PCMA Seminar: Emerald mines in Wadi Sikait (Egypt)

The upcoming “PCMA Seminar” will feature an online presentation by Dr. Joan Oller Guzmán from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona entitled “Rolling in the deep: last results of the survey and documentation of the emerald mines in Wadi Sikait”. This project has been carried out in cooperation with the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw.

Abstract: During the 2020 and 2021 seasons, the Sikait Project has conducted several archaeological works in the Mons Smaragdus region (Eastern Desert of Egypt), known in ancient times as the only source for emeralds within the Roman Empire. The excavations at the site of Sikait, together with a survey of the surrounding mining areas and the detailed documentation of several of the mines, has enabled an important breakthrough concerning our knowledge about the processes of extraction and commercialization of beryl in the Roman period. In this presentation, we will offer an overview of the latest results of the Sikait Project and a preliminary interpretation of their consequences regarding the economic exploitation of the Eastern Desert in Roman times.

Dr. Joan Oller Guzmán is and assistant professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He specializes in historical studies of Roman settlement systems in the Iberian Peninsula and Egypt. For many years, he has been associated with the Polish-American expedition in Berenike. He has also been conducting his own research in emerald mines in the Eastern Desert Mountains.

The seminar will be held on Thursday, 20 May at 2 pm CET on Zoom. It will be hosted by the co-director of the Polish-American expedition in Berenike, Dr. Mariusz Gwiazda. To participate, write to m.gwiazda2(at)uw.edu.pl to obtain a link.

You can follow the event on FB.