Real and Literary Landscapes in Ancient Egypt

Bunbury, Judith and Jeffreys, David (2011) Real and Literary Landscapes in Ancient Egypt. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 21 (01). pp. 65-76. DOI 10.1017/S0959774311000047

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Abstract

During the past thirty years the Survey of Memphis and others have acquired more than two hundred borehole logs from the Capital Zone of Egypt. Combining these boreholes with maps and satellite images, we show that, during the past five thousand years, the geography of the Nile has been in constant flux with mean rates of migration around 2 m/y and one of its channels becoming extinct, by nature or through human intervention. Re-visiting ancient texts in the light of this changing environment, we show that the literary settings of both fictional and historical texts were real landscapes known to the authors. Hence we infer that ancient descriptions of landscape can be interpreted in a more literal way than before and that the authors were not as prone to writing of a metaphorical realm as was previously thought.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2010AREP; IA62;
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
99 - Other
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Journal or Publication Title: Cambridge Archaeological Journal
Volume: 21
Page Range: pp. 65-76
Identification Number: 10.1017/S0959774311000047
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2011 12:11
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:01
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/2017

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