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Archaeology alumna Elizabeth Hicks awarded first runner-up in thesis competition

Elizabeth Hicks won first runner-up in the Netherlands Institute of the Near East (NINO) MA thesis 2021 competition at the end of January.

The award was granted for Elizabeth’s research master’s thesis, titled: ‘Innovation versus Devolution: Analysing Technological Change in Islamic Hand-Made Painted Ceramics from Tell Abu Gourdan, Jordan’. Their thesis research re-analysed the legacy collection of Hand-Made Painted ceramics from the Middle-Late Islamic site of Tell Abu Gourdan in Jordan from a chaîne opératoire perspective.

Original photograph from the Tell Abu Gourdan excavations in 1967, 5 sherds of Hand-Made Painted pottery. Image reproduced from the Deir ʻAllā Expedition archive.

The work was judged by a jury of 12 scholars from universities and academic institutions across the Netherlands. The judges were full of praise for Elizabeth’s thesis, stating that the thesis was ‘an exhaustive treatment of the topic [providing] an original contribution to the scholarly discussion on ceramics, not only of this specific ware, but more broadly in its theoretical embedding’. The jury went on to say that within Elizabeth’s work ‘the fashionable concept of the chaîne opératoire is given actual substance,’ and that ‘the complexities of the project show the scholarly maturity of the author’.

Elizabeth Hicks is currently an AHRC-funded PhD student at the University of York in the UK.

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