Mersa Gawasis (Red Sea - Egypt): UNO/IsIAO and BU 2003-2004 Field Season under direction of Rodolfo Fattovich and Kathryn Bard
Redazione Archaeogate, 18-10-2004 - Pag. 1 di 10
Archaeology WG 16, WG 17, WG 19, WG 21, WG 22
WG 16: This excavation unit was an L-shaped trench, 12 m x 10 m in area, on the upper terrace of the western slope of the coral terrace. It was excavated by Rodolfo Fattovich, Kathryn Bard, and Chiara Zazzaro.
The entire unit was covered by a stratum of soft sand, ca. 20-60 cm thick (SU1). Beneath this stratum there was evidence of different phases of occupation and/or use of the area with traces of postholes, mud-bricks, and hearths. The bedrock was not reached in the excavation.
At least three phases of occupation were identified. The last phase (SU1, SU2, SU3), dating to the late Middle Kingdom, consists of a living floor with evidence of a grinding stone, potsherds, hearth, and badly preserved remains of mud-brick or clay structures. In this phase, a deposit of leaves, ca. 60-80 cm thick, had been stored under a projecting shelter of the terrace. An early Middle Kingdom phase of occupation (SU4, SU5, SU6, SU7, SU12) was found beneath the later one, and consisted of at least three postholes and clay or mud-brick structures, as well as a living floor with a concentration of pieces of wood and rope fragments. The leaves were stored next to the coral wall, and a granite anchor had been used to separate this deposit from the living floor, at the interface between SU9 and SU7. An earlier occupation phase, possibly dating to the late Old Kingdom or First Intermediate Period, was found at the base of this stratigraphic sequence.
WG 17: This excavation unit was a 6 m x 6 m trench in a flat area on the slope of the terrace, where much burnt soil and ash were visible on the surface. Several dark areas, probably concentrations of organic materials, were also observed in the western sector of the unit. Before the excavation, a whole ceramic dish was collected on the surface (Fig. 2). This unit was excavated by Andrea Manzo and Chiara Zazzaro.
A small undisturbed oven and the remains of another oven were discovered on the top of a prepared floor on the coral terrace (Fig. 3). The undisturbed oven, which was rectangular in shape (54 cm long, 45 cm wide, and 27 cm high), was constructed with three reddish-brown ceramic slabs with rounded tops in which a central groove (2 cm deep and 2.5-3.0 cm wide) had been made. This oven opened on the west side. Its floor was plastered with clay, and clay had also been used to fill in the corners and slab joints. The oven had been filled and covered with leaves to preserve it after abandonment.
Several fragments of wood and tree branches, might have been collected for fuel, were found between and around the two ovens.
The associated pottery suggests a Middle Kingdom date for the ovens.
WG 21: This excavation unit, which was a 2 m x 2 m test trench, was excavated by Andrea Manzo and Trina Arpin immediately to the west of WG 17 in order to understand an accumulation of anthropogenic red soil in the area. Most likely, this soil and other dark gray spots not far from it were due to the discard of materials from cleaning the ovens. No artifacts or other materials were found in this trench.
WG 19: This excavation unit, which was 8 m x 8 m in area, was opened at the base of the western slope of the coral terrace and to the west of WG 17. It was excavated by Terry Childs, Kathryn Bard and Cinzia Perlingieri. The purpose of this excavation was to understand the context of several concentrations of tuyères, which were visible on the surface, suggesting either metallurgical activity in this area or a dump for metallurgical debris.
A stratigraphic test was initially conducted in this trench, demonstrating that tuyères also occurred in the strata beneath the surface. Two possible phases of occupation and use of this area were identified.
The evidence of the later phase included at least three postholes, three aligned hearths, and mud-brick or clay structures. The evidence of the earlier phase included two contemporary living floors with many potsherds and fragments of tuyères. Based on the associated ceramics, both phases of use date to the Middle Kingdom.
WG 22: This trench, which was 2 m x 2 m in area, was excavated by Kathryn Bard to the north of WG 19 in order to assess the extension of the industrial area in WG 19. The excavation was limited to removing superficial loose sand and identifying artifacts in this layer.
Cliccare sull'immagine per l'ingrandimento
Mersa Gawasis (Red Sea - Egypt): UNO/IsIAO and BU 2003-2004 Field Season
Complete bowl from WG 17
Complete oven at WG 17
Plan of the structure at WG 20
Plan of the structure at WG 23
Complete anchor at the entrance of the eastern chamber, WG 23
Profile at WG 18
Nubian-like potsherd from WG 18 SU 14
Types of ceramic rims and bases from Mersa Gawasis
Concentration of shells, fish bones, and crab remains from WG 18, SU 14 lev. 2
A tuyère from WG 19