Final session of the 2013 Workshop and It’s Jeff’s turn to speak. He’s presenting, on behalf of Ross Thomas and Alexandra Villing, the results of the first season of British Museum fieldwork at Naukratis - a site that was, of course, identified and first excavated, by Petrie for the EEF.
In 2008 the BM initiated a project to study Egyptian/Greek contacts within Egypt and the main sites for that are Tell Dafana in the east Delta and Naukratis in the west. Today Jeff will be discussing the Naukratis part of the project, directed by Alexandra Villing, which is studying the thousands of objects found by Petrie and later by Hogarth and now scattered across the world’s museums, with the majority being in the BM, and published in an online catalogue: www.britishmuseum.org/naukratis.
Naukratis was the main Greek trade centre in Egypt with imports coming from all over the meditereanean world, arriving in Egypt at the port of Herakleion and then shipped by canal to Naukratis.
Trade routes to and from Naukratis.
Jeff has summarised the (separate) excavations of Petrie and Hogarth, and is now looking at the work between 1977 and 1983 by Coulson and Leonard who incorrectly located the Nile through the enclosure of the Egyptian temple. The area of the Greek town had filled with water and been a lake for around 100 years but it has since been drained and so is accessible once again for study.
In 2012 the BM team undertook a short season at the site, directed in the field by Ross Thomas, with a survey to tie together all previous work, and some magnetic scanning in accessible areas where the fields were not under cultivation.
The aim of the survey was to produce as accurate a plan of the site as possible, integrating the plans of earlier excavators and superimposing them on a GoogleEarth image. This showed that Petrie’s plan was very accurate, Hogarth’s a bit less so and the Leonard/Coulson plan accurate in the north but with a major discrepancy in the south, related to the location of the Egyptian temple enclosure and the ‘fort’.
The magnetic scanning identified the correct location of the Nile channel to the west of the town.
The magnetic scan overlaid on a GoogleEarth image, showing the Nile channel.
The scanning of the Egyptian temple enclosure at the south of the site revealed structures within it, and scanning in the fields also shows that archaeological material is preserved, so there are remains of the ancient town beneath cultivated land.
Jeff is explaining the misidentification by Leonard/Coulson of the ‘south’ mound as Petrie’s ‘fort’.
The team also collected surface sherds and undertook small scale test excavation in preparation for more extensive work in April this year.