Hans-Åke Nordström

Hans-Åke Nordström (born c. 1934) is a Swedish archaeologist and professor at Uppsala University. His work has included excavations in parts of Nubia, submerged since the construction of the Aswan Dam, and the development of the Vienna System for classifying Egyptian pottery.


Colour photograph of the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Temple of Dendur, removed from Nubia before the flooding caused by the Aswan Dam

Hans-Åke Nordström was born around 1934.[1] During the 1960s he excavated parts of Nubia, an area between Aswan in Egypt and Khartoum in Sudan, which were submerged following the construction of the Aswan Dam.[2][3]

In 1972 he received his Ph.D., on the basis of his thesis Ceramic Ecology and Ceramic Technology. Early Nubian Cultures from the Fifth and Fourth Millennia B.C..[1] The work was considered "an important step into the archaeological science", for offering new ways of analysing ceramics and classifying their shapes.[1] It led to his appointment as docent in archaeological science at Uppsala University, where he was the first person to hold such a position.[1] The thesis also preceded Nordström's 1980 creation, together with Dorothea Arnold [de; ru], Manfred Bietak, Janine Bourriau, and Helen and Jean Jacquet, of "The Vienna System", now the standard classification system for ancient Egyptian pottery;[4][5] the name was a result of the system's invention in Arnold's kitchen in Vienna.[6]

Nordström also worked at the Statens historiska museum, where he was Director of the Bronze Age Section.[1] He also engaged with the Technology and Conservation Department, and established a small laboratory for the exclusive use of visiting scholars.[1]

In 1993 Nordström was given leave to focus once more on research related to his 1960s Nubian excavations.[1] Several publications resulted, including, in 2014, The West Bank Survey from Faras to Gemai I: Sites of Early Nubian, Middle Nubian and Pharaonic Age.[3]

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