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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Research Postgraduates

Publication details for Ms Kayla Crowder

Hodos, Tamar Cartwright, Caroline, Montgomery, Janet, Nowell, Geoff, Crowder, Kayla , Fletcher, Alexandra & Goenster, Yvonne (2020). The Origins of Decorated Ostrich Eggs in the Ancient Mediterranean and Middle East. Antiquity 94(374): 381-400.

Author(s) from Durham


Decorated ostrich eggs were traded around the Mediterranean during the Bronze and Iron Ages. Research on their origins has focused primarily on decorative techniques and iconography to characterise the producers, workshops and trade routes, thereby equating decorative styles with cultural identities and geographic locations. This is problematic, as craftspeople were mobile and worked in the service of foreign royal patrons. The present study investigates the provenance of ancient ostrich eggs, reconsiders trade patterns via isotopic indicators and characterises decorative techniques in order to assist in the identification of culturally distinct decorative styles or regional preferences.