Sunday, May 20, 2007

Journal of Archaeological Science (

The July issue of the JAS includes an article entitled Monuments on a migrating Nile John K. Hillier, Judith M. Bunbury and Angus Graham (Volume 34, Issue 7, July 2007, Pages 1011-1015).

Abstract: "River courses migrate, but many Egyptologists plot the present-day River Nile on maps of the valley in archaeological times. This may have misled interpretations of ancient monuments and settlements. We show a river migrating rapidly on historical timescales in the Luxor region, sweeping > 5 km across the valley at rates on the order of 2–3 km per 1000 years. Satellite elevation data (SRTM), processed by a novel method, and Landsat imagery are used to trace ancient river levees and extend trends present in 200 years of archive maps thousands of years into the past. This supplements observations by Ptolemy (121–141 AD) and places local geo-archaeological studies in a wider spatial and temporal context. Satellite data are demonstrated to be a relatively quick and easy constraint upon ancient river courses, and a basis for investigations along the Egyptian Nile, even in logistically inaccessible regions."

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