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6 Microeconomic Systems: Ceramic Production

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Chapter Summary

Organization of ceramic production relates strongly to socioeconomic organization. Ceramic production appears to have been part of a malleable, loose system of manufacture that allowed for great variation in scale, management, and distribution of goods. Evidence of ceramic production areas depicted in the iconographic record as well as those uncovered through archaeological excavation further suggests that ceramic production was not centralized or systematized under a hierarchy of authority. Ceramic production was not a unified industry; production was accomplished at different scales, under different authorities or potentially, in some cases, with a large degree of autonomy. Old Kingdom depictions of ceramic production are always juxtaposed with scenes of bread and beer manufacture. This relationship is evident even in the scene from the tomb of Rashepses, known only through publication of its captions, where captions pertaining to bread manufacture appear together with those relating to ceramic production.

Keywords: ceramic production; iconographic record; Old Kingdom depictions; socioeconomic organization; tomb of Rashepses



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