Skip to main content

Saïs Report, 2009

Saïs Report, 2009The 2009 Seasons

1. Post-Excavation Work in 2009

During the season we were greatly assisted by the cheerful and ethusiastic help and advice of our SCA Inspectors Ahmed Bilal and Ashraf abd el Rahman. Elf shukran ya rigala!!

Animal Bones: the animal bones were checked in order to refine the identifications of the material from the Prehistoric Excavation 8 and to compare the assemblage with material from the Fayum. In addition, the bird bones were also identified mostly as ducks and freshwater snails and bivalves were identified to species level by Veerle Linseele who has been working with our zooarchaeologists Louise Bertini and Salima Ikram to complete the animal bone reports for all of the excavations. Louise is currently completing her PhD at Durham University, for which the Sais material provides a small section.

The animal bones from Excavation 1 were also checked again in order to find any examples of bones which had been re-worked as tools or any bones with cut-marks. From the whole assemblage a total of 3 tools were found and around 10 examples of bones with cut-marks. They were photographed and drawn as necessary for inclusion in the Kom Rebwa Excavation 1 : Final Report.

Bone tool with worked and fire-hardened end. The white bar is 5 cm long.

Lithics : the flint material from Excavation 8 was studied by Rebecca Phillips of Auckland University, in order to compare the assemblage to that from the Fayum and also to begin to identify the source of the raw material.

Prehistoric pottery : the pottery from the Neolithic levels of Excavation 8 was studied by Sakura Sanada of Liverpool University as part of her project working on Lower Egyptian pottery technology and production.

Excavation 1 (Ramesside period) material : pottery and small finds from the excavation were checked for the final publication and some further drawings and photographs made of the material. The Deputy Director, Marina Poveda Escolano of Madrid University, carefully reconstructed a mass of broken bits of faience to ‘discover’ a brand new scarab. The photograph and her drawing shows a rampant lion of a scarab type which is datable to the New Kingdom and perhaps to Dynasty 18.

Back of the scarab. Length : 2cm.

Underside of the scarab. Lion with stylised feather and uraeus.
Excavation 10 : All the of the small finds from Excavation 10 were drawn and photographed for future publication by a dedicated team of illustrators consisting of Amy Oechsner, Rachel Fenton of Durham University and Marina Escolano. Their drawings breathed new life in some very fragmentary pieces of stone, pottery and glass. There was also an opportunity to study some of the material more closely. For example, this piece of marble (below) at first seemed to belong to an unfinished vessel of some kind. Closer study, however, showed traces of musculature, indicating that it must be from a marble statue, perhaps part of an arm that had been dowelled into place.

Left : Marble fragment showing musculature. The white bar is 10cm long.
Right : Back of marble fragment showing ancient dowel hole.

Other Excavation 10 objects :

Left : Fragment of a limestone relief showing two feathers and two cobras on top of ram horns worn by a cow or bull head.

The bar is 10cm long

Right : Fragment of a limestone figure of woman reclining.
The bar is 5 cm long.

Left : Fragment of a red and black ‘Megarian’ mould-made bowl, hellenistic in date, with swastika and egg-and-dart decoration.
The white bar is 5 cm long.

Left : Fragment of the base of a glass bowl with applie loops of glass for decoration.
The white bar is 2 cm long.

Ware samples: Chips of pottery were taken from the Ramesside and Prehistoric material in order to send the samples to the French Institute and SCA Research Centre for analysis. The information will be useful for the databases of both institutions and for future research into pottery technology.

Pottery from the Village Waste-Water Project