At Buto, Sais and Bubastis in the Nile delta, temples were built on gentle rising mounds surrounded by canals and lakes, representing a perfect fusion of natural and sacred landscapes. The waters served cultic purposes and played an important role in local mythological traditions. The paper aims to reconstruct those sacred waterways, canals and marshes according to recent geoarchaeological and philological research and to assess their impact on the evolution of key mythological narratives.
Based on a new method, this paper proves the presence of several lakes during Greco-Roman antiquity in the Mariut basin and the digging of a canal network (up to 12 km long) in the Roman period to link them to Lake Mareotis. This challenges a 2-century-long scientific tradition according to which Lake Mareotis naturally linked Taposiris Magna to Alexandria during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. It is thus a starting point for new analyses of regional archaeology and geoarchaeology.
The Butic Canal, a Roman-period artificial waterway transversing the Egyptian Nile Delta, is investigated by means of newly available remote sensing data (the TanDEM-X digital elevation model and Corona satellite imagery). New features of the construction can thus be detected. Adding historical sources, the canal's function(s) and chronology are discussed.
We studied snails from Holocene river sediments of the upper Alazani River in the southeastern Caucasus. Since no natural floodplain forests existed in the river valley until ca. 4500 years ago, our snail data confirm a formerly suggested regional settlement center from the ca. 8000 years unknown thus far. Furthermore, increasing proportions of water-related snails for ca. 4000 years indicate a shift of the river course possibly linked with the formation of the Greater Caucasus.
The contribution highlights the use of Landsat archive data (1985–2019) for the detection of surface anomalies potentially related to buried near-surface paleogeomorphological deposits in the Nile Delta (Egypt). The analyses of selected spectral-temporal metrics showed several anomalies in the immediate surroundings of Pleistocene sand hills (geziras) and settlement mounds (tells) of the eastern Delta, which allowed mapping of the potential near-surface continuation.