Tag Archives: Roman Cities

1st March day off and visit to the Via Hadriana and quarries of Antinoupolis

After another long week of survey, it was good to get out for a morning, away from the noise of Sheikh Ebada, and to have a look at the broader landscape of the ancient city of Antinoupolis. The planned itinerary was to walk up past the hippodrome, and along the wadi, finding the start of the ramp that leads to the Via Hadriana, the road linking Antinoupolis and the Nile with the Red Sea coast. The first part of the walk took me and Jay past the hippodrome, and we took some more photos showing the encroachment of the modern cemetery on the northern side of the sand bank of the structure.

The hippodrome, 400m in length, with walls of a modern cemetery along its northern side

The hippodrome, over 400m in length, with walls of a modern cemetery along its northern side

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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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