The Excavations at Mut al-Kharab II: The Third Intermediate Period in the Western Desert of Egypt [Paperback]

Richard J. Long (Author)

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ISBN: 9781789257137 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: Dakhleh Oasis Project monographs | Volume: 21 | Publication: October 2021 | Language: English 240p, H297 x W210 (mm) B/w
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The Excavations at Mut al-Kharab II

Details

For over a century our knowledge of Egypt’s Western Desert during the Third Intermediate Period relied almost entirely on the Greater and Smaller Dakhleh Stelae. These two significant documents were purchased by Henry Lyons in 1894 in Dakhleh Oasis and indicated the existence of a substantial temple at Mut al-Kharab dedicated to the god Seth. Apart from these sources, very little information from the Western Desert could be dated to this period. Excavations at Mut al-Kharab began in 2000 and in recent years, evidence from the Third Intermediate Period temple has grown considerably. A range of artefacts has been unearthed, including decorated temple blocks, stelae, ostraka, in situ architectural remains, other small finds, and a large collection of well-dated ceramics. The scale of evidence suggests Mut al-Kharab was probably the most significant Third Intermediate Period site in the Western Desert.

In light of this new material, a re-examination of activity in the Western Desert during this period has been possible. This volume presents all the available evidence relating to the western oases during the Third Intermediate Period, with a particular focus on the ceramics. Occupation appears to have been more widespread than the limited evidence previously suggested, and these oasis communities were closely connected to the populations in the Nile Valley. The Egyptian central administration continued to be interested in the Western Desert, although political control does not seem to have been consistent. Moreover, subtle yet distinct variations in the material record, including aspects of pottery traditions and religious practices, may reveal the existence of an oasis culture. As such, we are developing a much clearer picture of activity in this region.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Introduction
A. New fieldwork and new material
B. The Third Intermediate Period
C. Regionality
1.2 Theoretical and Methodological Approach
1.3 Chapter outline
CHAPTER 2: EVIDENCE FROM THE NILE VALLEY AND DELTA
2.1 Textual Sources
2.2 Ceramics
2.3 Chapter summary
CHAPTER 3: THE TEMPLE AT MUT AL-KHARAB
3.1 Description of the site
3.2 History and exploration of the site
3.3 The Dakhleh Stelae
3.4 Evidence from Monash University’s excavations
A. Decorated temple blocksB. Ostraka from Trench 38BC. Small finds from Trench 38BD. Clay seal impressions
3.5 Chapter summary
CHAPTER 4: THE THIRD INTERMEDIATE PERIOD POTTERY FROM MUT AL-KHARAB
4.1 Overview of the material
4.2 Fabrics and wares
4.3 Presentation and discussion of the material
4.4 The Third Intermediate Period pottery deposits
A. West of the Temple
B. The dump
4.5 Chapter summary
CHAPTER 5: CONTEXTUALISING MUT AL-KHARAB: THIRD INTERMEDIATE PERIODACTIVITY THROUGHOUT THE WESTERN DESERT
5.1 Dakhleh Oasis
5.2 Kharga Oasis
5.3 Theban Desert Road Survey
5.4 Bahriyya Oasis
5.5 Chapter summary
CHAPTER 6: TYPOLOGY OF THIRD INTERMEDIATE PERIOD OASIS CERAMICS
6.1 Wheel-made containers
6.2 Wheel-made non-containers
6.3 Hand-made containers
6.4 Chapter summary
CHAPTER 7: CONCLUSIONS
7.1 The Temple of Seth at Mut al-Kharab
7.2 The extent and nature of Third Intermediate Period activity throughout the Western Desert
7.3 The Egyptian state and the western oases
7.4 Regionality – the existence of an oasis culture
7.5 Future directions
BIBLIOGRAPHY
FIGURES
PLATES
TABLES
APPENDIX 1: The Third Intermediate Period pottery from Mut al-Kharab

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