Thursday, January 31, 2008

More re Neolithic settlement found in the Faiyum


Here is another version of yesterday's story - thanks to Thierry Benderitter for fowarding it to me. This is a truly exciting discovery which may answer many unresolved questions about the Faiyum Neolithic.

A team of US archaeologists has discovered the ruins of a city dating back to the period of the first farmers 7,000 years ago in Egypt's Fayyum oasis, the supreme council of antiquities said on Tuesday.

"An electromagnetic survey revealed the existence in the Karanis region of a network of walls and roads similar to those constructed during the Greco-Roman period," the council's chief Zahi Hawwas said.

The remnants of the city are "still buried beneath the sand and the details of this discovery will be revealed in due course," Hawwas said.

"The artefacts consist of the remains of walls and houses in terracotta or dressed limestone as well as a large quantity of pottery and the foundations of ovens and grain stores," he added.

The remains date back to the Neolithic period between 5,200 and 4,500 BC.

The local director of antiquities, Ahmed Abdel Alim, said the site was just seven kilometres (four miles) from Fayyum lake and would probably have lain at the water's edge at the time it was inhabited.

Also on Zawya


Anonymous said...

This is indeed the most important discovery in the Faiyum, probably since Caton-Thonpson was there. Dr Willeke Wendrich and her team are doing some fantastic work in the region. However, some disturbing news on the future of the whole northern shore of the Faiyum will soon be posted on the ECHO website. I can only hope that Dr Wendrich has the time to fully excavate this site so that questions about the nature of settlement in the Neolithic Faiyum, such as seasonal or permanent can be answered. It is also not clear if this is actually C-T's Site I, which is located in the Kom Aushim area and was only stopped due to the American's getting the fermin to excavate the Ptolemaic city located there. C-T reported that the material she discovered was comparable with that from Kom W, so an exciting prospect for the future. If you want to help save the Faiyum from destruction get in touch with me and keep watching the ECHO website.


Andie said...

Hi Tass. Nice to hear from you - are you back in London? I heard about some of the threats to the Lake's northern shore when we were at Poznan last year - fairly hair raising. I'll keep an eye on the ECHO website but I'll email you directly too.

Anonymous said...

This may seem a silly question but what's happening to the Fayium's northern shore that's so threatening?

Also, I'm surprised there hasn't been any mention here on the tomb with the golden coffins, undisturbed mummies, and mummified dogs found there-or maybe I missed it? It's on the Nat.Geo. news can't miss it.

Andie said...

Sorry - I replied to the comment as though it was a private conversation which was a bit daft. The northern shore preserves a very important set of prehistoric sites, but it is believed that there are now plans afoot to redevelop the area for toruism before the archaeology has been fully investigated.

Re the National Geographic article - you'll find it posted today.