More from Memphis: Kom el-Fakhry, a Middle Kingdom settlement in context
By Ana Tavares, Joint Field-Director, Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA)
Location: The Egypt Exploration Society, The British Council, 192 El Nile street- Agouza, Cairo
Sunday, 2nd February 2014, 6:00 pm. Free admittance, all welcome.
Further details: http://ees.ac.uk/events/index/257.html
Ancient Memphis is a hidden city. Its monuments concealed, dispersed and poorly understood. In 1981 the Egypt Exploration Society (EES) launched the Survey of Memphis project , which changed our understanding of the ancient capital and its landscape. In 2011, the EES joined AERA in running an AERA/American Research Centre in Egypt (ARCE) archaeological field school. This project – the Mit Rahina field-school (MRFS) – was carried out at Kom el-Fakhry, at the request of the Ministry of State for Antiquities. Building on the Survey of Memphis work at Kom Rabia, where an artisans’ quarter of the 13th dynasty was excavated, the field school recorded part of the Middle Kingdom settlement at Kom el -Fakhry, and continued auger work to reconstruct the ancient environment, particularly the movement of the river over the life span of the city.
At Kom el-Fakhry the MRFS team excavated, either side of an east-west street, a series of large rooms, broadly domestic in character. The structures represent three major phases dated from the 13th to the 12th dynasty. The stratigraphy of the site is very complex. Features recorded include silos, hearths, storage bins, and courtyards. Finds, from secure settlement contexts, range from ground stone tools, weaving tools, amulets and personal adornment, to household cult pieces, namely a stela, offering table and small double seated statue, all part of an assemblage excavated from the same room. There is evidence of administration with a variety of inscribed clay sealings. Preliminary analysis of faunal, botanical, and lithic material complements the material from the nearby settlement at Kom Rabia. Little by little a clearer understanding of Middle Kingdom Memphis emerges.