Stamped Mudbricks at Tell El Hibeh

Contributed by Ms. Ginger Emery

Dr. Maury Morgenstein and Ginger Emery search the city wall for stamped mudbricks.

During the 2004 season at El Hibeh, under the direction of Dr. Maury Morgenstein, the geoarchaeological team started a detailed study of the unbaked mudbricks and mortar that make up El Hibeh’s massive town wall. This wall is usually dated to the 21st Dynasty (Third Intermediate Period). Its construction traditionally has been attributed to Theban High Priests of Amun Pinudjem I (1070-1032 B.C.) and Menkheperre (1035-986 B.C.) based on the presence of bricks in the wall with stamp impressions containing the names of these two rulers.

Mudbrick with stamp still in place in the city wall of El Hibeh.

In recent years these stamped bricks had been discovered only in the southeastern portion of the town wall, although early publications do record the existence of stamped bricks at the northern end of the site.  Since these stamped bricks provide an absolute date for the wall’s construction, a more detailed study of that wall promised to be beneficial to our understanding of the planning, construction, and development of the site.


Satellite image of the tell with the locations of stamped mudbricks marked in red.

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