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The Tell Basta Project is a joint mission of the Egypt Exploration Society, the University of Würzburg and the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities. The team is directed in the field by Dr Eva Lange. Further information: http://goo.gl/QbJdi

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Pots from around the ancient world

We are almost at the end of our study season at Tell Basta which has been more than fruitful! Our main focus has been to re-sort the stored finds and to continue our studies of the relevant material.

Daniela’s and Mandy’s work on glass and pottery takes place in our new magazine building (see earlier entries below). This has been cleaned and well prepared by one of our local workers named Gouda, an old fellah, who has helped Mandy with the pottery for many years.

Gouda cleaning the magazine

Our ongoing documentation work includes cleaning, drawing and photographing ceramics from the assemblages recently excavated in the area connecting the temple of Bastet and the settlement. The pottery corpus discovered there dates to the Late and Ptolemaic Periods.

Statistics, typology and fabric studies on Egyptian and imported wares are helping us to classify the Tell Basta pottery in more detail. While some ceramic types of the Ptolemaic Period continue pharaonic traditions, several other types of vessels are made from Egyptian fabrics but imitate Greek kitchen and table ware shapes. We also discovered black and red slipped vessels imported from Greece, mainly of Attic origin. Most of the imported amphorae found at Tell Basta originate from Greek regions as well, but some were produced in the Syro-Palestinian area. The most frequent Greek imports are Rhodian amphorae, as is proven by the discovery of stamped handles. Phoenician imports are mainly amphorae of the so-called ‘torpedo’ type. These are made from different fabrics such as a very typical dense and hard, fired beige clay deriving from Phoenicia. Greyish and greenish fired Marl fabrics are also common for the Torpedo jars, as well as white slipped versions made from Nile fabrics imitating imports and Marl variants. Further studies on fabrics are still in progress and will continue next season.

In the meantime Mandy also is also teaching our three Egyptian trainees to document ancient ceramics by sorting, measuring and drawing sherds.

Mandy teaching the Egyptian trainees

A recent visit by Pamela Rose, Manuela Lehmann and Ashraf Senussi from the Tell el-Daba team provided a very good opportunity for us to exchnage thoughts on various aspects of pottery studies.

Pamela Rose (left) and Mandy

For ongoing work at Tell Basta please keep checking this page!

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