Debating Deir el-Ballas

Debating Deir el-Ballas

The site of Deir el-Ballas is of great importance in our understanding of the history and archaeology of the Second Intermediate Period. This June Peter Lacovara participated in an International Workshop on “Second Intermediate Period Assemblages: The Building Blocks of Local Relative Sequences of Material Culture” hosted by the ‘Beyond Politics’ Project at the Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.

Hosted by Bettina Bader and Christian Knoblauch of the Institute, the workshop was a discussion of “work in progress” on archaeological sites and museum collections running from the Delta to Nubia. Scholars from all over the globe discussed the nature of archaeological contexts, dating criteria, both internal and external, or the lack thereof! The goal was to put the contexts in some sort of sequence and address questions of chronology and regional variation.

The participants and their topics included:

Ayers, Natasha Edfu (settlement)
Bader, Bettina “Lower” Middle Egypt (Abusir el-Meleq, Ehnasiya, Sedment,
De Souza, Aaron Hierakonpolis (Nubian/Pan Grave materials)
Galán, José-M. Thebes (cemetery)
Gallorini, Carla Aswan-Kom Ombo (Pan Grave material)
Hein, Irmgard Karnak North/Thutmosis I Treasury
Hulková, Lucia Wadi Tumilat (settlement/cemeteries)
Kawai, Nozomu Northwest Saqqara (cemetery/cultic context)
Knoblauch, Ch. Abydos (cemetery), Second Cataract (cemetery/settlement), Lacovara, Peter Deir el-Ballas (cemetery/settlement)
Marchand, Sylvie Baharia Oasis, Delta (Kom el-Gilgan)
Millet, Marie Thebes (settlement)
Miniaci, Gianluca Harageh and Thebes
Willems, Harco Dayr al Barsha
Wodzinska, Anna Tell el-Retaba/Wadi Tumilat
Yazawa, Ken Dahshur North (cemetery)

The conference was a wonderful and productive gathering and the groundwork was laid for future collaborations to create an ongoing dialog about the Second Intermediate Period and to better understand its manifestations in the archaeological record.