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3 Archaeology, Pottery, and Economy

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Chapter Summary

Beer jars and bread moulds in the archaeological record have the potential to aid in elucidating economic patterns between sites, even to the level of state economy and theory building. These vessels introduce data on the non-elite, as all sectors of Egyptian society appear to have used these vessels. Beer jars and bread moulds, and the social aspects and economic roles of pottery in general would bear greater analysis. The ceramic record allows to us gather evidence for the economic interactions of an otherwise mute segment of society, the corpus presents many of the challenges typical of archaeological data. Pottery provides a window to the economic role of potters. By merging iconographic representations of potters' workshops together with archaeological investigations of workshops and kilns, it is possible to ascertain the relationship of potters to oversight and external authorities and how ceramic production functioned as a sub-system within the economy.

Keywords: archaeological record; beer jars; bread moulds; economic patterns; Egyptian society; pottery



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