Incised marks on pottery and other objects from Kahun : systems of communication in Egypt during the late Middle Kingdom
During excavations at the Middle Kingdom settlement site of Kahun Petrie assembled a corpus of over 600 objects (mainly sherds but also a few wooden implements) incised with marks. These are now housed in British Museum, The Petrie Museum and the Manchester Museum, and constitute the largest corpus of Middle Kingdom marks from one site still accessible. The material was only partially published by Petrie and the marks have never been analysed in relation to the objects on which they are incised. The first step has been to compile a catalogue of all incised objects. This is presented as accompanying data. Chapter 1 offers a reconstruction of the excavation at Kahun based on Petrie's published and unpublished records, to gain a better understanding of the excavation, the site, and also how the material now in England was assembled. In the second chapter the pottery types with marks are described and compared with the contemporary pottery corpus of the Eastern Delta and Memphis/Fayum region. The intent is to propose a chronological sequence for the pottery and the marks, and also to check whether the marks are characteristic of a limited range of pottery types, or are widespread. Chapters 3 and 4 discuss respectively the typology of the marks incised before and after firing. In Chapter 5 the sites where Middle Kingdom pottery incised with marks has been excavated are assembled and listed from North to South. Chapters 6 and 7 discuss the other two classes of objects with marks recovered at Kahun: foreign pottery and wooden tools. The last chapter offers a general overview, including a comparison of the marks incised on pottery with other marking systems and also with the emerging 'alphabetic' scripts of the Late Middle Bronze Age.