Thursday, July 19, 2007

North Kharga Oasis Survey - 2006 Season - Exploration of the Darb Ain Amur

NKOS 2006 (S. Ikram and C.Rossi)

The NKOS website has been udpated with details of the 2006 season. See the above page for the full story, but here's an extract.
The first season of the North Kharga Oasis Survey Phase II (NKOS II) focused on investigating the Darb Ain Amur as it extends between Umm el-Dabadib and Ain Amur. Several new archaeological sites were noted, while ones that had been discovered during previous seasons were thoroughly documented (photography and drawing). Ceramics were collected at these areas and tentative dating work begun. An exploration of the Ain Amur area was also carried out in order to find the settlement that must have been located near the temple.

Work was begun at the site of a large rock along the east west axis between Umm el Dabadib and Ain Amur. This rock, discovered during a previous year was dubbed 'Aa's Rock' due to the proto-dynastic serekh that adorned the north-eastern side of the rock, with other images surrounding it. Two new hieroglyphic inscriptions that were very eroded were noted. Near Aa's Rock at least two areas of Prehistoric activity were identified.

A site dubbed 'Fish Rock' due to the petroglyphs of fish found there was fully explored and documented. It appears to be primarily prehistoric in date due to the number of petroglyphs scattered about the faces of three upstanding massifs. To the west another Prehistoric site with grinders and petroglyphs and a Roman period jar was identified.

To the north-west of Aa's rock, another site, named 'Split Rock' was studied. To its east lies an area with a concentration of sherds that have tentatively been dated to the fourth/fifth centuries AD. This was possibly a water depot or way station on the route between Umm el-Dabadib and Ain Amur. This area had also been inhabited in prehistoric times as some very faint remains of petroglyphs (giraffes and other quadrupeds) were found on a face of a wadi bed.To the west of Split Rock lies a significant Prehistoric site that goes along a narrow wadi. The petroglyphs here were truly stunning, showing human figures, oryx, gazelle, giraffe, snakes and elephants.

See the above page for more.

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