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BIC Excellence Award

The Archaeological Survey of the Desert Roads between Berenike and the Nile Valley
Expeditions by the University of Michigan and the University of Delaware to the Eastern Desert of Egypt, 1987-2015

Edited by Jennifer Gates-Foster and Steven E. Sidebotham

The Archaeological Survey of the Desert Roads between Berenike and the Nile Valley
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Hardback, 480 pages £70.00
Published: 2019
ISBN: 9780897571098
Format: 279mm x 215mm
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Subjects: American Schools of Oriental Research, Ancient Near East, Archaeology

The publication of the Eastern Desert Roads Surveys brings together the research of two survey projects, the Michigan-Assiut Koptos-Eastern Desert Project and the University of Delaware-Leiden University Eastern Desert Surveys. From 1987 to 2001 and intermittently thereafter until 2015, these two survey teams worked independently to explore and document the archaeological remains along the routes connecting the Nile Valley cities of Koptos (modern Qift) and Apollinopolis Magna (modern Edfu) to the Red Sea port city of Berenike in Egypt.

The result of these surveys was the documentation of seventy discrete archaeological sites ranging in date from the late Dynastic to the Late Roman periods, with many sites demonstrating long-term, multi-period occupation. The survey also recorded road sections, route marking cairns and graves/cemeteries.

This monograph brings together and integrates the discoveries of both teams, presenting a coherent analysis of the extensive surveys and the materials documented by each. Emphasis is placed on the physical setting of each site, its material remains--including preserved architecture, pottery and other surface finds--and relevant textual evidence, such as inscriptions, ostraka and related historical texts. A single chapter in gazetteer form is devoted to the sites themselves (excluding mines and quarries, which form a separate chapter), while other chapters present the geology of the region and ancient mines and quarries, which made use of the road network, the pottery evidence by phase, and specialist studies.

An Introductory chapter offers historical and disciplinary context for the surveys and their subjects, tying the Berenike-Nile roads surveys into the corpus of archaeological surveys in Egypt and the wider Mediterranean world.

Steven E. Sidebotham is a Professor in the History Department at the University of Delaware. Since 1972 he has participated in more than 60 surveys and excavations in various capacities both on land and underwater in Italy, Greece, Libya, Tunisia, Israel, Sudan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, India and Egypt. Currently, he is co-director of the University of Delaware-Warsaw University excavations at Berenike on the Red Sea coast of Egypt. His publications include numerous articles, encyclopedia and dictionary entries, contributions to the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, edited volumes of excavations in India and Egypt and several synthetic books on his major research interest: study of commercial and cultural contacts between the wider Mediterranean basin and the Indian Ocean between the fourth century BCE and the seventh century CE. He also studies World War II having conducted more than 300 oral interviews with veterans of that conflict and published one co-edited book about it. Jennifer Gates-Foster is Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics and Curriculum in Archaeology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Since the late 1990's, she has carried out archaeological excavation and survey work in Israel, Armenia, Syria and Egypt, where she is currently a member of the French Archaeological Mission to the Eastern Desert. She is also co-director of the Settlement Excavations at Horvat Omrit in northern Israel. She has published a number of articles, book chapters and reviews on the relationship between style and identity in material culture, including studies of Achaemenid glyptic and Romano-Egyptian pottery, as well as landscape, settlement and travel in Ptolemaic Egypt. She is currently at work on a corpus of pottery from the Ptolemaic fortifications at Bir Samut and Bir 'Abbad Egypt, as well as a catalogue of seal impressions from Roman Karanis.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 480 pages
 279mm x 215mm
349 b/w illus, 18 tbls.

BIC Code:
  HIS002030, SOC003000
 American Schools of Oriental Research


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