Friday, August 5, 2016

Tell Dafana Reconsidered: The Archaeology of an Egyptian Frontier Town

From the LinkedIn Egyptology group:

Tell Dafana Reconsidered: The Archaeology of an Egyptian Frontier Town

This book - free to download from the British Museum - is a detailed examination and re-assessment of the objects discovered in Flinders Petrie's excavations for the Egypt Exploration Fund at the site of ancient Daphnae on the eastern edge of the Nile Delta, in 1886. The site was known then as Tell Defenneh, and now as Tell Dafana. The finds have been looked at anew, the site has been revisited and the architecture of its monuments re-imagined with the important aim of assessing the presence and extent of Archaic Greek influence and whether Petrie’s original interpretation of the ancient town as a military camp for Greek troops, based on our unreliable friend Herodotus, has any validity.

After a completely detailed re-examination of the site, the plans, the photographs and the finds, the researchers conclude that Petrie was a bit over-enthusiastic in seeing major Greek influence here. Having discovered some fine Greek ceramics at the site, soon after his discovery of the great Archaic Greek trading centre at Naukratis on the other side of the Nile Delta, he interpreted Tell Dafana in the light of Herodotus and mistook a major Egyptian temple city of the Late Period for a Greek 'Qsar'. We no longer seek to authenticate Egyptian history through its Greek connection, so a re-assessment of Tell Dafana, ancient Tahpanhes (for once, genuinely as in the Bible - the ancient name appears to mean simply 'the settlement of Panehesy') was due.

The BM publication runs to 250 pages, with an account of the site and Petrie's excavations, separate catalogues of objects and different classes of pottery (with some pictures) and a very nice account of the 2009 rescue dig, with pictures and plans in Chapter 8. Download it now at , and look through it at home ...

  • Bassam Qasem Thanks a lot. The book is awesome. I appreciated your effort
  • fayza Haikal, Indeed this book is essential, but there are new excavations there by an Egyptian team working under the directorship of DR Mohamed Abdel Maksoud who excavated Tell Habua, and a very large part of the city has been excavated.