Conference Paper "Multi-Proxy Residue Analysis of Levantine Combed Vessels from the Early Old Kingdom Giza"

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


Abstract Flat-based ceramic jars with vertical loop handles and a ‘combed’ exterior surface, are a well-known type associated with Levantine commodity exchange (Thalmann, Sowada 2014). Based on petrographic results from samples of 4th Dynasty Combed jars from Giza, Sowada, Ownby & Wodzinska (2019) concluded that the vessels originated in the Byblos region. The jars probably arrived in Egypt from Byblos by maritime trade routes (Sowada 2009). However, the original commodities transported to Egypt from the Levant are not known with certainty. In this paper, we present preliminary results of multi-proxy analysis of organic and botanical residues from the jars sampled in the petrographic study. Ten sherds from different vessels were analysed in Macquarie University laboratories. To detect and identify pollen grains, diatoms, and phytoliths, we utilized Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images. For residue analysis, we used Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). In six sherds we did not detect traces of botanical residue using SEM images. Four other samples suggest the presence of Olea Europaea (Olive), Ziziphus sp. (Jujube), and Salvia Sativa (Sage) pollen grains. The data also show detectable levels of various n-alkanes and fatty acids, indicating that the major source of the organic residue derives from plant origins.
Period27 May 2021
Event titleEgypt and the Mediterranean World from the Late Fourth through the Third Millennium BCE: Day 3, Sydney
Event typeConference
LocationAustralia, New South WalesShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational