The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut nĂ©erlandais du Proche-Orient

Elizabeth Hicks an RMA student studying Near Eastern Archaeology at Leiden University, and from October 2019, NINO Student Research Assistant.

The project I am undertaking is a collaboration between the Leiden Inventory of the Depot (LID) project, supervised by Professor Joanita Vroom, with funding for my position provided by the NINO. The project aims to locate, record, and research the Islamic Hand-made Geometric Painted (HMGP) pottery from sites in the Near East that is stored within the Leiden University Faculty of Archaeology Depot. It is my intention to develop a detailed archive of the material in question, and produce a range of both textual and visual resources that in the future will be accessible through the LID database. By the end of my assistantship I will also produce a report detailing how the collections can be integrated into classroom teaching, future research, and the curation of museum exhibitions.

The Leiden Inventory of the Depot (LID) project was recently established in 2019 with the aim of understanding what material is stored within the Faculty of Archaeology depot. Much of the HMGP pottery in the faculty depot from the Near East was thought to have been brought from excavations and surveys that took place in Jordan over the past 70 years. All the collections of ceramic material within the depot are the remnants of research projects conducted by the Leiden Department of Pottery Technology and later the Leiden Laboratory for Ceramics Studies. Over time and after successive moves to different facilities interest in the pottery has waned and associated documentation has been lost. It is now more necessary than ever to find solutions to the problems associated with archiving and accumulating archaeological material within the Faculty of Archaeology and Leiden University. This project will go some way to addressing important questions surrounding access to this material and its integration into teaching and research.

Both myself and Professor Vroom intend that this research will be a catalyst for future projects focusing on archaeological material stored within the depot; setting precedents and parameters for how we should interact with this important scholarly resource, whilst also creating more awareness surrounding the work of the LID.