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The University of Southampton
Archaeology Part of Humanities

Land and Waterscapes of ancient Thebes, Egypt Seminar

25 April 2013
Wymber Lab B65a Avenue Campus

For more information regarding this seminar, please .

Event details

The Egypt Exploration Society Theban Harbours and Waterscapes Survey (THaWS) has carried out two seasons of work to date (spring 2012 and 2013) following on from work begun in 2002 at the temple complex of Karnak.

The principal goal of the project is to elucidate the extent of the technical ability of ancient Egyptians to manipulate the floodplain through canal and basin constructions. Contemporary pictorial and written evidence from Egypt suggests that canals and basins were associated with the temples to the cult of the deceased kings on the West Bank at Thebes. Such an infrastructure of canals and basins would have connected temples and palaces and the river for religious and kingship festival processions, providing rejuvenation of the living and dead kings and political legitimacy. Canal networks would have also enabled the transportation to temples of construction stone and monoliths weighing hundreds of tonnes. Local social structures may have been affected by the existence of canals which would have aided, hindered and ordered the movement of the Theban population between settlements, across the cultivable floodplain, and to and from cult and ancestral centres. However, until physical evidence of such a network of waterways and its nature is determined the ancient landscapes and waterscapes cannot be confidently reconstructed, leaving a crucial gap in our understanding of state management and manipulation of the area from both a large scale and individual perspective. The interdisciplinary project methodology combines geophysical survey (principally Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) complemented by magnetometry led by Kristian Strutt (University of Southampton) with geoarchaeology using an Eijkelkamp hand auger and gouge auger to ground-truth the geophysical survey data. Total Station and GPS/GNSS equipment is being used to 3D-locate both the geophysical survey and the geoarchaeological investigations. The lecture will present some of our findings to date and what we hope to achieve in future seasons.

Speaker information

Dr Angus Graham , University of Copenhagen. Visiting Lecturer (Egypian Archaeology)

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