The ÉBÉNES research programme is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary study of the history of wood in ancient Egypt. Applying a diachronic approach, it explores the economic and artistic networks that governed the use of wood over time whilst also focusing on the preservation of the artefacts. By combining Egyptology, archaeometry, philology and restoration, ÉBÉNES brings together specialists who contribute towards the study of the many different aspects of ancient wood, a natural product used in Egypt without interruption from the Pharaonic period to the time of Islam.
This project focuses on Theban woodcraft during the New Kingdom, comparing wooden objects from the Western Wadi necropolises with contemporary wood production elsewhere in Egypt. Of particular interest is the study of production specifically relating to the Royal Family of King Amenhotep the Third.
The interdisciplinary WASET project brings together for the first time in Egyptology the across disciplines of archaeometry, art history, archaeology and text study to conduct a detailed analysis of the economic and social networks of wood in Egypt during the Middle Kingdom (MK) and Second Intermediate Period (2IP) (ca. 2050-1550 BC) through a comprehensive study of wood funerary objects discovered in Thebes, the ancient Egyptian center known as Waset.
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