Kom al-Ahmer|Kom Wasit Archaeological Project, Siena University/Centro Archeologico Italo-Egiziano and Padova University
DISCOVERED IN BEHEIRA A HELLENISTIC ROMAN TOWN BENEATH THE NILE SILT
A team from Siena University, the Italian-Egyptian Archaeological Centre (CAIE) and Padova University, partly funded by National Geographic/Waitt grants program, and in collaboration with the Ministry of State of Antiquities (MSA) has discovered the remains of a buried town beneath the Nile silt in Beheira Province under the field direction of Cristina Mondin, Giorgia Marchiori, and the Egyptian archaeologist Mohamed Kenawi. Scientific Direction, E. Papi and P. Zanovello.
Kom al-Ahmer and Kom Wasit, situated over the ancient town, are located in the western Nile Delta, about 25 km south of Rosetta, 16 km north of Damanhur (Hermopolis Parva), and 2 km north-east of the village of Rodit al-Mughazi. The Rosetta branch of the Nile, now 7 km to the east, was much closer in antiquity. The sites belonged to the 7th nome (administrative district) of Lower Egypt. The area of Kom al-Ahmer and Kom Wasit have been surveyed by a geophysical team following intensive work on the topography. Excavations have confirmed the results of the survey, that a complete town lies beneath the Nile silt that have been buried by major subsidence of the Nile Delta.
The ruins of Kom al-Ahmer include a large Roman baths-building discovered by El-Khashab in 1940s, but the recent work by an international team, under Italian direction, excavated part of the site with other interesting structures reflecting different aspects of daily life.
Magnetometry revealed many structures surrounding a large rectangular building, orientated east-west, which seems to be for administrative or religious purposes 115 x 40 m. Aerial photos supported by topographic mapping, and subsequent excavation shows that the town plan has two different orientations, reflecting two different phases. The earliest phase is an early Hellenistic one which appears in the lower parts of the site, while the later one, on a different orientation, is dated to the Late Hellenistic to Early Roman period. Other evidence suggests the presence of late dynastic phase of life, but this has not yet been confirmed. This is a unique example of the layout of a Hellenistic Roman town in the Delta.
The Kom al-Ahmer/Kom Wasit Archaeological Project is a joint mission between Padova University and The Italian Egyptian Archaeological Center (CAIE), in collaboration with Siena University. It has an international research team from various European countries and north America, as well as Egypt. Now in its third season, the project aims to survey and excavate the different parts of the sites in future years to be able to write a new chapter of the Egyptian History.
Team April-June 2014
Prof. Cristina Mondin.
Dr. Giorgia Marchiori
Dr. Mohamed Kenawi
Dr. Irene Cestari
Dr. Gabriella Carpentiero
Dr. Monica Spaziani
Dr. Marcus Muller
Dr. Henrik Brahe
Dr. Ishiba Hinojosa Balino
And the rest of the team who participated in different phases of work: Dr. Tiziana Prezio, Dionisia Pizzo, Carla Vallone, Barbara Cavallaro, Erika Cunsolo, Dr. Salvatrice Pantano, Giulia Marano, Maria Lucia Patanè, Aude Simony, Eleuterio Sousa, Ahmed Shukri, Sara Cole, Audrey Eller, Rim Saleh, Sarah Hitchens, and Dr. Juliette Fayein.