‘Dealing with Data: Grappling with non traditional data’

Panel 1: ‘Dealing with Data’: Grappling with non-traditional data.

Lucilla Butler (University of Manchester) is presently completing her dissertation for an MSc. in Biomedical Egyptology at the University of Manchester. She is looking at the treatment of the orbits (eye sockets) in ancient Egyptian anthropogenic mummies using CT scans. This has meant getting to grips with the different computer programmes used to transmit the CT images, as well deciding what the most relevant orbital features are and how to record them.

Sam Powell (University of Birmingham/Abaset Collections) is currently working on her PhD thesis at the University of Birmingham with an ‘object-first’ focus on ancient Egyptian wooden funerary figures from over forty UK institutions. In order to effectively analyse her corpus of over 1,800 figures, she is using a bespoke piece of software to compare the stylistic features of provenanced and unprovenanced figures. Sam also created the online catalogue portfolio for The Egypt Centre, Swansea. The importance of a ‘made to measure’ approach when researching material culture, with consistent data fields for easy comparison.

Elizabeth Thomas (Liverpool University) is a PhD student at the University of Liverpool investigating the social role of mirrors in Ancient Egypt through metallurgical analysis. Combining analytical techniques with archive records, Elizabeth has studied close to 70 mirrors (and counting…) from 8 museums, collecting data regarding their provenance, chemical composition and microstructure. As the data comes in a variety of forms, it is important to consider ways of amalgamating the data to evaluate the position of mirrors in Ancient Egyptian society effectively.