Petrofabric: Egypt/Marl Clay

Name, Origin, & Material

Show more

Egypt/Marl Clay

Egypt/Nile River Valley

Calcareous clay

Paleogene to Quaternar...

General Information

Show more

Egyptian marl is NOT a single petro-fabric. These petro-fabrics are produced from clays deriving from primary calcareous mudstone formations or secondary calcareous clays from the erosion of limestone formations [not possible petrographically to distinguish]. Their appearance in thin section (white, yellow, light pink, grey) is diverse and in some cases the amount of calcareous material is difficult to assess, particularly at high firing temperatures. The range in clay appearance (macroscopically and petrographically) is due to the variation in calcareous formations in Egypt and their considerable spatial extent, including around the edges of the Delta, most of the length of the Nile Valley on both sides, the Western Desert oases, and...

Vessels  158

Show more


Jar
Abydos
c. 3200 BCE
Predynastic


Jar
Abydos
c. 3150-3000 BCE
Predynastic


Jar
Abydos
c. 3300 BCE
Predynastic


Amphora
Ashkelon
1200-1100 BCE
Iron Age I

Break Photos  2


Amphora
Aswan, Syene
3rd -1st century BCE
Hellenistic/Ptolemaic


Cup
Tel Sera
1400-1300 BCE
Late Bronze Age II

Petrographic Samples  15

Show more




3rd -1st century BCE
Hellenistic

Magnification:
x50
Polarized Light?
XPL




Hellenistic

Magnification:
x50
Polarized Light?
XPL




Hellenistic

Magnification:
50
Polarized Light?
PPL




3rd - 2nd century BCE
Hellenistic

Magnification:
50
Polarized Light?
PPL

Description

Show more

Marl clay petro-fabrics can range from lacking inclusions to containing varying amounts of inclusions, such as quartz, potassium feldspar, microcline, and plagioclase. Some fabrics have sand, identifiable by usually medium to coarse-sized grains of subangular to rounded shape, which may have been intentionally added.


Intact limestone, often micritic or chalky, can be present, ranging from fine to coarse in size. In most cases these appear natural to the clay. Plant remains of varying sizes can also be present.


Marl clay pastes can grade into the shale clay pastes particularly when shale inclusions can be present. See Egyptian Shale Clay Petro-Fabric description.


This is a preliminary description based on the examination of few thin sections (mostly Marl A) in which the clay is dominantly calcareous. Other “marl clay” fabrics are closer to shale clays in thin section.

Egyptian marl is NOT a single petro-fabric. These petro-fabrics are produced from clays deriving from primary calcareous mudstone formations or secondary calcareous clays from the erosion of limestone formations [not possible petrographically to distinguish]. Their appearance in thin section (white, yellow, light pink, grey) is diverse and in some cases the amount of calcareous material is difficult to assess, particularly at high firing temperatures. The range in clay appearance (macrosco...

Associated Wares/Ware Families

Show more

4th - 8th centuries CE

Byzantine, Early Islamic - Umayyad/Abbasid/Tulunid


Marl Amphorae

3rd century BCE-1st century BCE

Hellenistic/Ptolemaic


c. 3800-3100 BCE

Predynastic


Associated Kilns/Workshops

Site Distribution

Show more

Abu Rahal, Abu Rahal Hill (Egypt/Eastern desert/Red Sea Coast)

Abu Rahal West (Egypt/Eastern desert/Red Sea Coast)

Abydos (Egypt/Middle Egypt)

Aswan, Elephantine (Egypt/Upper Egypt)

Aswan, Syene (Egypt/Upper Egypt)

B'ir Samut (Egypt/Eastern desert/Red Sea Coast)

Luxor/Thebes West, Tomb 32 (Egypt/Upper Egypt)

Rawd al-Buram (Egypt/Eastern desert/Red Sea Coast)

Rawd al-Gamra (Egypt/Eastern desert/Red Sea Coast)

Rawd al-Liqah (Egypt/Eastern desert/Red Sea Coast)

Samut Gold Mining Settlement (Egypt/Eastern desert/Red Sea Coast)

Umm Garahish East (Egypt/Eastern desert/Red Sea Coast)

al-Kanaïs (Egypt/Eastern desert/Red Sea Coast)

‘Abbad, Abu Gehâd (Egypt/Eastern desert/Red Sea Coast)

Bibliography

Discussion/Acknowledgements

<p>This description was compiled during the LCP Egyptian Ceramic Petrography workshop at IFAO in September 2017.</p>