Projects

Dashur Boat Ships Survey

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WHAT: CEREMONIAL BOATS | WHERE: DASHUR, EGYPT | PROJECT: 1961-1964 | DATE: 1985-1773 B.C.

In cooperation with the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Expedition to Lisht and Dahshur, directed by Dr. Dieter Arnold, INA Research Associate Pearce Paul Creasman has conducted several seasons of geophysical survey at the pyramid complex of Senwosret III at Dahshur, Egypt. The survey seeks to determine the suitability of ground penetrating radar, magnetometry and electromagnetic induction for mapping the area where five ancient boat-burials from the Twelfth Dynasty were found in the 1890s. At least one boat reported at the time of excavation remains unaccounted for. Tests conducted in 2007 demonstrated that magnetometry does detect subsurface structures of stone, fired brick, and unfired brick under current site conditions. Data indicated areas of geological activity as well as unexcavated archaeological remains, though no definitive traces of boat burials. To refine the search, a second survey in 2008 employed ground penetrating radar. Results from 2008 are pending, however; a report on the 2007 season will soon appear in The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, journal of the Nautical Archaeology Society.
In addition to the support of INA, this work would not have been possible without: the National Geographic Society; Dr. Dieter Arnold, Dr. Adela Oppenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Dr. Zahi Hawass, Supreme Council of Antiquities (Egypt); Dr. Mark Everett, Department of Geology and Geophysics at Texas A&M University; American Research Center in Egypt; Institute of Maritime Research and Discovery.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Creasman, P.P., Vining, B., Koepnick, S. and N. Doyle. 2008. An Exploratory Geophysical Survey at the Pyramid Complex of Senwosret III at Dahshur, Egypt, in Search of Boats. IJNA, in press (1 December 2008).