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: 

Delta Reports

Delta Reports is a journal dedicated to the publication of archaeology, geography, history and heritage relevant to the Nile Delta. The first volume Delta Reports 1 Research in Lower Egypt was published in 2009 and edited by Donald Redford. The series has been restarted with a full editorial board and will be published by Archaeopress. Each edition will be published when a sufficient number of papers have been prepared, so there is a rolling deadline.

The publication aims to make fieldwork reports from the North of Egypt (including Alexandria, Wadi Tumilat, Wadi Natrun and North Sinai) available soon after the fieldwork has been completed. Each volume would contain about 10-15 reports from fieldwork, in order to make the material immediately accessible to other archaeologists and interested parties. There is no limit on time-period and historical and heritage material will also be accepted. The volumes will be edited by the editorial board and another academic reviewer. Reports would be published in English or Arabic and all reports would have an English/Arabic abstract.

If you are interested in sending us a paper, please do contact the email address below.

Download the submission guidelines

All correspondence and submissions should be made to: [email protected] 

Also knonw as Kom Tashwein. Marked on the SoE 1914 map. Some 900m to the northeast are two small Tell remnants, cut by the advance of fields, at 31 18 00N 31 06 02E and 31 17 51N 30 05 58E.

Surveyed in 2022 by a team led by P. Wilson. The site is rectangular in shape and measures 382m by 160m, covering 5.66 hectares, with a maximum height of 5.8m above the surrounding fields. As the name suggests, Kom Tashwein is a double mound with a higher and larger northeastern mound separated by a depression from a southwestern mound that has a good deal of scrub and bushes growing on top. The area between the two mounds may once have been a waterway. The surface of the site is dark brown, but traces of buildings or other features are clearly visible in most of the satellite imagery. The building orientation varies and is perhaps slightly different between the north and south mounds. A large structure on the east mound has dimensions of 20 x 20m. There are also many circular and linear features. During the site survey a long linear feature was observed om the more southern mound and so the magnetic grid was laid out over it to see if the feature could be detected.

          Views of the mound at Kom el-Isawiya (Tashwein)

The magnetic survey covered seven and a half grids and showed that beneath the surface was a good deal of burning (appearing as intense black patches), perhaps representing kilns of some kind, but there was a poor match between what could be seen on the satellite imagery and on the magnetic map. To the north where the grid overlapped onto the channel between the two mounds, there was little disturbance perhaps tending to confirm that there had been some kind of waterway between the two mounds.

Drill Augering: two drill cores were made at Kom Isawiya/Tashwein, one on the lower side of the southern mound, the other in the middle of the possible channel between the two mounds. The first core contained about 70cm of upper surface sediment cover and then a thick settlement layer with pottery, lying on sediment at 1.27m. A series of compact and then softer layers followed, most of which contained a few clasts and particularly at 2.53 m-2.89m a more gritty layer before a fine sand layer at around 3m. Dark grey clay  that was extremely compact ended the core at 4.17m. The second core consisted of dark brown silty-sand at the top becoming dark-grey and firmer after only 0.5m; there then followed layers of firm clay to 1.77m and then fine sand with only a bit of silt to 2.91m that contained some small stones. The fine sand layers with some silt seemed to confirm that this area had been a water channel at some point.

Pottery and dating: the pottery material collected at the site was Late Roman in date with Late Roman D-wares and LR7 amphora fragments. There was a good amount of fineware at the site in comparison to some of the other sites in the area.

Pottery collected in 2022