Sunday, January 28, 2007

Weekly Websites

Another collection of fairly random websites that I have been visiting this week. Don't forget to let me know of any websites of interest that you have found.

Delta Survey
"This reference collection of archaeological sites in the Egyptian Nile Delta was adopted by the Society in 1997. The original core of the information was collected by Jeffrey Spencer over many years, later supplemented with contributions from others, acknowleged below. The purpose of the Society's Delta Survey was to assess the current condition of the lesser-known archaeological sites in Lower Egypt, initially by visual inspection, and to combine the results with information from published and unpublished sources. Well-known sites and those which have been the subject of extensive excavation are not considered a priority for this project since they are well-documented in other sources of reference. They have been simply listed without extensive comment, with linked pages of bibliography. The data is presented here in the form web-pages containing an alphabetical listing of sites, although the records are also maintained as a searchable database".

Resources and roads in the Eastern Desert
"Porphyry, breccia verde, granite, gold -- and elephants: many treasures brought men to the Eastern Deserts. Rushdi Said explores the Roman roads that lead from the Nile Valley to the Red Sea. The Eastern Desert played an important role in the history of Egypt. It was the source of gold, copper and many other minerals and precious stones that were highly sought after from the earliest of times. It was also the place through which trade with Arabia, Somalia and India was channelled. As a result, a large number of roads were built there throughout ancient times. These routes were especially important during the Roman occupation of Egypt, when many mines and quarries were reopened, and some new ones broken."

Picturs of Mons Porphyrites
"The Mons Porphyrites, today Gebel Abu Dukhan, was a Roman quarry, in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. It lies on the road between the Red Sea and Maximianopolis, the modern Qena. Porphyry is a hard volcanic rock with inclusions of feldspar or quartz. This red or purple Egyptian porphyry was mined until the 5th century and was used and re-used for the creation of numerous monuments and objects in Europe. The red porphyry was an imperial symbol and the delivery room of the palace in Constantinople was panelled with porphyry, that is why the children of reigning monarch were called "porphyrogenitos" i.e. born-in-the-purple."

A Middle Palaeolithic site with blade technology at Al Tiwayrat, Qena, Upper Egypt
Vermeersch, Philip Van Peer & Veerle Rots 2005
(In Antiquity, Vol 79, No 305, September 2005)
Description of the excavation of a badly deflated site near Qena, with diagrams and photographs of Middle Palaeolithic lithics which have been tentatively linked with sites containing some similar lithic types in the Sudan.

Coptic Monastery Database Project
Thanks very much to Howard Middleton-Jones for sending me the link for the Coptic Monastery Database project: "Premise - To develop a fully multi-media database of the Coptic monasteries of Egypt, producing a fully searchable and interactive catalogue of the monastic sites. By developing such a database, which will include full text descriptions, photographs and video, the end result would be an ideal and important tool for retrieval of archaeological records and for Coptic research in general."
At the moment this is very much a work in progress, but with so little information on Coptic archaeology and history on the Web, it isone to keep an eye on.

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