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] 

The two mounds Tel Mansur Kebir and Saghier were surveyed in 2021 by a team led by Penny Wilson.

Tell Mansur East (Kebir) is 286m by 213m, covers 6.09 hectares and has a maximum height of 4.40m above field level. A 20x20m trench was excavated on it in 2019 by the MoTA directed by Mme Rabab. The excavation seems to contain a possible church building, oriented east-west, made of fired brick, with two pairs of four square column bases in an aisle. It appears to be well preserved in the lower plan, some 2m below ground level, but the upper part of the building has been mined out and destroyed. The magnetic map showed a clear large compound, oriented slightly south-east to north-west around the 'church building' with measurements of 100m by 40m, containing several other structures as well as the church. The red brick material from this building or the debris from it seems to have created a relatively highly magnetic area to the west and north of the church. To the north of the church is small square building of non-magnetic material and two black areas, confirmed by visual inspection as possible kilns. In the south part of the surveyed area there is another rectilinear structure containing several smaller divisions and some areas of highly magnetic material. One drill core was carried out to the north of the excavated building and it reached a depth of 5.20m. Based on information from the MoTA excavators many amphorae were found in the ‘church’ along with other pottery, some complete. Most of it was Late-Roman/Byzantine in date. The pottery collection confirmed this dating and included Late Roman D-ware, rouletted red slip ware, Aswan wares, Late Roman ribbed jars and LR1 amphora rims and handles.


Mansur East, central (left) and south (right) areas


Mansur East, excavated building and sherd collection

Tell Mansur West (Saghir) 256m by 200m, has a maximum elevation of 3.47m above the fields. The magnetic map shows that the area is made up mostly of mud with low magnetic susceptibility. In the north-east grid there is a clear rectangular feature (perhaps modern), in the centre perhaps a pool or pit, and as one approaches the cemetery the sub-surface material increases in density – so it seems that the cemetery mound contains most of the archaeological material, whether in situ or not, confirmed by visual observation. Large amounts of pottery and burnt material were noted in the western section in places, but would not appear in the magnetic data. There is a linear feature in the south-east set of grids as well as highly magnetic features related to fired brick or burnt areas. A thick band of fired material across the centre of the grid is interesting as it seems to be quite regular and about 40m to the south there seem to be two square features in the magnetic data as well as one 'clear' area surrounded by dense brick/pottery.

Four drill cores were made at the site across it in a line and one more to the south of the site. The core to the west, Man_3 to a depth of 5m, can be divided into three main units. The bottom of the core is composed of blue clays with some think layers of silts containing mica, followed by the deposition of clean grey sands containing mica and by alluvial dark brown silts and dark brown clays. Core Man_4 is mostly made up of clay to a depth of 3.40 suggesting that there was fluvial activity at the south-west of the tell. This may confirm Hogarth’s observation of a channel running between the two sites, with levee-banks on either side, as shown by the core. The encroachment of the site on the west showed a 1.5m section with various layers of stratified material and natural alluvial deposition. Pottery from this area consisted of well-preserved amphorae, cooking pots, jars, one marl water bottle and material generally associated with food storage and preparation. It was all Late Roman in date. The area to the south, which had been used as farmland, was covered in pottery that contained many LR1 amphorae fragments, some LR4 Gazan material but here there were also fineware fragments of LRD, ARSW and ERSW and Cypriot material.


Mansur West, view to south and pottery in section


Mansur West, Pottery