3.0 Methodology

The procedure adopted followed that outlined by Bourriau and Nicholson (1992, 32-35). Descriptions of the sherd sections included the type, relative abundance and size-range of main inclusions, the degree of fabric porosity, hardness, and colour according to the Munsell Colour Chart (Munsell Colour Company 1975).

Thin sections were examined on a Nikon 'Labophot-2' polarising microscope at between 50x and 400x. Presence/absence of constituents was recorded as well as the sorting, shape and sphericity of major types, which were classified on scales derived from Pettijohn et al. (1973, 585-86), using a visual chart from 'Geo Supplies' Ltd of Sheffield. Terms and coding used in the fabric descriptions are as follows: Sorting - poorly sorted; moderately sorted; well sorted; very well sorted; Sphericity and roundness (see table):

Very Angular Angular Subangular Subrounded Rounded Well-Rounded
Low Sphericity 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5
High Sphericity 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5

Quantitative data were obtained from a Swift 'Model-F' point counter attached to a stepping stage. A total of 200 points was counted for each section using the 'multiple intercept' method (Middleton et al.1985).

The first step was to substantiate the field classification based on descriptions of sherd sections at 25x and to confirm the concordance between the Memphis and Amarna fabric series, allowing amalgamation of evidence from both sites. This 'Egyptian' series was then compared with samples from excavations in Israel. Bulk chemical analysis using NAA was undertaken and together with the petrographic data suggested a provisional grouping of fabrics.

The provenance study followed. Our sections were first compared with the collection held at Tel Aviv. Sections representative of local geology and comparable with our series were selected and recorded using the methods applied to the Egyptian examples. We included two workshop sites considerably later than the Bronze Age, because of evidence for continuity of resource exploitation (Y. Goren, pers. comm., 1998). For comparison, examples of local pottery from Ras Shamra (Schaeffer excavations) were obtained from the Louvre.


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Last updated: Tue Oct 24 2000