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Author: Cooke, Ashley
Publisher: The Classical Press of Wales
Description: Ashley Cooke, ‘Flaxman Spurrell’s Experimenting with Painting Materials' in Carolyn Graves-Brown (editor) 'Egyptology in the Present: Experiential and Experimental Methods in Archaeology' (The Classical Press of Wales, 2015) pp. 1-11.
Author: Spurrell, Flaxman Charles John
Publisher: Royal Archaeological Institute
Description: In 1895 Spurrell published ‘Notes on Egyptian Colours’ which was a culmination of several papers he had contributed to the Royal Archaeological Institute in the early 1890’s, based principally on material from Flinders Petrie’s excavations (1895, 222-39). At this point Petrie had supplied Spurrell with a full range of colour samples from the Fourth Dynasty to the Roman Period. These 50 colours are typically held between two watch glasses and are from fairly securely dated provenances: Fourth Dynasty (Meidum and Dahshur), Twelfth Dynasty (Lahun), Eighteenth Dynasty (Amarna), New Kingdom (Gurob) and Roman Period (Hawara). Spurrell validates his study by stating that ‘Mr. Petrie’s specimens have the special value of being correctly dated’ and disputes some earlier studies that used museum samples with no specific contextual data. Following typical Victorian ideas of progress and cultural evolution Spurrell’s study chiefly aims to ‘mark chronological changes’ from the Fourth to Eighteenth Dynasties (1895, 222).
Petrie excavated parts of the city in a winter season between 1891-2. At this time Petrie's fieldwork was largely being sponsored by two men: Jesse Haworth (1835-1921) and Henry Martin Kennard (1833-1911). Petrie gave some of his finds to his close friend, Flaxman Spurrell (1842-1915), whose collection was given to Norwich Castle Museum which was then purchased by Liverpool Museum in 1956. Spurrell's collection form Amarna contains many samples of pigments from houses in the city and artefacts associated with vitreous materials, such as glass rods and moulds for casting faience amulets and beads.
For more information see Digital Egypt for Universities website: http://www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk/amarna/index.html
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