KAFR HASSAN DAWOOD
LOCATION OF THE SITE
Longitude: 31.850000 (31o510E)
Latitude: 30.516666 (30o3059N)
The location of the site is on the southern edge of the cultivated floodplain of the Wadi Tumilat (Fig. 1), a defunct Nile distributary, which lies in the north-east corner of Egypt, in the East Delta, near the Suez Canal. The graves were dug into alluvial sands of a low Nile terrace, a few metres above the floodplain. The concession covers an area of 91 feddans (95 acres or 38.4 hectares [384,393 m2]) adjacent to the hamlet of Hassan Dawood (Muhammed Dawud on one map and Mohsen Dawoud on another). The Ezbet or Kafr (hamlet) lies 8 km East of At-Tell el-Kebir and 6 km West of El Qasassin El-Kadima (old Qasassin), and about 40 km West of the city of Ismailia. Kafr Hassan Dawood is located in the Abu Kabir Markez in the Governorate of Ismailia (696/868 Map of Egypt, scale 1:25,000 Ismailia Governorate; UTM grid UU87; Alexandria Digital Library Gazette Entry Report: http://fat-albert.alexandria.uscb.edu:8...gaz_report?adl1_num=adlgaz-1-1847314-61). A modern irrigation canal, Tiret El-Gebel, also known as Tiret El-Sandouq (Box Canal) runs immediately North of the settlement.
Figure 1a. Astronaut Photograph of the West Wadi Tumilat (Image courtesy of Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center, Photo No. ISS006E30451 [http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov]).
Figure 1b. Astronaut Photograph of the Kafr Hassan Dawood and the Surrounding Area (Image courtesy of Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center, Photo No. ISS006E30451 [http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov]).
Figure 2a. Astronaut Photograph of the Nile Delta, the Wadi Tumilat can be seen on the right (East), just below the main Delta fan (Image courtesy of Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center, Photo No. ISS006E30447 [http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov]).
The floor of the Wadi in the area of the site is at 5.5-6.5 meters above sea level (a.s.l.). The North of the site is covered by the Holocene floodplain sediments, which are now subjected to intensive cultivation. The South of the site is surrounded by sand dunes, represented by elongated ridges that extend in a north-west, south-east direction. These dunes, which rise up to 13-14 meters a.s.l. in places, 5-6 metres above ground level, but are normally only 8 meters a.s.l., are active with slip faces orientated to the North. These dunes represent part of a major Late Quaternary dune field covering the whole of northern Egypt, extending from the Sinai in the East to El Salum in the West. The burials are at about 6-7 meters a.s.l., 1-2 meters below the surface in a layer of sand intercalated with silt and fluvial gravel. Directly to the North of the excavations lie two modern cemeteries, an Islamic cemetery, of which the western part is still in use, and a disused Coptic cemetery.
Figure 1. Location of Kafr Hassan Dawood in the Wadi Tumilat
Figure 2. Map of the Nile Delta, c. 3,000 BC showing the
settlement patterning of the major Predynastic to Early Dynastic sites
(compiled by and copyright [copyright sign] Joris van Wetering, based on
initial investigations and analysis of Butzer 2003 and Stanley 2003).
| SITE|| DATE|| DATE|| RESEARCH|| REMARKS|
|1|| Abu Rawash|| ED ||Southern West Delta Abu Rawash area|| E|| Settlement + Cemetery (common elite). |
|2|| Abu Zabal|| ? ||Southern East Delta ||?|| |
|3|| el-Amid||? ||Northern East Delta ||?|| Location unknown|
|4|| Ausim Mansuriya|| ED ||Southern West Delta ||E|| Cemetery Location unclear.|
|5|| El-Bakarsha|| ? Pd or ? Prd ||Northern East Delta ||?|| No information Map 1 of Kroeper & Wildung 1994.|
|6|| Bilbeis||? ||Southern East Delta ||?|| |
|7|| Birqash||? ED ||Southern West Delta ||?|| No information Map 1 of Kroeper & Wildung 1994.|
|8|| Damanhur|| ? Pd or Prd ||Northern West Delta ||?|| No information Map 1 of Kroeper & Wildung 1994.|
|9|| Ezbet el-Qerdahi|| Ma ||Northern Central Delta Buto area ||S|| Settlement.|
|10|| Ezbet el-Tell / Kufur Nigm|| Pd / Prd / ED ||Northern East Delta ||E|| Settlement + Cemetery.|
|11|| Gebel el-Asfar|| ? ||Northern East Delta Desert ||?|| |
|12|| Gebel Nahya / Maktab al-Magaari|| ED ||Northern West Delta Abu Rawash area ||E|| Cemetery Location unclear.|
|13|| Gezira el-Faras|| Prd / ED ||Northern East Delta ||S|| |
|14|| Gezira el-Sangaha|| Prd / ED ||Northern East Delta Sangaha area ||S|| |
|15|| El-Ghassana|| ? ||Northern East Delta ||?|| Location unknown|
|16|| Ghita|| ? ||Southern East Delta ||?|| |
|17|| Heliopolis|| Ma / ED ||Southern East Delta ||E|| Cemetery + Shrine.|
|18|| Kafr Hassan Dawood|| ? Pd / Prd / ED ||Central East Delta Tumilat area ||E|| Settlement + Cemetery.|
|19|| el-Khatatba|| ? ||Northern East Delta TIA area ||?|| |
|20|| el-Khudariya|| ED ||Northern East Delta ||?|| Location unknown|
|21|| Il Khulgaan / el-Khilgan|| Ma / Prd ||Northern East Delta Farkha area ||E|| Cemetery Location unclear|
|22|| Kom Abu Billu|| ? Pd or Prd ||Southern West Delta ||?|| No information Map 1 of Kroeper & Wildung 1994.|
|23|| Kom el-Hisn|| ED ||Northern West Delta ||E|| Settlement.|
|24|| Kom el-Kanater|| Ma ||Northern West Delta ||?|| |
|25|| Kom Om Sir|| Pd / Prd / ED ||Northern East Delta ||S|| |
|26|| Konayiset es-Saradusi|| Ma ||Northern Central Delta Buto area ||S|| Settlement.|
|27|| Mendes / Tell el-Ruba|| Ma / Pd / Prd / ED / OK ||Northern East Delta Mendes area ||E|| |
|28|| Merimde Abu Ghalib|| ? ED ||Southern West Delta ||?|| |
|29|| Merimde Beni-salame|| Me / Ma / ED ||Southern West Delta ||E|| Settlement + Cemetery.|
|30|| Minayar|| ? ||Southern East Delta ||?|| |
|31|| Minshat Abu Omar|| Me / Ma / Pd / Prd / ED ||Northern East Delta MAO area ||E|| Settlement + Cemetery.|
|32|| Minshat Ezzat|| ? Pd / Prd / ED ||Northern East Delta Mendes area ||E|| Cemetery - Location unclear|
|33|| el-Qatta|| Prd / ED ||Southern West Delta ||?|| |
|34|| Sa el-Hagar / Sais|| Me / Ma ||Northern Central Delta Sais area ||E|| Settlement.|
|35|| Shagafiya|| ? Pd or ? Prd ||Central East Delta Tumilat area ||?|| No information Map 1 of Kroeper & Wildung 1994.|
|36|| Shibin el-Qanatir|| ? ||Southern East Delta ||?|| |
|37|| Tell Abu Dawud|| Pd / Prd / ED / OK ||Northern East Delta Sangaha area ||S|| |
|38|| Tell el-Ain|| Pd / Prd / ED / OK ||Northern East Delta Sangaha area ||S|| |
|39|| Tell Atrib|| ED ||Southern East Delta ||E |
|40|| Tell Basta|| Prd / ED / OK ||Central East Delta ||E|| Cemetery.|
|41|| Tell Beni Amir|| Pd / Prd / ED ||Central East Delta ||E|| Cemetery.|
|42|| Tell ed-Daba|| ED / OK ||Northern East Delta TIA area ||S|| |
|43|| Tell Dabaa Qanan|| Prd / ED ||Northern East Delta ||S|| |
|44|| Tell el-Diba|| ED / OK ||Northern East Delta Farkha area ||S|| |
|45|| Tell Fag'i|| ED ||Northern East Delta ||S|| |
|46|| Tell el-Farain / Buto|| Ma / Pd / Prd / ED ||Northern Central Delta Buto area ||E|| Settlement + Shrine.|
|47|| Tell Faraon / el-Huseiniya|| Ma / ED / OK ||Northern East Delta TIA area ||E|| Cemetery.|
|48|| Tell el-Farkha|| Ma / Pd / Prd / ED / OK ||Northern East Delta Farkha area ||E|| Settlement + Cemetery + Shrine.|
|49|| Tell Gandiya|| ED / OK ||Northern East Delta ||S|| |
|50|| Tell Gezira el-Faras|| Prd / ED / OK ||Northern East Delta ||S|| |
|51|| Tell Gherier|| Pd / ED / OK ||Northern East Delta ||S|| |
|52|| Tell el-Ginn|| Pd / Prd / ED ||Northern East Delta MAO area ||?|| |
|53|| Tell Ibrahim Awad|| Ma / Pd / Prd / ED / OK ||Northern East Delta TIA area ||E|| Settlement + Shrine + Cemetery (elite).|
|54|| et-Tell el-Iswid (south)|| Ma / Pd / Prd / ED / OK ||Northern East Delta TIA area ||E|| Settlement.|
|55|| Tell el-Kebir|| ? Pd or ? Prd ||Central East Delta Tumilat area ||?|| No information Map 1 of Kroeper & Wildung 1994.|
|56|| Tell el-Khasna|| Pd / ED / OK ||Northern East Delta ||?|| |
|57|| Tell el-Mashala|| Ma / ED / OK ||Northern East Delta TIA area ||E|| Settlement + Cemetery.|
|58|| Tell el-Mashkuta|| ? ||Central East Delta Tumilat area ||?|| |
|59|| Tell Nishabe|| Prd or ED ||Central East Delta Tumilat area ||S|| |
|60|| Tell Niweiri|| Ma ||Central East Delta Tumilat area ||S|| Location unknown|
|61|| Tell er-Rataba|| Prd or ED ||Central East Delta Tumilat area ||S|| |
|62|| Tell es-Samara|| ? Pd / Prd / ED ||Northern East Delta Farkha area ||E|| Cemetery.|
|63|| Tell Samud|| ? ED ||Central East Delta Tumilat area ||?|| No information Map 1 of Kroeper & Wildung 1994.|
|64|| Tell el-Shagafiya|| ? ED ||Central East Delta Tumilat area ||?|| No information Map 1 of Kroeper & Wildung 1994.|
|65|| Tell Tennis|| Prd or ED ||Northern East Delta ||?|| |
|66|| Tell el-Yahudiya|| Prd or ED ||Southern East Delta ||?|| |
|67|| Tell el-Zragy|| ED / OK ||Northern East Delta Mendes area ||S|| Location unclear|
|68|| Tilul Moh. Abu Hassan|| ED / OK ||Northern East Delta TIA area ||S|| |
|69|| Umm el-Zaiyat|| ED / OK ||Northern East Delta Farkha area ||S|| |
|70|| Wadi Gafra|| ? ||Southern East Delta Desert ||?|| |
|71|| Wardan|| ED ||Southern West Delta ||E|| |
|72|| Zawamil|| ? ||Southern East Delta ||?|| |
Me: Merimdian Ma: Maadian Pd: Predynastic Prd: Protodynastic ED: Early Dynastic OK: Old Kingdom
|West Delta = West of Rosetta Nile Branch |
Central Delta = Between Rosetta and Damietta Nile Branches
East Delta = East of Damietta Nile Branch
THE WADI TUMILAT, EASTERN NILE DELTA
The Wadi Tumilat was originally one of the Nile distributaries, running between the apex of the Delta and Lake Timsah (one of the Great Bitter Lakes and today part of the Suez Canal). Later during Pharaonic times, two artificial canals were built to facilitate water travel from the Nile to the Red Sea the first was the smaller northern canal built during the reign of Senusret or Ramesses II, the larger southern canal was not dug until the reign of Nekau II. During the dynastic period (Old Kingdom to Late Period), the area was part of the VIIIth Lower Egyptian nome, whose capital was Tell el-Maskhuta (no. 58 tentatively identified as Pithom).
Two large-scale archaeological surveys in the Wadi Tumilat have give valuable insights into the occupations patterns of the area: in the 1920s an Austrian mission carried out a walking survey between modern el-Abbasa (western entrance of the wadi) and modern Ismailia (Schott et al in: MDAIK 1932) while in the late 1970s and early 1980s a Canadian mission carried out an extensive survey in the entire Wadi Tumilat (Holladay & Redmount et al forthcoming).
Based on the survey results of the Canadian mission, there seem to be two main periods of occupation in the Wadi Tumilat - the Hyksos period (Second Intermediate Period Middle Bronze Age) and the Late Period to Graeco-Roman times (Early Iron Age). However, the wadi has been occupied from the Palaeolithic Period to the present day and further archaeological investigations are needed to build help illuminate the full spatio-temporal settlement pattern.
PREDYNASTIC TO EARLY DYNASTIC SETTLEMENT PATTERNING
Although the Wadi Tumilat is excellently situated as a trade route between the Nile Delta and the Sinai Southern Levant, to date this cannot be confirmed for the early periods, as few imported objects (from the Southern Levant) have been found within the cemetery of KHD and no evidence is available from the other sites with Predynastic and/or Early Dynastic remains. However, this area is potentially an important southern East Delta trade route, although no evidence like the material found at sites (nos. 31, 47, 48, 53) along the northern route (Ways of Horus-land route from the northern East Delta along the north coast of the Sinai to the Southern Levant) has yet been discovered.
Several large multi-period tells are spaced along the wadi: Abbasa Tell Shagafiya Tell el-Retaba Tell Maskhuta Tell al-Ahmar (Redmount in: NARCE 1986: 20). These sites seem to be major settlements within the local settlement pattern. Most of these major sites show minimal early occupation - a small percentage of the total objects found scattered on the surface during the Canadian Wadi Tumilat Survey. However, there are certain limitations in using fieldwalking to evaluate a tell, particularly when surveying for the earlier phases. Studies have shown that surface collections of sherds on mound sites are significantly biased in favour of the later periods, by as much as 10 to 1. This is not only as a result of stratigraphic replacement, but also due to erosion of earlier materials. This bias in favour of the later periods is also true of off-mound sherd distribution. The underrepresentation of the earlier periods and overrepresentation of the later periods can be slightly mitigated by scraping the surface by 5 cm to collect potsherds. However, the Predynastic, Early Dynastic and Old Kingdom sherds will only be expected if the level of these occupations is less than 5 m from the surface. Therefore, when conducting fieldwalking to try interpreting site signature, it is essential that it is complemented by exploratory excavation techniques, otherwise the site cannot be assessed for its full archaeological potential, especially the site stratigraphy.
Around these possible early major sites, other sites have been encountered; Tell Samud and Shagafiya, both situated near to Tell er-Rataba, which due to its location in the middle of the Wadi Tumilat and the substantial early occupation, must have been one of, if not the most important settlement in the local settlement pattern.
KHD does not seem to be located near to one of these major sites, rather it seems to be right in the middle between Tell Shagafiya and Tell er-Rataba. Research carried out by J. van Wetering and G. Tassie has compared KHD to known cemetery sites in the East Delta (primarily Minshat Abu Omar and Tell Ibrahim Awad). This research indicated a low ranking for KHD compared to other East Delta cemetery sites. However, the ranking of KHD within the local settlement pattern in the Wadi Tumilat cannot be fully assessed as it is the only late Predynastic to Early Dynastic site so far fully excavated in the region.
By Hassan, Tassie & van Wetering