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] 

Surveyed in 2022 by a team led by P. Wilson. The site is lenticular to ovoid in shape, with a straight edge on the eastern side, from area lost since the Corona satellite images of 1968. The western side is rounded. The field patterns on the east may indicate the former extent of the site. It has a maximum length of 800m from north to south and 400m from east to west and is 5.5m above the level of the surrounding area. It is 6.2 hectares in area. There are tombs on the southern and northern ends of the site but the centre is clear. The 2011 satellite imagery shows rectangular features on the flatter, eastern edge of the mound and in the northern area off the mound there is a complex structure or gridded set of buildings shown in ground plan. It is likely that the whole mound was once covered in tombs and may have been primarily a cemetery.

     The flat periphery of the mound (left) and the high centre (right)

A good amount of pottery was recovered from the site despite the fact that it had much modern usage. The pottery came from a number of pits dug into the mound, perhaps to acquire building materials for the cemetery. The pottery dated to the Roman and Late Roman periods and included types of Late Roman amphora: LR7 and LR1 types, LR 5/6, red and black type Egyptian amphorae. There were casserole vessels, dishes and bowls as well as coarsewares including large basins and vats. Some more unusual types included an incense burner rim and there was one bowl rim probably from a vessel of early Islamic date.

Drill cores: two drill cores were carried out on the east and west of the site. Both showed upper strata of heavy burning, common to many of the northern sites, but the strata of human activity were quite shallow and the core mostly contained environmental data. These suggested that the site was founded on a river levée that had been formed after a waterway had formed in the area and then moved away. There was no evidence for occupation on the levée earlier than the archaeological material found in the site survey. The presence of the cemetery and the reuse of red brick from the earlier layers made the magnetometer survey difficult but one grid was carried out on the northern part of the site with rather indeterminate results. The site provided an interesting set of pottery information but its use as a cemetery made further information difficult to find. It seems to have been founded for the first time in the Roman period. The height of the mound and the loose dusty surface suggests that some archaeological strata underlie the modern usage of the site.

Strata at Kom el-Malah