Amara West project blog

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Investigating life in an Egyptian town

Amara West 2015: new impressions

Marie Vandenbeusch (Project Curator, Department of Ancient Egypt & Sudan, British Museum)

Approximately 240 seal impressions were found during the 2015 season – an unexpected haul, that exceeds the total of what has been discovered since the beginning of this project in 2008. The study of these new seal impressions has just begun. Each has been registered, allowing preliminary considerations, especially on the spread of the distribution and frequency of the individual seals. Some were very commonly used, others are attested only once.

Seal impression F14247 from rubbish deposits beneath house D12.9

Seal impression F14247 from rubbish deposits beneath house D12.9. Drawing by Marie Vandenbeusch

One specific seal has been used at least ten times. Its pattern is particularly easy to recognize as it consists of two rows of tiny animals: hippos, crocodiles, bulls and a sphinx are part of this ancient menagerie. With one exception, they were all found in a rubbish deposit beneath house D12.9 in the western suburb.

These impressions have been dumped after use to seal a box, papyrus or vessel. The study of the links between these impressions, their provenance – and the scarabs found in the town or the cemetery – will with no doubt throw new light on the control of ancient goods at Amara West.

Alongside regular updates on the blog, follow the season on Twitter: @NealSpencer_BM and #amarawest

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Filed under: Amara West 2015, archaeology, New Kingdom, objects

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