Firstly I would like to mention the move from Stockholm, or anytime I have to fly myself and equipment to the next country, as I will this Friday when I return briefly to the UK. Because I didn’t know that we were not going to Egypt this year before I left, I packed some equipment for the field season, as well as everything I needed for my work in Europe. Top this off with the XRF and accessories and you have quite a bit of luggage coming in at over 50kg (Figure 1). Hence why I am glad there is just one more move with this lot.
This past week I have been in Vienna looking at the Merimda collections housed in the Institute of Egyptology and the Institute for Prehistory and Historical Archaeology at the University of Wien. This was the main sponsoring institution when the site was originally excavated, so they have a sizable collection. However, it is not as large as what I encountered in Stockholm and I will finish with days to spare, which means more time for additional tests and to catch up on some behind the scenes work with the data.
I was only in the Institute of Egyptology for one morning, but they were very accommodating and interested in what I was doing. The rest of the time I was upstairs in the Institute for Prehistory and Historical Archaeology, mainly in their teaching/display/storage room, which is quite impressive at dusk with all the lights on (Figure 2). The speed at which I am getting through the collection here is due to the long working hours, and I can work solidly from 8am-6pm without any problems.
So far the sherds and vessels I have looked at are the same as what I have seen in the collection in Stockholm, so, while testing and proof is required, I am quietly optimistic that I have a representative sample from Merimda. In total I will have looked at well over 2500 sherds and vessels from the site.
I am now coming to the end of this research trip, with just a week left in Vienna, a few days in London, and then home to Auckland. I was originally scheduled to be away until just before Christmas if we went to Egypt, but this early finish is ok, because as I mentioned last time, there is still a lot of work to be done on the data and then of course in writing the thesis.
Until next time,