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Archaeobotany of the Egyptian Delta: State of Research

Abstract : Approaching Alexandrine archaeology with a global perspective requires a well-rounded understanding of agriculture, foodways and environment in the Nile Delta, and its evolution long before Alexandria was founded. Despite archaeobotany’s long history in Egypt, starting the late nineteenth century, it was not until the 1980s that archaeobotanical analysis took off in the Nile Delta. This paper will present an overview of the history of archaeobotanical research in the Delta specifically, with the mention of a few case studies from the Delta. In Merimde Beni Salama, for example, the research is oriented towards better understanding the arrival of domesticated cereals and agriculture in Pharaonic Egypt. At Bouto, early contexts on the site from the Pre- and early dynastic provide a chance to understand the environment and plant exploitation at this pivotal moment in Egyptian history. Roman contexts from Bouto further inform our understanding of agricultural practices and storage of cereals. At Plinthine, the analysis explores agricultural land, viticulture and fuel management, especially between the New Kingdom and Early Roman period. At the ninth-tenth century AD monastic settlement of St John the Little in Wadi al-Natrun, the foodways and agricultural practices of the monks dwelling in the arid desert is the focus of the archaeobotanical investigations. This communication will present the diversity of the research questions that archaeobotanical investigations have tackled in the Delta, highlighting the importance of continued botanical research in this area.
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Conference papers
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https://hal-mnhn.archives-ouvertes.fr/mnhn-02402049
Contributor : Charlène Bouchaud <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 12:05:59 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - 11:26:03 AM

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  • HAL Id : mnhn-02402049, version 1

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Charlène Bouchaud, Mennat-Allah El Dorry, Claire Malleson, Aline Emery-Barbier, Claire Newton, et al.. Archaeobotany of the Egyptian Delta: State of Research. Alexandria the cosmopolis: a global perspective, Centre d’Études Alexandrines; Leiden University NWO VICI project Innovating Objects, Dec 2019, Alexandrie, Egypt. ⟨mnhn-02402049⟩

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