Assessing settlement pattern in middle Holocene Egypt with ceramics
Joshua Emmitt  1@  
1 : Anthropology Social Sciences University of Auckland

Contemporary approaches to settlement pattern assess mobility, occupation duration, and use-of-place. These are measured through analysis of material culture such as stone artefacts and of the concentration features such as houses on a landscape. However, more examples are required that use material culture types that are abundant and preserve well, such as pottery. In Egypt pottery occurs from the early Holocene and it is often used in reconstructions of settlement pattern. This research uses portable x-ray fluorescence to identify the geochemical signatures of the materials used in pottery manufacture. The approach used looks for groups based on relative differences among objects in order to identify materials that fall outside of the most common geochemical composition within an assemblage. In addition, relative levels of fragmentation are compared to determine the occupation duration of particular places. Ceramic artefacts from four assemblages from middle Holocene contexts in Egypt are assessed. The results are used to interpret mobility and settlement patterns indicating more variability than previously thought.

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