Thomas Hikade on Sir Flinders Petrie’s Diopolis Parva seriation chart
Under the auspices of the Egyptian Exploration Fund (EEF), now Egyptian Exploration Society, Petrie worked at the sites of Hu and Abadiyeh (Diospolis Parva) near Naqada in Upper Egypt for a single season from 1898-1899. His 1901 publication of the excavation contained a plate featuring illustrations of ceramic pots laid out in a chronological sequence that would revolutionise archaeology. From thousands of objects excavated from more than 2200 pit graves dated to the fourth millennium BC, each recorded on small bits of card, Petrie was able to develop the concept of sequence dating; that is that particular styles of pottery were associated with specific time period so a relative chronology could be developed where objects were older or newer than other objects from other graves within the sequence.
Chart details: Flinders Petrie “Diospolis Parva: The Cemeteries of Abadiyeh and Hu 1898-99” Plate 2. Courtesy of the Egypt Exploration Society.
Host: Dr Craig Barker, Head, Public Engagement, Chau Chak Wing Museum and Director, Paphos Theatre Archaeological Excavations. Follow @DrCraig_B on Twitter and Instagram.
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