Delta Survey

A British Academy Research Project

Information on the archaeological sites of the Delta is presented here in the form web-pages containing an alphabetical listing of sites. Where a substantial amount of information is available, or photographs of the site exist, links are provided to supplementary pages. The site-names in most cases are those of the Survey of Egypt maps. The material is offered as a source of reference and a tool for the planning of new projects.  The letters 'T' and 'K' in the lists stand for 'Tell' and 'Kom' respectively, Arabic words for 'mound', describing the usual appearance of archaeological sites in the region.

We would recommend viewing this area of the website on a desktop computer. 

You may also be interested to visit the separate Western Delta Regional Survey on Durham University's website here: http://community.dur.ac.uk/penelope.wilson/Delta/Survey.html 

Supplementary information on the Tell Baqliya cluster, collected by Renée Friedman and Paul Buck.

Excavation:

1892, Naville (1894:22-26) trenched all mounds extensively searching for inscribed material without success; 1906(?) Chaban (Kamal 1906:232-240) made sondage SW of temple, finding many funerary objects, fragments of ibis statues and animal bones; 1913 British Agent M. Rattigan (SAE Reports 1913:19) finds bronzes, ibis bones; 1969, 1970 SAE excavations and sondages (H. Bakhry 1969: 229-37).

Site Type:

Three mounds. Description of former condition 

  1. Tell en Naqus, northeast mound, 2-3m higher than surrounding fields. Major part comprised rectangular enclosure wall of mudbrick N-S 350m E-W 384m, enclosing area of 32 feddans (14 hectares). Wall originally about 15m thick and 10m high. At extreme east, to west of enclosure wall many blocks of red and black granite, sandstone without inscription, two lotiform capitals unfinished, attributed to Dyn 30; blocks moved from original site of temple within wall. Sacred lake also mentioned within enclosure and settlement remains including limestone well 2m diameter and 6m deep surrounded by mudbrick buildings cleared by sebakh diggers. This mound used for military buildings since the 1970s.
  2. Tell es Zereiqi / Kom Baqlieh. West Mound 200m diameter, covering 7 feddans, 4m above fields. Separated from Mound #1 by strip of cultivated land and road. Cemetery with debris of human and animal mummies, necropolis for ibises. Several bronze figurines, plaster cases (2x40cm) and sarcophagi of white limestone found as well as quantity of bone, faience, and bronzes of ibis.
  3. Tell el Ahmar/Ruba' . Situated little south-west of Baqliya village, or 1.5 km to west of Tell Zereiqi, this is the third mound of Baqliya - Hermopolis Parva. Also called T. Barah or T. el-Ruba. Roman to Coptic material. Daressy in1913 said it no longer existed, but Habachi reported ruins with foundations of baked brick and pottery in 1955 and the site is still visible on satellite imagery of 2007, clear of modern structures and surrounded by fields which have cut into the sides. Attributed objects: JE25796; CGC70008: Quartzite Naos of Apries; JE38167: Grey granite headless statue of Nectanebo I. Naos of Apries possibly from this location?

Reduction of site: 

In 1888 Griffith (1890:69-70) notes deep illicit excavations in temple precinct, with water standing in pits. In cemetery area Saite ushabtis and bones thrown from fresh excavations of graves. No visible town remains. 
Naville (1894) says mound close to rail station exploited for sebakh to ground, salty. Small mound of ibis necropolis being sebakhed and greatly diminished since 1885. 
In 1893 Foucart (1901:46) comments on small part remaining and suggests site could not last more than 4 years. 
1906, Kamal (1906:232) estimates site 57 feddans (25 hectares) remaining but says was much larger before. 
1913 Daressy says diminished to 17 hectares, with enclosure wall only 4 m high. Area salty and unusable for agriculture. 
1955, Habachi says ruins extend about 60 feddans (26 ha), Tell Naqus only 2-3m higher than surrounding land, enclosure wall still 15m thick and 1m high in places; Tell Z. only 7 feddans, 4 m above cultivation. 
1970s, Tell taken for construction of military facilities related to the adjacent aerodrome. Access restricted.

Finds: 

Mansura Magazine no.26: Cube statue of Pattisy, grey granite, date Ramesses II  (Bakhry, H., 1969, 'A Ramesside block Statue from Tell el-Bakleyyah in Eastern Delta', Studi Classici e Orientali 18, 229-37; Zivie 1971:61, no.8) 
JE27831: Scaraboid purchased, from Tell, date Seti II (Zivie, Hermopolis, 64-5, no.9) 
Cairo temp 22/6/24/4: 3 fragments of limestone door jamb, Psamtik II. Two fragments of same found in village present location unknown. (Naville 1894:26, pl. IIIC; Habachi 1955: 446-8; Zivie,  Hermopolis, 85-7, no.21-22) 
Basalt sarcophagus of Ahmose, Saite from mill pond (Naville 1894:23 pl. IIIA; Kamal 1906:235-6; Habachi 1955: 446-8 fig. 4; Zivie,  Hermopolis, 113-6, no.28 
Cynocephalus of black granite from nearby farm, Nectanebo I-II, (Naville 1894:24; Zivie, Hermopolis, 243-44, no.101) 
Two sacrophagi of limestone without inscription, Ptolemaic from Tell Z. 
Mansourah no.25: Colossal head of Nectanebo I, discovered Dec 15, 1969, Bakhry 1970, 'Recent Discoveries in the Delta. A Statue of King Nekhtnebef', Revista degli Studi Orientali 46, 13-5; Orientalia 41:251; Zivie,  Hermopolis, 131-2, no.35 
JE25796 bis/ CGC27995: Bronze disk with Medusa head in relief, Greek or later (Edgar, Greek Bronzes: 88, pl. xvii; Zivie,  Hermopolis, 155, no.46) 
JE28407/CGC27906: 27816: Bronze perfume holder with 4 legs, Greek or later (Edgar, Greek Bronzes: 48, 69, pl. xv; Zivie,  Hermopolis, 155, no.47. 
JE27827/CGC38783: Faience head of Ptah LP/Ptol. (Daressy, Statues de divinites:198; Zivie, Hermopolis, 237, no.89) 
JE27829/CGC38680:Faience figure of thoth holding Wedjat (Daressy ibid:174; Zivie,  Hermopolis, 238, no.91) 
JE28402/CGC38482:Faience ithyphallic Min (Daressy ibid:129; Zivie, Hermopolis, 240-1, no.96) 
JE28403/CGC38576: Faience Mihos walking (Daressy ibid:150-1; Zivie, Hermopolis, 241-2, no.97) 
JE28404: Faience Baboon seated (Zivie 1975:242, no.98) 
JE28406/CGC47841: Four faience ushabtis (Newberry, Funerary Statuettes I, 248; Zivie, Hermopolis, 243, no.100) 
JE28401: Bronze Sekhmet (Zivie, Hermopolis, 1975:240, no.95) 
JE27828/CGC12721: Bronze aegis of lion. (Reisner, Amulets II: 25; Zivie 1975: 237, no.90) 
JE27830/CG38944: Bronze figurine of Nehemetawayet (Daressy ibid: 239; Zivie,  Hermopolis, 1975:238-9, no.92) 
JE28399: Bronze figurine of seated Mut, lion-headed (Zivie, Hermopolis, 239, no.93) 
JE28400/CGC38653: Bronze Thoth in Osirian attitude (Daressy ibid:169; Zivie, Hermopolis, 239-40, no.94. 
Fragment of inscription on limestone (Kamal 1906:233; Habachi, in ASAE 53 (1955), 446; Zivie, Hermopolis, 244-5, no.102) 
Inscription of Nectanebo II (Naville, Ahnas el-Medineh, pl. IIIB), from sheikh's tomb. 
Statuettes of ibis in bronze found in great numbers, poorly preserved. Frequent finds are head, wings, legs made of bronze and body of wood or stone at all three mounds.

Attributed finds: 

Blocks from Mit Salsil, Ramses II- Seti I (Habachi, in in ASAE 53 (1955), 456-8; Zivie, Hermopolis, 60-1, no.7) 
Private collection NYC: limestone donation stela, Necho II. (Zivie, Hermopolis, 87-96 no.23, pl. 4; Meeks, in Lipinski (ed.), State and Temple Economy in the Ancient Near East, 676) 
Cairo temp 30/5/26/12: Bronze ferrule, part of portable shrine, Psamtik II (Habachi in ASAE 53 (1955), 460-1; Zivie, Hermopolis, 96-98, no.24) 
Louvre A94, statue of seated man Nakhthorheb, Psamtik II, (Posener, in RdE 6:234-5; Habachi, in in ASAE 53 (1955), 469-70; Zivie, Hermopolis, 98-104, no.24, pl. 5) 
Cairo CGC18740: Granite amphora inscribed, Amasis? (von Bissing, Steingefasse, 158; Zivie, Hermopolis, 112-3, no.27 
JE86848: Granite vase, Saite? (Habachi, in in ASAE 53 (1955), 464; Zivie, Hermopolis, 116-8, no.29) 
MMA NY: Model scribal palette of siltstone, Dyn 18-19. (BMMA 27 (1932):130-1; Drioton, in RdE 1 (1933), 14-20; Hayes, Scepter II, 274-5, fig. 168; Zivie, Hermopolis, 51-60, no.6)
Madrid: black granite statue of kneeling Nectanebo I (Zivie, Hermopolis, 129-131, no.35) 
Vatican: two lions from Iseum in Rome. Grey granite (Zivie, Hermopolis, 122-126, no.32) 
Granite papyriform column in mosque at Mit Salsil, Nectanebo I, (Habachi 1955:454-6; Zivie, Hermopolis, 133-4, no.36) 
Carthage Museum 883.1: Diorite torso, Persian or early Ptolemaic. (Drioton 1960:17-32; Zivie, Hermopolis, 149-154, no.43.) 
Private collection: Green basalt statue base of kneeling figure, Dyn 30 (Zivie, Hermopolis,  246-48, no.104) 
Madrid: Relief fragment, Saite or Dyn 30 (Zivie, Hermopolis, 249, no.105) 
In trade: Relief fragment of limestone, Dyn 30 or Saite (Zivie, Hermopolis, 250, no.106)

Additional references: 

Bietak, M. Tell ed-Daba, II, 112 note 444. 
Daressy, G. 1913: ‘A travers les Koms du Delta’, in Annales du Service des Antiquités de l'Égypte 13:179-181. 
Daressy, G. 1887 ‘Notes et Remarques’ in RT 14, 185 no.86. 
Drioton, E. 1960: ‘Un torse egyptien du Musée Lavigerie’, Cahiers de Byrsa 9: 17-32. 
Foucart, G. 1901: ‘Extraits des Rapports adressés pendant une Inspection de la Basse-Égypte en 1893-1984’, in ASAE 2: 44-83, 259-264. 
Griffith, 1890: The City of Onias and the Mound of the Jew. London: EEF. 
Habachi, L. 1955: ‘Notes on the Delta Hermopolis, capital of the XVth nome of Lower Egypt’, ASAE 53: 441-480. 
Kamal 1906, ‘Rapport sur Quelques Localites de la Basse-Egypte’, in Annales du Service des Antiquités de l'Égypte 7: 235-240. 
Meeks, D. 1979: ‘Les Donations aux Temples dans l'Egypte du 1er Millenaire avant J.C.’ in E. Lipinski (ed.), State and Temple Economy in the Ancient Near East. Louvain: 605-87. 
Naville, E. 1894: Ahnas el-Medineh. London, EEF. 
PM=Porter, B. and Moss, R. 1927-1964. Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings. Oxford. 
Roeder, Naos: 29-36. 
Zivie, A-P. 1975. Hermopolis et le Nome de L'Ibis. Recherches sur la Province du Dieu Thot en Basse Égypte. Bibliothèque d'Étude 66/1, Institut français d'archéologie orientale, Cairo.