZUR/S4/12. Scale bar of 5 microns. Small scale due to the very fine grain size

Fig.A. 15 Scanning electron micrograph of White sample ZUR/N2/2. Scale bar of 50 microns.


:: - RH '': Live: Real:

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ch 2E= 1. E;3. [Jr. A. 11.



Al 6. Electron scan of Egyptian Blue (discount Au & Pd coating)


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Al 7. Electron scan of green wollastonite (discount Au & Pd coating)


A18. Electron scan of dark red ochre (discount Au & Pd coating)


I ,, .. LI '.' t. ID -,.


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1ii ILIi' IT


A19. Electron scan of red ochre (discount Au & Pd coating)


- F'': Li
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i i

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A2 1. Electron scan of yellow jarosite (discount Au & Pd coating)


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A22. Electron scan of white (discount Au & Pd coating)


Appendix 2 Glass in the Amarna Letters'

From Sitatna, ruler of Akka (Akko) 4235 + 327

Moreover, the king, my lord, has written to me for glass, and I herewith send 50 units, their weight, to the king, my lord.
From Pu-Ba'lu, ruler of Yursa (Unknown) 4314

Since the king, my lord, has ordered some glass, I sent it to the king, my lord, my god, the Sun from the sky.
From Yidya, ruler of Asqaluna (Ashkelon) 4323

As to the king, my lord's, having ordered some glass, I herewith send to the king, my lord, 30 pieces of glass.
From Sipti-Ba'lu, ruler of Lakisa (Lachish) 4331

And as to the king, my lord's, having ordered whatever glass I may have on hand, I herewith send it to the king, my lord, my god, my Sun, the Sun from the sky.

1 From Moran 1992


Lapis lazull/hsbd in the Amarna Letters

To Naphururea (Amenophis 1V/Akhenaten) from Burna-Buriyas, king of Karaduniyas (Babylonia)


sending 4 minas of beautiful lapis lazuli as a routine greeting gift. [unworked stone measured by weight.1
To Naphururea from Burna-Buriyas FA8

As a greeting gift I send you one mina of lapis lazuli

To Naphururea from Burna-Buriyas, king of Karaduniyas

49 I send to you as a greeting gift 3 minas of genuine lapis lazuli

To Naphururea from Burna-Buriyas 410

I send as your greeting-gift 2 minas of lapis lazuli, and concerning your daughter Mayati, having heard (about her), I send to her as a greeting gift a necklace of cricket-(shaped) gems, of lapis lazuli, 1048 their number.
To Naphururea from Burna-Buriyas 411

I send 10 lumps of genuine lapis lazuli as your greeting gift, and to the mistress of the house (I send) 20 'crickets' of genuine lapis lazuli.


Inventory of a dowry of a Babylonian princess 413

an alabaster [shaped jar?] of genuine lapis lazuli small ziminzu-shaped beads of lapis lazuli lentil [shaped] (stones) of lapis hzuli and mussaru-stone gold leaf, genuine hpis lazuli and... genuine lapis Jazuli [few more fragments of lapis lazuli refs.]
Inventory of Egyptian gifts from Naphururea to Burna-Burlyas 414

1 small container (of aromatics), of gold, and a stopper of lapis lazuli in the middle.
To the king of Egypt from Assur-ubalit, king of Assyria 415

1 date-stone [shaped] of genuine lapis lazuli, as your greeting gift

To Nimmureya from Tusratta, king of Mittani 419

I herewith send as my brother's greeting gift: 1 golden goblet with inlays of genuine lapis lazuli in its handle; 1 manirinu-necklace, with a counterweight, 20 pieces of genuine lapis lazuli, and 19 pieces of gold, its centrepiece being genuine lapis lazuli set in gold
To Nimmureya from Tusratta 421

1 maninnu necklace of genuine lapis lazuli and gold as a greeting-gift


of my brother. May it rest on the neck of my brother for 100,000 years.

Inventory of gifts from Tusratta EA22

1 leather halter, its 'flint-blade' of genuine hulalu-stone; its inlay, of genuine lapis lazuli; the tasli, (with) inlay of genuine lapis lazuli. Its centrepiece is set with hiliba-stone, and (this) centrepiece of hilibastone is mounted on genuine hpis IazulL...1 seal of genuine lapis lazuli, mounted on gold. 1 bottle, horse-shaped, of amatu-metal, with eagles of gold as inlay; and (also) its inlay, genuine lapis lazuli. 300 shekels in weight. 1 hand-bracelet, of iron, overlaid with gold; its mesukku-birds have an inlay of genuine lapis lazuli 6 shekels of gold have been used on it. 1 hand-bracelet, of iron, overlaid with gold; its mesukku-birds have an inlay of genuine lapis lazulL 5 shekels of gold have been used on it. 1 maninu-necklace, cut from 35 genuine lapis lazuli stones. 1 set for the hand, beads of genuine lapis lazull, 6 per string. 1 zallulu, its rettu overlaid with hiliba-stones and genuine lapis lazuli; the handle, the figure of a woman, of alabaster; the inlay, of genuine lapis lazuli. 1 pair of shoes, of dusu-colour [leatherl, and studded with dardaraliornaments of gold; their buttons, of hiliba-stone; with karat-nannallaornaments of genuine lapis lazuli, set here and there. 1 pair of shoes, of blue-purple wool; their....of gold; their buttons of hiliba-stone; the centre, an inlay of genuine lapis lazuli. 1 fly whisk. its rettu has an inlay of genuine lapis lazuli 1 helmet container, of alabaster, (with) an inlay of genuine lapis lazuli, the rim of which is overlaid with gold. 1 dagger, the blade, of iron; its guard, of gold, with designs; its halt, of....; an inlay of genuine lapis lazu]!; its pommel, of hiliba-stone.


Inventory of gifts from Tusratta EA25

1 set of earrings, of gold; their cones of genuine lapis lazuli, and their kukkubu of genuine hulalu-stone. 1 set of earrings, of gold; their cones of genuine hulalu-stone, and their kukkubu of genuine lapis lazuli. 1 set of earrings, of gold; their cones of genuine lapis lazuli, 4 on each, their kuickubu of genuine hulalu-stone. 1 set of earrings, of gold; their cones of genuine lapis lazuli, and their kukkubu of genuine hulalu-stone. 1 set of toggle pins, with inlay their inlay of genuine lapis lazuli; their top of genuine hiliba-stone. 1 set of toggle pins, with inlay; their inlay of genuine lapis lazuli; their top of genuine hulalu-stone. 1 set of toggle pins, with inlay their inlay of genuine lapis Iazuli their top of genuine hulalu-stone. 1 set of toggle pins, with inlay their inlay of genuine lapis Iazuli their top of genuine hulalu-stone. 1 set of toggle pins, with inlay; their inlay of genuine lapis lazuTh their top of genuine hiliba-stone. 1 set of toggle pins, of solid gold; their top of genuine lapis lazuli. 1 weave: 6 genuine lapis lazuli stones, 7 hiliba-stones, 14 bikru-gems of gold, 72 strings of genuine lapis lazuli and gold, 40 strings of gold. 1 weave: 9 genuine lapis lazull stones, 10 hffiba-stones, 20 bllcrugems of gold.....strings of lapis lazuli, 38 strings of gold. 1 weave of gold: 1 hiliba-stone, 4 genuine lapis lazuli stones, 4.... of gold. 1 maninnu-necklace, of seal shaped stones of lapis lazuli; 13 per' string, mounted on gold. 1 mariinnu-necklace, of seal shaped stones; 13 seal shaped stones of genuine lapis lazull, mounted on gold. 1 maninnu-necklace with a counterweight: 28 genuine lapis lazuli

stones, 28 hi]iba-stones; the centrepiece a genuine hulalu-stone mounted on gold. 1 maninnu-necklace, cut: 25 genuine lapis lazuli stones, 25 hilibastones; the centrepiece a genuine lapis lazuli stone mounted on gold. 1 maninnu-necklace, cut: 26 genuine lapis lazuli stones, 26 hilibastones; the centrepiece a genuine lapis lazuli stone mounted on gold. 1 maninnu-necklace, cut: 37 genuine lapis lazuli stones, 39 pieces of gold-leaf; the centrepiece a genuine hulalu-stone mounted on gold. 1 maninnu-necklace, cut: 38 genuine lapis lazuli stones, 38 pieces of gold-leaf; the centrepiece a genuine hulalu-stone mounted on gold. 1 maninnu-necklace, cut: 26 genuine lapis lazuli stones, 28 hilibastones; the centrepiece a genuine lapis lazuli stone mounted on gold. 1 maninnu-necklace, cut: 38 genuine lapis lazuli stones, 38 pieces of gold-; its centrepiece a genuine hulalu-stone mounted on gold. 1 maninnu-necklace, cut: 43 genuine lapLs lazuli stones, x hilibastones; the centrepiece a sankallu-stone mounted on gold. 1 maninnu-neddace, cut: 32 genuine lapis lazuli stones, x hilibastones; the centrepiece a genuine hulalu-stone mounted on gold. 1 manirmu-necklace, cut: 30 genuine lapis Jazuli stones, 28 hilibastones; the centrepiece a ....-stone mounted on gold. 1 manirinu-necldace, cut: 17 genuine Japis lazuli stones, 16 sankallustones, 35 pieces of gold; the centrepiece a sankullu-stone mounted on gold. 1 mariinnu-necklace, cut: 23 genuine lapis Jazuli stones, 25 Marhasistones; 48 pieces of gold-leaf; the centrepiece a genuine lapis lazuli stone mounted on gold. 1 maninnu-necklace, cut: 34 obsidian stones; 33 pieces of gold; the centrepiece a genuine lapis lazuli stone mounted on gold. 1 maninnu-necklace with counterweight: 14 genuine lapis lazul! stones, 25 genuine hulalu-stones, 17 hiliba-stones; the centrepiece a genuine lapis lazuli stone mounted on gold. 1 maninnu-necklace with counterweight: 14 genuine lapis lazuli stones, 16 genuine hulalu-stones, 30 pieces of gold leaf; the centrepiece a ....stone mounted on gold.

24 gold kamaru; the centrepiece a genuine lapis lazuli stone mounted on gold. ....genuine lapis lazuli stones, 24 genuine hulalu-stones; the centrepiece a genuine lapis lazuli stone mounted on gold. uttuppu: 60 genuine lapis lazuli stones 122 genuine lapis lazull stones x large....of gold tinged with red, 11 per string, set in genuine lapis lazuli 1 set of large agarhu-jewels, of genuine lapis lazuli, genuine hulalu stone, genuine obsidian, mussaru-stone; the centrepiece a genuine lapis lazuli stone mounted on gold. 3 sets of small agarhu-jewels, of genuine lapis lazuli, genuine hulalustone, genuine obsidian, mussaru-stone; the centrepiece a genuine hulalu-stone mounted on gold. 219 'crickets' of genuine lapis lazuli, not mounted, for the hand. 2 finger-rings, of genuine lapis lazuli. 2 hand-bracelets, of gold, one attached to the other, with mesukkubirds; the mesuicku-birds have an inlay of genuine lapis lazuli. 30 shekels in weight. 1 seal-shaped stone of genuine lapis lazuli mounted on gold. 2 genuine lapis lazuli stones to serve as counterweights. 1 pin, of genuine hulalu-stone; its top of genuine lapis lazuli mounted on gold. 1 ointment receptade; its rettu of alabaster; its handle a ....overlaid with gold, 2 genuine lapis lazuli stones are set in the centre. 1 ointment receptade; its rettu of abasmu-stone; its handle a swallow overlaid with gold, one genuine lapis lazuli stone is set in the centre. 1 ointment receptacle; its rettu of abasmu-stone; its handle a panther overlaid with gold. It is set here and there with lapis lazuli and alabaster. 1 kuninnu-bowl, of stone; its inside and its base have been overlaid with gold; one genuine lapis lazuli stone is set in it. 1 heart, of gold; the inlay, genuine lapis lazuli; 30 shekels in weight. 1 lulutu (animal) horn-rhyton, overlaid with gold. its rettu of ebony.

It is set here and there with genuine lapis lazuli. 1 fly whisk, overlaid with gold; its rettu and its handle....its parattatinu, of huliba-stone, strung on a wire of gold; and its wire strung with genuine hulalu-stones, genuine lapis lazuli stones, carnelian stones. 2 sets of toggle pins, of gold; their tops of lapis lazuli. 9 maninnu-necklaces, of lapis lazuli. 2 weaves of lapis lazuli and hiliba-stone x maninnu-necklaces of lapis lazuli, with a gold knob. This jewellery is for the two principal lathes in waiting. 30 sets of earrings, of gold; their cones of lapis lazull, for 30 dowrywomen. 10 spindles, of lapis lazulL...Iapis lazuli, its side-board....of lapis lazuli, overlaid with gold and silver. 6 shekels of gold, 30 shekels of silver, have been used on them. It is all these objects and dowrypersonnel that Tusratta, the king of Mitanni....
To Naphururea from Tusratta FA27

Don't talk of giving statues just of solid cast gold. I will give you ones also made of lapis lazuli.
To Naphururea from Tusratta 429 ...of lapis lazuli To king of Egypt from Suppiluliumas, great king of HaUl 441

As to the two statues of gold, one should be standing, one should be seated. And, my brother, send me the 2 silver statues of women, and a large piece of lapis lazuli.

Copper in the Amarna Letters

To the king of Egypt from the king of Alasiya EA33

You wrote to me have transported 200 talents of copper, and I herewith have transported to you 10 talents of fine copper. [probably Akhenaten, possibly Smenkare or Tutankamun. talents perhaps bars or ingots]
To the king of Egypt from the king of Alasiya E434

And behold, I also send to you with my messenger 100 talents of copper.
To the king of Egypt from the king of Alasiya 435

I herewith send you 500 talents of copper. My brother, do not be concerned that the amount of copper is small. Behold, the hand of Nergal is now in my country; he has slain all the men of my country, and there is not a single copper worker.
To the king of Egypt from the king of Alasiya EA36

more about copper.

To the king of Egypt from the king of Alasiya 437

The greeting gift for my brother is five talents of copper, 5 teams of horses.

To the governor of Egypt from the governor of Alasiya 440

I send to him 9 talents of copper, 2 pieces of ivory, 1 beam for a ship. I herewith send as your greeting-gift 5 talents of copper, 3 talents of fine-copper, 1 piece of ivory, 1 beam of boxwood, 1 beam for a ship.
To Amanappa (an Egyptian official), my father, from Rib-Hadda

477 As to your writing to me for copper and for sinnu, may the Lady of Gubla be witness: there Is no copper or srnnu of copper available to me or to her unjustly treated ones.
To the king of Egypt from Abi-Milku (Governor of Tyre) 4151

I herewith send llumilku as messenger to the king, my lord, and I give 5 talents of bronze, mallets, and 1 whip.




0 0
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Map 1. Sites mentioned in North Mesopotamia and Syria


1.11 HaIst Bizar


a 8ivii %NJAR N,nveh Khoraibad Arp.thiya Ywm T.p.a




Till Rsmah

Ud '? _ Till Hasauna

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Map 2. Sites mentioned in Mesopotamia


Map 3. Sites mentioned in the Levant



American Anthronoloi Annales ArchoJoiaues Arabes Svriennes The Antiauanes Journal American Journal of Archaeolov Pritchard J.B., ed. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relatin g to the Old Testament Princeton Annales du Service des Antiguits de 1'EgvDte Biblical Archaeo1oist Breasted J.H. 1906-1907 Ancient Records of Egypt 4 vols.,
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Dend. Mar. Mariette A. 18 70-1880 Dendrah 6 vols. Paris

EA EA Edfou GM

ottinger Miszellen Erichsen 1933 Panvrus Harris I Brussels Cerny J. & A.H.Gardiner 1957 Hieratic Ostraca (vol 1) Oxford International Journal of Nautical ArchaeoIov and Underwater Exnloration Journal of Near Eastern Studies Journal of the American Oriental Society lournal of the American Research Center in Evnt Journal of Egvrtian Archaeolov Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient Journal of Glass Studies

journal of Near Eastern Studies Journal of Roman Archaeo1ov Journal of the Society for the Study of Evtian Antiquities Kawa Macadam M.F.L 1949 The Temples of Kawa: The Inscriptions London Kitchen K.A. Ramesside Inscriptions Oxford KRI Mitteilungen. des deutschen archo1oischen Jnstitut MDAIK Kairo Ouctheidkundie Mededeelinen nit het Riiksmuseum zan OMRO Oudheden te Lieden Ostr. Cairo G. Daressy 1901 Ostraca (Cat. Cairo) Cairo; Cerny J. 1935 Ostraca I-Iiratiauea (Cat. Cairo) 2 vols. Cairo Ostr. Stras. Ostracon in Strasbourg, in Iversen E. 1955 Some Ancient Evr)tian uaints and pigments: a 1exicoraphical study Copenhagen Ostr. Tor. Ostraca in Toronto, in Gardiner A.J. 1913 Theban Ostraca London Gardiner A.H. 1931 The Chester Beattv Pap yri No. 1 P. Ch. B. London PPS Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society le Palais royal d'Uarit (document classification numbers) PRU RdE Revue d'EvDtologie Ras Shamra (document classification numbers) RS SAK Studien zur alt gvptischen Kultur Studies in Mediterranean Archaeolov SIMA Studies in Conservation SmC Totb. Leps. Lepsius 1842 Das Totenbuch der Agvpter nach dern hieroglvphischen Pavrus in Turin Leipzig Petrie Museum catalogue number, University College UC London Steindorff ed. Urkunden des agvntischen Altertums Urk. Zeitschrift fr tvrtische Sprache und Altertumskunde ZAS



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67-72 Pennsylvania Bachmann H.G., H.Everts & C.A.Hope 1980 "Cobalt blue pigment in Eighteenth Dynasty pottery" MDAIK 36:33-7 Baines J. 1985 "Colour terminology and colour classification: Ancient Egyptian colour terminology and polychromy" 87:282-297 Baqir T. 1945 "Iraq Government Excavations at 'Aqar Quf: Second
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