Kate Fulcher

Colour in the New Kingdom Town: the technology of painted vernacular architecture at Amara West and Amarna

Colour in the New Kingdom Town: the technology of painted vernacular architecture at Amara West and Amarna

This research project is a Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) between the Institute of Archaeology at UCL and the department of Conservation and Scientific Research at the British Museum.

The research hopes to address unresolved questions about production, procurement and use of materials in ancient Egyptian painting through study and comparison of vernacular painting from Tell el-Amarna, Egypt and material from current British Museum excavations at a near contemporary Egyptian town, Amara West, Sudan. Drawing on material (in the museum collections and in-situ) from two sites, one royal city in the heart of Egypt, and one on the periphery of the Egyptian empire, will allow study of the use of colour within living spaces and the organisation of colour production. Unlike previous research, this work will benefit from access to freshly excavated material free from possible contamination and move beyond the study of elite contexts.

As part of the research various analysis methods will be used to identify the ancient materials used, possibly including Raman spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction.

Funding organisation

  • AHRC


 Educational background

  • BA Egyptology, University of Cambridge, 2004
  • MPhil Egyptology, University of Oxford, 2006
  • MA Principles of Conservation, UCL, 2010
  • MSc Conservation for Archaeology and Museums, UCL, 2012

ICON Ceramic and Glass Group, Liverpool June 2012 – “An Imari lacquered garniture from Althorp”

ICON Positive Futures in an Uncertain World triennial conference (Ethnography Group), Glasgow April 2013 – “The diverse use of AJK on ethnographic and natural history objects”

The Journal of the Institute of Conservation 37 (2014) "The diverse use of AJK dough in conservation"

  • Using a portable X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (XRF) to analyse samples in the field
  • The sign required by health and safety while using the XRF, in slightly incongruous surroundings
  • Removing a section of a mud brick wall in the town at Amara West to reveal earlier layers of plaster
  • The plaster revealed by the removal of the wall, and a neighbouring section of ancient yellow paint
  • A grindstone with clear evidence of having been used to grind red pigment, at Amara West
  • Analysis of pigments using the Raman Spectrometer at the British Museum

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