Institute of Archaeology


The Art of Making in Ancient Egypt

8 May 2018

A new volume, edited by Gianluca Miniaci (Honorary Research Associate), Juan Carlos Moreno García, Stephen Quirke and Andréas Stauder, has recently been published by Sidestone Press.

The Art of Making in Ancient Egypt (new edited volume)

This book provides an innovative analysis of the conditions of ancient Egyptian craftsmanship in the light of the archaeology of production, linguistic analysis, visual representation and ethnographic research.

During the past decades, the 'imaginative' figure of ancient Egyptian material producers has moved from 'workers' to 'artisans' and, most recently, to 'artists'. In a search for a fuller understanding of the pragmatics of material production in past societies, and moving away from a series of modern preconceptions, this volume aims to analyse the mechanisms of material production in Egypt during the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1550 BC), to approach the profile of ancient Egyptian craftsmen through their own words, images and artefacts, and to trace possible modes of circulation of ideas among craftsmen in material production.


  • Simon Connor, Sculpture Workshops: who, where and for whom?
  • Alisee Devisers, The Artistic Copying Network Around the Tomb of Pahery in Elkab (EK3): a New Kingdom case study
  • Maximilian Georg, Antiquity Bound to Modernity. The significance of Egyptian workers in modern archaeology in Egypt
  • Amr El Hawary, Epistemological Things! Mystical Things! Towards an ancient Egyptian ontology
  • Alexander Ilin-Tomich, Centralized and Local Production, Adaptation, and Imitation: Twelfth Dynasty offering tables
  • Claus Jurman, To Show and to Designate: attitudes towards representing craftsmanship and material culture in Middle Kingdom elite tombs
  • Christelle Mazé, Precious Things? The social construction of value in Egyptian society, from production of objects to their use (mid 3rd-mid 2nd millennium BC)
  • Gianluca Miniaci, Faience Craftsmanship in the Middle Kingdom. A market paradox: inexpensive materials for prestige goods?
  • Juan Carlos Moreno García, Leather Processing, Castor Oil, and Desert/Nubian Trade at the Turn of the 3rd/2nd Millennium BC: some speculative thoughts on Egyptian craftsmanship
  • Stephen Quirke, Languages of Artists: closed and open channels
  • Shereen Ratnagar, Craft Production in the Bronze Age. A comparative view from South Asia
  • Patricia Rigault, Caroline Thomas, The Egyptian Craftsman and the Modern Researcher: the benefits of archeometrical analyses
  • Karine Seigneau, The Representation of Materials, an Example of Circulations of Formal Models among Workmen. An insight into the New Kingdom practices
  • Andreas Stauder, Staging Restricted Knowledge: the sculptor Irtysen's self-presentation (ca. 2000 BCE)
  • Lilli Zabrana, The Nubian Mudbrick Vault. A Pharaonic building technique in Nubian village dwellings of the early 20th Century

Further reading