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21/11/2017 (Leuven)

23/11/2017 (Gent)

Wouter Claes: De nederzetting van Elkab - resultaten van de recente opgravingen

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De site van Elkab was reeds vanaf de vroegste fasen van de Egyptische geschiedenis een belangrijk provinciaal centrum. Ondanks meer dan 100 jaar intensief archeologisch onderzoek is onze kennis van haar bewoningsgeschiedenis echter nog steeds beperkt. Vroeger archeologisch onderzoek was immers voornamelijk gefocust op de grote religieuze en funeraire monumenten van de site. Aandacht voor de oorspronkelijke nederzetting en haar bewoners was er slechts met mondjesmaat waardoor we slechts bitter weinig weten over het ontstaan, de ontwikkeling en organisatie van de bewoning in Elkab. Sinds 2009 heeft de archeologische missie van de Koninklijke Musea voor Kunst en Geschiedenis haar werkterrein dan ook verlegd naar het systematisch onderzoek van deze nederzetting. De resultaten van deze opgravingen tonen aan dat de bewoning in Elkab teruggaat tot in de Predynastische Periode, meer bepaald het Badariaan (ca. 4500 v.Chr.). Sindsdien kende de site een continue bewoning tot in de Grieks-Romeinse en Koptische periode. Vanaf de Predynastische Periode ontwikkelde deze bewoning zich in de vorm van een tell zoals die de dag van vandaag nog te zien zijn in bijvoorbeeld Edfu of Kom Ombo. De tell in Elkab werd in de loop van de 19de eeuw echter quasi volledig afgegraven door de sebakhin. De nederzetting uit het Oude Rijk en de Vroeg- en Predynastische periode bleef echter onaangeroerd waardoor wij vandaag een unieke kans hebben om deze vroege bewoningslagen effectief op te graven en te documenteren.

In deze lezing presenteren we de resultaten van de meest recente opgravingen in het nederzettingsgebied van Elkab. Talrijke nieuwe vondsten laten ons toe om stap voor stap het leven in Elkab te reconstrueren maar roepen ook heel wat nieuwe vragen op. Bovendien kregen ze ook een verrassend koninklijk staartje…

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