Saturday, 8 April 2017

The final session heard a summary and closing remarks from Penny Wilson and Joanne Rowland, with further comments by Hisham el Leithy, Mohamed Ismail, Manfred Bietak and Mohamed Abdel Maksoud. The workshop closed with thanks to the Egypt Exploration Society - Cédric Gobeil and Essam Nagy and grateful thanks for the organisation of the Center for Hellenistic Studies at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, especially Mohamed Kenawi who really made the whole event possible.

His team worked tirelessly to make everything run smoothly in the last two days: Nada Mahdy, Haytem Mahdy, Mark George, Justina Waghy, Mohamed el Moghraby - they were always helpful, and always ready to help.

In the evening the Center provided a speakers dinner for 62 guests at the famous Fish Market restaurant along the corniche in Alexandria.

On the Saturday the DSW trip went to Taposiris Magna where they visited the temple of Ptolemy IV (perhaps originally Ptolemy II), the rock cut tombs nearby in the cemetery and then had lunch in a bedouin tented restaurant. It was a perfect end to a wonderful three days.

We look forward to meeting all our colleagues in 2019.

There will be a summary publication in Arabic and English, published as a PDF within the next three months - it will be available for download through the website of the Egypt Exploration Society:

Thanks for following us

Penny Wilson & Jo Rowland

Friday, 7 April 2017

The final paper of the conference is by Fatma Keshk who is talking about archaeological knowledge and local communities in Egypt. She highlights the difficulties faced in the public dissemination of archaeology and communicating heritage of the past to a wider audience. 'Egypt' is in fact a wide topic of different regions, information and approaches so the issue is very BIG. In this case what do people in the Delta know about their heritage and what do other people in Egypt know about it? Perhaps the levels of knowledge and groups of people can be targeted specifically: those who live near sites, communities and professionals. She gave examples of projects from Elephantine, Sinai where there have been exchanges of knowledge between historians and archaeologists.
Fatma presented a very passionate discussion of the living heritage cultural landscape of Egypt with the links of continuity and outreach in the Delta eg at Buto.
If we open the box and look at community and public/outreach archaeology - what will come out?
Mad coffee break as the last chance to make new friends and contacts.

Now Giuseppina Capriotti Vittozzi is talking about Tell Maskhuta in Wadi Tulimat the link between the Delta and the Red Sea, previously investigated by Naville, Clédat and...... Petrie!
Important in Dynasty 26 and 27, a Phoenician sarcophagus from the site shows an important presence from outside Egypt. Work began in 2015 to make an extensive map and geophysical (magnetic) survey and showed a large structure on the north part of the site under a tell. Excavations followed last season and uncovered a wall, preserved to a height of 6m. It was recorded by photogrammetry and computer modelling to give detailed information about the phases of the structure.

A second trench outside the fortress, west side found buildings with ovens, a LP/Ptol jug -complete. Another building lies underneath this structure. Digital recording can be used to build 3D models with a high level of accuracy.
Giuseppina finished with a reflection on her first visit to the site and the hard work that lay in front of the team at that time, thanks to Dr Mohamed Abd el Maksoud.
Another of the team Warda el Naggar is now discussing the ovens from Tell Dafana. They are of different sizes, some are of unfired brick, some partly fired and some totally fired - they can be grouped outside buildings or singly inside structures. Some have broken storage jars around them perhaps as a barrier. Tanur-type ovens are also at the site - also singly or in groups and a variation on this type has a hole near the base. Ash was thron out in a heap around the ovens. Some ovens were refurbished with new walls. Warda then discusses the purpose: bread tray sherds were found inside the ovens (doqqa type) as well as platters perhaps for dough preparation nearby, as well as grain and water storage jars -with large lids. Grinding stones also attest to bread making. The type of oven is very comparable to tamurs in construction and use.
Warda is one of the rising young archaeologists working in Egypt today.

To the east of the Delta plain is Tell Dafana, now under investigation by Sayed abd el Alim and another site first studied by Petrie for the EES and dated to Dynasty 26. The team's excavations focussed on the enclosure walls with buttresses, the main gate, mud-brick foundations of a temple and two series of rectangular magazines where slag from weapon manufacture was found. The pottery included Greek, Phoenician and Levantine storage amphora and finewares. The army had found a stela of Amasis in Year recording a campaign to the east of Egypt. On the west a proposed rail line meant that large-scale rescue excavations had to be carried out revealing a large Saite settlement with tower houses, later used as a cemetery. A ramp or glacis on one side seems to be a protection of the site from the Pelusiac waterway and/or attack. A large casemate building was found many beakers with lids, fire-dogs, red-slipped cylinder jars, pot-bellows - all typical of the Saite period - as well as terracotta horse riders, female figures and faience amulets.
Nicky Nielsen is now talking about the new project of Liverpool University at Tell Nebesheh, once investigated by Petrie, the ancient settlement of Imet in the north-east Delta. Preliminary excavations on the east of the site located mud brick walls with a plaster platform, with a dense sequence of buildings underneath it. Finds from the area; fragments of faience vessels, amulets, Persian horsemen, female and male fertility figures and some limestone 'trial' pieces - including and image of Horus the child (Harpocrates). Pottery dates to the 6th-5th c. BC onwards. A rare stamped handle with the name Charis was found.

The talk highlighted how much early survey projects can be followed up by further work to expand the knowledge base.
Everyone has come back for lunch and now Henning Franzmeier is now discussing the Pelizaeus Museum work at Qantir-PiRamesses. After the work of Edgar Pusch in creating a magnetic map, the question was - where to excavate next in a capital city with numerous archaeological features?
A monumental structure was chosen next to the village.  In a test pit, the team found a workshop with moulds for the manufacture of amulets and Merenptah's cartouche; there were carnelian and jasper waste; underneath was a large wall with multi-phase silo and D.19 pottery - confirming the magnetic image.
For a second area the magnetic image was not yet confirmed by excavation, but walls were found. Underneath the walls were pits containing pottery, fired bricks, unusual horizontal-wavy-handled pot, fragments of raised relief in limestone, Mycenean pottery fragments, glass vessel fragments. A deeper pit contained a quarter of a blue glass ingot and yellow ochre fragments and then painted plaster fragments and lime-mortar. It seems to be a construction site linked to the mounmental building.
Henning has shown how much unexpected material lurks beside the 'known' structures - including footprints of children in the mortar mix.