Monthly Archives: February 2013

End of another week of magnetometry and topographic survey

Another week of survey at Antinoupolis is at an end. This week work focused on survey in the area of the ancient city, between the northern corner of the walls and the east gate survey area from 2012. In addition Jay has spent the last few days starting a GPS topographic survey of the east gate and the hippodrome to the north-east of the city. Continue reading

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Visit to the Sheikh Ebada mosque and the tomb of Ebada Ibn Samet

Once again finding time to be able to write is getting difficult, with the survey work going on at a strong pace. Time for two blogs this evening, later on some updates on the survey, but for now a description of a short trip the team made the other evening to the mosque in Sheikh Ebada, and to the tomb of Ebada Ibn Samet. The mosuqe is located in t he northern part of Sheikh Ebada, aligned with the northern decumanus of the Roman city. It therefore seemed appropriate to visit and to see if anything associated with the Roman and later archaeology of the area was present in the fabric of the building.

The two minarets of the Sheikh Ebada mosque (left) the later minaret and (right) and earlier minaret, supposedly the tower of an earlier church

The two minarets of the Sheikh Ebada mosque (left) the later minaret and (right) and earlier minaret, supposedly the tower of an earlier church

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End of first phase of magnetometry – and a day off

Second blog of the day trying to catch up on over a week of missed writing. For the last four days the magnetometry has been continuing in the necropolis area of Antinoupolis. Work starts on site at 7am sharp, and we take a knackered old pick-up truck on a track roughly along the line of one of the decumani of the city, out to the Severian wall and up to the Coptic chapel of Theodosia adjacent to the Roman necropolis.

For the last few days the sounds of wolves baying higher up the wadis and around the many quarries overlooking the necropolis has greeted us. At least two packs, one to the the north and the other to the east compete with each other. In addition Abu Hussein has made an appearance twice in the last week. The first time slinking off up to the heights above the site, and the second padding across the wadi down towardss the Roman city, before he spotted the geophysics team and retreated to the wadi.

Quarries overlooking the city and necropolis of Antinoupolis

Quarries overlooking the city and necropolis of Antinoupolis

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Antinoupolis Survey Magnetometry Commences

Trying to catch up with blog posts this week, on a slow internet connection and pushing the magnetometer survey forwards. Work is moving ahead with the survey of the necropolis of Antinoupolis. The area was gridded out last Saturday, with 10 hectares prepared, and the magnetometry has been moving forwards. The area in question is located between the north-western corner of the city, the Coptic cemetery to the west and the confines of the wadi to the north.

Magnetometry being oconducted across the Roman and Late Roman cemetery

Magnetometry being conducted across the Roman and Late Roman cemetery

Areas of the cemetery were excavated by Gayet in the early part of the 20th century, and in these zones the terrain is difficult to walk, running between spoilheaps and the depressions left by the excavated tombs. Parts of mummified bodies and ceramics litter the ground.  Continue reading

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End of Theban survey and up to Antinoupolis

The internet connection at Sheikh Ebada near El Minya is terrible, so no blogging for the last week. This is the first time I have managed to get set up so there is plenty to write about. We finished the survey at Thebes on 7th February, and Angus and the team departed for the UK on the 8th. We caught up with some American colleagues before the end, and enjoyed an amazing view of the West Bank including Kom el Hetan, one of the focal points for the THaWS survey.

The West Bank at night, with the Colossi of Memnon in the middle distance

The West Bank at night, with the Colossi of Memnon in the middle distance

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Geophysics at Karnak – Intensive GPR survey and the beginning of the end of the survey

The latest work on the THaWS project has been marked by the intensity of survey profiles and survey areas covered, and  the fact that the team have been working almost exclusively in and around Karnak temple. The transition of the GPS survey from the West to the East Bank went smoothly, as reported in the last post. We established a base station on the roof of Chicago House on the West Bank, with the very kind permission of the staff. Some wonderful views were visible across the Nile to the banana plantation and desert edge on the West Bank, andthe set-out made survey convenient for the work at Karnak.

Sarah setting up the base station

Sarah setting up the base station

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