Thursday, January 29, 2009

Journal of Archaeological Science Volume 36

JAS Volume 36, Issue 3, Pages 573-936 (March 2009)

Available for subscribers or for purchase as in PDF format

Identification of a chrysocolla amulet in an Early Dynastic child mummy
Journal of Archaeological Science

Raffaella Bianuccia, Grazia Mattutinob, Rudy Lalloc and Carlo Torreb


Two pyriform formations were identified within a bundle of linen bandages wrapping a 15–18 months old Early Dynastic mummy. The upper one was taken out of the bandages and examined to ascertain its nature.

This formation showed to be a small bag closed by a knot containing an emerald-green mineral. For identification and with the aim of identifying the compound kept inside it, several different green minerals used for adornment in Ancient Egypt (from the Pre-dynastic period up to the Ptolemaic one) were examined by scanning electron microscope (SEM-EDX) followed by microanalysis.

The pyriform formation's content is consistent, based on morphological and micro-analytical data, with the natural cryptocrystalline hydrated copper silicate identified as a bead of chrysocolla.

The use of chrysocolla was less common than that of malachite as chrysocolla ores were rarer. To present days, only one other example of chrysocolla as a funerary equipment from an Ancient Egypt child burial can be traced.

Since our archaeological finding indicates the presence of a chrysocolla bead in one other infant burial, it is possible that the use of this particular mineral was limited, in the Early Dynastic Period as a protective amulet for children.

Re-examining the Egyptian colonial encounter in Nubia through a compositional, mineralogical, and textural comparison of ceramics
Journal of Archaeological Science

Julia L. Carranoa, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, Gary H. Girtyb and Carl J. Carranoc


Textural, mineralogical, and X-Ray fluorescence (XRF) analyses are used as a cost effective method to distinguish for the first time ancient Egyptian and Nubian-style ceramics found in Nubia. Textural and mineralogical data suggest that Nubian-style sherds are mixtures of sand, silt, and clay sediment that is generally finer grained and poorer in quartz than is the sediment mixture used to produce Egyptian-style pottery. Chemical data also establish a significant difference in the amount of chemical variation found within each style population, but nonetheless supports a considerable overlap in the possible provenance of both styles. Observations and data obtained during this study indicate that standardized, Egyptian-style manufacturing was introduced into Nubia under colonialism, without substantially altering the diversity of native methods of production.

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