Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The place of lead in an Egyptian port city in the Late Period
Author: van der Wilt, Elsbeth M.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This thesis analyses a range of lead objects discovered in Thonis-Heracleion, an Egyptian port city, and offers a new perspective on the use of metals in antiquity. It advances two central arguments: firstly, that the large quantity of lead artefacts in Thonis-Heracleion is not exceptional but rather a more accurate reflection of the metallisation of ancient societies and secondly, that the corpus of lead objects sheds light on aspects of ancient communities that normally remain invisible due to the ease of recycling and low cost of lead. The first chapter reviews the presence of lead in the archaeological record in Egypt, the factors affecting its deposition and preservation, and the corpus as a whole from Thonis-Heracleion. A comparison between the two puts the lead from the site in a new Egyptian perspective. The second, third, and fourth chapters offer substantial analyses of lead ingots, weights, and containers found at Thonis-Heracleion with parallels from around the Mediterranean. The chapters show the potential of this corpus to shed light on activities in the Egyptian town despite the notable lack of direct parallels. It becomes clear for example that large lead objects appear earlier in the archaeological record and that the range of objects is wider than previously suspected. The analysis in these chapters offers a robust dating framework for lead objects previously unavailable. Together the lead artefacts illustrate local mercantile activities, the economic role of the port city, and, through the identification of the first Athenian weights found in Egypt, trade connections between Egypt, Athens, and the rest of the Eastern Mediterranean. The result is an overview of lead in Egypt and its place in Thonis- Heracleion, demonstrating the significance of metals for understanding ancient societies.
Supervisor: Robinson, Damian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archeology ; Egyptology ; Maritime archaeology ; Materials studies (archaeology) ; Economic and Social History ; Egyptian archaeology ; lead (metal) ; Late Period ; ancient metrology ; ingots ; metal containers