Institute of Archaeology


New volume on Ancient Egyptian Gold

25 July 2023

A new volume, co-edited by Stephen Quirke (UCL Institute of Archaeology), on archaeology and science in jewellery (3500-1000BC) is now available.

Bookcover with a black background and an image of a scientific instrument

Ancient Egyptian gold: Archaeology and science in jewellery (3500–1000 BC)

This open access book, published in the McDonald Institute Monograph series, aims to provide a new level of synthesis in the study of gold jewellery made in Egypt between 3500 BC and 1000 BC, integrating the distinct approaches of archaeology, materials science and Egyptology. It is edited by Maria F. Guerra, Marcos Martinón-Torres (formerly of the Institute and now based at Cambridge) and Stephen Quirke.

Following accessible introductions to the art and use of gold in Ancient Egypt, and to current advances in technical analyses, the volume presents detailed results on the manufacturing technology and elemental composition of some 136 objects in the collections of six European museums, with discussion of the findings in historical and cultural contexts. 

The questions generated by the jewellery buried with a woman and a child at Qurna (Thebes) led to investigation of assemblages and individual artefacts from later and earlier periods in varied social contexts, from the rural environment of Qau and Badari, to sites connected with urban or royal centres, such as Riqqa, Haraga and Lahun. 

A final discussion of the Qurna group provides an agenda for future research. 

Further details