Esther Esmyol
Tue, 12/05/2020 - 18:30
Western Cape

Today most table and teaware will have a maker’s mark that says ‘Made in China’ but this is not a modern phenomenon. Asian ceramics featured prominently amongst exports to southern Africa, in particular to the Cape of Good Hope. During Dutch colonial times the first official consignments of Chinese porcelain arrived at the Cape in 1678 and 1681. The broad question is ‘What was imported and for whom?’ 

Historians and archaeologists have been analyzing findings from archaeological excavations and interpreting them in conjunction with archival records such as household inventories and auctions of estates.  This baseline research informs museum curatorial studies to reinterpret decorative art collections, i.e. non archaeological collections, when interiors within historical house museums are created. Through linking decorative art collections with archaeological findings and archival research, a better understanding and more authentic presentation of the styles and usage of tableware which trended at the Cape will be achieved.

Although earthen architecture makes up the vast majority of public and domestic structures in ancient Egypt, it still does not receive the same analytical attention from archaeologists as other categories of architectural evidence. During this talk, I will present recent work my colleagues and I undertook to change the way earthen architecture is dealt with in the field, presenting a case study from Tell Timai, a Graeco-Roman period site that is among the largest urban tells in the Delta and boasts substantial amounts of preserved standing earthen architecture.

Our goal was to develop a methodology that can be implemented in the field by excavators with little geoarchaeological training and limited laboratory access in order to generate useful data for determining building stratigraphy and studying construction processes. Through the close examination and sampling of three buildings of different periods and scale, we tested a new field methodology combining geoarchaeological techniques and mensiochronology. The results have provided information useful for stratigraphy and phasing as well as for identifying specific patterns of mudbrick manufacturing and construction during the Graeco-Roman period at Tell Timai.

Please go to to rewatch the event that was broadcast Live on YouTube
Apologies for the technical glitches during the final Q&A session at the end!