Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Merowe Dam on the Nile

Egittologia (Amelia Carolina Sparavigna)

This article is written in rather broken English (though much, much better than my Italian!) but is well worth persevering with because it makes some very important points about the way in which dam-formed lakes use Palaeochannels to expand in ways which can threaten both the environment and the archaeological remains at the edges of the artificial lakes.

The huge reservoir of the Merowe Dam on Nile River is featured in an image photographed on 5 October 2010 by a crewmember on the International Space Station [1]. The dam is located near the Fourth Cataract of the river, in that part of Nubia desert where the Nile is creating its Great Bend, a contorted path of the river through the bedrocks of Bayuda Massif. Few years ago, the satellite imagery showed a fertile strip of land with many villages, where the paleochannels of the Nile hosted vivid green cultivated fields. With term "paleochannel", we call the old dry bed of rivers. Now, a huge part of this valley is under the waters of Merowe Dam reservoir that flooded villages, fields and archaeological sites.

No comments: