Faience manufactured by the author

Brilliant Blue: A Practical Investigation of the Production of Ancient Egyptian Faience

Abstract. Ancient faience material found in large quantities throughout Egypt display a wide variety in the quality and intricacy of workmanship. Although evidence has shown that that there were temple and royal workshops the amount of pieces discovered in and around domestic dwellings suggest a thriving cottage industry existed. This paper investigates this possibility through experiments to recreate the traditional conditions and the processes used in the manufacture of faience. A wood fired kiln based on the traditional Ancient Egyptian bread oven was used with electric fired control pieces produced in order to trial recipes and develop an understanding the role of temperature in the nitrification process. The experimentation explored the processes of application, efflorescence and cementation and the techniques of moulding, bead making, inlay and stone glazing.  [more…]

In the 18th Dynasty, Akhenaten posed the only real challenge to Egyptian religion with his Aten heresy

Ancient Egyptian Religion, Part 7 — Roots Too Deep to Dislodge

We have been watching the force and flow of three concepts in the stream of Egyptian culture and religion through the course of this series — order, duality, and divine magic — which informed Egyptian thought and practice for more than 3,000 years. The business of this article is to go back into the deep past and look at the roots of Egypt’s religious and socioeconomic culture, and then to test the durability of those formative ideas by examining the only major departure — the 18th Dynasty heresy of Akhenaten — which, by threatening the ancient heritage, actually reconfirmed it. [more…]

Pleasant living in Amarna

Pleasant living in Amarna

Many houses have been excavated in Amarna over the last century. More than five hundred houses were the subject of studies, one of which was how climate was controlled inside buildings. In this article I will describe some of this research. In present-day Egypt the temperature in summer can easily reach 40 degrees Celsius. At night the thermometer gives much lower values. This big difference in diurnal temperatures is one of the characteristics of the desert climate. Other important aspects are the humidity of the air and the low rainfall. These principles are also applicable to the time of the Pharaohs, as modern scientific research has demonstrated. [more…]

AWT Conference 2011 Review: Glass Faience and Pottery Making at Amarna (Paul Nicholson)

O45.1: An Ancient Industrial Estate Review by Kate Phizackerley.  Published on Egyptological, Magazine Reviews, Edition 3, 7th December 2011 Introduction As described in the overview of the 2011 AWT Conference which I co-authored with Andrea Byrnes (see bottom of this review), Dr Paul Nicholson spoke about his excavation of the Amarna site designated O45.1, which […] [more…]

AWT Conference 2011 Review: Curse of the Pharaoh’s DNA (Jo Marchant)

Review by Kate Phizackerley.  Published on Egyptological, Magazine Reviews, 7th December 2011 (Edition 3).   Introduction Many people were looking forward to hearing Jo Marchant speak about the DNA tests undertaken by Drs Zink, Pusch et al, and she didn’t disappoint.  She was an outstanding speaker.  She opened her talk by describing DNA itself, a […] [more…]

AWT Conference 2011 Review: House and Home at el-Amarna by Kate Spence

Review by Andrea Byrnes.  Published on Egyptological, Magazine Reviews, 29th September 2011. AWT Conference 2011.  House and Home at el-Amarna: some thoughts on domestic architecture by Dr Kate Spence   Introduction Dr Kate Spence of the University of Cambridge introduced the audience to an area of the city of Amarna which formed an equivalent of […] [more…]

AWT Conference 2011 Review: Christianity on the Edge by Gillian Pyke

Review by Andrea Byrnes and Kate Phizackerley.  Published on Egyptological, Magazine Reviews, 29th September 2011.   AWT Conference 2011 – Christianity on the Edge:  The North Tombs Settlement at Amarna. By Gillian Pyke.   Introduction Gillian Pyke was the only speaker at the 2011AWT Conference to discuss aspects of Amarna which date to outside the […] [more…]

Some of the Conference Audience Relaxing

AWT Conference 2011 (Amarna) – Overview

The 2011 Ancient World Tours Conference was held at UCL, London over the weekend of 3rd and 4th September and focused on Amarna. The authors attended and offer this overview of the conference. Over the next ten days or so, we shall also be publishing detailed reviews of about half of the sessions in the Magazine section of Egyptological (and will formally become part of the next edition).  [more…]