Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Endangered Faiyum

Geoffrey Tassie has written a paper, posted on the above page, which looks at the modern threat to the archaeology of the Faiyum. Here's his introduction:

As already highlighted in the ECHO news article Faiyumi Sites to be placed on Tourist Map, the Faiyum Depression has been selected for development. These plans were originally formulated in 2005, by the Minister of Tourism, Ahmed el-Maghrabi and the Minister of Environment, Engineer Maged George. These plans were devised to boost environmental tourism, particularly in the Western Desert, the Bahariya Oasis and the Faiyum. These plans for the development of eco-tourism are also intended to encourage the development of communities and aid economic progress in the surrounding areas. This proposed development of the north Faiyum is compounded by the building of the 1,200 km Desert Development Corridor “superhighway” running from El-Aleman in the north to Lake Nasser in the South. A rail-track will run parallel to the superhighway. Twelve East-West connectors are planned to connect the superhighway to the main centres of population, one of which is the Faiyum Branch connector. This project is designed to promote the development of the desert north of the Faiyum depression by establishing sites for tourism, new communities and agricultural areas. It also would allow an extension to the west of the Depression for the establishment of industries such as cement production.

See the above page for the full paper.

If anyone who visits the page that I've linked to looks around the rest of that site, I should throw in a quick warning - the site is one of mine (Predynastic Faiyum) and it suffered some problems when it was moved to a new host some time ago. Many of the original images are missing, including all of the maps, leaving empty boxes in their places. Also, I haven't updated the site in a couple of years. As far as I can see, on most of the pages nothing is greatly out of date. One or two bits need to be added - Noriyuku Shirai has published some useful papers in the last couple of years, and his findings need to be incorporated. The later Predynastic pages are probably somewhat antiquated too. Apologies but I will be working on it!

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