The origin of imported jars from 6th Dynasty Abusir

new light on Early Bronze Age Egyptian-Levantine relations

Karin Sowada, Mary F. Ownby, Miroslav Bárta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Thin-section petrography on imported Combed jars from the 6th Dynasty Abusir tomb complex of Qar and his family identified the Central Levant, between Beirut and Tripoli, as the production zone of the vessels. Dating to the reign of 6th Dynasty king Pepy II (c. 2287–2184 B.C.), the jars were made of the same Lower Cretaceous clay type used for imports of the early Old Kingdom. None of the Abusir material was an Egyptian imitation, contrary to previous assessments. The petrography demonstrates the long continuity of exchange networks with a specific area of the Central Levant over a long period of at least 350 years. During the Old Kingdom from the early 4th Dynasty to end of the 6th Dynasty, exchange networks with the region intensified, confirming long-held understandings based on fragmentary archaeological data and the slender textual record.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Egypt
  • Levant
  • Abusir
  • Lebanon
  • Byblos
  • Old Kingdom
  • Early Bronze Age
  • trade
  • ceramics
  • petrography
  • economy

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