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Seafaring Expeditions to Punt in the Middle Kingdom: Excavations at Mersa/Wadi Gawasis, Egypt

Lecture by Kathryn Bard (Boston University).

2019.04.30 | Julie Thomsen Raunstrup

Date Tue 25 Jun
Time 16:00 17:00
Location Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), Aarhus University, Moesgård Allé 20, 8270 Højbjerg, Denmark (Building 4230-232).

Archaeological investigations were conducted 2001 to 2011 at Mersa/Wadi Gawasis, Egypt, the site of the pharaonic harbor of Saww, by Boston University and the University of Naples “L’Orientale.” The harbor was mainly used in the 12th Dynasty by an estimated 12-20 seafaring expeditions to the southern Red Sea region. A large paleo-bay existed at the harbor ca. 6000-4000 BP, and the only substantial structures there were small stone monuments, rock-cut chambers and galleries, and possible slipways for ships. Most of the archaeological evidence consists of the remains of ephemeral activities, such as hearths for cooking; areas of cereal storage, processing and baking; fire-pits in a multi-purpose production area; and the waste from salvaged ship timbers. Abandoned artifacts include ceramics brought from the Nile Valley, cargo boxes, and ship timbers and riggings. There is also evidence (ceramic and raw materials) about where these expeditions were traveling, as well as texts that mention Punt and Bia-Punt.

The lecture will be followed by a wine reception.  

Lecture/talk, History and archaeology