Archive issues

Author: Fabian Welc   |   Pages: 719–735



During the Polish and Egyptian salvage excavations in Tell Atrib conducted by Karol Myśliwiec and Hanna Szymańska an extensive Ptolemaic workshop district was discovered south of the kom Sidi Yousuf. It formed a dense conglomeration of small mud and ash brick built rooms, separated by narrow alleys and irregular courtyards. Approximately 350 objects made of faience including vessels, amulets, figurines, tesserae and beads were found during these excavations. Most probably all these objects were manufactured on the spot. Many faience artifacts found there bear evidence of being production wastes: they include complete and different in size fragments of vessels with characteristic cone-shaped supports, vessels with traces of mutual touching by other objects on their bodies, malformed vessels as well as figurines and vessels with cracks and deformation of the glazed surface, and finally, objects with grayish glaze and faience matrix – indicating the overfiring in the kiln. Vessels and figurines with defects of this kind being worthless, their presence in Tell Atrib proves the existence of local faience workshops, operating there in Ptolemaic and probably early Roman period. Examination of the stratigraphy of the site lead to assumption that the faience and ceramic workshops would have occupied the eastern – or more likely the northeastern – part of the excavated fragment of the Ptolemaic architectural complex, as observed already by K. Myśliwiec. Such ateliers should be situated in the spot later occupied by the middle Ptolemaic bath establishment of Ptolemy VI.



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