This interdisciplinary project examines 20 ancient Egyptian stelae, made from limestone, pottery and wood, in the Chau Chak Wing Museum that were produced and decorated between the New Kingdom (c.1500–1069 BC) and the Ptolemaic Period (c.332–30 BC).
It brings together an environmental scientist, geologist, stone carver, conservators and an archeometallurgist who are conducting the technical analyses on the stelae, in conjunction with Egyptologists, to provide a holistic understanding of ancient Egyptian stelae.
The focus is on the type of material used, and its origins, how they were carved and decorated, the types of tools and pigments used, and evidence of modifications and reuse.
Findings will be interpreted in the context of the objects' history, inscriptions and iconography.
The New Kingdom component of this study has been generously supported by the Centre for Ancient Cultures, Heritage and the Environment (CACHE) at Macquarie University. For more about this, visit CACHE's website.
Chau Chak Wing Museum
Header image: Lower fragment of a former round-topped limestone funerary stele, 18th Dynasty (1479–1390 BC), Thebes, Upper Egypt, Nicholson Collection, NMR.7