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Title: "Combined-systems" analysis for the interpretation of the plant remains from Tutankhamun's tomb
Author: de Vartavan, Christian Lionel Tutundjian
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1994
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The unexpected discovery of numerous and diverse contaminant-species within the samples of plant remains from the tomb of Tutankhamun in the possession of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, permitted: a/- the application of Hillman's previously designed interpretive methodology (A to D classification; Hillman, 1984b, Plants and Ancient Man. Studies in Paleathnobotany, 127- 154, A. A. Bathema.) as concerned with the identification of ancient husbandry practices, b/- the development by the author of new analytical procedures aiming to isolate from all the vegetal remains the true components of the ancient plant diet (Level E), as well as identifying the mode of arrival (field or cross-storage contamination) of any contaminant found to infest an ancient crop (Level F to I). Principles of the new interpretive systems as well as the results of a first experiment of the now combined methodologies (Level A to I) on the Tutankhamun plant remains were subsequently published by the author (de Vartavan, 1990, Journal of Archaeological Science, 17: 473-494). Later, permission from the Organisation of Egyptian Antiquities to examine larger contaminated samples from the same tomb in their possession offered broader grounds for the testing of Hillman's and de Vartavan's combined methodologies as well as the opportunity to experiment with further interpretive systems concerned with the modelling of ancient ecologies. Thus, following a review of the environmental conditions found in Egypt and a summary of the essential aspects of the ancient Egyptian agriculture, the present thesis analyses together data obtained both from the Cairo and Kew remains within the framework of a step-by-step procedure relaying the different systems just mentioned;) ("Level A to I" and "Ecological modellings)" with the new bridge offered by a further analytical step (Level J); the study then proceeds with a critical appraisal of the present possibilities of ecological modelling of ancient Egyptian remains before presenting a small independent analysis concerned with demonstrating evidence of ancient Egyptian storage "knowhow"; it then concludes on the needs for future research and some essential requirements for it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available