Royal cities of the New Kingdom: a spatial analysis of production and socio-economics in Late Bronze Age Egypt

Hodgkinson, Anna
Royal cities of the New Kingdom: a spatial analysis of production and socio-economics in Late Bronze Age Egypt. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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This study examines the distribution of high-status materials and archaeological and artefactual evidence of their production in the settlements known as royal cities during the New Kingdom in ancient Egypt (c.1550-1069 BC). The research focusses on the sites of Amarna, Gurob and Malqata, but also incorporates Qantir/Pi-Ramesse for comparison. The industries considered as relevant for inclusion within this thesis are those of glass, faience, metal, sculpture and textiles. No systematic and comprehensive discussion of the intra-urban distribution of high-status goods, their production or role as a marker of the nature of royal cities has been undertaken to date. The approach of using spatial analysis as a means to detect patterns of artefact distribution throughout entire suburbs has not been done in this form before and it has been proved successful in this thesis, although the methodological approach to each settlement necessarily varies, depending on the nature and quality of the available data. This thesis also includes new and unpublished data from survey and excavations at the site of Gurob, as well as critical and detailed reviews of the archaeology and material remains at several other sites. Apart from an introduction and a conclusion, the thesis comprises two main analytical and discussion chapters: The introduction outlines the aims and objectives, in addition to the theoretical and historiographical background to this thesis. In addition, it presents the sources used and methods employed. It furthermore provides some definitions and terminology used in the following chapters. The spatial and artefactual analysis chapter discusses the distribution of the artefactual evidence of glass-working, faience-production, metal-working and sculpture-production, as well as the finished products, and the evidence of textile-working, for both Amarna and Gurob. Using a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) model incorporating a database of all relevant finds and a vector grid, distribution patterns are plotted and spatially and statistically analysed. This was not possible for Malqata, however, and therefore that section contains a detailed discussion of all information available on the nature of the production of glass and faience objects throughout the site. This chapter highlights patterns of artefact distributions throughout the three settlements, attempting the reconstruction of infrastructures. The third chapter analyses workshops and factories in urban settlements in more detail. It includes a presentation of the archaeological remains at sites O45.1 and IA1 at Amarna and Gurob, highlighting parallels in layout and function. The chapter then focuses on archaeological analysis of artefactual assemblages from selected groups of houses at Amarna and Malqata, highlighting their industrial diversity. The thesis concludes by summarising the results from both chapters, and using these to address the research questions asked in the introduction. This chapter uses the preceding data analysis to define three broad types of workshops: (1) the large, purpose-built (often royal) workshops, (2) the larger houses involved in manufacture, but with limited specialism, and (3) those working on a household-level with a low skill set. Based on the results from the analysis, a series of organisational models has been proposed, one for each industry, including the control of raw materials and the redistribution of half-finished and finished objects and their consumption.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Additional Information: Date: 2014-02 (completed)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Amarna, Archaeology, Egyptology, Faience, GIS, Glass, Gurob, Industrial Archaeology, Malqata, Metal, Pi-Ramesse, Qantir, Sculpture, socio-economics
Subjects: ?? CC ??
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Histories, Languages and Cultures
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2014 09:06
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 04:41
DOI: 10.17638/00015815
  • Shaw, Ian
  • Snape, Steven