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.
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.
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.
Lake Mareotis (NW Nile delta, Egypt) was a gateway between the Nile valley and the Mediterranean during Greco-Roman times. The hydrological evolution of Lake Mareotis was reconstructed using lake sediments and archaeological archives. The data show both a rise in Nile inputs to the basin during the first millennia BC and AD and a lake-level rise of ca. 1.5 m during the Roman period. A high-energy deposit such as a tsunami also possibly affected Alexandria's lacustrine hinterland.
The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) about 21 kyr ago is known to have been global in extent. Nonetheless, we have limited knowledge during the pre-LGM time in the southern middle latitudes. If we want to understand the causes of the ice ages, the complete glacial period must be addressed. In this paper, we show that the Patagonian Ice Sheet in southern South America reached its full glacial extent also by 57 kyr ago and defies a climate explanation.
Geophysical and archaeological work at Sais (Sa el-Hagar, Egypt) is analysed to discuss the relationships between the palaeolandscape, the evolving river and floodplain and human cultural activity at the site, where humans have lived since Neolithic times (4000 Before Common Era) until the present. The results show a close correlation with and reliance on the underlying sandhills for settlement and the way in which human activity has subsequently affected the floodplain landscape at the site.
This article discusses the first basic framework of Quaternary landscape evolution in a main large river valley of the drylands of northeastern Iran and the first geomorphic frame for human migrations in the important migration corridor of central Asia.
Kom el-Gir, an ancient settlement hill in the northwestern Nile Delta, is only one of many so-called tells with a former connection to a watercourse. To establish a detailed reconstruction of this former channel system, this paper presents small-scale investigations of Kom el-Gir’s surroundings using a multi-proxy approach.