Researchers at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago excavated Quseir al-Qadim, on the Red Sea coast of Egypt, from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. The seaport site was first occupied in the Roman period, and, following a lengthy abandonment, saw subsequent use in the 13th and 14th centuries AD. The Oriental Institute shipped to UMMAA some of the animal bones recovered from the excavations. Doctoral student Patricia Wattenmaker, in the Museum’s Zooarchaeology Laboratory, analyzed them in the early 1980s. Not surprisingly, given the site’s coastal location, fish were the most common source of animal protein for the port’s residents (followed by sheep and goat). The fish vertebrae and spines shown here were recovered in a trash pit associated with a large structure dating to a later phase of Quseir al-Qadim’s occupation.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.