Geoarchaeology of an ancient fluvial harbour: Avaris and the Pelusiac branch (Nile River, Egypt)
2012 (English)In: Géomorphologie, ISSN 1266-5304, no 1, 23-36 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The former city of Avaris is one of the biggest in the Nile delta. The city was the capital of the Hyksos kings who ruled Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, around 1650-1550 BC. The city was built on the edge of the Pelusiac branch of the Nile River, in the middle of a complex anabranching river system. Historical sources mention the existence of a fluvial harbour in Avaris. This large town required a harbour complex to fulfil its economic and military role. Until recently, the precise location of Avaris' harbour basin was unclear. A pluridisciplinary project was set up in order to locate this harbour, by implementing various methods and tools. This project was part of a broader study of the palaeo-landscape of the whole city that provided us with a better knowledge of the palaeo-environment and its depositional processes. We were able to suggest the most likely area where a harbour could have been built. Extensive geomagnetic surveys backed the sedimentary boreholes analysis in order to get a precise image of the harbour basin, also helped by archaeological findings. The relationships between the basin and the Nile were also explored, especially a small channel linking the harbour to the main river as well as another one connecting it to a secondary channel of the Pelusiac branch at the south. We used OSL dating to reconstruct the history of the harbour, from the natural formation of a favourable geomorphologic site to its adaptation and maintenance by man during the apogee of the Hyksos capital.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. no 1, 23-36 p.
geoarchaeology, fluvial palaeoenvironments, harbour archaeology, geomorphology, Nile delta, Pelusiac branch, Avaris, Egypt
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79703ISI: 000302850100003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-79703DiVA: diva2:552542