Update on Rakow Research Grant work currently happening in Egypt

Several months ago, we wrote a blog detailing the planned work of Anna Hodgkinson, one of this year’s recipients of Rakow Grants for Glass Research. Using her grant, she planned to excavate a domestic workshop including what may have been a kiln used for glass-working in ancient Egypt. She began her fieldwork several weeks ago, and has already made some intriguing discoveries.

Anna Hodgkinson with kiln area

Anna Hodgkinson with kiln area

Anna and her team are now in Amarna, where they are focusing on a set of buildings called M50.14-16, a site she first visited in spring 2013. She became intrigued by the possible glass-working history there, following discoveries made during a season of re-excavation at the Great Aten Temple in 2012, a project in which she also participated. Anna’s team planned to excavate six squares, each measuring 5x5m, marking spots where ovens and kilns were once found.

Now, three weeks into the project, they have opened a total of nine excavation squares, finding some features possibly to be interpreted as kiln structures, some of which lay below a layer of collapse. They hope to find in-situ material when the features are further excavated. An area of vitrified mud-brick has also been found adjacent to the kiln, which contained some glassy material, and cylindrical vessels (ingot molds) have been unearthed.

Adjacent squares have yielded several glass rods and ingot chips, broken glass beads, and some agate debitage, indicating a bead workshop, which fits the domestic context, Anna says.

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Anna’s enthusiastic team is now processing the finds, and is in the process of completing the excavation of a handful of squares to the east and the south of the original area, since they are making such good progress.

Anna Hodgkinson's team

Anna Hodgkinson’s team

If you’d like to learn more about this project, follow Anna’s progress on the Amarna Project Facebook page.

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