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Schiestl, Robert ORCID: 0000-0001-8295-1835 (2022): Reconstructing the Tangled Ancient Waterscape of the Northwestern Delta. In: Wahby, Ayman; Wilson, Penelope (eds.) : The Delta Survey Workshop: Proceedings from Conferences held in Alexandria (2017) and Mansoura (2019). Archaeopress Egyptology, Vol. 41. Oxford: Archaeopress. pp. 85-98
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Abstract

The article discusses the process of attempting to reconstruct the ancient landscape, in particular the ancient watercourses, in the region of Buto (Tell el-Faraain) in the northwestern delta. This is presented in an arch spanning the geographic and archaeological data, the initial hypothesis regarding the ancient water system based on this data, a description of the methods used to verify the hypothesis, and reaching the current conclusion by means of new methods. The modern landscape provides no clues to the shape of the ancient surface; therefore, a linear distribution pattern of ancient settlements was taken as the basis for the hypothesis on the course of an ancient Nile branch. This paper is, on the one hand, a presentation of methods, discussing the interpretation of historic maps, the use of textual sources, auger coring, and the analysis of a satellite based Digital Elevation map. On the other hand, the hypothesis, and its ultimate falsification, demonstrate how the landscape of the Delta is still conceptualized based on certain pre-conceived ideas of what the ancient delta looked like. The new results hope to contribute to a rising awareness of the diversity of the ancient Delta waterscape.