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Title: New insights into old problems : the application of a multidisciplinary approach to the study of early Egyptian ceramic chronology, with a focus on luminescence dating
Author: Hood, Amber Giles Eve
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 4816
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis takes a multidisciplinary approach to the study of ancient Egyptian ceramics by applying scientific dating techniques alongside more traditional methods. It is the first study to apply OSL dating to an Egyptian ceramic assemblage, and it has done so by developing the minimum extraction technique (MET), which has made it possible to use OSL to sample, and thus analyse, ceramics housed in museums. The MET is at present essential to the success of OSL dating of Egyptian ceramics, as the exportation ban on antiquities has prevented OSL analysis of field material. For this thesis, using this new sampling technique, OSL has been applied to several assemblages from the Predynastic to the Early Dynastic period. Ceramics from [ADD IN REVIEW ] have been examined, with three phases being established: late Naqada III, First Intermediate Period, and the mediaeval Islamic period. Absolute dates have been determined for each phase and, where comparison is possible, have been found in good agreement with the historical chronology. A set of vessels from Naqada, Ballas, and the Tomb of Djer at Abydos have been examined using OSL in conjunction with radiocarbon dating. Again, three phases of activity were discerned: late Naqada II, early Naqada III, and the first scientifically determined dates for a burning event in the Tomb of Djer (the New Kingdom). The thesis also demonstrates how OSL can be used as a relative dating technique by analysing a collection of Wavy-Handled ceramics and wine jars from Turah, finding that the OSL results agree well with the established relative chronology. Finally, this thesis has also examined the applicability of cladistic analysis to the study of Egyptian ceramics. Cladistics is a technique borrowed from the biological sciences which offers a complimentary way to examine the evolution of ceramic types and forms, in particular the development of beer and wine jars.
Supervisor: Ramsey, Christopher Bronk ; Köhler, Christiana ; Schwenninger, Jean-Luc Sponsor: Clarendon Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archaeological Science ; Optically Stimulated Luminescence Dating ; Egyptian Archaeology ; Relative Dating ; OSL ; Chronology ; Cladistics ; Egyptian ; Ceramics ; Archaeology ; Radiocarbon ; Absolute Dating ; Naqada Period ; Early Dynastic Period