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International Conference
Origin of the State. Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt

(Cracow, Poland: 28th August - 1st September 2002)
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Early Dynastic Egypt
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The Magnetic Survey at Tell el-Farkha


Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii PAN, Warszawa (Poland)

In 1998-2000, a geophysical survey was completed for the whole site of Tell el-Farkha. The survey revealed distinctive settlement traces.

The fluxgate gradiometer FM36 (by Geoscan Research) was used. The test survey was in a grid of 0,5 x 0,5 m, the final survey in a grid of 0,25 x 0,5 m. Apparent traces of buildings from the latest settlement phases - the closest to the surface (Early Dynastic, Old Kingdom) are well visible on the magnetic map. The traces were registered on the central kom and the eastern kom. The survey revealed the general disposition of buildings. Traces of the buildings start disappearing towards the north, which is a result of the increasing thickness of deposits covering the remains of the settlement. The survey shows that the settlement stretches southwards under the modern village of Ghazala.

The survey has already been verified in preliminary manner by excavations. For example a distinctive, negative linear anomaly turned out to correspond to a mudbrick wall located under the surface and a positive anomalies correspond to concentrations of ashes, potsherds or an isolated big pot. The research brought to attention the outlines of walls forming rectangular rooms, particularly in the southern part of the central kom. Some evident anomalies may be interpreted as remains of furnaces.

The nature of a number of rectangular anomalies on the eastern kom was not clear until the 2001 season. During the excavations they were verified as grave chambers. Thanks to the survey, it was possible to define the distribution of architectural remains and the area occupied by the cemetery.


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