PCMA Seminar: Multielemental analysis of domestic floors at Old Dongola

The upcoming PCMA Seminar will showcase the results of a project conducted by Dr. Maciej Wyżgoł of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw. Dr. Wyżgoł will deliver a presentation ‘Multielemental analysis of domestic floors at Old Dongola, Sudan (14th–17th century).’

Abstract: “In this seminar, I will present the results of the implementation of the NSC Preludium grant titled “Histories imprinted on floors. Functioning of households in Old Dongola after the fall of Makuria in the light of the multielemental analysis of occupational surfaces” (project number 2020/37/N/HS3/01400).

The main goal of the project was to identify activity areas within the houses in Old Dongola in Sudan (investigated under the ERC UMMA grant under the direction of Prof. Artur Obłuski) using multi-element analysis of floors and other occupational surfaces. The results of multi-element analyses conducted using the ICP-AES revealed variations in elemental composition. Maps presenting these results allowed the identification of areas of increased or decreased concentrations of different groups of elements. By comparing them with the reference samples taken from ethnographically and archaeologically identified activity areas, these areas were correlated with specific household activities, mainly related to food preparation. In this way, the identified activity areas were used to determine the spatial organization of dwellings in Old Dongola from the 14th to the 17th century and to trace any changes in the functioning of houses during this period encompassing the end of the Kingdom of Makuria (14th–15th century) and the period of dominance of the Funj Sultanate (16th–19th century).

During the seminar I will discuss the application of multielemental analysis in the for studying domestic floors in the specific conditions of the Middle Nile Valley and the adaptation of the method to local geochemistry as well as spatial statistics used to enhance legibility of the results.”

“The seminar will take place on February 8th at 2:00 pm (Warsaw time) on the Zoom platform. To receive a link, write to: pcma@uw.edu.pl

  • Read more about the project ‘Histories Imprinted on Floors. Functioning of Households in Old Dongola’ (LINK)
  • Read more about Old Dongola (LINK)