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Welcome to African Archaeology!

The Journal of African Archaeology is an international peer-reviewed periodical appearing half-yearly since 2003. It publishes original papers addressing recent research and developments in African archaeology and related disciplines. The journal's main purpose is to provide scholars and students with a new pan-African forum for discussing relevant topics on the cultural dynamics of past African societies.

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Vol. 3 (2) 2005

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B. Eichhorn, S. Hendrickx, H. Riemer & B. Stern

Desert roads and transport vessels from Late Roman-Coptic times in the Eastern Sahara

Journal of African Archaeology, Vol. 3 (2), 2005, pages 213-229, DOI 10.3213/1612-1651-10051

Abstract
A detailed archaeological study of the ancient long distance caravan routes across the Eastern Sahara has not yet been established. This paper describes the results of initial investigations on the identification of caravan traces by remote sensing reconnaissance, and archaeological field surveys west of the Nile. During this work, pottery of an obviously common but at present unknown type of a Late Roman or Coptic transport vessel was found along the ancient roads between the Nile Valley and the Egyptian oases. Moreover, one of the vessels contained an organic substance. Chemical analysis of the content indicates degraded and polymerised fat or oil.

Résumé
Aucune étude archéologique détaillée des anciennes routes caravanières traversant le Sahara oriental n'a encore été entreprise. Cet article présente les résultats des recherches préliminaires utilisant l'analyse des images satellites et la reconnaissance archéologique sur le terrain pour identifier les tracés laissés par les caravanes à l'ouest du Nil. Au cours de cette étude, des jarres de stockage, datant de la période romaine tardive ou copte, d'un type assez courant mais jusqu'à présent quasiment inconnu, ont été découvertes sur les anciennes pistes entre la vallée du Nil et les oasis. L'analyse de la matière organique contenue dans l'une d'entre elles a permis d'identifier de la graisse ou de l'huile dégradée et polymérisée.




Keywords: caravan routes, Coptic, Egypt, oil, pottery, Roman, Sahara


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Shadreck Chirikure, South Africa
A. Catherine D'Andrea, Canada
Manfred K.H. Eggert, Germany
Elena Garcea, Italy
Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, USA
Timothy Insoll, UK
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Eric Huysecom, Switzerland
David Killick, USA
Savino di Lernia, Italy
Alexandre Livingstone Smith, Belgium
Scott MacEachern, USA
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David W. Phillipson, UK
Gilbert Pwiti, Zimbabwe
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Robert Vernet, France
Lyn Wadley, South Africa

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