A survey and GIS mapping project was initiated at Faiyum in Middle Egypt to assess and identify the quantity and condition of archaeological sites in the area. A Desk Based Assessment of every known site in the region was undertaken and a database was created.
- site location
- occupation periods
- structural remains
- threats to site
- state of site preservation
- current and historical site names
- site bibliographies
This database was then attached to a Geographic Information System (GIS) and sites were plotted on a satellite image based map.
An environmental drill-coring programme was also conducted throughout the Faiyum region. This enabled a reconstruction of the past environmental conditions, including a refinement of the various water levels in Lake Qarun. This information, combined with a digital elevation model of the region allowed for various settlement patterns to be arranged around the lake level for the relevant periods.
One of the major results of this project was the identification of areas that required further archaeological investigation. Such an area was the region to the north-west of current Lake Qarun. Predictive landscape modelling has calculated that sites of Epi-Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Early Dynastic, Ptolemaic and Roman date are situated on ancient beaches in this area.
As a result of this work a major archaeological rescue project is now being developed, which will contribute to the growth of eco-tourism in the region.