Archive of European Projects

Glass, Faience and Food in Late Bronze Age Societies: An Analysis of the Socio-Economics of Urban Industries in Egyptian and Mesopotamian settlements (GLASS)
Start date: 01 Oct 2015, End date: 30 Sep 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project aims to establish an in-depth understanding of the administration and control of high-temperature industries on an urban level and the socio-economic relationship between the elite and the non-elite members of society in Late Bronze Age (LBA) Egypt and Mesopotamia (c. 1650-1050 BC). It has been recognised in the past that within the urban settlements of Egypt and Mesopotamia the production of basic faience- and glass-objects frequently occurred in the same urban domestic context as that of foodstuffs, using the same tools and firing structures. This analysis will particularly highlight how elite control influenced these domestic industries in an urban setting, and to what extent this influenced the role of the members of a non-elite population and the urban infrastructure. The project will examine the following aspects: (1) The spatial analysis of the relationship between the production of glass artefacts and that of faience goods and foodstuffs using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology: Concentrating on the New Kingdom Egyptian settlement of Amarna, domestic and administrative archaeological contexts containing a combination of glass-working, faience manufacture and food production will be identified, documented and analysed in detail. (2) The organisation of workshops and areas of industrial activity throughout the urban sites and their infrastructures, within both LBA Egypt and Mesopotamia: This will also be done using GIS, but will also include published and unpublished materials and contemporary textual sources providing knowledge about urban workshops and domestic industrial settings. (3) A comparison of industrial activities within ancient Egyptian settlements and those taking place in contemporary ancient Mesopotamian settlement and palace sites. (4) Export and trade facilities and networks, in order to demonstrate how the produce of these industries was consumed, transported and, possibly, traded.
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