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Predynastic and Pharaonic Egypt

Tell el-Murra (Northheastern Nile Delta Survey)

Digging dates: 17 February–29 March 2015


Co-directors: Dr. Mariusz A. Jucha (Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow); Grzegorz Bąk-Pryc, archaeologist (PhD candidate, Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow)

SCA representatives (Tanis Inspectorate): Mohamed Al-Sayed Mohamedien Mohamed, Amira Hussein Ibrahim Elsaid

Archaeologists: Natalia Małecka-Drozd (PhD candidate, Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow)

Archaeologist/ceramologist: Magdalena Kazimierczak (PhD candidate, Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow)

Archaeologist/ceramic analyst: Mary F. Ownby (University of Arizona)

Documentalists: Ewa Glimos, Konrad Grzyb, Monika Kozubal, Katarzyna Lajs, Mikołaj Maciejewski, Jakub Niebylski, Ewa Rydzewska, Aleksandra Siciak, (all Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow)

Anthropologists: Katarzyna Mądrzyk, Barbara Woźniak (both PhD candidates, Department of Anthropology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow)

Archaeozoologist: Renata Abłamowicz (Silesian Museum, Katowice)

Photographer: Ewa Kuciewicz (PhD candidate, Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow)

(Joint description of seasons 2014 and 2015)

Following up on research in 2008 and in 2010–2013, excavation in 2014 and 2015 was conducted in the southwestern part of the mound (trenches S3, S3B) and in the northeastern one (trench T5). Sixteen graves of Early Dynastic date were explored in trench S3; most were simple pit burials, whereas in three cases the bodies had been buried in pottery coffins. Remains of settlement architecture, interspersed with deposits of alluvia representing flood events, were uncovered in underlying strata in S3 as well as S3B.

The architecture uncovered in trench T5 suggested a fairly domestic and industrial sector of the settlement. The lowest layers excavated were dated to the early Old Kingdom. The nature of the ceramic assemblage collected from this level suggested storage and distribution functions, as well as bread-baking activities (ruins of a bakery and a collection of vats, bowls and bread molds). The late Old Kingdom layer comprised a number of pits with finds dating to the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties. The presence of spouted bowls used during beer or grain distribution suggested food production of some kind taking place in this area.

The project is financed from the Polish National Science Centre (NCN) grant DEC-2013/09/B/HS3/03588.

[Text: Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 25]

M.A. Jucha: m.jucha@murra.pl