Production and provenance of Gulf wares unearthed in the Old Doha Rescue Excavations Project
by José C. Carvajal López, Marcella Giobbe, Elizabeth Adeyemo, Myrto Georgakopoulou, Robert Carter, Ferhan Sakal, Alice Bianchi & Faisal Al-Na’īmī. Pages 51-67 from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies Volume 49 2019
edited by Daniel Eddisford. PSAS.
In this paper, a science-based study of ceramic wares discovered in the Old Doha Rescue Excavations (ODRE) is presented. The
ODRE project, run by Qatar Museums and UCL Qatar, discovered a stratigraphic sequence running from the earliest occupation
of Doha in the early nineteenth century until the most recent archaeological levels. A strategic selection of ceramic wares
from this sequence was studied to shed light on the technological background and provenance of the pottery utilized in Doha
between the late nineteenth and the mid-twentieth century. The petrographic study of these wares has provided insight into
their mineralogical and petrological composition and their textural characteristics. The textural elements have been used to
understand the technology of production of the ceramics, which come from different places around the Gulf. The identification
of components has moved us a step closer to the location of places of production by matching compositions and geological
backgrounds. The study of glazes with hhXRF, SEM-EDS, and optical microscopy has given us further insight on technological
processes in the application of glaze. Finally, a comparison between the macroscopic and microscopic analyses carried out has
been produced to shed some light on the inherent difficulties associated with the identification of wares in Gulf ceramics.
Keywords: Islamic archaeology, archaeological science, Qatar, Gulf archaeology, ceramics