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Internationale Zeitschrift fur agyptische Archaologie und deren Nachbargebiete



International Journal for Egyptian Archaeology and Related Disciplines


Herausgeber/Editor M A Nl,RED BJE'J'AK


Rcdaktiou: ER~"ST CZlm'N




B)' frail/) WiUnlls, SI~lrt1J,il! Vt'l'eodl.lm. Lucia [; Bart llanlhuYIII'. Elena i\![{Lrillova, \t/!('rl(' Linseel«, Garl \I(>r< siraeien, ;)la7.1 l-Ientin:(hx,'" J.\1/,l7't ,Eydwnmm," A)NI I/f/,'(I, 111'/1 Breech. 1iTilm lI(m NII,,'I; jrulinr! HIIU)'I'inn,,"" PI'/(!t FU11r.h,~'" ChT'isl(}t,h Pwlm, Wn/'!1,tlj'/l(' Dr Lm!l, SalJhil? J\Il(rdi(,lt-U aml 20;; iJf


Since 2002 Leuvcu University has been conducti ng archaeological fieldwork at Day)" al-Barshn.' The princi pal re: arch aim is to understaurl r he spatial organisation of the cemeteries at the site, which date mainly to [he Old Kingdom. the first Intermediate E.eriod, and tile Mid(Ue _Kingdom. In this way we hope to gain a clearer understandLng or the social stratification or the community buried there, at least I nsofa r "IS this reflects itself in burial practices.

An im portan t segment of lh (' popular ion buried at Dayr al-Barsha originated from the nearby provincial capi tal at al-Ash mlUIa)ll1/ Herrnopolis; at least that ci ty is repeatedly referred to ill iornb inscriptions .. However, it is often assumed lint some inhabitants of this town. were buried, lint at n~lyr al-Barsha, but at al-Shaykh SaC'Tel (see Fig. 1), where a large OK elite cemetery exists, as well as a number of mh rs about wh ich hardly any published information exists. II seemed therefore that the inhabitants ofal-Ashrntlnavn had a choice between two burial sites, In order to facilitate comparison or the use life of the 'two cemeteries, a surface. survey was carried out in al-Shaykh Sa'Id during the 2007 season.

11.1e various burial g1"Olmds there are indicated in PI. L Apart from the OK rock tombs for which tile si te is renowned (A) ,u a series of small r.ernejerks at the mot 11h of the Wadi Camus (B), a small

Provinf'iili<;: t-[t,gr~cl1 001 Li ill bu rg l~\mbridge l-llivNsily

Universiteh Cent, All other authors t.t'lIVt'il l' uiversitv, This il1vestigation "r<lS fuurlcd by FWO Vlnanelereu ~ild tile Bli7.onder Onderzoeksfonds of Leuven l-nil'E'"Psily. We: also ex pres.> ou r g'l1lli tude Iur the f nancialsupport of ;Vljlrc Decrno (Cn ut PHSlltl N V), Christine Dccron, '\dl)]j' Devis. and other members of thr- .~o~it'Ly E.I~)'pl·nl(,gtr,1 Vlaandercn

I franscriptions or Arabic tnpon)'lfls follow the lnternalil'lu<l]Il'nrunl vJ Midrllt"l\c;sl Sl'llrli,,~ except whvre ',\ well c~tabli~her1 Ell g-t ish T('i1 dr' ri n g t'xisl S (I i ke Giza),

- N. 01' G. O,Wll's. Till' R/JIII TIJIilIr~ vI SII/Iiilh Sarti. ,\SE 10, I.OUdOll, [gor

Agioplcillintl L~"\lflnu"/ I!.gypl and the L",rJI.lI Itl_ :.Ioml. ,,\I~\-:i'tl J ~!If)g i.Jv Q,llt"l'l'f';r:lt"n;,('he Ak'Llh'lui" del' Wi~",,"~rI':o,f"O:II, Wit'n

one behind the rock knoll separating A from the Wadi Zabayda (C). and the large, bui thoroughly rifled cemetery inside this wadi itself (D), was visited, as wei I as the area or the wall (E) at [he tOOL of the hills where cCll1c!cry A is located.'

During a walk from the latter area to c("meter) D, we crossed a low hill at the northern edge of tile mouth of [he Wadi Zabayda, where a peculiar object of red gn1nil.e caught our attention .. It was rOLlndr;:d on bn(h sides, and showed horizontal striati ons around its ci rcumfererrce (Fig. 2) . A cursory inspection soon revealed Ih;ll the eruirrhill was littered with these stone artefacts, which are certainly drills I for 11 ullowit 19 om stone vesS('!S. Also. numerous pOI1.CI')' shards were found. as well as a finely carved limestone relief fragment in Amarna style. showing the upper legs and hips of <1 woman weari llg a long, transparen I dress (P1. TVE). Although we did 110t realize this at Iirsr, similar observat ions had al ready been made before. In his account or the al-Shaykh Sa'1c1 tombs. N. rle C. Davies remarks:

"On the last slopes of the hi 11s towards the 1i10LlI'h Dr th e wady, <l pi le or ~I'OIIC /l1'Vl'i.l, drill cores and grinders, marks the sir« (If;( small setrlernen t of workers in stone and alabaster, As the wady leads to the alabaster quarries or HCHHlb, 1Tle presence of these relrrs is not surprisi Ilg. '";;

Al though il had appal'en tly escaped Davies' notice rhat the Harnub quarries had been discov-

" For t h t' wall, $l:t" already BJ KL~II'. i n: J. F\IIUIS, f.(ll~ &/110/1. Pourr» I" A ma r/7 u rnu! RnI"lI'd .\'111.11;1',\. EES Memoir 7'l, LIll)<iuJl. 2!i()5. :17-38. Our Sllrvt") de-u-nnirn-d Ihallh~' rrl'l~rUlr)' ron[,lins LIllI:' Roman ('1"1<a11 irs,

I Th e d i Ife re nee between ,I bore r <lll d ,L d rill is thaL;! hurl" r is pn 'I ielle-cl LI' hand alIt 1 a drill mer l I'll ! ically .. \1- IhDlIg-ll ,I;; ;'("[ WI" hay,!' lB' clear id/;':l nl' how rhe .qrrn!? obJect~ wen' used, II w('m~ likclv 111:11 I ht' more 01' less parnllelstrhuiorrs tin: rhe n>~'111t 1][.1 ll1l'thllJl,ic;dly rlrivtIl instrument. We therefore ! Ipl lor 111('I('rnl 'drill'. P,\lIES, Slwiidr Sui'd. 5: rf. II1E.\OI. T"~ clomi! orIMdl-mi-frjj- nl T/,l!iIl'1 J, New York. l!:l 1,:1. 1~1" Stone vasf' d ri lis from r he' silt' em: also referred HI 01' V'i.e. H lSI, .... 7'111' Sf/ill/'" II/ IWJ'fi' It. New York. H)fiH. :21!'i.

294 Harco \l\litlems et alii



, I :!oh ~It su t!·"" ~..t' i~' ;i<

~_-::_:2tiCI 5OQ.~~~'-

Kilometers '\


o Cultivated land

o Lowdesert

o Hig.h desert (over 1 DDm)

• Modern build up areas

• Modern Cemeteries o RiverNile


Mallawi •

5 km

Fig. 1 Plan of the region of al-Ashmunayn, Dayr al-Barsbs, arid al-Shaykh SaGd (plan ChI'. 1'("'ll'l The area covered by the frame near al-Shaykh Sa'1d is rendered at a larger scale in PI 1

a 5


- --

Fig. 2. Pin I; gr<1 11 i Ie vase 'd rill ·\vi 1 h rrares ! Jr Il~t' \ JIl two ;i((cs (2 IiI (I). Drawlllg ,'\1111 "an den III perk

ered hy I ewberry at an entirely different location some 15 km SE of al-Amarna," the rest of his account is basically correct, as ~\~II he seen below.

As stated before, the site is situated at the north slope or the month of ihe Wfidl Zabayda, rt 11"5 about ~~OO metres N 01' the ruined shrine of Shaykha Zabayda, which is itself located on the oppesire, southern Han k of the wadi. The area in between is a flat desert surface, ol' which the western end disappears under the cultivation at the

" See El.r., CIHFFl'J'll. P:E. N lo W13J:J{]f:(, ITI nl'/Slldl ll, Lunden.

It)~J4. ~; 47-~>4. The quarries I·el'errt·d to br L).~I,'II'.S had <1.1 rr-ad r 111"('11 men rir 11l ed bdu re hy \II'. ~vl. F. I' I'~TII.II' (~li~lll" 'i/!!n:l'rlrl,. Loudon, 189'1, 1, quarrv .).

The Inpullj'm <l1-Slwykh Sa'td is ~III "'i0'pl<Jlogical i rivenu on. as n () settle rncnt uf the name [~xi sis. t:gl1;llOI()gisls 110('. il 10 dc.,ign::ll\' th~' late OJ{ c-li,l' Ii lin I) gn'Llp A. which is. however. InC:'I.lIy known ;15 the' tombs or ::11- P,<II".h~. after I he \ iUage locuu-d some 2. km Iurthe, north. To urld 1(> rhr- (on Iusio Il , most Eg)'pU)l!)gi.'a~ incorrecnv 1.1,';1.> the latter name lor D;Wf al-Barshn. The name al-Shaykh Sa'Tti \\<I~ chosen hy Davies because ol rile presence 01." ~ (nIH''' ruiucrl ) .5h<tykh'ti 1()lTI!) orillal name mort' than ,I kitorneire south or rumh gr{Jllp ,I).,. O. KfS~I.F,R. lJivmhr.!w to/Np;mphil' ill''' l?~gitlll ~l!Iildll'lI Mallll,wi amI Stuunhu, W.ieslmdell, 191:H, 104-](1(')·.

" Some schulars prerer l he ten II "l!1IveTI ine' i 11.>1 end ol 'alflbll~l(' r' U .A, I l<\RRF,lL M iM1St: 'J!' the Term" Alabaster"

.'\11 I udusuial Site at al-Shaykh Sfi'ldlWadi Z'lb(lyd~! 295

e;:dge of the floodplain. Irnmediately to the west the site is bounded by an irrigation canal running south-north. To the north there is another, rather small wadi, which funs east (see PI. ll-IllA). In this article the site will be xlesignated as al-Shaykh SaLld/Wlirll Zabayda (or SS/WZ), as it is located at the point v vhere the wadi reaches the ilc Valley in tbe archaeological region of al-Shaykh SaCJcl.7

The site has hardly ever been mentioned in the literature. but D. Kessler did discuss a number of archaeological Features in the region." Like Davies .. he refers to a qu<trry (the Magnara Abu rA.z.iz) at the eastern end of' the Wadi Zabayda, adding [Q this a few remains S of the wadi mouth alld imide it. Fie mentions:

1. <! (probabl)· xvruv dynasty) cemetery ()l uncertain location mentioned by A. Kamal;

2. a NK cemetery S of the wadi mouth. which is perhaps iden tical wi til I,

3. a large cemetery about 1 km into the wadi, located on its SO\.Llhtl"1l side (this is cemetery 0 referred to above [see PI. Ill;

4. a posL~NK cemetery in the hills Sf: of the OK elite tombs published by Davies (our cemetery C [see PI. 1]).

These loci have produced H number or finds, alrhough il is in most cases unclear rl"OI11 where they derive exactly, Kessler mainly d iscusses items erxvm« and XIX,h dynasty date, which, perhaps 11 01 i nsi gIl iricantly, i nclude 'alahaster'" shabtis. The nan es on some published stelae sIlgges1 their owners were foreigners, according to Kessler "nach Miuelagypten abkornmandiertc Soldaten",

in E~1ItnJI)ID', (;/v/ ItO (I 991J1. 37-1.2; H. f\srnl':.j. H \Ruu.i, l. SH,m', SLOne, ill: PT. NILIlUiS();,,<. I. SI1<\\\ (ed.). Ilnl'i~I!.1 j';{!JiJlirl1'l l\IIn/Ntifl/s tnul 'lI'rlbw/IIIJ)', Camhridge: :WOU, 21-22 (in the rollwing ,V:j\l17), ,IJ"glling that ihe term tcalcite ' is a rnineralngical. not d petrological terrn. This has been criticised by R. lZUcMM, D. Kl£M,~J (CaJcit· Alabaster urlr-r lhiv('nil1( Bemerkungen :t\1 Sinn und Unsinu petrographische: Bezelchnungcn in der Agyp[ulngie. GA I 12.2 (l9~!l), 6 H39), who propose the term 'ralcite alabaste-r'. Tilt' term 'ala\):~~ler' is HI Hill' rate .seienuflcnllyconfusingas if can refer both 10 gYPSlllll CIT Ci1!cite. Our saiuples could nor be scratched with it finger. nail (hardness ~.2 OJI Nlolls· scale). nlling UUL that the mal erial is gypSI! In (hardness 2). TIl!' hard ness of the stone in. <r1-5haykh S<lFi(! corresponds with that or calcite (Mohs 3). P Degryse determined that the quarries in ihc Wadi ZlIhdydlt only pnJduced limestone ~U1Jl calcite •. nu gypsum, WI: will rherclore speak 0(' 'ealrite alabaster'.

A royal stela found ill the same region designates Ramses II as an "opener of stone quarries". Kessler associates this information with a men lion in the Onornasricon of Amenernope 376 or the settlement Pr-ss, 'the House of Alaba ster", which should lit: south of al-Ashmnnayn. Th.iS he relates to information based on earlier publications and personal observation that a seulemen t migh j have existed S of i.hc wadi mouth.

He further speculates on the analogy of other sires in Middle li.gypf thai a pharaonic settlement may have existed on the fan of wadi deposit W of \iV-adT Zabayda.!" This point is not unproblematic. for no such (an nowexists. Rather, there is a depression here: the cultivated area already discussed (see PI. II-LIlA). Th e field owners, who work land that has been held by their family for rnanv gellcraLions, (Old that the agricul rural field is (JIc1, and def n i lEI)' 11(11 ~h~' reslIll or reccn l irrigation projects. According to them their ancestors buill a dam to prevent ile floods from reaching the area, a measure [hat only mnkes sense if this occasionally happened. The depression is rh us unlikely to be the resul ( of recent agricultural in ierveurions. \JVe will see below that the absence or {he - indeed expected - wadi Ian may be Ilighly Significant for understanding t.he archa 'otoRical con text,

It should be added that a field walk undertaken in March 2008 produced no trace or the second of the four cemeteries referred to by Kessler, nor of the setueuieut S of I he wadi. lmmedia: ely S or the cultivatecl area, there is sU11 evidence or stone working, bill further S archaeological surrace remains cease almost, cxcepl near the shrine or Shaykha Zabayda. where some Lambs (with Coptic gmfftti) and quarries e-xist. The- upshot of all this is that archaeological evidence for 11 LIIJ1\-Ul activity in the region concentrates around the axis linking the Magh1l.n'l Ahil rA:ilz. \0 the wadi mouth , and partrcularlv N of this axis, near site SS/WZ.

This ankle will discuss Lh.C' main realutcS or the sire. First the results ora survey carried out in 2007 will be presented. giving an overview of (he variety of the nU1 te rial culture encountered. The 1001 :-IS ernblage for stone vase production will be our lined, an rl the chro nological distribution detr-rmincrl on the basis of UH! ceramic assern-

III a/I dr .. lOf_JI)7,

II See H. \iVa.LI:.MS, M. DF. M l!W.R. D. DI,1 ']{.,IH uu; Ci r. l'l(llJ I·:RS. S. I h:.Nill(lCKX. T. 1-1 !:llHle11, n. 1I:I.I-.MM, R. I(U:MM,

blage. Next, rhe results of duo 200H-2009 excavations wi ll be outlined. After this, the site will h~ placed in context, relating it to the quarries that must have suppl jed j t Wil11 raw material and to the ancient landscape of the wadi mouth area. Thill will lead 10 a synthesis of how usc of the site evolved over time.

2. THE 2007 SURVEY

2.1 Strategy

The extent of the site is relatively well defined. Hardly any drills and associated rnaterial rare found on the floor and on the southern Ilank.of the Wadi Zabaycla, and hardly UI1)' appear beyond rhe northern glilly (PI. J.[, SI-RJ5"), aJthITllgh occasional finds of drills were made as far north as the Coptic wall (E in PI. I). The find scaueralso hal) .1 clear .asrern dC-I uarca tion, al though this jg nul marked by any natura 1 barriers. Only few loolR and potsherds were round east of the line t)f measuring points with the digit 13 (sec PI. It).

Despite signs of intensive and prolonged use, 110 clear sur race traces of l,\ rrh i lecture wert' observer!. In most places only a thin laver of stone chips and artefacts covers the bedrock. Only the far thicker deposirions in the S, l'tlUglily S of the .I\.1-line in Pi. II, may conceal in 5il·u remains, E,~, dence Ior th is was obse rver! on I)' on the southern fringe or the hill. where Lise or [he track into the Wadi Zabayda has carved OUl a roughly vertica] edge displaying ,I clear S{L'<lligraphic sequence (PI.. II. between grid poirusjfi-"). Further E along the ]-line, some mud bricks were observed, suggestiug the presence of buildings in this area.' 0 other ;,,1

situ anthropogenic remains were noted, excl'"pt on a rock spur near grid point N7. Oil this spot which provides a comfortable sear, some shallow depressions had been hollowed out, which l1lay have served a') zir emplacements, 01" have been used during the production of the vases,

FOI' the survey the site was subdivided in 10 x I () HI sq uares (PI. I I). Th e gl'i d fi ts in [0 th e general !,)'s. tern used in the Day. al-Barshd project," within which it. occupies the area between 4,75Q--4',H4fi HI on the N---S axis. and between 7,610-7,'740 m 11m the E-W axis, thus a rectangular stretch ef land rough ly coven ng 9§- x 130 In (12,.350 m2). The .grid

L. 01' OF BEI!,CK. M. Dhl' \ l rw, Pre 1 i III i nary Repvn of lhe 2002 Cdlllpaigil (If the Belgiall rVlission 10 Deir al-B;'\'rslra, MlJ!lfK flO (20{)4). 2'18-250.

points of the survey are designated by a cornbinaLion of capiial leuers (used to indica te positions on the N-,.') axis) and numbers (used to indicate the E-vV position). In PI. II the grid points have been ploued em the:" topographic plan of the l)iLe.

On J 3~15 March 2007 .. sur' race mel terial was collected. The sampling strategy aimed at collecting material in a way thai would permit a siaustical analysis or possi bl e distribu tion patterns of the various kinds or objects across rhc site. To this end, all surface material was collected that occurred within a circle with a 1 III radius centred ell pins placed 011 the grid points (doglc<\'~h method). The material was collected in bags marked with the code of the pertinent grid point (e.g. M8). All S\I rface rna teria I on tI tQL<l1 surface elf 390 m2 (or S.ll~ %) was gathered. 1\11 cresting material was OI.lSO picked up between the grid points (e.g. tool types 110l sampled by means of the dogleash method). ince only selected objects were picked u[> here, 110 statistical relevance Can be attributed to the latter find collection. These finds were' collected in bags that received it difY{'rern code: the designation of the SW grid pain! ti)llowed by the word 'sq (uare)" (e.g. ·M8Sq').


2.2 Tbe Ceramic Assemblage I~

237G potsherds were collected around the 124 measuring points. but or these. only I J() were diagnostic. i.e. on average less than one diagnoslie sherd was collected per grid point. A statisrically more relevant result could have been attained if potsherds would have been g.-.uwred over larger surfaces around the g-rid points, bUL when till:' survey was tarried out it was expected that the amount or shercls W,,1I-; so large that 1'1111> would be unnecessary. At:5n Ihis would h~l\le put the capaci ties of the pottery team tinder strain. T1w si Illation bei ng as ill , the statistics are based on lar fewer sherds than anticipated. and the res u lLS s h 0 ul d be i 11 terprc ted \~Ii I h caution. N everthetess, 5011\(" conclusions are dear.

Visual inspection 011 the spot confirms at a glance that sherd density i ncreascs sharply <10$ one descends the slope. The density is greatest in the wadis north and south of the hill. and particular ...

'2 TIl(' ce-ramics culler-reel rllldng: die survey W.IS ;'II))i1yz<,{1 in 2(j1l7 by S. Vereecken: in 2D08 all IIH' materiul was studied byJ Bomriml. P. French, S. Heudrirkx. ;uld 1'.. Of' KUOITi nil' (Z. lh ROON I Nt" 71U' Cl'I'ml.'f)/fl,r;;imi (,'0I1m.\· 0/

Jy on the S slope. This must be due mainlv 10 material being washed down.

The oldest ceramic material dates 1'0 the OK. II is hardly encountered across most: of the site. but some sherds of this dare were picked lip in the northwestern area. in squares P3. R::!, R3. 53. and Q5, and at other isolaled~pols. The southern concernraiion ,\1 grid point."; L5 aud]?. and within sg nares J5~(j . .IS. 1<:5-6, and L5 is more irn purtant, The herds here were conspicuous by their size and good preservation. They include Iragments of bread moulds and Maidnrn bowls. The 20()8-2009 excavations allow a better insight in the material (see ~.2).

Some of the potler)' dales to the XVII III I dynasty, A lew blue-painted ceramic sherds can be attributed La the Amarna period. Considering thai the northernmost hahiiations of Amarna (inc] udi Ill{ th e North Riverside Palace) are on Iy 2 km mvay, it would in lact be astonishing if no ceramics of th:ur:ra would OCcur h re at all. The relief fragrrien t in Arnarna style (Pl. rYE) pain LS in the same direcrinn. The amount of pottery from .this period is however limited.

The diagnostic surface material is overwhelmi ngly (R() %) or lai e NK and Iil [I'd III rerrnediate ferind dare. Snell sherds arc spread all over the sire, Moreover, non-diagnostics I nade of fabrics ill Current use in the late NK and TIP dominate the picu lie in 1 he llig-ht"f ranges of IJ I ell ill. suggestl IIg that [he entire site was occupied then. The potrei)! assern blage consists fOI'" the m oxt parr of large storage j<t rs. IVI OSI of the vessels are cove led wi 1:1] a thick cream slip which has been burnished to make- I he \' ·sscl~;· POfOllS, allowi 11 g th l?1l1 10 store liquids,

X),.'V1h dynasty sherds are spouse I , arrested. 1 merest i ngly [hey i I lcIvde a few .';herds of kegs made in all oasis fabric. I!'! Finally [here is Ptolernaic, Roman anrl SF,an tine pottery, hilt this is fairly exceptional. FIP and MK ceramics arc con, picuous by their complete absence.

S.\I., .H .. .J.B ... P.F., Z.K.

2.3 The Tool Assemblage for' Vase Production

Til e sto l'l e III a teri a I co 11 ected at the s u rver co nsis L~ of more than rO(J() art. facts. Many (ahoul4(J% of

till' Sln-jl!.ffI'SIlI·IWJ' (;rmilld ou! ill 1J,{·ShrfJ,M -Sa'ili SI/u/II j'lI J,Of/7ilvIA Ih('~L~ Leuven IWOH I).

I" C. 1-1111'1'., Kegs _H 11 cI Fla.'l.ks ['I'OIf) th e Dakh I ell Oasis ..

IX.·I·~ l' (2(10 I). I ,"lY.

298 Harco \llfiJlems et aJii













10cm ... .c=-' .. .c=- .. ~.========~



Fig. 3 Drill types collected eluting the survey. Drawings by A Van den Broeck

the total amount) show striations clue to wear. These tools were most likely used as drills to hollow out calcite alabaster vessels. Fragments of such vessels in all forms and stages ofmanufacture were in fact scattered about i.n the same area. Based on

the amount of material a workshop for alabastei vases must have been established here, Vase pI'<r duction clearly took place all over the hill.

The material is still under analysis, but we are already able to provide a preliminary overview 111

i~$ variety, The vast lll'l1ority of the stone drills are made of (probably locally g<Hhered) silicified limestone. Dilfereru forms of drills ran be recngn ized (Fig. 3).

1. One form resembles what Pe-trie designated as IJ1C 'honr-glalis borer and what Davies compared to a 'figure-of-eight slrield" (Fig, 3A). These drills are horizontally oblong wi lit an a I most flat underside and a more or less flat top side. All other sides have been knapped like flint, Both [be long sides show ,,1 slight eonc<1II11:)'. The su-iati ons are mainly at LIl e underside. where they show a concentric pattern. Occasional striations at the ·short sides arc horizontal. The length of ihe about 20 drills of til is variety varies between 5.2 and 11.6 em.

These drill heads were placed in a forked wooden steel (see signs,: [o.Kl and 1 r NK 1 For 'craft, an') .1[, They have been round at several places in Egypt, for instance the predynastir and eaL'l)' dynastic vase production sites at Hierakonpolis and Abydos, the workmen's settlement at Giza, or in the VI'I1 and Vp·h dynasty levels in [he Sater temple ~l EI.cphanlinc. 11\

2. Drills which are horizontally oblong lrke type I, hut with a concave upper side. No term seems yet to howe be(;n ((Ji ned for tJl is type. We will designate it as the 'boat-shaped drill' (Fig. 3B). The long skIes have been knapped. The underside can be round as 'Nt'I1 as nat .. The striations are located on the short sides and sometime'S at the underside. On th e shari sides I he striarions are horizontal: when seen from below they are concenuic. The lenglh of this type of tldll varies from 4.2 to 14.7 em. Sixty-five complete boat-shaped drills were found.

3. Vertically oblong drills. These (1I1IIs, heing· longer zhan wide. were knapped like flint LO an axial shape. Lateral striations due to use exist at the proximal pari." One side is partly 01- cornpletely nat This side 11::IS a slanting angle relative tu [he striations. The drill head can be rtu mrl as

'" W.M.F. P\\TlllF., TfJl!/:; atu! Wr.rJ.jJl)w·, ERA 22. London, 1917, 45, pl. LlJ (73); DAVIES, 1I1'/dl"m/'/l' l, i\:l; DA ST(l(:I>lS, Experi 111 e n ts in Egypti;;'11 Arc II <leo In~y. Stonework i 1Ig: l.echllfJlllgy in Am.:it"J II E,Il;)Vl. Loudon. \100.\ 142.

Ii' A.II. CMWI\LR, i'#;:.'jliifl.n GWWP/I.(tj·, OxJ'nrd'\ HIS7, 518-5~ 9 (U2'l-25).

Ii' J.E. QL·llmLl., F W. GIU],.I', Nilrmk(mtmb~d t, ERA ~\ L()11- rlnn, IJIO~, -HI; pl. WUI; W.M.P. l'nRIF. AI))'rios I, L~EF

well as. flat in section. This proximal part either has a completely circular profile with continuous striations or 011 ly a more or less eblong (en tral part (Fig. 3C) with the striations only occurring at the ends. The Ilar underside of a drill can have striations, but this is nor always the case. If the drill head is round in section it usually also is round in pt01l1e. The COt;,) I amount of complete drills found is about 170, most being made of silicified limestone. \",,'ithin this category great variety exists, The variability ranges between two extremes:

(I." I01tg and l/ (Fig. ?OC)

The length of the drill is lit least twice irs width, The length of the pa rt with SI nations vacillatesi n this grOllp between 1.9 and 8.3 em, the total length of the drills varyi ng from 7.4 1.0 12.7 ern. Of the abou t 60 drills th ree consist of calcite alabaster instead of silicified limestone.

h: .lof!.g alld lnvoll

The proximal part of [his drill is broader [ban its distal part. The drill head can be so broad that Ole (00] assumes an 'anchor-shape' (30 or [he ltO artefacts of 111 is group) (Fig-. 3D). The width varies between 3.4 em (with a total length of the drill of 6.8 fin) and 11 ern (wrth a total length (OJ[ I he dri U of 11.3 em). In general the wi ell h (diarneter) does not exceed 8 ern. Only 6 OUl of 110 are broader; OlW of these bclolig~ to tbt.: . <1.11 ch orshaped' variety, Eigh.t drills of the total amount are made of a type 01 rock different [rom the local silicifi.ed liliiestolw.

4. Mort" 01" less discoid stones with a flat underside (Fig. .~E). The upper pan all d the sides of' these artefacts (of which about 10 were picked up) have been knapped. Concentric striaLions are Duly Iocal eel on the flat underside. Some 1)[ these objects show traces of earlier use 111 stone vase production, demonstrating that at least this class tit" objects could be produced by

memoi I· 22, London, .1 902, ~5~26. pI. LIII; A. T'W.II~l'S, Small. Fi11ds, Big Resu lIS. I nconspicuous 51 ones a K.ey io an Arrcieru Industry, t\fmg"fml!~.2 (2008), 4--!'i; G. DRI:~'I~R, 1':It!.firnllnl' VI I J. D/~r "/"rmj)lL/ riel" Snit!!, AVDAIK 39, M;linz am Rhein, [91;!(j, .'16...:87; pl.l,q (3501.

11 The proximal P,Ul is the p<lr~ closest to the drill head: the part farthest from the dr!)l head IS the dis];JI part.





o -


5 -



["ig. il Examples 01' unfinished calcite alabaster vessels. Drawings A.. Van den Brceck

remodelli ng uld tools. he eadier trac '.' point In a f1 rst use as stone drills or as the ki nd or obj ClS to be discu sed next (5). The diamet er of th instance' found vacillar 5 between 2.6/2.) III and 7.3/7.7 e111. Their heiglu varie as well, and does a indepe-ndcn fly of (he diameter. Thus Oil€' artefact wi [It a diam LeI' of 4.4 ern has a heiah L of' l.7 em, wh ile the heigh l of <1110Iher. wi th a diameter of:- .5/!J.6 ern, i· 4.1 em. Hitherto IW parallels for rhi type of [Q I seem to be known. The

losest analogy we hav come across was found at Tall al-Farvtn (BULO). but hen' the striations continue on the 'ide •. This male rial dare the Ifo,LIIprl d nasties.'

5. Stem S with shallow hollows (Fig. SF). II.! general th esc tools are more or less nat. The shall w hollows, which are only SOllie millimeucs deep, are mo tly elliptical, how _ lriation., and val')' in size between 2.1 x 1.5 em and 5.9 x 5.-1 em. metirn s several overlapping holloware present on on and the 'lame stone. 011ly one of the about 4:- )l~iects of this tIe found b I us is not made of silicified limeston , but of gralli! . Stones Ii ke th se have been found in Tal I <!IFar-In (BLllr»1U (Iloti-Ilird d uasties) and in ihe Step P -ramid."

The abovelisung ,gives an overview of the main formal categories recognized in ihe marc-rial. However, then: are also drills r other forms. An instance is the one rendered in Fig. 2, which was (irst us don one side and then 011 the ther, It is not yet dear whether or not. the e objects constiLitle a separate category.

Mosl uf the recorded drills hithertu known lrorn the literature are the hourglass drills and the crescent-shaped drills. The other drill forms found:at ire S/\~ Z are (almost) rornplet Iy absent. Urui' now 110 site wilh so many different l:yr S If stone drills, i n su h quan tities, was known. In terms of variety, the most closely tOIl1-

I~ K Sn 1M IDT, ill: T. WIN IlLI( 'ill/A\', Tell t·]-F'lraCin - 13uln: :'1. Bericht, MVA t« 4<1 (J 9i'\8) , 302; 3114.

I!' K '{.IIMlttJ. ,I fJ)AlK11 (19HH). 3()1)~ 303.

~t :. FIIUI-I.JE, Ol'l1l!'.lI., Tlw5Ip/, I'p-rtlill'/. (ERA, +-ii, Le ;.lire, IY3f!. 1. pl. 2ti; Il, pl. Y:; ((i.

• , 'j-. D. AI OW. IJI/.ilttil/~ in T!::I{_"IJl; Phm.'(lf/UII SU!/1'! Mrl.\(l/lI).. ell" YClI'k, Oxford. 1m)L 2.1'i:..,

.2 G. C.IT i"':- 1'1 10M I');ql'; , I:':,W. GARI)Nl·:H. Th» 1)1'11'11 I'fI_~lIl/1.

Loudon, 19~ r. JOEi.

~~ Film-I, Qll 1,1,11" Thr 811jl fI>)'rmiliti 1, j!1fi f G~ 1 l, pl. \-):i ( II.

They I h,mglll 111(' crescent c\ri lis were used ttl (11'"1"_ s wall

All lndustrial Site al al-Shaykl: Sa'lri/Wadl Zabavrla 301

parable ite is Tall al-Farrin (Buto). wher _, 011 a tote I of Oil I twen ty hi lis, 11 0 less than four of tb "/WZ dril! categories are atte ted (an 'hourglas· drill'. a vari ety of IJH~ dis OJ 1 dr: I1s; OJ strmrwith shallow hollows; crescent drills}.

"i'oo/.\' IIU!rl!' o{ n tiler kinds of rodl

More than 30 rounded black granite artefac may hav been 11 eel as hammers." Also !1 modest IIUIllher of siie to ils we're fc undo The 'crescent-shaped

lrills', ol'which more than 200wer> pi 'ked up during the. urve , constitute the largest group.

Th front- and the ba ksides of th se drills h.ave been knapped, pan of the cortex occasionally till remaining tJl1 one of the sides. Between lh1" two extremities, the top is mostly con a,I(". To )1' like these have been found in large quantitic' for instance in a gypsum vase-maker's worksl101 in mm al awwan," and at th Step Pyramld." 011 th basis or. bout 20()() piece. CatonThompson and Gardner subdivided th resc nlshap d drill ill th following shape categories:" a) shield-shape, b) ere en t ,c) rods and d) dwarf drills." These crescent-shaped dri lis elate to the OJ ,~Ii Most of the tools of this type Found in alShavkh Sa'id belong to [he' crescents (category b). The si:!_!? or crcsceru-shaped drills in al- 'haykh Sa'Td varies h .rwe n 2 x 2 x 0.9 em and 7.8 x 4.1 x 2 ern, which implies that some are dwarf drill '.~~

(.'al(ilr a/alJ(l.slu

The C. 2)0 pieces consist or both recognil.ahl parts of vessels and waste. The former group enables one [0 discern differ n t.stages of the productio 11 process: from iota I rough lings to rrag- 1l1e'11 s with polished surfaces, Rec )gnizable lorms belong' tc Ln. . sel and beaker -; mall round pOLS with three rib ~~ (Fig. -loA); 'spoon f rmerl', round bottomed objects," b til as roughlings and in more a lvanc d stage. of manula ture (Fig. 4B;

blocks down: l![~ IT(.'St{'j][ drills of this gTOLI p seem ro he somewhat 1:lrger than the lJllllll al- awan ones.

~\ (.AT! I~-TIH)MI'''():-', C,11{11Nl· k, ]1H' Dt'.lnrl FrI)'WIl. 124.

~~ Also called 'pygmies' and 'pygmy drills' (CATUNTI-IOMI'S()N, G\RIl\il·:K. Up. cit., 115; pl. LXLX 1:31-'I1J). "to C.\I'ON:nJOMP')U" C;AllUNI'Jt, Th» /)e.w'rl Prl)ltUU, ·1\!9 .

~ C.ITON-TIIC )~·lI'~Cl'" puts uie limit for a dwarf crescent (\1 about un inch in widrh (00 2.54· em) (0/), ril .. 131),

~ I~.C .• \s rtl,,-, A nriunl. E.~'J!linll SlOW! \il'5$d.h M(lI~,.iflt.\ aru! /i1l1'm.l. SAG." 5, Heidelberg, HI94.87: l!JO.

'" AS"!'()N, .1/11 itn111~i!:Yj!liml Slow' V".~sn~f, I f,~I.

~02 rI;1{CO Willems ct alit

C); a ueck wi th two han dies belonging to a pi 1- grim's flask" (Fig, 4D): and an a rtcfact wi til rwo hollows, The-se items can be dated to the NK and Ttl'. In view of : he diameter of the rlri lls, rnai f1ly small vessels and pOI.:S must have been produced.

How stone vases were made is not eruirely clear. Stocks" nA-cp; <t n:'tolls[rL.1Cl'iOJ:J of the pr(lducncu technology based on scenes in tombs and mostly of his own experiments, He argues that, from c. 3600 B.C 011, when the Egyptians bad masrererl the process of mel ting and o.'~Li llg' copper, [he Ii!;<;l hole in Oil lump of hard stone was drilled out wi I h the help or a copper tubular drill. This drill W,15 <tllachcd to a suck wei~hled with stones. In case of a bulbous vase, further hollowing out was achieved by using increasingly large hourglass stone drills. Evidence f(lr the usc of copper tubular drills are inner cores 0'[ hard SLOne. It is highly rernarkahle that such cores were not found in the survey material. During lhe200H excavations IWO small broken calcite alabaster cvlinder cures were found. but considering the E'110nnOUS amount or drills and (Iragmen t s of) stone vases, drilling au t inner cores with copper tubular drills was dearly exceedingly rare at the site,

L.IZ., A.v.cLE.

2.4 Conclusions and Research Questions

The chronological interpretation of the survey results mainly r '·IS on the pottery material. This sllggests all OK occupation mostly ill the southern pans Dr the si te (area A) and more sparingly ill. the northwestern part, an abandonment between the late OK and the tate MK or even the SfP, and a phase of reuse spanning the NK and particularly the T1P. In this period, evidence for use is found all over the site, It is likely that cemetery D in the \illadi Zabavda reflects this period of use.

Formally, the discarded fr<lglllem5 of unfinished stone vessels seem to date predominantly to the 1. and \ he TIP. The g 'llt'raliSl'd spatial distribution or vase production tools and stone vast' fragments parallels the equally wide distribution of late Nt\. and TIP ccrarnic». Argu@bly, ll\crrfore.

tone vessels were only, or predourinaruly, prod 11(' rl h. re in III is period. This would be highy significant, as stone drills ot' such a late period were hitherto un known, Another i 11:1 plication is that I'll e 0 K .~il C 1U1iSl have had anotl ier purpose than stone vase production.

Although the OK evidence retrieved dUling' th<;! sllrvey was 1)01 rich, il derived from an area with 111 situ strata, and its spatial distribution was-much les~ g:eneralisc-d than that of the NK and TIP evidence . \n important I eature or the OK cerarn ic material is, however, that one olthe fabrics (see P: XXA'l Is tem pered wi th crushed ca lei te al a bas Lt.; r, <\ strOJlg i ndication that. the pottery was made locally and al a period when stone objects were being prcdured here. The abundance of ashes in the OK .~tr:'\lil, coupled with the presence of bread moulds, sug-gests 1.!l:J I the bread Ctlt isruued by the wOrklTlt'11 engaged herewas produced nearby.

Til e su rvey th us sugges ts, tha t cal c1 te alabaste« was worked at I he site both ill 1 he ca 1"1)' OK and 111 (he K and TIP. However, since it did not produrr- evidence for early vas . produttion, the possi bili ty is that the vase prod uction 10011.:.i I dares mostly or entirely to the later periods of eccupatiun. This 11m;. important consequences .. tr would for the fi rSL lime provide lIS wi til a vase production site or such alai e dat e; anrl the fa t dLat several of the' tools encountered here differ from those already known may reflect this chronological development. More sigllificanlly, however. some tools (like the hour-glass drills and the cresceu r-sh aped drills) are no l () eli fferent at all fr011\ the early OK instances that were already known. Th is ra ises the possibil i t)' thai SC)(1W elements or the vase production technology were remarkably resisian 1 1.0 change (()r, of course, that vases-were produced here in the OK after 'all), Finally, the fact that evidence Jar tubular drills is almost.compleiely absent suggests 1 ha r l,11 b lech l10lngy was less widespread than is commonly believed.

S.H., L.R., C.P:. B.V.. s.v. H.\(

3. TJ·rE 2008-2009 EXCAVA1'IONS

3.1 Description of the Field Work

During [be 2008 campaign, fonr trenches wen' opened j\' of the \II/adi Zabaydu track to ebtaiu clarification on (he issuesjust raised (PI. IT). The location of, ector I W<1$ determined by the facl [11 al an OK ash layer wi 111 bread moulds WilS observed here in 2007. SeC10l" 2 was opened orne 50 n I fu rt h er east, because the p rcsen ce Of III ud bricks suggested there mig·hl be preserved architecture here. v\Tll'en (he excavations in sector 1 produced in rlir ntio ns that relll.ains related LO

food production increased towards the east. sectors 3 and 'J were opened in this area, Work in these sectorscontinued in 2009.

In senor 2. only mixed surface depositions (')CCIi rred, wi LIt pm I cry IlIOS1J), of 1I1 id-N K (Am arn a Period) through the TIP date. This material will not be discussed here. Sectors L, 3 and -4 offer more information Oil the evolving lise of the site. These sectors are located on the E flank of the Wadl Zabayd<t {r';lck and are orientated roughly perpen d icu lariy to i L For refe ren ce, the road side of the rrenrhe will here he designated as the 'south', the baulk farthest Irorr; lilt" rourl as the . north' baulk, and those on the left <Inc! i'igh t as the 'western' and 'eastern' baulks, Wherever correct astronomical orientations are vi. tal this will be mark 'xplicil.

AJI sectors have a length of S !II. as measured from the edge of the track (i,c. trorn 'south' LO 'north). Scctor l isa 5 x Ii In ~qLlare. It is separ:ned from sector 3. LQ its E. by a U.110 m, baulk. Setlor.3 had a wirhh Qr2.~l) Ill, hu; il was later expanded eastwards by a 3 O,FiO Ill. strip because the roOl end of a burial extended below the eastern bau Ik. Further E is secrorL with an init ial width or 2 .. '1 m £"'-1/\1. To this, a N-S strip (~,(-) ;< (Ul() Ill) was Ia tcr added, also to raci!i tHtE' the eXGlv<'llion of a but-tal.

The archaeological features recognised during exravaclon received a feature number composed of the letter S (for al-Shaykh St{id) followed by a serial number. Occasionally feature numbers 'were split up in units distinguished hy letters. For instance, 854 was initially used as a designaLion for a deposit cuvering the whole surface of sector 4, later to he subdivided 'in a southeru pan S54A. a northern part S54B, and a southeastern pan S54C, Dt11ing I H te r ana lysi s i l appeared til at some of lh esc distinctions have real stratigraphic .~jgnj_£kancc.

54-A, which first emerged in the southwestern cornf'~ in tact continues ol".low S54/S34B in the north, and it covers S54G Conversely, the difference herw en features originally distinguished is no L always cl ear. 111\ IS, 51] 7 an d S1 22 are very si 111- ilar, and in the final analysis could 1101. be kept apart very well. even though deposits Jab -lled S122 emerged later during the excavation, and thus l~y mostly below S 117. Feature SS in sec Lor 1 presented itself 3S homogeneous duri ng excava: ion, but later analysis of the baulk sugg-esLs it actually C()I1- sisisof two su bseq uen 1 deposi ti 0 11.'1 co rrespoll eli n g to S111-1 12 in sector :>I and S51-,:'"lY in sector '1. S6 was collected in the field as one deposit, bUL the designation actually cOlic,eals a lOp layer we now

designate as S6A and a lower layer S6B. The stratigraphy ol' the sectors is schematized in Fig. 5.

Work in sector 1 soon revealed that the topsoil consisted of thick accumulations of heavily mixed material (potsherds, bone, stone drills, calcit e alabaster chips) none of which was il1 siiu: Nor knowing whether it would be possible [0 continue excavating here in subsequent seasons, we decided LO saw Lime by swiftly I· the topsoil to a depth of some 0.3.5 rn in the rest of this sector and in sectors 3 and 4. Near the northern edge of the latter, where the til ickness of the mixed top l,lyer suddenly decreased, this has led LO some loss or information .. As shown ill Fig. i. topsoil leature number SIlO near the N baulk or sector 3 effec(ivdy designates three layers, the COlTC pondlng feature number S50 in sector 4 four. This distincI ion is indicated in Fig. 5 and 7 by a Roman numeral added 1.0 the Ieaui re number (e,g. S30-11).

1 'hale {

'he stratigraphy builds up on the lock substrate, which was not yet reached everywhere in sector 3. Tile rock surface slopes dowu from N to Sand also somewhat from \A,' to E. It is topped by an a InlUSL steri lc sandy layer (5(10 in sector 4. S132 in sector ;'1. ln the somewhat higher senor 1 the deposi L die! not occur). Although the soil looks like .<1. natural deposition, a few OJ{ potsherds were found, sliggesting a degree of human intervention, perhaps for creating a plane surface.

Phase 1 Fepresents a period of early OK settleIII 'lH <-H"I.h~ty. IlS I1'HDSl n()(~ble feature is wall S130 ill sector 3, wh ieh stan ds i In me-dill tel), on sand layer S I ~12 (see Fig. (OJ). No foundation trench was observed The atructnre is buill of rough limestone blocks. is about 0.60 111 thick and still about 0.30 m high, It is car efully orien rated to Lilt' astronomical north. Parr of the "eastern baulk of the trench and [he desert track 'south' of sectors 3 and 4 were partly excavated in 20m) to determine the continuation of the wall. Al though it continues ill 1 he 'bnullc, no certai n remains were found under the road, sliggesl lng rhai parts were removed at a relatively recent date to even the 11'(1('[.;:. In lis northern pan the stone wall decrease.~ ill height as the rock surface rises until it stops ;).1 loget her near the NW corner of sector 3.

Wall 8130 separates LwO activity zones A and B.

The Iormer lies east of the wall and covers sector <[ and 1J1e part or sector 3 east of the wall, Activity zone B lies west of it, occupying sector 1 and the p3rL-wesL of the wall in sector 3.

3()4 Haren Willems et alii

atop the oth e I'. They were arranged in two irregutar E- W rows thai seem to de rna rca te surface areas, perhaps separated by a path (see Pig. 6).

'When the bread moulds were lifted, all appeared to be filled with burned vegetal remains, ash s, charcoal, burned bone and sand.

sually, the most heavily charred material was found uppermost, and the sand (often the same a.~ 560) below. r n view of the similarity of their fin, the bread moulds were clearly deposited in the


P I ,[ l- H Sllo-l, ..... I
Ii I ~ I
E ----'r I
4 ~ - - $.11!;l-t , 5SO-11

S'llH1l ,sso.lI.IV I

~, ~ I !'H"(pOl .1 I ,.....---- I
I t-1---1 I T

p I ,... ~ , .... ~- I
Ii S:Ul SS1
8 1d- 8-8·0
8. ""'"l
I ~ '--- I
5_~'.1I -Sl!MllSi
r-------- ."
I I I :S~~ I
'" S6A:.6tC f- H 5'11"'~1:U $1X1 SlD sn~ ~ WI I I ss, I
ctJ- I I,
- H 51'!"
IP G: I ... I "'" I
'Ii ~ G ,~ ~
~---1 SMOo&57~ I

I ~U.1 I
Sl30I ... n,
I ,;5.U2 "'" I

1 I 1 Pig. 5 Harris maui.x of sew irs I, 3 and -l

In activity zone A a large group of ht;!3 bread moulds were found standing upside down almost immediately on top of S60, and thus at the same level as the bottom pan of wall 5130. One of these bread moulds is visible in the section in Fig. 7 (24). Most bread moulds were still almost complete, but all showed at least cracks or missing rim fragments, rendering them unfit rot" use. The moulds were not simply thrown away, but placed upside clown. In several cases as many as three were placed one


. s-: \J

NOT ~~~VAlUl.ET .. '



An Industrial Site (It al-Shaykh Sa'-1C1/WadT Zabayd a S05


~J,TUR,O.''''''ND DEPQSfT '"

r~~ a,

'@ 0 (;f

O\~. _.(9

. ~ PolY? .~w




sector 4

Fig. fi Phase I ~ I-\~J II ~ I 30 and in situ d isca rrlecl ln cad n ioulds

course uf a single action, having been used to scoop out nearby fireplaces where food had been prepared upon the sand.

East of wall 5130 there is a large deposit of burned material, some of which has become very hard (5127). It i ncludes large arnoun IS of ashes, red burned ceramic. large potsherds, bone, and so on. This may have been a fireplace, or a deposi lion of smould ring material taken from a nearby fireplace and thrown against the wall, Although later bu rials have dis tu rbed the co 11 tact area of 5 127 an d the wall, tile E~W upward slope of5127 (see Fig. 7 [9J) suggests it rested against the wall.

In a next stage. a thick garbage deposit was heaped up, coveri ng most of activity zone A (Fig. 7 [81; [24 J). It consists of din),. coarse sand mixed with chunks of ceramic (predominantly bd~~bread moulds), large bones, vegetal remains, pieces of lim stone and sandstone poll hers. In sector o.

:!~ Still I.~ \ "T, In Itrh ,I r iJ1 e area of sector ·1 W<tS covered wi til !t mixed layer with many ash and charcoal inclusions (S5--1). 11'11 ir.h however. dues not LOlli i nue westwards

this deposit (S 114 = 512]) lies all lap of S·] 27, in sector 4 it covers {he rows of bread moulds just discus eel (S54C = S57 = S(5). In (he southern part of sector <[ this heap markedly decreases in height, leaving a large depression from the bottom or which the earlier rows of bread moulds still emerged. This pit was later filled with similar garbage as in 565,. although it was now heavily burned (S54A). Huge amounts of bread mould sherds, bones, and jar stopper fragments ( orne with seal impressions) occurred here. In the 5W corner or sector '1. deposit S54A steeply rises to a h -ight of orne 70 em. Since this is close to the so u th em ell d ()f wall S J 30. S54A "'.'<IS ~pp21 ren tly heaped up against the wall just like S127.

In the northern part or sector 4,. a large pit was dug in 565, in which a whole series of successive fireplaces were created (564, S63. 558). On LOp of Sl15 and SSM. a further fireplace 59 appeared.P

into sector S. Fhe fireplaces \(') whicb S:'t'i lil.IlS! he linked, were probably located further E.

306 Haren ·Willems et alii

d.® ""
~ 13
0l '"
, "D
B © ®









I I \ \ \






\ \ \

I I I I 1 1



Appa,rendy, after having been used as a galCbag'e heap, activity zone' A saw a second phase of usc, during' which it served for heating food Ill' other thin g.5. In view of the large amount of bread moulds and bone remains here. food preparation seems the most likelv option. It is improbable that large fireplaces and f!;''\I"bagt exi'<;led inside build.ings. Activity bone A must therefore have been open to the air.

In activity zone B, the lower levels of the fill were much more homogeneous, consisting of greyish sand interspersed with some I","ge pottery fragments (S126; S129 in sector 3; connected to 5GB = S9 and S8 in senor l~~). Feature sa is a small ]':I«1r! of <.1 hard, greyish sand floor with a series of shallow holes (PI. me). Considering that this was a bakery an;a, lh(' holes were probably emplacements ill which hOL bread moulds could be placed before being filled with dough. The conrext reminds one nf I.he much better preserved bakeries recently found in the workmen's sen Iernent at Gila. The e bakeries are fairlv small, rectangular, stone-built chambers containing, in one comer of the rOOI11, LWO vats for mixing dough, and along one of the long sides, rwo rows of depressions in whi h bread moulds could be placed."

Above the tOP level of \V<111 S 130 sector 3 conrained it very mixed fill, wirl: parts nf bej'J bread mould e but also bread trays, beer jars, and Maidnm bowls, types of ceramic that were less strongly in evidence in sector 4 .. Also, a large arnoun t of broken mud bricks were found (sector 1: fea tu res S6A "" 5 10; S l4; sec tor 3: feature S II 7 "" S122). These features overwhelmingly consist of material that also characterize the garbage heaps in sector 4.

The most conspicuous items in phase I are bread moulds. As noted before, in sector 4 these were often neatly stacked upside clown. In other areas the deposition is more chaotic. Even where the nHH lids were well preserved .. nOI tl single one was entirely intact. Apparemlv, moulds tlla'! were beginning w show cracks or of which small pans were broken orr. were discarded in <1 fairly organized manner;

.\1 In SfTlOr I fin-places SL2: and SIS lie- below lh(!~t' deposits Their stratigraphic link I') Sf'C1Qr:i is 1101' jlN dear. !OJ M. LtlINER, 'Iutrorluction' irr: M. U.lJNER, V·,I. WE'I"T'ERSTRO.>I (eds.). Giza f("iJnd ... 71w Gi~n P/II:II:',,/I Nlrljl/Ii1lg Pro)"~I 1. PI~d~/'j lIisl{)/~)l, Stl'llJr:'J', (.'praJ/lir.~, tt,nrl }VI(:Iin Stmrl (1.IId

An luclnstrial Sirc m al-Shavkh $,I'Id/\tVfidi Zr.haydn .307

Interspersed between the bread mould sherds, large quantities or animal. anel vegetal remains were found, probably for consumption (see 3.4--5).

The garbage eli posed in the area was freq LIen tly burned. Evidence for this is found in the form or ash layers. and of localised lire spots where small, but intense fires led LO the remains being charted. Perhaps the fires should be interpreted as a measure (0 reduce nuisance in the form of' stench and animals. This, in its tum, may slIgges[ there were habitations nearby.

Besides extensive evidence for food production. many clay sealings of jars and containers closed by popes were found. Several bore seal impressions, which will be dealt with in .3.2.

Much evidence Ior stone production emerged during the cxc,lvalions ill rh~ form of chips of calcite alabaster, fn<1ny of which slrowed traces of being worked. Evidence for vase production, however, remains scant and nBcenai 11.

Phase .2

The layers of' pha e I were topped by two consecutive depositions of light yellow wadi sediment with small torre incl usion (I' arure S5-1 and II:

S111-112. S51-52; see Fig. 5-6), which contained hardly anv archaeological remains. The Iact thar these untural deposits differ in rexture. and that a clear horizon sepal~afe.s ! hem, suggests two S(lCcessive periods of wadi activity For ihe date of these events we will IirstIook into the evidence [01: phase 3.

PrulS/! 3

Four tombs were discovered: one iFI senor 1 (S7). two in sector 3 (S 1111; SI18/8119) and one in seclor 4· (S55 and 55.5 ,lhc latter being apparently the lomb pit). Tomb 57 was cut through both of the nat ural deposits of phase ';2 (S5I-TI). In sector 4, however, the uppermost ofihese deposits (S51) cover the mouth of lomb S55. 'which has been dug through th econd natural deposit 5::? In sector 3. tomb S116 seems to be covered by (be topmost natural deposit Sill, hut not by the second, S11 '2.3ll Since the higher layer of'wadi deposit coven at least some oj' the tombs, whereas it is

(;11111'1,)' Ill. "1: Operari ens (Boston, 20()7), 2·J-~ 7~ 012; lid. Lii,HN1'.R, I'yr::rrnid Age Bakery Recoustrurted. t:lllfllgl'll'l1l 1.1 (Fall 1\)96),6-7 .

. ,,', The secund tomb ill secror ~ 01<1)' be rnure 1"1:'(;("1]( than S j I I, bu I the slTaligraphjl is disturbed, by a later pi, I.

308 J larco 'vVillj?lns et lJ!ii

dug through by at least LOmb S7. it seems certain that it was deposited at a time when the cemetery was in use.

All tombs are orientated exactly N~S. with the hecla in jlre north. and all r ontair; rectangular, plastered, but undecorated wooden coffins. No burial goods can be confidently attributed LQ these burials. A strong c1;.\ting argumem derives from senor 4. Here, .1 tomb \~\S dug through 552, a fairly sterile layer which, however, included one NK 1)(;<1(1 mould. A NK blue painted jar fragment "vas also found in stratum 'S5~I through which tomb S7 was dug. The natural event that led. to the deposition of 55~1, Sill, and S51 is thus datable to the NK

There are indications that rhe oriernation 01 the tombs is due not so much to a religious urge as to conditions at [he she at the moment the dead were cornm i tted to the ean h. Two bu rials (S I 16; S I 18/119) have pits that lit snugly against wall S 130 (0 II E' is S hown in Fig. (j). This sugges LS that the tombs were dug deliberatly against it, and therefore that at least ruins or the building must st ill have been \~sihle,ju (ling OUt of the lowcrrrios] layer of wadi deposit (S 11 2). ~[! Since excavations revealed rio in situ. remains of a wall in Sl 12. it seems that, when the lomb pit was excavated. the hlgher parts of the wall were removed and that the other OK remains in the area were also displaced. This also explains the confused state or the 1'l)lUS immediately above what 1i0W re'~l(lin."i of I he wall. In S 117 = S l22 .. numerous pieces of broken mud brick were found, none of them i,tI .1 U u. Arguahly, thehigh er pans of wan S13Q were made of this material, and were dismantled when tombs were- made hen;' in I he NK.

Phase ~

On wp or these layers a thick level of topsoil eovererl all excavated sectors (51 in sector I, . J 10 III sector :1. S50 in secto r 4). Most of i l is a densely mixed gl:eyish/brownish matrix filled with calcite alabaster chips. vase elfin/) and other lithic artelacts, bones, ~uld large amounts of ceramics. This' material includes pouer)' from various phases, ulthougl: 1l1t-)sJ:ly of NK and TIP dare. Part of thetopsoil was carefully excavated in Sc-!;LOr 1. After enough material had been collected to gain an

"', .'e>ol' "\J K 111..ui" \5 <Iga i !lSI earl ie-r \IIa lis \11"(' well known (I'. i!:. M. 131 I TI\I'.. J. OllR,\,F.K, V: .1 r\N(W •• \usgrabll nge n in dern Palastln-rirk von waris. Vorberichi Tell cl-

impression of its nature, most of the rernai nder was removed without further inspecnon. J\.~' was pointed out above, this has led to the removal of '>Ol11e stratified layers in the north rn parts <'If sectors :3 and 4. We hope to be able to define the natu re ell these layers in the course of future excavations. Clearly, however, the layering in the lowe" parts of 5110 and S50 must correspond LO a period of use of sorne duration. In sector S, a large pic was. dug th rough SIll, 5112, S I 14 = S121 and Sl:l7 before I. he lowermost I<'I)'&T of S 11 0 was deposited (see Fig. 7 [4]). Later on, a second pit was dug. most or which is located in the baulk and in sector 1, but whichjust abuts on sector 3.1ts fill is indistinguisbable from the very mixed material that litter's the surfa e everywhere at the site, and which. on the basis of the survey results, seems to date to the period spanning the Amarna Age and the TIP. In sector 3 lids pit i. a. produced a finely carved piece of Amarna relief to be published elsewhere, This, lind affords a reliable terminus nnir qllem ntm for the pir.

L.K, B.V., H.W.

3.2 The Interpretation of the Phase I Ceramic Assemblage

Among the most characteristic elements of the material are Maidum bowls, bread moulds, flat bread tr:ays and bowls with internal ledge-rim, A remarkable common elelJ"lent is the presence oJwhite incrusious as lemper in j ile fabrics, Under mag-nification. the particles have a shining appearance and can be identified as calcite: alabaster From the nearby quarry Maghnra Abu (Azl7., implyi'ng that (he great majority ol' the pottery was locally made, This temper is the nlOs( characteristic elemen l for [he ceramic assern blage from site SS/WZ. The inclusions vary greatlyin size and quantity, Their distribution is uneven within lhe paste and the particles are generally angular, showing that iL concerns beyond doubt an intentional addition.

Alt hough relatively rare tom pared 10 the huge amounts of bread moulds. several i'rag" men ts of Maidurn bowls have been found. The)' OCCl1I' i IJ <t variery of h,bri,cs (Nile f\, B 1, B2, Marl A-2) but the majority is made in a fine Nile silt

Dabr-a/<EJ.bel Helmi 109-21100, ,:j&L l l (2110.1). 68-G9. Abh. ~'I-2':)).

An Industrial Silt at al- haykh Sa"Td/Wadi Zabayda 309





- --


:;." .

. -, ,- -~ ..... :.'

Fig. 8 A) round-shouldered Maidtnn bowl; B) sharp-sboulrlererl Mairlurn bowl. Drawing R. Naebers

(Nile A, BI) tempered with fine calcite alabaster, Although hardly any complete vessel shapes of these bowls could be reconstructed, it is dear that examples of both ih e sharp-shouldered t:ype Al and the round-shouldered types Bl and B3 occur." The round-shouldered ones have deep shapes as was already common before the Nth dynasty (Fig. SA)Y Other fragments belong to sharp-shouldered bowl with the maximum diameter at the shoulder, a typical feature for Maidum bowls of the Nr.11 and vrh dyna Lies (see Fig. 8B).~9 This chronological position is corroborated by the [act that the rims are never wider than the

~7 Types according to L Op DE BEE(;K, Possibilities and Restrictions for the Use of Maidum-Bowls as Clironological Indicators, CeE 7 (2004). 239~280.

'\a 01> DE BtECK, ap. .• 249~253.

,;;I Or nr, Bl'.ECK. liP. dt .. 250; 268.

I" B. GD.-:rER, J-K. KOZLUWSKI, M. Pi\WUKnWStU,.J. SLIWA, H .. l!AMMEREr{-GRoTHAUS, Frulu: Kf'mrnil/. usul KII!1:)lflmrl~ nl1.V c/- TaT!f, AV 40. Maim a IT1 R hei 1'1, 1 ~J98. 81, Abb. 41,5~6,

shoulders. There is a close resemblance with early and mid-JVlh dynasty bowls at al-Tarjflll and aJ-Kab:11 Bot the best parallels are from Giza" and Elephantine, where both round-shouldered and sharp-shouldered Maidurn-bowls are also a ttes Led :I~ I t is to be no led that the fin es L Mai durn bowls, as indicated by their very thin wall and high grade polish, are not made in the local calcite alabaster tempered fabric. For their producLion, a fine Nile A or Marl A fabric was used and this potlery can be considered elite imports. Another elite element is a fragment of a large pentagonal bowl with lobes, made in a fine but

II 0[' DE BEECK, op cit .. 250, fig. 3)n and 3,33,

,I~ A. WODZTNSKA, 'Preliminary Report on the Ceramics,' in:

LICI1:'o1EI!., W£1TER,:,,'ROM (eds.), Guu R£p(}rls l, fig. 11.19 CD riA (AI); fig. 11.~().r.DI'm (BI); f1g. I U!IC07 (B3).

I~ D. RiU;", Agyplische und Nubische Kcramik der 1.-4 Dynastie, in: W. KAISER 0/ nl., Stadr 11n(1 Tempel von ElephanUlle.25./2fi./27. Grabungshericht, MJ)AJK 55 (.1 Y~J9), 184, Abb. 3\),1 and 2; Abb. 40. I. 2, 6.

310 Harco Willems et alii

t -.-

o 5 10cm


Fi.g. H V nlj{IlR' III anrl r "f'OIl~ln!cti(jn of penmgonal bowl imit.1till!J STOlle vessets (S917~.!:.I + 59' 12!j.19) Drawings M. Evckerman

rather low fired Nile silt (Fig. 0). This bowl imitates a common OK stone vessel type," but only few parallels in pottery are kJ10Wll: one fragment from the so-called Valley Tem pie of Snofru at Dahshur, I'· and another fragment found III the settle men t debris at Ciza, iii

Even more lim ited in n u m ber than the Maidtlm howls. but chronologically also very sign ifican t, are the shan ow bowls wi th in ternal led gerim and flat bouorn (fig. 10). All are made in a coarse Nile 82 and were left uncoated. This Lype of pOLler;' is known [rom the early IS! dynasty

.,. t\~nli\", Ancient Egvptiall St(111e Vessels, 11.\ JIO. (11.

I~, \r\fJ( 'r.1M IfS( )NJ in: l-\. ftf\KIII:tV, 't 'i}U i""on u ml!lu\t C!l Sn'1':l~l\t (J / Or/hl/iin' II, CHi 1'"(1, I ~.Im. 11 H.

,if; K. KRUM.t:K, .S'ilffillt1!f!!ifiwdl· au.' 1IiJ/1I Friihrn Allell Reid, .ifl Gisd(. O:I!en"lll("hi.ldil·i\l'~',f!.rnlj'lmgf.l1 197!-1975, OAW. Denksclu, (I. (;CS'\lilllIk., l:ifi; \,,>liclI, H)7~, fi3; TaL 25. fi~. 'I.

All ludustria! Site at al-Shavkh 'a'ld/W5dJ Zabayda 31 I


- --



rig. III Bowl wilh internal ledge-rim ( 1/1.?)17 + 'Jn17.IO). Drawing R. Na bcrs

ouwarrls but no longer attested after (be 1',1111 dynasty. Th ir t po-chr nological evolution is well documented for Elephanrine " and characterizcd by lhx broadening over 'rime of the internal rim 'while the vessels tend to become hallower." The S /WZ example compare well with bowl. found at Ciza", characterized by a shallow shape and brr ad internal ledze-rim. This bowl round ;'11 .~iLe S /WZ represent a step subsequent to the typo-chronological evolutinn attested at Elephantine for' the period up to the early I'If'h dyna ry.:" It 'ClIl'S no longer aft r III J\llh dyna -ty but is apparently the predec Sal' of a more open Vl.h dynasty type."

The l(lrge rnajol'ily or the pottery Is related to the producti n or bread, The rno l characteristic type is the do k-shaperl hgj bread mould (jacquet-Cordon's type A 1 )J~ (Fig. 11A). As is normal for bread moulds, they are made from Nile " but all examples arc temp 'rcd with cru hed calcite alabaster. The brj rn ulds of which - mplete profiles wer pres rved are chara terised by a Ilaringshap and a very prominent, sharp 'ling'

1'1 R,\U, up. cil,,173-1\JO.

Hi &wc, 011. rit., 1 It" (.,Iteferer Ansarz tlt·] Inneuleisie"): A. 0" Ill'; BEF! ~" ,. H E"Ufm .K.', Deir al-Barsha Pollen' Survcy, BII·;·\O. in pr iss.

1'1 A. WrJQ7,IN:.K:\. ()F rii.. 304, (ig. 11.30: CDS')' Z.

I-L.\\\'ASS, .\_, l.NVSSI, OK PoLIN)' /ilJ/II Giza. CIiI"O. 200R. 244. no. 17n. 211, 23'-;-289 Nazlet el-Sarun iau A24; ~H no. A62; A711; .47: H3~-23: I143,

_·'~I RAL~, nil. ca.; J is-l 90.

I' »r HElie ... J Y":'IinRICKX, /J/I, rit.: ·t'e alrearl : C. \. Rl:IS-

NEI'. JI lli IQI')' t{I/I{1 Ciut /\;/lI,'llll/Oli,1 II, Camhridge-, Muss. acliuseus, I \:I,iF). I:!il. lig. 75, no. (i\) (Iypt' D- 'XXIXC) and fig. 115.

"! H. JACl..llU.C()RIlO}/, }\ Te-ntative T\jJl110,f,'Y of Eg)'pLian Bread Moulds. in: 00 . .t\lt"OIIl (ed.}. Stllllzi'll :'lIrnll{~I!J'Ir u:5chr'lf [(eral/li/r, Maim am Rhein, 19, I. I I-I ~ and 'fig" ~ .

. ':i D. E+\lJ I~U ;$, nit Kera.m;k ~l{1r Lf,ucn .. nnill.l!ltnotl.uhllon im

around the base. Although such 'rings' 0 cur for Vth and Vlrh d 'nasty bread m uld ,M our examples diller by tb ir .oncav transition between base and 'ring'. and by the deeper lase. imilar 'rings' 31'e found in late Illrd dynasty bread mould Irorn Elephantine, ','I but the best parallels are the ltlid-I'IlIh dynasf example Irorn the workmen's settlement at iza." All f th latter are

haped over a hump and have I nth base 'rings' anrl deep bottom cones. The parallelism between the two sites i .onfirm d in a remarkabl wa), by the presence at both ires of very large bread moulds with flat internal base, lip to now only attested rot the site of Giza. (Fig. ll).il'

Be 'jd s the IJd~ moulds, many of' U1C Hat bread trays an.' likewise mad from Nile C fabri ternpered with calcite alabaster (Fig. llC-F). 111 S rpr.r Irays have a £la1 bottom on to which one ur several thick rolls were added, resulting in n'ays with lower and higher flarin] si les. Both round and oval shape' c tlr.;; A cording to shape and

ize, four different t rpcs are distingui liable, similar La the Lypes thai were discovered at Giza."

sarliheti SA,\ J 4, 1-1f'i(\elberg', 109S, 1 :~O-I:12 (Ii .9a. nos. 20-:.1'1),

J EmI.MAYER, Die staatliche An lage d r;:'l. 0 nasric ill tltT! rdWeSI.SlaUI von Elephantine. Archil logische und hisrorisch« Probleme, ill: M. BlE'fM, (ed.), HaLLS und PO/III/ hn ItI/I'lI 'IKY/II«n, Intrrnnlionales :-')mj)lIsllttll R. hls 1L 1I.{l·ril J 1)1)2 ill KIl'im" UZK J.tI, Wiel1, 1996, :lO I, Ahb, -l; K(lI\/i/ PI Iii .. Studt lind Tempel von Elephantine ~i)./2n./27. (';rahlllllqilwnclll. i"WALK Sf; (1989). 17?r- 1~9.

--", \rVO()ll~Sf\;_\~ oJ}. cit., 298 and fig. I l.38.F2B~

'lh \tV(JUZIN~KA" oli. nt.. 2!-J8 and I1g. ] l.J8~ F~C:: J. Nt H.J\ I\" , Tale" from tilt' Crypt; the 199!) eason, AfI'{JgJ'lJ'!II 3, no. I (J!J\JYJ. 1-13.

,~ WnI>/.I,/~k \, "/I. rit., 298, F L; fig. L 1.311-J'l7 (F 11\. FJ ~); III\WI\.~~, StN['cSSI, oIl. ,:11., 237 (1~6J; 191; 1~7.

312 Harco Willems et alii





- --


\ ~

, -

• L •••• _;,.

. >;. \>·,..,,;I"(;;=&·.*"" .....

o 5 l(1cm


--~":__ ~-~~~



,/ ,












, •



" \

\.",," -,



5 10cm



••• I


'_ i~

. '-~~';:f

....... _,

~I"'~·""'~ ..

_ --= ~~' ~ r'



10cm •• [:.-=:.-====]


Fig. I I A) bg3 bread mould (550/17.5); B) h(H bread mould (S54A/183.l); C) bread tray (5122/9.5), D) bread tray (51/1.519 + 51/1160): E) bread tray (59/36..1 + 59/122.1 + 59/t 78.'.1 + 59/48; F) bread tray (S54A/64.gI)

An lndusu ial Site at al-Shaykh Sa<irl/WadT Zah<l)'da 3,13

.:: .' I!· ~

_ •• l~ .• : •••••• ~ _




Fig. ]2 val.89/197"36, inside eroded. Drawing R. Nat'bers.'ieale 1:2

A final element of the bread production at the site are large vats used for the preparation of dough (Pi g. 12).:;9 These vessels, tha; were not easily transported; confirm the production of bread at the site itself.

In ancient Egypt. the trades of bread and beer productiorr were intimately linked, but only few beer jars were found. The work force inhabiLing the site must nevertheless have received the habitHal be sr among its rations. The almost complete absence of beer jar fragments suggests that the brewery must have been located at some distance frorn the pan w excavated.

5,\1" S.H.,J,B., P.F" M-E., S.M .. Z.K

3.3. Seal Impressions

The excavations produced dozens of (mostly Iragmentary) seal impressions. They occur on clay jaT stoppers. clay seals. with fibre impressions on their backs thai must have been used to sea! textile bags closed with a rope, and seals with flat backs used to seal wooden objects (chests; doors"). Some

eals bear hieratic signs inscribed with a stylus

'~I FALTI Nt":!>, Dj}. fit .• 115-12l.

<lI1 The seals depicted in pl. IVA, Band D were recorded with the help of the Leuven Camera Dome 'System ( e I cun e i fo rrn . h rm#8arsha).

when the clay was still wet, bur this is of rare occurrence. All adler marked seals and sLoppers bear the IlTI presslons of cylinder seals .. and in one case of a stam p seal, fiOi

One has the impression of a cartouche enrling_ in a bird-like sign which perhaps reads ..II. 11.'. i1"1 which case the royal name must have been either thai of Snofru or Khufu, Another seal bears the Horus name 1J=!J~ Mddw (Pl. IVA). This is the Horus name of Khufu, confirming the impression aJ ready gained from the pottery [hat tJi C excavated area was used in the early IVth dynasty. On the

cal. depictions of a king and columns of hiero-glyphs flanked the Horus name, Although the texts can no longer be read, this is likely to have been a 50-called 'institu tional seal' used in official ad m inistra tion .Ii.t

Other seals are of j.he kind designated by H .C. Fischer as 'cylinder seals for the lower classes·'.f;2 These display an iconograph depicting for instance animals O'l- human being in a style that does not follow the rules of the classical Egyptian art canon. In many cases they do not include

01 L', D VBILL. A 1I(U11111~ .• Silf!§11 !/,lId Peeien. Siudie-n :Oil Typolo-gfl" und 'Pmgfsitll' nn A llen lmd ht:illlcmf! /Vid" OBO 229, FribuUL"g, G6r.tingc;n, 2008, 126-1 ~7.

!;~ H.C. FISCHER. Old 'Kingdom Cylinder Seals ror (he Lowe r Classes, M.M.! (3 (1972), 5-16. 1'. KIIPI,Ol\'Y, Die J<1!l/.\·il!g~1 tiffS fllilm /1t! I, Mon. Aeg. 2, Bruxelles, 1977.21-35. calls these seals 'Figurensiegel'.

3 J 4 I lareo \tVirreDis ct drii

hieroglypluc Wflltllg. When hieroglyphs do occur .. it often seems as though the seal cutter had little or no scribal. competence. Otten, [or instance. the signs aft' arranged ill symmetric groups iha: carmot really be 'read'. Perhaps they were merely imitations of real texts. In some cases, royal 11.<1.111 eli in sow ewha: be 1'1 er style ~a.11 be added to these seals,

The seal in PI. IVB· is: a good instance. It contains depictions of mammals arid birds. In <I n umber of impressions. we eucoumered figHI-es of sealed ·dogs'. Til one depicted in PI. rVD shows lilt' legs. tail. back and neck of such an animal.f Some seals conrain symmetrical arrangements of groups of hieroglyphs. A recurrent pattern, 01 which the best pr~ erved instance is reproduced in PI. rVB, contains lWI) facing ~ -signs. Between the two. there is a «s, and a C'I i.; also written OVer the backs of both animals.

Another inscrrption faun d on several seal Impressions contains the word ~~~ (PI. JVD). Per~ haps this is the term diw 'delivery', although it is h ard to 11 11 (1 It rstan d the roun 0 sign at l 11 e e 11 0. Moreover, the signs are again symmetrically arranged and may nor. be rea! wrinng.

Some seal impressions are also remarkable because. after they had been applied, a hieratic inscription was written over il "Ill black ink. One im pression, sh owi ng the bar k of a rerum be n t dog, carries a hieraticjouing including a sign probably depicting a crouching dog ( .. ~. ) (,PI. rve; this seal resembles the one shown in PI. IVO). One wonders, if it is mere cnincid(;!ll (I;' that th e seal i mpressian depicted a crouching <l11i111<11 as "veil. Was the same sign intended? Although the signs arc in most cases illegible, the addition of hicrati« notes LO existing seal impressions suggests tllatth e adrnin lS! ration not on Iy required that product containers were sealed, but that, atsome later stage of Lite process. another administrator added <1 further tCi'XI. This may be a variant of the proced LIre of app 1)11 ng 'Ct'.lL111 rer-sea Is'

,,,I The seal closetv resembles a VIII dynasty Oil.· [rol1l AhTI Si r (H .. G. PIS{·UER. i'v1Jl1! r, It !)721. li).

J>I Set' K,\~I.U"", RIIl/.{£~gI!f. J n this book. the archaeological {'OIHf":.:r is in 1110,[ rases 11(.)1, very clear, Rnl/l"ll'l,l'I'l I, :H7-374 dUl"S discuss some contexts, btl! those of the l\1lh dynast}' are nul very informative.

Wi n;/, S1~l!gelnll!:rJlll.f.n.~,.,:n 111ul Rol/;{il'b",t rl~.~ 81.(/(/.1 £Ir/llilmli1'w im 3 . ./(I:/lrlltllSI.1II.d 11. t:/i:I: Slnll"tllsw·hf i,iIU'.( t!'mh(i(llogl:~rJ!I'1i .I rI~(r,jll~s, jl,\R IS 133~, Oxford, :WOf,

Early OK seals and seal impressions helve been Jound at many sites in Egypt:" and in recent years they are fortunately being increasingly presented wi til in th ('(1- archaeological context, A huge amount round over the years on Elephantine Island have now been published b)' J.P. Patznik." The seatings found at this irnportant settlement span the period between the l Ind and the VTtl\ Dynasties, an era when the WI e repeat edly interfered he r(", wi til cssl'.11 e prose n ce of an ea rly dynastic fortress, the late IIIrc1 dynast)' 111 i niat me pyramid of king Huni, and the rVLh-VTth dynasty governor'S residence. cal impressions are <llso appearing in greal numbers 1.1.."1 the planned settlemenr at Cha., which gave shelter to the WOrk force involved in building the IVlh dynasty pyramids.1iij A small group of impressions was recently found at desert si I ellUru 01/01. abour 60 km sw of the Dakhla Oasis." This was an expedition sire: that may have been exploited to obtain minerals used as. paint. The pre ence or royal inscriptions at rhe sire indicates U1Cll those engaged here were sent by [he cen lftl! adrn inisrration.

Of these sites, the workmen's settlement at Giza elfers the closest analogy, [or (other than at Elephantine and sue Chufu 01/01) both institutional and figurative scab seem to have been in. current use here. It is true that the Gil,a team has thus far only published a few seals, aJ I of which arc . iJ 1 sri ell tio II al', bu r Nolan also poi nts 0 11 t that some (Jf the (;.il,;! material i e, in formal". This, he explains, means that "the layout 0[" the design - I'i.lher i/jXtlt{i.l or n'JJ),llionrr.L - does FIOt conform to a strict rcmpiarc."'18H e also indicate.') that the informal seals are apparently more frequent and in a better stale of prescrvatiun than the formal ones. Unlorumately, nOI a single 'informal' seal impression with repre enrations is depicted by him. Sri!!, it SCTl1lS likely that rhis material is imilar to the seals with non-hieroglyphic 'signs' found at al-Shaykh Sa-td. Since both sites also share the presence uf royal name seals and incised seals, it

10, J. !\lo)l. 1.\, in: Lf.IIM·.Jt. VI 1·.'1 TEN:' rR()M (ods.I, Gaa R~t)IJI"I.1 1, 178-1111; ~7pn5.

'" F. FftR~1. ER, Prelirni narv Re-port 011 the Seal lrupresslons FlJUJ1U al Si I e ( :\u I lu 01 ! (J I in the Dakh la Reht}<111 (2002 Carnpaign), eM 217 ('JO()H), 17-2,";.

'0>, .J. ·N(H.\I\'. U/I. ru., ~73. Ell1ph,lSis T I.W,

would eern that they have more in c mmon wirh each other than with l'lIl;! two mh rsires.

In stirutional eals could b read, and were Ihl.T '[01'(' llscflll ina nationwid« adm i uisuative system: even administrators who did not know each other because they worked in distant areas would 11 nderstand wha l ! he seal impressions meant, It is a umed that the figurative seals also serve I an Ificial purpose, bUI that they were 1'01' local u se only. 1t is not >rl<1in what the mean pre isel , but rile may have designated pel'sons with r gional responsibiliii s in a graphi way. These 'logo' would have been meaningful 10 ally, 11m nOI LO officials elsewhere in Egypt. Thererare. the Ilgunltive seals arc: thought to have belonged to members of provincial elites wj)O mOl} 110L have formed part of the network of state adrninistrarors, but whose responsihiliti es at th local level were neverthcle s v ry real.

In man re em stu lies il is argued that the figurative C /linder eals emerged 111 the COllI'S!.: of III VLh dyna t. and that the)' were succeeded in the late OK by 'stamp seals',h<1 The evidence presented above offers crucial new information ill tilis debate. Firstly, we have seen that figurative cylinder seals did not emeTg~ in the late 01 , IJllI that th y were already widely in use <!II al-Shaykh Sa'Id and probably Giza in the early OK MOle-

rver, )II, 2UO~ 'cason produce I inc mroverublc evidcn e that stamp seals Wilh mock-hi -r gl phs were also in existence already then. Thi shov s that the .bronological d velopmeru need' to be recon idered, Also, the probable existen ce of si rnilar seals in the workmen's community <It Giza casts doubt On the idea "hat Stich material is representative of provincial culture only.


3.4. Archaeobotanical analysis

The garbage h caps excavated aL site S /WZ offer goud opportunities to study the plant ec nOIllY and tliet of til workmen living at the it . In an in itial study 4 flotation S<l111 ples were taken ill to c()llsideraLi~n. The sample take n in 2007 derives

,~. FlsP !E'H. lor. rit ; K"I'W"",, UnIWIJ/!.z·l I. 21-3!l; AB. WIUI_.

Vii' AII/1illgr' tin iig)1J/1sr/1I1l1 S/l'llIj)f'lHlgrl-"\/IIII!KlIl', onu SA l~, Pnlwurg, C; 1 !19\i, 3-91: B. KEW' . .'\1II'i('l11 Eg:.,tll •• IIl(l/(IIIIJ' n/ n r:l-1,ilizJdiml, l.onrlun, ell' York-', ~006, 14J-I~3: Di mu, U/I. ru. 131.

,11 M. NLHIHI 1'. II/filli/kaftoll GJtide (or Near J,::uAII<l:/1 G}~MS Sf'lld, London. 200G, ::;~-55.

.\11 Industrial ite nr n.1 haykh Sa"iIi/WITdT Z ... havcla :H5

[rom I h ction IWI'll! () th I fa kin to ih \lVlidr Zaba da. Material wa collected in 200R in 'tTL rs 1 and 4, in t11 higher levels of the undisturbed OK Iepo its. The studied pial t' as. ernblages were retrieved by means of manual flotation using sieves with meshes of 1 and 0.3 111m. 111e average sample size taken for notation rang d between 5 and 10 litre. The plant macrofossil are preserved mai n1)' in bar-red form. In one of the sam ples, dominated by mel n (Cunllnis cr. ntf'lo). miuerali ed material was preserved a well. Wocl(l charcoals and sorn pieces of de ic ated wood were also found. Tile studied material represents various plant macrofossils derived From cultivated plan ts their weeds and the wild flora around the site.

Th e sam pies are very rich in iden tifiablc seetl/fruit remains. In (me of them the coucentralion or plant materials reached 164 iden tifiable items pel' litre. In all of the I lam a emblages enuner (7hlir'ulI! dicoeeum; PI. V ; C) and hulled barley (IJO'l(/{,WIl vlIlgarrr. PI. VB) I)CCU( 'Emmer general! prevails over barley and ill some samples is the main component of he cultivated cereals. The pulses are represented by single seeds of pea (Pisl/,1/i sauuum; PI. VD), grass pt"il (L('l'lls cr. sutiuus; Pl. V£) and 18 seeds probably f faba b an ( r. Vitia [aba; PI. VF). Together with them also about 30 badly preSt rvcd and almost unrecognisable I rge leguminous seeds were found. I1f' of the .ampl 5 is dominated by eeds rna t probably ol' melon (427 seeds, PL V}-I), in anotl er one clock (R'nil/r'.)( p.) prevails with c. 230 seeds counted. N U IT! e ro us ca ryopses of '"oii unc Sp. (small ca ryOPS('s of "Gr IUP 1" according to Nosbi u'") are available in the samples. Together with it. possible weeds [reqneutl found ill Egypt in e Predyna ti . time /1 lik Phalarls p .. Steratia verti .illata/viridis., Clwnu/J(I{iiwr/. cr. murale, etc. wer also present. Some of them. as well a s me small leguminou see is determined a- {\I[edicogo/Tr{joliwn, and the seeds of A cncia sp. migll!' {(lrlbrilUue from dung Iuel.

The lypical 01 cereal ClOpS ernmer and barley?" art' repres nted both hy grain and, to a much less-

1) A. f.\tIM\,. Evaluat iill I of th weed nora of Egypt from I'l'l'dynasli I, :,., ... R, man rimes, Vi_'glllltlicm i-LiIIOI)' /1/111 jllrh(ll'lIbl/l(/'II~;(i (1 997), 244.

~ A.M. MLRRJ\ • Cereal production and processing. 111:

ICIIOLSOr-;, 'II-\W (ecls.l. ABM?: 2()9.

816 Barco Willems et alii


• Acacia nilorica-type • Acacia sp. 0 Tamarix sp. 0 cf. zuus spiJ1osa' Pharagmites E:l indei

Fig. 13 Proportions of the wood charcoal taxa found in the [our studiedsamples

er extent, by chaff remain. The cereal grains are the most numerous remains and they probably originate From the preparation of food. This is especially true for the ernrner caryopses which seem to have been charred in a dehusked state (c. 90 % of tbe studied grains). ThL~ is indicated by the absence of chaff traces on the grain surface, making rhem at first sigh I resem ble naked wheat. Chaff traces usually remain when the caryopses are charred in their hulls, Another indication for dehusking is the generally rough "wavy cross rippling" surface typical for charred naked grains. The fact that the emmer "vas found in a dehusked state uggests the grain remains were prepared for human consumption.

The possible find of Vicirt [ob« <It site sS/vn provides the earliest known macrofossils of this cultivated plant in Egypt, although sHghliy later mac-

-,\ ~, " -- _- ..

•. R, GER.VI "-R, Hom tlrs f!'wl'aunisdwn A IJjjllen , SDAl K 14,

Mainz am Rhein. J9R5, 8t.

" A.M. Ml'RIlfW. Fruits, Vegt'tables. Pulses and Condl- 1.11<:'11\::;, in: NICHOl.sON, 5!-I..o\.w (eds.), ABj'vn~ 638; K. T.>,NKO, G. WILU:O)l, The origins of cultivation of' Cicer arietinum L. "ZID.d Vicia faba L.: Early fi nds from north westSyria (Tell el-Kerkh, late IOLill1lillelll1ill1ll [\P), Veg· eUaiQ'n HiSlfny (/jut, i\rr;/!aCl!bwI,ny 115 (2006), 203.

robotanical evidence is known from a VLh dynasty tomb at AbO SIr.7~ The many large leguminous seeds (some identifiable as d. \fil'ia Jitba) ma), represent a pulse crop used at the site. The poorly preserved, indeterminable large Ieguminous eeds could represent a taxon other than lficictJalJtl, but they likely belongto the faba bean too. It sbould be recalled that large-size pulses Lend La preserve badly in the arrhaeobotanical record as. due to their size, they easily fragmentize. losing important morphological features." Another reason for the bad preservation and "invisibility" of the faba bean in U1e archaeobotanical record could be that the seed coat was deliberately removed in order to reduce its loxicily-7ii IL should be nored mat palynological evidence suggests an even earlier occurrence of this plant around 3000 B.C. at the ite of Mendes in LOIV'er Egypt."

7.5 G. JUNE.S~ P. f-L\LSrEA1J~ An Early Find of 'Fava' trem Thebes . Annua! oj Ihe BlUish Setioot o: All/ens::;8 (lilY!:!). 103-104.

7(, S.M. AWAD. K. KRzvv,'INSIO, Arehaeopalynological thoughts on Vicia faba type pollen from ancient Mendes (Tel-Rnb-a Area. Egypt)., PtlC'l~fmmlal oj/hi> EuroJJ6m) Siudy Orrrup on Plry"ir.(li, Chemiml. Bialogiwl (mil Mathemlt/· if(d 1iy'lmiqul',!i ApfJlied 10 tlrrlweolQg} 2-4· (1994), 25--36.

The isolated finds ( f' peel and grass pea can neither con firm 1101' exclude their use at the site, as e ihnographi c observation in the' M ed i terranean shows that most of them (especially La,II,. yl'IIS) can also represent arable weeds. rt Such Sillgle finds are common at predynastic and early dynastic sites'S and in many cases arc considered as weeds, But in the cOlHemporary settlerneru of the- Giza pyramid builders there is clear evidence for their consum pticn. it!

AlthUllgh known since the predynastic period with finds of single seeds." melon is uncommon ill the archaeoboranical record." The hundreds of seeds found <\.L our si ll' are not neec sarily indicative of the importance of the plant as the seeds could originate from accidental burning and one truit alone prod uces m 0 re 'seeds tim n the amount we found. ft is impossible to identify the variety or melon (sweet or not) on the basis of seeds only, The nOL sweet chate melons are eaten like cucumbers. OK tomb scenes suggesL the use of the chate melou." Melon seeds at site SS/vVZ also OCCl!l- i 11 rni ncral ized form, possibly indicating dump disposal,

All four samples were very rich in charred wood fragments. The few desiccated wood fragmerits were so badly preserved that no dejermination was possible. Front each sample c. 200 charred wood Iragrn snts were studied, Their general rom posi lion is V(;J"y honmgt:Il<:'ollS (Figure l3). All are dominated by ArMia nilotictJ;.type and A(ncia sp., followed by Tamarix sp. ince both taxa need good underground water supply, this shows use of wood resources close to the Nile- .. In two of the samples grass sterns (Poaceae) with diameters up La 4 ITIm and some fragments of reed stems (Phmgmilf's (nlSlr:alis) were found. The reed remains identified In two Or1 he samples speak for [his too. The seed/fruit record ofihe wild flora

r. c .. 1' )KF"i~ p~ fIAl ~J l- vn, Maslins, ruixtures and Jll0UOcrop~: 011 II ie: in t e rpreuuion L If a"t I LaC ( II (lgiG\ 1 crop sampl f'~ I I r hcte rug('nOlI~ C()111 p(lsi lion. J.1S 22 ! 191J.~). 112-11:1.

'" ["]. KRnl.l., It P'\)' r mINM" XVI J. U ntersuc h U llg-ell del' Buranisrhen Funde, jlI/)/la'. OJ (2()Wi), 1 ~4.

tile Complex or rhe t;i7.<1 Pvrarnid Builders. (:nlt'ml hlill rlljJII/IJPJ I ~ (2005), 7.

~I~ \A/~ V",\-:\ Zf.l~T, C,. n~J R()Li_:U~1 Plan I F~nl{,~iIlS ff'orn ~J1.larli.

:1 11 Prcdvnasr ic si I (;' I n I .owc r l~b'YPI. VI!!,,"'I(lliu?1 f-fi~ltJr) (lml A:Mlllllo/JOltUl.l' 2 (19~1.:I). I Q; A. F, \11 :\W, Palaeo, d kuobotauical studies er [m'l)tia] I Pretlynastic cerueter-

.\11 lndustrial Site at nl-Shaykh S,,"Td!Wadi Zabayda 317

(Ca~rt'x spp., G)7JtTI1S spp. Scapu« spp.) likewise indicates the presence of reeds and swamps close 10 the site. The occurrence of the stems of feed could be connected with the use of the plant as building material or for marring.

In general the plant macrofossil assemblage fits well in the picture for the Early Dynastic plant economy KIlO\V1l. until now, but also it affords new insights in the use and importance of faba bean and melon for this period.


3.5 The Animal Remains

The standard procedure for retrieval of the fauna consisted of hand picking in the excavation trench, followed by dry sieving of <\11 sediment through 4 mm meshes, Wet sieving of in total abou t 10 Ii tres of sedirnen t lor archaeobotanical sampling, using fine sieves Wil.J1 0.3 and 1 rnm meshes, yielded some additional, smaller remains that allow to some exien t LO con-eel for the loss when using only a 4 mm mesh. Thus far approximately 15,000 animal remains have been analysed ufwh ich about 530Q could be identified, They are main ly from activity zone B, where some features interpreted as 1 akery floors were found (58. SGB=S9). as well as from activity zone A. The latter seems Lu have been an open-air waste-disposal area. par! of which yielded a large concentration of bread moulds ( 54A), and where also some circular fife places Were made (S58; S59). Although differences can be noted between the fauna or the LWO activity zones. both are considered togeih<'CI' in th is I-I rst report.

Dcspit e a long tradi lion or archaeological research in I~gypt, only few publications exist on fa u 11 a I rema i 11'<>. especi all)' from selll erne n t contexts. OK settlements of' which faunal data have been publi hed ar BlltO,~1 RaWI'D al-l:iisl1,&1 Tall

res: new diruenslou s and CQn< ributlons, in: K . .N1i.\ -; .11,\:'\". A BLTLLR. ,s. 1{,\I·IUH'IlEI~ (r-ds.) FOIIt.!, fijlll nnd. fiolds. Pmgrl!As ill ,V'~taf!'olmI1t7!.l . Arta Praehistoriul IS. Kr3lrl. 2UO.:'l. ~!9-11lf).

" A.M. M ['IUtA\', ill: NrcHClI>~()N. 51·lAW (Nh.), ,\E/\t/'/~ Q3<J-ltlf:i.

~" (,;\',1< \ilr:l~, Hu/"f! des phli/"wm'iuhl?l. {tgYj)lrn. 129 .

. '.' A. VON IWN DRIL:'i(:JL Tierresie au, BuU) IIIl Niklekn, .1 U'/iW"!/ItU'l1II (3 (1997). 23-29.

~J RJ VWNI'-l' .. P. E. Blleli., II. ]-.I IMR(lU$H, M, l~()fll'SI"flVln', 1<., ,KRUJ'I'I'R, K .• R. RI'.i)llll\'l. (erls.). KOlfl el-I-] isn: ExcaV.tLiIJII oj' an Old l(jllgduI\l seulerneut ill the Egyplj.rll I)eha, }AR.r.'E2'-1 (1988), 5-3;-f.

318 Harco Willems et alii

Ibrahim Awad," Giza," e:lt'phalHine~i and Abvclos.S!!- The assemblage from itc SS/vVZ repr~ sents a large new dataset,

As i ndicated ill I he species list (Fig. 14), fish are very common at the site. Almost 2000 remains have been identified. These include 15 taxa, indicating that rhe l'ishing gear:5 used allowed capturing a large pan of the available spectrum. It is likely, however, that the species proportions snggesied by the table are biased because of the lack of ysternatic fine sieving, i.e. on meshes of 2 mrn or smaller. The hones from the archaeobotanical samples yielded far higher proportions of fish with very small bones, like ,·llf'.'/f's/B,),r.i)ll!,I: Yel, even Laking into account a degree of bias, the abun dance of Ni le perch re mains striking (approx. 1200 specimens, or about 60%). The species is caught in the deep parts of the Nile and also the Brtgnls and ,~)l'I'I.I/r1(ml,is catfish are deep water fish.>'!' Because of their large size, the cyprinids may also belong to this category. Clariid catfish and tilapia, two typical Floodplain dwelh-rs, are far less common at al-Shaykh SaCJd. They representless than 15% ofthe fish bone as emblage. Certainly in (he case of clariid carfish, which have sturdy bones and 'which can attain sizes or lip to one metre. this i HOi an effect of sam piing bias W' poor preservation chances. The low numbers of floodplain fish can either mean that during the OK [he floodplain near the site was not used Ior fishing, that people were not around during the flood season - when these fish are most easily captured - or that there was Simply no or Oil I)' a small Floodplain nearby. For the moment, the last pos-

@ l BtlE%NF.CK. A. 110 ... IJEt" DRIESt;JI, Wcircre TicrknorhenFuntle vom Tell 1 until i In Awad i m i\SLlkh (' II Ni ldelta, ill:

E. (;. M. V.\N m:N BH I NI{ (ed.). T/lr 'Wb-fJ,t!Ui hi transition: ./IL3rr! 1/lilh'.It·IJinm B.C, FIYltru[illgl oj'lIw ,1"III.i1ul'/ /ldr/ ill r:llim. 2.1-24 OrWUl'r 1'190. Tel Aviv, 1992, U7-109.

~,. M. 1\.0 IU 1$ I , Tie rkuoch e ufuude aus .heh I A!01Jlen.

Amwh'll {i,'S N/;III.rhi~·Io/'is('!II·li ,H uscum: 83 (1980), EilU-o',.~7. AM. MlIiR)'Y, (;;-11I'I·U.! Anlhmpu/lIPJI L~ (,wor,), 1-9. R, Rl:I/I)IN(" Main street filHmd remains, in: M. LEIINH:. W. WI" IT I·. HS'1 ROM (etls.}, Giw RI'/JIWI., I, Iii-17ft R. Rbl\DIN(" G.dlerylll.+ Faunal Remni 113, in:

LEI'I)',£J(,W[TTERSTROM (cU$.), (;hfl N.I'/lI.ll'l.1 1, 26~\-21)9. R. REnLJ1C\i(.. "Ircasures' from a hig·h·rlass dump, r\CI'flgram R,2 ('1007). 6-'7.

'" J HOJN:iNEt:K. A. VON II~" DIUE;';( H. 'fi/l)~lm,l!fh(ll~fil,'lll"~ fit,/, ,\lIJb.,,·nillw&,JCf.n III'S Deutsdicn A rrJ/f/.ulogi!.rhm 111;\liIIlU J(m;m uu] L'II'/JhrPllirl.l'" Silld:if/l 1111 HliJji!"Ji/m 'Hn/mor.//I'Il/II.lIdnt (J,I.(J iltD'PI/IIl, Mi'LIldltll. j DS:!.

sibil iry seems most plausible in viewof the results [rom geOniOrpllOtugtcal work carried OUL so far. Size reconstructions have' indicated that 40% of the Nile perch bones are of very large specimens. uf 1...,2 rn standard length. They must have been caugh tin particularly deep parts of the Nile. since the average size of Nile perch caught increases with depth. Possibly, the high proportion of large Ni le perch indica res that such big fish could be easily ohiained. If the water inlet near the site aIn:<ldy existed during I'll e OK (see 4.2), this would have made i.t easy to access the main Nile, and may have facilitated flsh landings as well. The provisioning of the workers with large fish may also have been a deliberate choice.

Over 3000 mammal remaius, nearly all of domestic animals, have been identified. Over:2QOO bones of sheep/goat, and 1150 uf cattle were counted. No pig remains have been found at all. except some in the NK levels. The absence of pig is unparalleled in the other OK sites mentioned above. The sheep, goat and cattle remains include man)" young animals. About 10% ofthe caule were newborn to abour half a year old, implying thai they were probably derived from herds that were kept Jl1 the neighbourhood. The high proportion of yo ling animals may be indicative of high qualitv food, in this case Lender meal. At Giza [he cattle included a large' prcporuon 01' 1-2 vear old males that are supposed to have' been brought in on the hoof." Wild mammals are uncommon at site SS/WZ. Low numbers of game are normal at POSLNeolithic EgYPU<111 sire • but here numbers are particularly low/I The species present art'

~~ r. WECNER. V. SM rru, '5, RUME!., Til e 0 rgan izatien of the Tern pte Nlr-K; or Senwosret ILl at Ahyrios ... l&L Ii) \~()()()) •. $;1-125: S. ROSH.I" food ror the dead. rhe priests and the mavor: louldng rnr status anrl idt'J1lilY ill the Middle Kingdom settlement at South Abvdes, F:g)1J1, in: S.J. 0'0,\\', W V<\."< NI::IR. A. £11.\"1'\1(:11: (eds.), J31'/1(1.{liour uli/lind 80'/!,'5, Th« Zl)oonhtwoto€Q1 Of lVl·ut/l. RJ1ligi.Ii1!, \'IIIII~\: 11.'1111 flie.l1lil.y. Oxford: 200'j, 19!:\~\:?t)2: IDEM. A talc uf the Lones. An iuial use ill lilt' It'lllple and town or W~\h...sUL, h."o:jil'lJilirm +R (20()fi), 4 !-'I."I.

ffi' \III. VAN NI':IR, Evolui inn of prehistoric fish'ing' in the Ggyptian Nile \'nllc':" jou rna! vi Niic(/II All'lw<,oIup:j 2 (2004),25L-269.

'm A.M. MI'RI~A\(, 0/1. I'll.

"I \'. Lll\Is~;rl.l·. W. \',\;-.1 NEl:.I( .. xploitaticn or desert and other wild jJitme in am ien L E),'ypl: the archueozoological evidence lrum the Nil!' Valley. in: M. I'i£Rl!, F. Ff')R..'iTE'R, N Pou J\'J'H, H. R IlS,\II;:I~. D("~cn An imals in the

Activity ZODe A

Activity zone 8




Fossil ~ht'11 Large bivalve Fish Pnlyj!l.fffl<.l' sp

A lestes/ Bryl'inu:\Hypewpis!/.'; bpi,!' Mormyridae

Cyprinidae (min. 2' species) Disrichndon Lidae/ Ci rharinidae Catfish 1 (Clariidae) (min . .2 species) Catfish 2' ( BrI{.,'T'/.tS sp.)

Catflsh 3 (5,"IlIl!rirmtl;1 sp.) (min. ~ species) Catfish 4 (Au.r,1i.f./J.oglfmis sp.)

Nile perch (Lail'S niloi,lft!.I)

tilapia (Tilapiini)

L:nidcnlified lish

Softshell turtle (lli<mJ\\: trillnguis) Wild mammals

Hippopotamus (Hifl/}op(}larml.1 mnIJIi:ibills) J lartebeest (AlrelaIJhl.!~· Im.wJ/(J1!/w,l) Domestic mam mals

Sheep (Ouis /1,'IIl/1lri'n r. aries) Guat (Ctlpm ll/Jg(Jg;rW! f. hircus) Sheep ur gOal

Caule (Bol /Jr-itlligeniw J. taurus) Unidentified rnarnrnal Carnivore dropping

Sheep or gnar dropping

I o

3 14 .31 D

2 3: 7

15 60 1 122 41 300

JI79 149 130,1 2

19 1


1 29 1 80 22 182 o


134 1832 II 3.5 7387

1 5

Fig, 14 A.:nimals idemillerl ill or deposits at sire SS/WZ

(numbers-ofirlentified speci 111t'IlS, N1SP) (collf'G1.("rl by h,1I1r] and I hmllgh dry ~ievlllg on."] rnrn meshes (Jill})

hlppopotamus and hartebeest. Hippo was probably hunted in the ... ile or in the grassland close W jL"~ In the laue]' also hartebeest could be found, although the animal must have been rare ill Upper Egypt since the end of the Palaeolithic."

Almost <ill of the animal remains analyzed should be considered as food waste. Some have butchery marks that confirm this. The diet or the workers appc;u:s 10 !U!V{,; been of high quality (cf. large Nile perch, young domestic animals). but the nmge of animal species thai provided pro-

Eastern Sahara: Their Pvsirioll, S'i!,;nitiC,)I1ce and (:111- rurnl Refleciiun in Arniqtll!.y, in: l'mcNdi'/lgiJ C!! rl,111(II/II" 1Ui.liOlwl AGIle/A WOI'II,'/WjJ /wld (~.1 IIw Unitier ,i 1_" of ClIllJgJ'!p., Gmll{m)'> /)1'fPlllbpl' J -I-n, 2007 (in press).

I\J J [8 1


75 458 1

13 o



40 9\-J 1185 1.64 3661 I)

35 647 1171 3,72{)

I ()

teins was relativelv small compared to conternporury seulements. lrurusivc animals, such as mice, rats or other rodents. ate completely missing in rhe excavated deposits. Carcasses of ani, mals such as dogs, tha: were 110t eaten afte-r their death, are absent as well, except in topsoil. If is unclear whether the hippo remains are also food waste, or if their presence must be expl ain ed differently, Many uf [be bones are burned. This. is particularly true for feature S54A where at [east 40% of all bones are burned. They usually have

jl~ R_l)~ r:~TES~ 'I he behaviour guide' Ln African l\,1n)11111als_ r II C I \1 eli ng h no led maru In als, earn i \'0 res, p ri mutes, South Africa, lUg? 222,

,~ V. LI ;>ISH' 1.1':, W, ViI r; 1\ I': l~, of) - ci t.

320 Harco Willems et alii

a brown or black colour and only few are grey or white, colours associated with h.igh temperature hunting. A simple campfire must have been sufficient to obtain the burning observed." Often the bones are burned entirely, which means there was little or no meat on them, or that the meal was destroyed completely hy the- fire. Rathel- than being related 10 food preparation, u is possible that these fires were intentionally IiL and maintained in areas like S54A to prevent animal pests and stench (see page xx) ill general, gnawing marks of carnivores and rodents are rare on the bones, which also Fits this scenario. Yet. some droppings of carnivores (and of sheep or gO<lL) were found, showing that ![h,ese animals visited the waste disposal areas. The deposits yielded several sets of articulating bo nes, In combination wi th the observati oris above, this points to Waste deposits [hat were. apart from fires, Iittle di sturbed after their initial deposition.

V.L, W.v.N.


4.1 The Quarries at the End of Wadi Zabayda

It has been shown that calcite alabaster was worked at site /WZ in the early OK and from the mid-~K to the TIP, when the site's main plU'pose seems to have been vase production. TIle most likely reason why calcite alabaster objects were produced at such a scale precisely here, is that the hintnlft1ltl ofthe site con tai ned the extrac[jon area.of the rough male rial. In 1894. W. LE Petrie already pointed out the existence of <I large quarry, the Maghara Abu cA2fz (PI. rand IIIB), remarking:

'Turning next to (he northern quarries, lll1e already noticed by Wilkinson is at the head of two valleys running opposite wars, quarry C. This is an open pit of alabaster, of large width, but not deep. It is approached by a sloping trench from the W., and some niches for tablets OCctU- in the ides. and traces of a tablet nov.' illegible;. from the style it looks early, not later than ihe XIlth dynasty. "'",

uu Ly,iIA1\', R.L., Vl'!'i~brfllr 'lhjlhrmllm_1'. Cmlllmdgr MIIIl/lalo- m Mrhrwul'1GY, Cambritli!;t', )99iJ_,

% Plmt1~. 'INI d 111I/(f'I'rW, ~ .• md pI. xxxrv; see :llso 1 he remarks by 1),\\,1£.', (fl. 51 and KE~SLER (n. 8).

J. Harrell recently made the significant point that this quan')' (his number 3) not only produced calcite alabaster (or . travertine', as he prefers to call it). but also limestone."

!';cH all of Petrie's remarks are apL The quarry is indeed wide, but it is also veq deep (in some places certainly more than 10 m.), and although recent illicit quarry exploitation has surely affected rile ice, the high vertical edges are in many cases definitely ancient. Also, U1e cut out road to the W observed by Petrie is not the only of irs kind: a second one, departing from the SE end of the quarry. gives access to the wadi leading to the

orth Tombs in Amarna, suggesting that the q ua tTy was in use in the Arnarna era. However, the presence of OK bread mould fragment.<; sl"ggests that stone extraction in the area began long before,

Near the quarry. a rock spur racing the beginning of [he quarry track till shows the remains of the stela ilk-hes PC[l'1e referred to (PI. IIIB). Several, which contain no traces of decoration. were simply niches into which loose stelae were cenrerued. The easternmost stela, however, was carved in the living rock (see Fig. J 4). Its lower pari still contains remains of a scene showing two standing· male figures faci ng a th ird person on the right, Behind llh: leftmost Jigure are LH\CeS of the text [ ... ] di e) [ .. _lllb In; W cIt. The righthand column. which is even more damaged. had the-same text. Although there are occasional traces of other signs, none aloe legihle. At rite top of the len jamb of the panel, there are still the remains of the Horus name of a king, whose name unioruinately remains ille,gible.

The enure emplacement strongly recalls the situation at the calcite alabaster quarries at Halnub. Here also, [he quarry is a crater reached by a road carved om of the ]jYing rock, ami here also the sides (and particularly the S ide) contains rectallg-Lllaf stelae. AsIar as the l'e)1l<\ins permit a judgemem" these date to the OK. Horus names ()CCl1f here as well, and one has a text ending with the same words as the one under discussion."

All of this stlggem thai the Magh~l'a A.bG cAzlz may elate bark to tho OK, and that it remained in

!'6 J. 1-I'11t1{FI.I., Ancient QU<lnles rrear Aruurna. E!f)~'1t(l11 A IthallfJ/og)' I \-l (\too I). ~\(j-:\H.

m R. AN·[·llf.S, !Jill 1'14.II:niJ!.lrb.rijll'l! l'MI 11(/Oml" l,.'CAA \;I, Ldpzig, 1~28. Taf, i'i (Inschr, VI; dare: Mercure).



An Industrial ·ite:.ll al . havkh S,,6d, Wadj 2IdLill:yt!il 32]

)1 1\


use at least until the Amarna period. It is tempting to assume that the quarry and site SS/WZ form LwO ends of one industrial complex.


4.2 Landscape reconstruction of the wadi mouth: an ancient harbour site?

During the 2008 and ~009 seasons, the ElM cultivated area at the mou th of the WadI Zabayda (seePI. II;. IJJA) W<.lS· SU bjected io a geomorphic survey in order LO reveal the landscape evolution of the area .. 27 manual sedi rneru corings were made ill (he cultivation with an edelman curing device, Their depth ranges between 1. rn - where large angular stone fragments prohibited further coring ~ and 6 Ill. Complementary [0 these corings, five 2D-eleclricaJ resistivity profiles were run: (Wo are oriented \IV-E, i.e. parallel to the axis of the wadiswhile three ran -:5, perpeudicular 1.0 the wadi. Electrode spacing equallecl2.5 m, and the avel'age depth or penetration was appnrx. ] 5-':20 m. (for the locations of the corings and the resistivitity profiles, see PI. II), J ust befnrt: the 2009 season, the owner exploi ted part of the cultivated area as <1, quarry, removing the soil matrix. up to a depth of I m in the northern pan and up to 2: m

in the southeastern parr of the wadi mouth. The Hew])' exposed quarry Faces were measured in 2009 at several locations. offering more detailed stratigraphical in formation.

The resistivi I)' profiles sh owed that coarse deposits typical of wadi origin are the main type or sediment in this area. This was confirmed by most or the sediment corings. The quarry fares showed I hat these wadi deposits are layered horizontally, layers with yellowish coarse angular Iragrnents alre rna ti n g wi th smaller gravel laye rs, btl r also with thin layers of dark-brown fine-grained sediments typical of floodplain deposits. The latter units increase in thickness towards the W. pointing to an increasii Ig in terfingerii Ig of Nil a l.]c and wadi ill fluence in thi area. However, in the central part of the cultivated area, an aJ,101Mtly of low!;']' resistivity values was observed i.11 the N~S profiles, pointing towards an area of much finer deposits. Coring'S showed that sediments here are dark brown and poorly sorted. Dominant texture ranges from fine sand and small gravels to silt and clay. However, several SiT'la.IJ and larger angular rock fragments are incorporated. Moreover, at several depths, ceramic fragments were retrieved from the corIllgS. Most are too snrall for diagnostic analysis, but

322 Harco Willems et alii

some sherds indicate dates in the Nl{ and later, This sediment unit is also rich in fragments of organic debris and charred plant remains, however, mostly LOa small to be determined to species level. At the top of this unit. coars e-grained wadi scdirnen t prevails again. We i nterpret this sed imen t u 11 it as a nOO-11 a La ral deposi tio nal m ixtu re of 1) fine-grained Nile sedirnen I (si II and clay). 2) fine-grained wadi sediment (sand and small gravel), and 3) an thropogenic debris (organics and cerarn ics: si n gl e large a L1 gular rock fr'agm e 11 ts embedded in thick line-grained sediments). This uni l is about 15-20 In widE" <lIid has a depth of ax least 6.40 m. Three MS dares were performed on charred plant remains recovered from this sedimeru unit. One sample, situated immediately below the wadi deposits that cover this sediment unit and 1 m below the modern surface, returned an age of980-1150 cal. A,D. Two samples situated at depths of 2.6 and 4.4 in. (a,t two differeu L coring locations), 1.(/. in the' middle of tile sedunen t tm it, returned ages of cal. Re. 1430-1260 and cal. B.C. 900-790. respectively. These ages are in agreemeut with dati ngs obtained from the ceramics, J 11 the northern part of' the cultivation, all cores were limited to a depth of 1-2 rn, Sediments here are characterised by a matrix of coarse material that is more angular than typical wadi deposits, suggesting a local origin. Moreover, high concentrations of ceramic fragmen ts were found. In one qUem)' face in the 'W-part of the cultivated area, part of a Iyth dynasty bread 1110tlld was identified I tn below the modern surface, 0111" AMS dale 011 charred plant remains from a nearby core at a depth of 1.2 III returned an age of 2890~2620 cal. B.C. Here we have to lake into account the usual problem that. lite dale ranges for this period are generally higher than conventional dating: the latLet usually just fit at the most recentend or the radiocarbion date rallgeY~ Our dates, i 11 fact, exactly fit a simulated 14C date corresponding to a 'historical date' of2587 ± 50 B.C. for the reign of Khufu."

Based on the sedimentological evidence found so far, we interpret the anomalous sediment unit that is nowadays buried in the central part of [he

'l<' Set' S.W. M,\:-;NI"IG, RacliIlCiU'!Jrm Oating anrl Egyp!],!11 Chrm1f)log)" in: E, 11oR'H·NC., R. KllAtlSl;, D.A. WARBUIl'TON kds,J. Ancienl E?;)'jJlirf/t ChT(mOiolf)' (I-leiO I. 2~: L6- den, Boston, 20DG), £~8-!'I50. Of importance hell" <Ire the shape of the calihratinn curve' fw this period and

cu ltivated wadi mOLI th as an ancientharbour inlel that was once CO!11ICCIe.d with 2111 active Nile chanriel running close by, and ihar is nowadays completely infilled. Based on all the evidence. a palaeogeographical recei istructiou of the harbour channel 'is indicated on PI. II. At present, the Nile runs 600 m W of the site, hut CORONA salle.llirt': nuagery from 1'970 i ndicares thai <H [hat I ime a secondary channel was situated immediately 1/\ of the site, 011 the other side of the present-day irrigation chan nel (PI. I-II). No information on the fir t use of this harbour is available as the bottom of the sedirueut fill was 110l reached with the manual cering devices and thus could not be elated. The harbour channel eventually has been 1I.lled up gr~j(llIfd Iy by a corn bination of processes. First of all. anthropogenic debris fell from the shore into the channel, deliberately or accidentally at only ceramic fragments ended up here but also [he larger, angular rock f!'agnlf'nts thai '11·(' so typo ical for the surface near stone production sites, as well as large arnoun I of charred remains. Second- 1}I, floodwaters from the Nile brought [11 finegrained sediment giving the typical clark. brown colour to (he sediment matrix. And finally. episodic wadi floods delivered fine-grained gravel and sand LO the channel. The tOP of the sediment unit is dared at approxii na tely 1000 A.D. Charred plant rnacrorernains in the top of this layer. such as ZiUn spinosa (L) Pram], belong tel the typical wadi vegetatiou. Finds of Rat}/itillUs satiuus L. in the same layer could point towards 111(:" same age as this crop was widely cultivated in chis area only [rOIl! the Coptic period onwards (approx 7lh century A.D.).

«.v. VOL., KM., HW.


Sections 4.1-2 show that the stone production faci I i l)' at si tc SS/W7, forms the core of a large geographical region tbat can be coherently interpreted as an industrial site. Limestone and calcite alabaster WCl'C extracted in the Maghara Abu cAZIZ, transported down the wadi to the bill al al-Shaykh SaC\ci to be transformed into vases and other commodities, and shipped elsewhere from the harboor in thewater inlet just south of the hil!.

the use of' 'old wnorl' inthe ('OIltl:..XIS trom which materi al was sampled (til e latter [aew]" Gil II tnt, of course, have had much i lIlp"Cl on 0\1 r sa 111 ple}.

[I!J COI"re:~p()ntlil'g to a J (I darr- I,ingtt nf 28RO-21520 BP; based on O)(l(~1 3.9; SIT SW. MA~NIN( e , 0/1. t:il" 342.

The 01 activity is dated firmly firmly to the early NIh dynasty all the basis of ceramics, a seal impression menuoning king Khufu, and a radiocarbon dale for a charcoal sample. Possibly the harbour was <II ready in existence at this early da re, 1L is al any rate dear that, al ready then. calci tc alabast er rrolfl the Maghara Abo r,;AzTz W',LS worked here', but the nature of [he industry remains somewhat obscure. The stone vase drills that liuer the sire i nclude crescent drills lor which dose parallels are known from other early OK quarry sites, In the OK levels ru site SS/WZ, however, none or these were found ill contexts rhat are securely dated to the earl)' OIt To explain rbe absence of this kind of material i1 could be argued that the OK levels in senors I, 3, and ~l were primarily used for food production, and (hal (bills were deployed elscwhel'c.However" the greatest density of drills ericou n tered d uririg the survey occurred precisely around vsectors 1--4, so I'h:11 their near absence in i1l situ OK levels can hardly be coincidental Moreover, remains related to the production or stone items other than vases are Ireq ueru here, proving that SLO.11 e production waste did end up in the 01{ strata or sectors 1, 3 and 4. Quite an amount offrogm'llts with smooth surfaces (and sometimes edge-s) snggcsl thai the stone objects made here were careiully dressed and polished arch i tectural elements, and also that the site did not produce raw I nate rial (or at least not only that), IWl. rather (nearly) finished products. l' nfortnnaiely the ki nels of (ll~ject COI1- cern ed as yet can n o t be de te rm in ed.

The narrow early "l\f!h dynasty (late range suggests a connection with the grand building' pro]ens undertaken by Khufu (ami perhaps h.i.:; predecessor Snofru). It stanch; La reason that some of the calcite alabaster may have gone iiuo the royal pyramids or the Lillie, into I he sepulchres of high officials, or into other major structures located near the residence.

I t is still LbO ea,'I), to estimate the extent of the early OK seitlerneru. An indirect indicarirm is afforded by the Sh~CT qu<\ntity of bread moulds di~covcred. FULLlrt' analysis will enable us 10 make a rough esti mate or the n limber of bl'rad moulds discarded m the small excavated area (approx. 50

1<111 R. Rl.I)blN{ ••• -If'mgrnm H,~ (Fall ~(ln7), fl-7. MU!RAY, /Jp. rit: R. Rt·dding, pers. CUIrl III , also ~Ll~esls I bat the turgt' Nile perch at Gila we-re used predominantly h~' higher S(:::!(lI5 workrnen.

111:1) IL is alreadv clear that this n11ll1btT~v111 he ver}' high, and of course the excavated sectors represent only a' part of the actual waste disposal area, An indication of its total ize is afforded by the find of well preserved bread mould fragments Jill kt:d to an ash layer .ar the western end of the excavation made hr the local farmer after the end of our 2008' campaign, some 75 rn. from the eastern side of sec lor 4-. Apparently the strata wirh charcoal and bread moulds continued as far as here, This suggests that the food production area was spread 0111 over ,011) E-W distance of at least some ROm. 1L cannot be ruled I)HL rhat the total bread production area extended even further east and west. Bread production must thus have been going 011 here at a vast scale. Another point of interest is that, in Egypt, the production of bread and beer usually took place in adjacent facilities, but that only few beer jars wen' enCOUlJtered in sectors J, 3 and 4. The breweries must therefore have occupied another parlor the site, and may have had dump areas elsewhere, fn any case the gaTbage heaps linked to the production units [or bread and beer were' extensive. Since rheir period of usc seems to have been only brief. a sizeable work force must have been sheltered here.

The macroborauical and archaeozoological analysis has shown that this population lived on a diet with rather 1 i mit ed variation. bill high ill quality. It consisted of ernrner made bread, and probably beer, pulses, vegetables, fish (mainly Nile perch), and (often you ng) sheep, goats and cattle. Tile predominance at' these animals may indicate large-scale, cen irally controlled. food provi ioning. This picture is similar to that seen for the higher statui; workers at the Giza settlernen t of the pyramid builders, which is only slightly later.'?'

Another sirnilarrry to tht" latter settlement is the occurrence of an exceptional type of bread mould. These very latge pOtS have distinct typological traits that were hitherto known only from the settlernen I. of 1 he pyramid bui ldcrs at Gi7:n.1111 Our evidence suggests thai this type of ceramic mav have been used specifically for bread production in tile framework of rationing large work forces.

1"1 A, Wodzinska therefore remarks thai tllt'5e bread moulds ure specific rtlr thetown at Gi"l~ (Wnl1'1.IN~1<, . ." in:

LUIM,I(, WE.T1·ER~TRml kd,~, L m~fl 1?J'lmW I, 306-;101'\).

324 HarcoWillerus 1:'1 alii

The activities of such contingents must have been coordinated by a group of administrators, Indirect hints to the presence an elite are afforded by the pottery evidence. Although this consists overwhelmingly of I"ongh, locally made, utilitarian vessels, Some 01" the Maidtnn sherds are of an excecdi ngly fin equal iL'y (see p. 308f.). On e dis h (see Fig. 9) definitely does not belong to the pottery assemblage commonly used in daily life either, It is a luxury uern i mi taLing a stone plate, 1.1 is unlikely that ordinary quarrym.en surrounded thernselv 5 with such a material culture. h would rather seem to belong to the apparel of a fairly high elite. The seal impressions found at the si te that belong 10 the ca tt:;gory of the i nsti tution- 01.1 seals, demonstrate that a form of administrative C0l1trolv{as in force. The exceptional pottery items just mentioned may reflect rlre lifestyle of those exerting that control.

Few pans of the settlement have so far been found, but ir rn ust have existed nearby. I L probably included a brewery, pottery kilns, and an adminisnative centre. Although only ,1 single wall has so far been found (5 J 30 ill Fig. G), it has an interesting storr to tell. I! is built of rough field 51 ones, has a I'.hickncss of ahout fj() ern, and is orien rated exactly 1.(:) the N. Walls in organically grown settlemems of the period tend to he thinner, <Ire buill of mud brick, and h<Jiv(: no fixed oriemarion.l'" This is dilIereru in plan ned workmen '5 settlements near early OK pyramids. The 1"1 'Sf known example is the workmen's settlement in south-eastern Giza recently excavated M. Lehner. Interestingly, the eastern frillge or the excavation has exposed an org<lIlkully gro-wn settlement, but the planned workmeus settlement with i ts barracks, bakeries, and official buildings are strictly orienta led north. are built in field stone ., and have walls or a thickness that compares well 1'C1 those at site S/WZ.IIJ.I A si 111 i 121 r settle m en L wi th the sa me lype of walls was found near [he Mcnkaure pyramid. Some walls here were buill of 'alabaster', suggesting that this precious material, [hal must have been imported

II'~ This is the case, [')1 instancc-, 1(01 the OK ~t'rdt'Hll"!H at Elepharnine (,'vl. ZIUU.~~NI\, J!.ll!phrllllin~ XXViff. IH(' lleustrukture» tiN all~f'lm S/(II/I I Fn·ilr:.lli/ 11fl{1 A IIIW al'irli) .

• WD,-\IK lOI'l: M<1illl am Rh\.'ln. ~WO:\: IDfM. rl'UJAIK 5fl (I!-J\l9J, 71); also the parallels cited by N. Mor UX.R, Th« [)l1.lIIlo/I/II(71.1 Iy' flr{}Jt7l1('iai Taum« In A nrient l~r:ij)1 [rom llil' }tnd Ii} th« Old h'iIlW/wu toih« B&gi:lllling ~l th« Mirldl~ Killg" !low, Dlss, Cambtid.l;:"t· '!1I1l3,

from Middle Egypt, was lying about in huge quantities here.'"" Finally, a comparable early IVtll dynasty structure was found near the red pyramid in Dah s hG r. 1115 AI th ough we have th LIS far excavated only a m i 11 11 te part of th e settlem eat at si te SS/vVZ, the best compraranda are. dearly these workrn n's seuleruen ts around the l:Jyram ids', which obviously were a state initiative,

It is concluded that site S I' Z must have been a fairly populous settlement of which the base of subsistence was not agriculture and animal husbandry (as was probably the rule III rural Upper Egypt), but the production of stone 'items. This, the similarities with the contemporary Giza settlements of the pyramid builders, and the presence not only of workmen but also of an elite. suggests we are Iaciug the remains ora stare institutiou, In tlte early OI( such establishments in the provinces are well known: they are the so-called royal domains (Egyptia» ~l\t'.I). A Call tern POtary iconographic rendering of the nationwide network of domains is preserved on rhe walls of the so-ca lled valley ole ru ple of king Sn ofru at D ahshu r. In keeping with Lite feminine gender of the word ~IW.t, the domains are here depicted as a procession of ladies carrying the bl1'./-sign Oil their heads. Inside lh sign occurs tbe name of Snofru, Each lady W<15 th HS designated as hw.rSnfrw, 'domain.ofSnofrn'.lII(lln lists like this, each lady personifying' a domain i.~ depicted ctlt'1")1ing P1"()IJUC1.s: a symbolic rendering of how the produce of the domains is channelled to the re irlcnce. This transfer of commodities from the provinces to the capital iTI1.lSL have been one or the foundations of the 1'OyaI economy of Egypt.

D(.ml<lin~ must have existed all over Egypt. ill.

AI Lllough til is leaves 110 doubt as to their irnporlance' (or fII e eCOI1()IT1)1 or OK. Eg;.'PI, litrle is known about their structure and functioning. Archaeological evidence of only one was hitherto known, JI concerns the late ITTI'd dynasty domain at Elephantine, III~ of which parts were excavated by SJ Seidlmayer; UnforLUIl{,rdy only a few enig-

II" E.j{. the bakery \,\r<,II~ <II Gi"<iI depicted in LLJ I:-.iEI<. _'lml" grtlm I. IHi. I (Fall 10Yri), B-7.

I!I~ .-\!I1!1'J /\1.1"1 SALl.lI, r.:.l{c<lv;;tlinns around Mycerinus Pvramid CO!llpkx. MlJMK30 (197<1), lcH-154.

,,', For alii these ~i tl"S, see ZI "llMII'_;o.,:. /:,;lll/lilrmU11,r X X V Ill, tos-nz,

1m. [\I\III!){. 'I'h~ M()ilUlIWI!~ OrSIl~fiwu III J)r,h;,/w)'!l. ]7-.':,8.

marie walls still exist here. S idlrnayer suggests the), aw two phases of u e. During the second, according t him, a platform was creal d on which an importaru building was er ctcd, The till consists of waste dating back to the first peri d of u .e, and includes. huge amounts of pottery and seal impressions, the latter suggesting the presence of an administrative elite. There are al a indicati ru that written record were kept in old beer jars, the in scriptioris on SOUle of which suggest they were secondarily used for docurnen

. torage (an 'archive'). The material culture of this phase' startlingly similar to what i encount red at site SS!WZ: massiv amounts of flat and deep bread moulds, Maidurn bowls, seal impressions, and (in Elephantin ) beer jars. The Elephantine domain als includ 'S a small step pyramid, Although its exact purpose is not lear; it mu l have SCI'V d a form of royal eulLHl9

Perhaps the Elephantine domain produced commodities made of Aswan gra.nil'e. If SQ, it would have be 11 ora kind comparable to the one in al- haykh Savid. Other domains of this kind rna have existed. A likely candidate is the Hatnub quarries. In layout, the large Hatnub quarry is rernini cent to the Maghara Abft Al.iz. Both are rca hed by H qll~ln" rc <tel twm the ile valley, of which the last part was artificially carved our in the rock. Tn both. royal stelae were carved in rlie southern side of the entrance road (in Hatnub a few also OCClIl- in the northern face. No cttlement has been found 1.0 a' .ompany Hatnub, but

orne _K sherd material was found in Amarna south, close to where the Hatnuh road must have ended up in the valley!'" Interestingly, the earliest royal inscriptions at Hatnub dale to the Lim of

Illi II. JM-:Q_t.: Ef·G[)I<I)f Jl\ • II's nom" lim domninrs [unhaiu« ,101.1,1 /'A/lfii'll f~mfli-r~ liff)'/Ilil"ll. BdE ~4. Lt' .aire, 19fi2: j.C; MUIHN{) GAH<:I.\, UII'I et ls miliet« ru,lydJigyjllim rill, III' milIf.naiTII. Erouomi», O{{'lIIil1islnltirm 1,1 {Jrgml'~wl.itm inritorinl». Paris, 1999.

I" •• A. wall at Sh;:lrfma has also been auributed lo <I royal domain. but its ·OJlU·X\ is Very unclear (L. ,lSTF.KM,\NN. F. Gm'lAA. B. H~ILJG~lA1\N. P:.J( 1{(.i'.L'lS, W. SCH1£NI(FI" 01- RQm, l-Ahmury Sarilna 1991. GiVf127 (19\;12), '::!!:!-Y'J.

10'/ SJ ·I'II)LM!\YF.~. Die taarli be Anlage der 'I. Dynastie in riel' No rdweststad I von Elephantine. Archallingisdw IIftd hisrorische Probh-rne, in: 'I. BWl'AK (ed.). Hnus null Pulnst im (tllIm ·\2.)'/Jlm, 'ZK 14, Wien, J 906. HI5~2] .; lDl:.~I, Town and State ill the Earl)' OK. J>.. View from Elephantine, in: J. SV1'N(:I·.l' (tel) . .4.1/I&rI..~ Ii/ Erl'rl)' EgYPl, Londo 11, J DUn. 108- r 27.

All lndustrial Sil at <11- haykh ·~t Id/\"radf 'Z .. bavdu 3!l5

Khufu.'!' Perhap the creation of the facility at al. haykh SaCJd fanned part of a more enCOt11paS - ing regional programme of alene alabas ter exploitation.

The materia! cui ure star unearthed is very homogeneous, and fits uniformly to the early Ivrh dynasty. It is as yet unclear whether and how it relate. LO the monumental tombs fOI' which the site is most reputed (at in PI. I). AU of these dale to the later Vth and \ ih d na ties 0 that there is no chronological overlap with the ite described in this article. However. some tanralizing in Ii .ations exi t that the!" is a connection nonerheles . The first ton erns the land. cape. Nowadays, visitors normally arrive from rhe north, and ascend the steep cliffs to the decorated tombs [rom the modern ghafir' hut (left r the I Her A ill PI. 1). A long r; but far asier a' ess aloe .ists, however, From the stone production site, close LO wil ere W su rrn i e 111 e existen ce 0 f a ha rho II r th e ground lopes gent! upward 0 that it is ea. to walk to the lambs. 1L seem' mort' likely that the fun rary equipment was brought up this tra k than that the steep iouri t track was u ed, If this path was really used, it: is likely that sorn form of occupation still existed near the stone produ lion si t in IJIe th rl nastv,

The econd indi <IIi m is that erefka, a Vth dynast), provincial administrator buried dl alShaykh aCid, claims the title im.v-r hm.w-tur !jwj=:t~wf, 'over eer of the pri sts of Khufu' among U1e functions listed in his tomb.'"? It has b en sugg sted that this reflects his involvement. in Khufu's pyramid cult at Ciza, II~ but this. is not the only possibility. OK king established CUlL place for rhernselve throughout ;gypl.IJ~ The far earli-

II" Information klndlv supplied by P,lll N1Clf()[.SOI\.

III R. "TI-l£S, Di« Fi,lIl'flinschrif!I'17 1/011 Hntnuh, 1'3 (Iml hrlf!I'n 1-.11).

II~ . Ill'. G. DJlVII'.'i. nil' R()I~; 'Ii/!/lhl· 1I1.\'llI'ilill Said, II :lI1d pI.


"~Thus ,vI. P~RD£Y, UnllfICmdlll.ngllll ~llr ii{!Jjlli,v'/1I111 Prouill iolll"l'IIIOl!uug: bis ZII111 J';/1((,~ rtl',1 A //1'11 Fieir/II.I. J LJ..B 1, Llildcsheim, 1976, l:il-133.

111 E. Li\~l.E. Die Ka-An rage Pepi 1. in Bubasii irn t oruext kfmiKtirlwr Ka-A1l1~I{t'n ties lten Re-iches. Z1S 133 (201l()), L21-140. N(l[1" also the hw.t-ntrn.t I!frw 'lemplc or nofru' rneruioned in Pap ru Gebelein 1, 01 (I'. P()SNLR-I\.Rll·n R, I jJft/Jiri eli GII/JI,lrin, Torino, 2004. pl. 3). The same king had other ·lempl('.s· elsewhere- in 11.1'" COli n try. as the h igll official Merjen claims 1,0 havebet'" tIll· Ml of surh an instiuuion (Urk I. 7,3)_

~2,6 r Jarco Willems et alii

. r 1T1InmtuJ' pyramid off Iuni at the Elephantine d main may illustrate t11(, arne ph n m non, as ma the other miniature pyramids of the late IUrd and early TVth dynasties. w> uch branches of the royal cult.must have been run b)' regional elites. If this is what Serefka is referring tu, a tunctioning cult place for Kliufu may have survived into the late Vth dynast. II stands to reason that this cult woul 1 have been founded when Kh ufu' domain

at sit /WZ was Teared.

If this h .pothe is i COlT CI (and for tJI lime beillg, it i of course not more than that). it must be relevant that erefka in the same inscription claims I he similar ti I'll." ' verseer or the pries ts of

serkaf", whil« hi son Werirni was an 'overseer or tlle prie 15 of Ni user're" .lln Did til cse kings a lxo have cult places in al-Sliaykh SaSd? If so, it is likely that the OK 0 ccupation there lasted much longer than the archaeological remains thus far unearthed sLlgg<"st. or curse tl e near absence uf later OF material in 0 If X a arion rio s IIOt Slip-pon the idea, but the excavation ectors cover only a vel, small surface. and the euleruent ma have developed into other parts of the ite. The situation at Elephantine is again suggestive. The IIII'd dynasty domai n 011 the '\t\!e'.stern Islancl" was apparently only i J1 use for a sh rt period 01 time, but in the earl I IVth dynasty, a probably state-run production si 3 for granite commodities (including an administrative huilding and bakeries]

merged 011111 'Eastern Islanrl'. lthough there is as yet no evid n .e that something similar happened at al haykh Sa 'jel/'Wadi Zabayda, the possibility exi ts. peculating further, the continued presence of such .<1 settlement may help explain why the late OK uomarchs chose al-Shaykh Sa"rel as their last resting plaee.!"

After the OK, evid nee f JI' aCI ivity in the excaval ·d area eases. The K levels (phase 1) are covered by almost sterile wadi dep sit (phase 2). Remain datable I ih Fir', the )'v1"., an 1 I lie 'I P are . )l1spicuous by their absence. The it, was reactivated only in the course of the XVIIII!I dynasty In phase 3. it was used as ,l cemetery. Since so tnt' of the tombs are covered b), the ster-

11. c. UREYER, W, K.\ den kleinen Stulenp ramiden Ober- und rvJilld5g~'ptem, JI/lMIK :16 (19 I)j, ,t\-:'i9. ()11 Iheir cuhir role, ,t't' 'EIl1D'1 VEIL in: Hnns urul Pnlns/, ~07-211).

1111:-.1. DE (;. DWIES, oi'. ru.. pI. XU I

ile wadi deposit, while others wer dug through it, the wadi material must have been deposited ata rime the area was already in \.1 e a' a cemetery. i.e. in the NK. This ~Llgge LS a m:um- natural event (or series or m<3,-)01' namral events) probably In the early K.

No in ,W.ll! remains have been found in the topsoil, whirll is very mixed. It nevertheless seems to provide con i lent evid nee fur a COlllill uous phase of use thai at l ast includes the Amarna period and continues int the TlP.

The Arnarna videuc il1 Iudes IWO relief fragments (see PI. IVE) and indications for the production liC faience beads, It is Likely that the sire. wa an outlier of rhe town o!' Amarna, But most or lhe material is of later NK and TIP date. Inscriptional eviden ce testifies Ln q uurry activity u nder Rams's II. n rhe basis of material excavated in the neighbourhood (and parti .ularly in cemet r Dill UP V~/arli Z.Lb~ (1;.1), Kessler assumed there must have been a sizeable settlement h re in the Ramesside Period, which would have b n pr .... ceded bv a smaller s ~ttJenl(:'ll Lin the Amarna Period. This cemeteryis 50 large that it must indeed be linked to a settlement of SOrTIe' cousequeuce, <Inc! most likely the' industrial site at SS/WZ,

The spatial distribution of the vase drills and other tools usee! for \"l rking calcite alabaster is the am' as that of the \ K and TIP P uery. Thi , and the fact that no such 1001' were found in the OK levels, ugg sts tha t the toolkit is haracicrislie for the later period of u: e. Althr ugh several production sites for stone vas are known, all have been attributed tel the late Predynasric and the early OR.. However, some of the tools we found (and most notably the cr cent drills) fit well into Caton-Thompson \ typology of OK drills. This suggests that this component of the material culture remained in us for a very 1< ng p rior] of linll: without 11 o ticea b It· volution, a result that warrants for caution in dating other quarrj sites. Un ih other hand, the remaining r,\JJge of dril] f)T}es does differ [rom the early toolkit. (although some still resemble the hourglass drills).

liT NUl I,hal ·ever;11 of 111\:111 dir cicd FOY'dl domains of Pf'pi (I) and [ell (~'e M. Di, MEYI.!l., Old Kingdom &rk ·lnllll/,1 tu Do.vl' 01-/1/11:1'1111. Arrh(wlliogim.f (Mid Trxnu)! l~lIi· dr/In' o/Ilwil' Us» 11,'/111 UPIIM' in i.1!!lP\ -I mu] 7. Dissertation I ,l'LlVt'11 UllillersiLY, 200H. 7,,>-~ I),

An Industrial Site at al-Shaykh Saqd/Wadi Zabayda 327

Maghara Abtl quarry

M,p Seale 1:18.000

Plate l Cemeteries in the al-Shaykh Saqd area. The production site discussed in this article is situated at area SS/WZ (for al-Shaykh Saqd/Wildi Zabayda) The excavations that will be reported upon below are concentrated around 30°53'19.0" N, 27°42'15,3" E, 49,4 m. a.s.l, (plan V De Laet)

328 Harco WII

. I ems et alii

An Industrial Site at al-Shaykh Sacid/Wiidi Zabayda 329

Plate IlIA View upon site SS/vVZ from the SE in March 2008. The Wiidi Zabayda enters the picture from the lower righthand corner, disappearing under th e eu I tivation in th e ce n tre. Si te SS/WZ lies on the rock spur bei nd the cul tivation Photo B. Vanthuyne

Plate HIB The Maghara Abu <Azlz from the west. In the foreground the quarry road to site SS/WZ, in the background the quarry itself. The steep rocks to the right of the end of the quarry road contain the stela niches

Plate me Bakery floor 88 in sector 8 (photo L.D.R. KuUper)

330 Harm Willems er alii





3 rm


Pl:HC TV A) Institutional seal impression dispbying the Horus name Mddw 513/26; B) Figuralive Seal impression S54A/116; C) Figurauive seal impression 5121 /6A with hieratic note; D) Figurative seal impression S54A/ 135 (photos H. Harnceuw [A, B, DJ and H. Willems); E Fragment of raised relief in Arnarna style, depicting the upper legs and

hips of a woman wearing a tran s paren 1. dress. Ph oto H. vVi II ems






An Industrial Site at al-Shaykh Sa'idjW.1idi Zabayda 331








Plate V Charred plant remains found at al-Shaykh Sa-td .. A) ernmer ~ Triticum dicoccum; B} barley - Hordeum uulgmt. C) ernrner, rachis fragment - Triticum dicoccirn; D) pea - Pisum sauuum; E) grass pea - Lattrnus cf .. satiuus; F) possibly fa ba bean - d. l'icia [aba; G) La rge Legum i nous-in del. H) probably melon - Cw;umi!i cf me/a; I) Acacia sp.