Abstract: At the Western Frontier of Landscape Archaeology in the Nile Delta


Previous scholars have commented that the Nile Delta suffers from a lack of interest inversely proportional to the contributions it can offer to an authoritative narrative of Egyptian culture.  In particular the Delta suffers from a lack of landscape-focused, archaeological survey such as has matured in Mediterranean archaeology in recent decades.  Nevertheless, investigating long-term patterns of regional habitation in the Delta has become equally as vital as quantifying the actively destructive forces that are rapidly destroying its archaeological contexts. 

A recent subproject of the University of Durham Mission to Sa el-Hagar, the Western Delta Landscape Project, has integrated analyses of remote sensing imagery, historical cartography, ceramics, and geomorphological data to investigate the settlement history and the paleo-environment of the western Delta.   Linear traces of several previously unknown minor Nile branches southwest of the Canopic branch were tested and confirmed by drill auguring in transects that crossed the channel and adjacent sites.  By means of several non-destructive methods of analysis, this study has shed new light on the archaeology for this little understood borderland during the New Kingdom to late antique periods (1250 B.C.E. – 600 C.E.).

Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):

Trampier, Joshua. "Ancient Towns and New Methods: A GIS and Remote Sensing-Guided Archaeological Survey in the Western Nile Delta." Proceedings of the Chicago Colloquia on Digital Humanities and Computer Science 1 (2009).


Wilson, Penelope.  2004-2010.  The Western Delta Regional Survey. 


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