Wednesday, January 30, 2013
This season the JEM is joined in South Western Thebes by two other projects. The venerable Egypt Exploration Society has an expedition, The Theban Harbors and Waterscapes Project, under the direction of Angus Graham. He is joined this season by Kris Strutt (University of Southampton), Dominic Barker (University of Southampton), Sarah Jones (Museum of London) and by Ginger Emery (University of Chicago), who worked with us during the first seasons of the JEM.
This team is investigating the Theban floodplain on both the Western bank and Eastern banks of the Nile to provide a reconstruction of the landscapes and waterscapes of the Nile valley during antiquity. This includes the Birket Habu, the massive basin or lake associated with Amenhotep III’s building projects at Malkata. They will be using modern technology to understand this massive ancient construction- equal in volume to three Great Pyramids! They are doing a Magnetometer Survey, as we had done at Malqata, along with Electrical Resistivity Tomography (resistivity survey). With resistivity, an electrical charge is run through the ground and measured by a resistance meter which can detect and map subsurface archaeological features.
They are also using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to collect data about the southern and eastern mounds of the Birket Habu. The GPR unit is a square, orange box attached to a sled that is run across the surface to detect buried remains. We are excited about the prospect of learning about the harbor and how it relates to the Palace-City, and we eagerly look forward to the results of the season.