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The role of geoarchaeology in the preservation and management of the Theban Necropolis, West Bank, Egypt

Aubry, Marie-Pierre; Dupuis, Christian; Berggren, William A.; Ghaly, Holeil; Ward, David; King, Chris; Knox, Robert W. O'B.; Ouda, Khaled; Youssef, Moustafa. 2016 The role of geoarchaeology in the preservation and management of the Theban Necropolis, West Bank, Egypt. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 61 (2). 134-147. 10.1144/pygs2016-366

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Abstract/Summary

A World Heritage Site since 1979, the Theban Necropolis was built by the Pharaohs of the 18th to 20th Dynasties (c. 1539 – 1075 BCE). A variety of pharaonic (and lesser nobles') tombs, funerary temples and sanctuaries were located/excavated in the lower part of the c. 400 m high pyramidal El Qurn in a variety of lithofacies (predominantly marine limestones and shales). These monuments are located in regionally persistent structural entities as well as gravitational collapse structures (GCS) whose probable origin and timing are reviewed and updated here, based on information that was unavailable to us at the time of writing a complementary paper in 2008 (but only published in 2015). We review here the historical development of the Theban Necropolis in the framework of the geological and geomorphological landscape and the first geological map of the region prepared by our Working Group for the Theban International Geoarcheological Project (TIGA) in 2011. We conclude with a preferential prioritizing of the perceived short- and long-term threats to the preservation of the Theban Necropolis and its monuments: least vulnerable to destabilization are the Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Block of Sheik Abdel Qurnah – El Khokkah; more vulnerable are Deir El Medina, Qunet Mura'I and El Assasif; most vulnerable are the Village of the Workers, Deir El Bahari and the Valley of the Colors. Accordingly it will be necessary to devise geotechnical solutions to prevent the destruction of (at least) some of the monuments under consideration here.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1144/pygs2016-366
ISSN: 0044-0604
Date made live: 28 Jul 2017 13:56 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/517408

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