Origins of decorated ostrich eggs in the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East

Tamar Hodos, Caroline Cartwright, Janet Montgomery, Geoff Nowell, Kayla Crowder, Alexandra Fletcher, Yvonne Goenster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
175 Downloads (Pure)


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 producers, workshops and trade routes, thereby equating decorative styles with cultural identities and geographical locations. This is problematic for these periods, as craftspeople were mobile and in service to foreign royal patrons. Consequently, the present study investigates geographical origin and reconsiders trade patterns via isotopic indicators. Scanning electron microscopy has also been used to characterise decorative techniques to assist in recognising culturally distinct decorative styles or regional preferences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-400
Number of pages20
Issue number374
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2020


  • ostrich eggs
  • Mediterranean
  • Middle East
  • North Africa
  • Bronze Age
  • Iron Age
  • isotopes
  • SEM


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