Friday, 7 April 2017

Plant remains are the focus of Claire Malleson's presentation - our final on Tell el-Retaba, now focussing on the 2nd-3rd Intermediate Period. Claire is explaining the environmental differences within the Wadi Tumilat, where Tell el-Retaba is situated, notably the more sandy lands with raised areas at a place where the Wadi narrows. Moving to the plants remains in general, we are learning how incredibly rich the site is for charred plant remains and now about the processes which resulted in their deposition. Claire is describing how archaeological contexts can tell us about the 'field to fire' pathway. This approach is giving a really holistic view of the varied activities at the site, and how bigger pictures can be drawn about varied activities on site, and fit within the wider environment. Focussing on the different contexts at Tell el-Retaba from ovens and kilns to grinding installations, Claire brings us details on a whole series of processes from the threshing of grain through to processing and cooking. She leaves us with an interesting look at depictions of New Kingdom forts in proximity to water - and thinking about the local environment of the Retaba fort.

Claire Malleson introducing us to the site

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