Tell el-Retaba (Egypt), 2012

Tell el-Retaba (Egypt)

Dates of work: 28 August – 18 October 2012

Co-directors: Dr. Sławomir Rzepka, archaeologist (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw), Dr. Jozef Hudec, archaeologist (Aigyptos Foundation, Bratislava)
MSA representative: Amr Mohamed Galal
Archaeologists: Bartosz Adamski (Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków), Veronika Dubcová (Institute of Egyptology, University of Vienna), Karolina Górka (independent), Sylwia Gromadzka (independent), Łukasz Jarmużek (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw), Lubica Hudáková (Institute of Egyptology, University of Vienna)
Pottery specialist: Dr. Anna Wodzińska (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw)
Anthropologist: Dr. Alena Šefčáková (Slovak National Museum)
Archaeobotanist: Dr. Claire Malleson (independent)
Student trainees: Larysa Gidzińska, Barbara Jakubowska, Aleksandra Pawlikowska, Agnieszka Poniewierska, Agnieszka Ryś, Piotr Sójka (all Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw), Lukáš Kováčik (University of Trnava)

The sixth season of fieldwork of the Tell el-Retaba Archaeological Mission has brought a number of significant results. For the first time remains of a Hyksos settlement (beside the previously known cemetery) were uncovered. Exploration of a large, regularly planned building, divided into a number of standardized flats, brought new evidence for the reconstruction of the function and organization of a strongly fortified town, which existed on the site during the Twentieth Dynasty. Remains of a Third Intermediate Period settlement showed that after the New Kingdom there was a clear change in the settlement pattern in Tell el-Retaba.

Archaeological remains excavated by the Polish–Slovak Archaeological Mission in Tell el-Retaba can be well dated to the New Kingdom till the Late Period. During the 2012 season domestic layers from the Hyksos period were found, indicating that the site was occupied for the first time around the end of the Thirteenth and beginning of the Fifteenth Dynasties. Next to the houses three Hyksos graves were found. Archaeological work also revealed houses from the early Eighteenth Dynasty located just above the Hyksos structures in Area 7. Very interesting material came from the late Twentieth Dynasty and Third Intermediate Period houses excavated in Area 9. Rich pottery assemblages mostly of domestic character have been recovered from all of the structures.

Since 2010 the archaeological investigations in Tell el-Retaba are co-financed from the grant of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (grant no. N N109 244839).

[Text: Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 24/1]

S. Rzepka:
J. Hudec: