Not content with managing the household it appears women in Ancient Egypt were also keeping the budget in the black with some home-based manufacturing.
That is the conclusion an Australian team has drawn by using synchrotrons to analyse the synthetic turquoise that was popular during the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten around 1300BC.
Archaeologist Dr Mark Eccleston will outline his findings at the Melbourne Museum in a lecture tomorrow as part of National Archaeology Week.
Eccleston says Egyptian 'faience', a fine-glazed quartz ceramic of distinct turquoise colour, was a common material used in items ranging from simple beads to religious artefacts.
He says while it was known that larger factories were used to produce the faience, his research has shown less prestigious pieces could also have been produced in ovens in household courtyards.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Synchrotron probes Egyptian beads
ABC Science (Dani Cooper)