Monuments on a migrating Nile

Hillier, J. K. and Bunbury, J. M. and Graham, A. (2007) Monuments on a migrating Nile. Journal of Archaeological Science, 34 (7). pp. 1011-1015. DOI 10.1016/j.jas.2006.09.011

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Abstract

River courses migrate, but many Egyptologists plot the present-day River Nile on maps of the valley in archaeological times. This may have misled interpretations of ancient monuments and settlements. We show a river migrating rapidly on historical timescales in the Luxor region, sweeping > 5 km across the valley at rates on the order of 2–3 km per 1000 years. Satellite elevation data (SRTM), processed by a novel method, and Landsat imagery are used to trace ancient river levees and extend trends present in 200 years of archive maps thousands of years into the past. This supplements observations by Ptolemy (121–141 AD) and places local geo-archaeological studies in a wider spatial and temporal context. Satellite data are demonstrated to be a relatively quick and easy constraint upon ancient river courses, and a basis for investigations along the Egyptian Nile, even in logistically inaccessible regions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2007 AREP IA53 2007 P
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Archaeological Science
Volume: 34
Page Range: pp. 1011-1015
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jas.2006.09.011
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2009 13:02
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:07
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/376

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