Delta Survey Project
(Egypt Exploration Society-British Academy)
The Delta Survey Project is a long-running part of the work of the Egypt Exploration Society. The aim of the Project is to document and collect information for as many of the hundreds of sites in the Nile Delta as possible and to make it available to the scholarly community and other archaeological stakeholders through a website and workshops. The secondary aim is to encourage archaeologists to carry out further research at the sites.
Building upon visits to little known sites in Kafr el Sheikh by Jeffrey Spencer, Patricia Spencer and Sabri abdel Aziz in the 1990s, by Steven Snape in Sharqiya Province and by Penny Wilson and Joanne Rowland in Beheira and Kafr el Sheikh in 2004-5 a formal project was begun in 2007 with the designation of funding from the British Academy.
The Delta Survey Special Project established and directed by Jeffery Spencer has an online database containing information about sites in the Nile Delta and teams continue to collect basic documentation about sites in different areas. Most of the work is basic recording of the sites and any visible archaeological remains through the creation of a photographic archive. Modern satellite imaging is also used to monitor and add to the information. In addition, topographical maps are made of the sites and pottery surveys completed of surface material to give initial information about the dates of the sites. More detailed work can also be carried out including geomagnetic survey of the surfaces and drill augering to reconstruct the archaeological and geological strata underlying the sites. Finally, some surface cleaning of specific places is also carried out in order to establish more detailed archaeological information about visible structures of features that were clearly visible on the ground.
The current programme of work continues to focus on collecting data about sites in Kafr el Sheikh (directed by Penny Wilson) and in Kafr el Dawar, Beheira (directed by Elena Tiribilli). Since the project began new information about over two hundred sites has been added to the database.
The project also holds a workshop every two years to which those working in the Nile Delta are invited to present their work and discuss their findings. With venues in the British Council, Cairo, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and in 2019 at Mansoura University, the workshop hopes to involve many archaeologists and colleagues throughout the Delta.
Visit the Delta Survey website
Rowland, J., 'The Delta Survey 2004-5', in JEA 92 (2006), with P. Wilson, 1-13.
Rowland, J., 'Prehistoric groups along the western edge of the Nile Delta', Egyptian Archaeology 47 (Autumn 2015), 37-9.
Rowland, J. (et al) forthcoming, Quesna I. London: EES.
Snape, S.R. 1986. Six Archaeological Sites in the Eastern Nile Delta. Liverpool.
Spencer, A.J. 2001. 'The EES Delta Survey', Egyptian Archaeology 16, 25-27.
Spencer, A.J. 2002. 'The Delta Survey 2001', JEA 88, 6-7.
Spencer, A.J. 2016. The Delta Survey 2009-2015, EES Excavation Memoir 112, London: EES.
Wilson, P. and Spencer, N., 'Ancient sites of Beheira and Kafr es-Sheikh', in Egyptian Archaeology 24 (Spring 2004), 10-11.
Wilson, P. and Grigoropoulos, D. 2009. The West Delta Regional Survey, Beheira and Kafr el-Sheikh Provinces. London: EES.
Wilson, P. 2010. 'Recent Survey Work in the Southern Mareotis Area', in Blue 2010, 119-25.
Kom Barsiq, SCA100181 showing the side section and mound. (Photo by Penny Wilson, 2004).
Kom Difshu, SCA100176 showing the section of the mound. (Photo by Penny Wilson, 2004).
Tell Turuga, SCA100251 showing wine making tanks. (Photo by Penny Wilson, 2004).
Kom el-Ghasuli, SCA100131, showing the low mound of the site. (Photo by Elena Tiribilli, 2018).
Kom el-Nashawein, SCA90144, showing the west mound to the left and flat silted river channel to the right, during a storm. (Photo by Penny Wilson, 2012).
Kom Bunduq, SCA90113, showing the plan of a building in light mud colour on the side of the mound. (Photo by Penny Wilson, 2012).
Kom Mastarouah, SCA90177, showing the sandy mound within which are medieval structures. (Photo by Penny Wilson, 2012).
Tell el-Daba, SCA90104, excavation in 2012 of a Ptolemaic tower-house, viewed from the north. (Photo by P. Spencer).
Tell Buweib, SCA50202, excavation of the brick casemate building in 2014. (Photo: J. Spencer).
Kom el Ahmar, SCA100120, showing the bath-house and one of the mounds. The site is now a separate project of the University of Padua. (Photo by Penny Wilson, 2004).
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