Postgraduate Research Archaeology Symposium

Abdullah Basonbol (2016)

Keywords: Al-Ukhdud pottery, Social activity, economic background.


Pottery is one of the most numerous and durable archaeological artifacts collected during surveys and excavations, and it can provide significant evidence about human activities. Ceramics are likewise the most abundant archaeological materials at the site of Al-Ukhdud, which is located in the region of Najran in the south of Saudi Arabia along the border with Yemen, but no detailed modern study of material from this area currently exists. My research is concentrated on the pottery from the pre-Islamic period, in particular material discovered during the seven seasons of survey and excavation undertaken by Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Antiquities and Museums Sector.

The aim of my study is to apply quantified ceramic data to social and economic questions concerning the occupants of pre-Islamic Al-Ukhdud. Specifically, how do assemblages from within and outside the town’s walled enclosure compare, and what might this indicate in terms of social activities and relationships, and urbanization? How was Al-Ukhdud connected in terms of traded pottery and resources for its manufacture? What does assemblage characterization and use alteration tell us about the interaction between people and pottery at this time? By these means we will hope to clarify the social and economic background of the society of pre-Islamic Al-Ukhdud.