Thursday, 6 April 2017

Ismael Awad is now talking about the mapping of Lake Maryut, south and south west of Alexandria. The lake is now largely dry, having been drained, so its ancient appearance is important in order to understand the topography of Alexandria's hinterland. He has collected a large body of old maps of the area in order to document the changing appearance of the lake. The Geomar project is a collaborative project to make a complete archaeological map of the western Nile delta and Wadi Natrun. 122 sites have been collected in the area with basic data, maps and put into GIS software. The maps range from the 1799-1803 French Commission to Geological Service maps of the 1940s. Now modern satellite images can be obtained from 1968 onwards to looks at the changing land-use, including development of the karm-landscape. Examples show how valuable looking at all of the information is when it's put together in identifying sites and how they have changed - often not for the best. The early results have often been ground-truthed to test the validity of the method and resolve other problems
Despite many difficulties in getting all the data together - the results are impressive and are our best 'complete' dataset in a GIS programme so we know where everything was/is/might be and how sites can be protected.
The work is an excellent off-shoot of the Delta Survey project - in a grown-up form!

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