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KAFR HASSAN DAWOOD On-Line

View the Printer Friendly Version of this Page LOCATION OF THE SITE
Longitude: 31.850000 (31o51’0”E)
Latitude: 30.516666 (30o30’59”N)


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, Tir’et El-Gebel, also known as Tir’et 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 Khulga’an / 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-Ru’ba 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-Dab’a ED / OK Northern East Delta – TIA area S
43 Tell Daba’a – 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-Fara’in / Buto Ma / Pd / Prd / ED Northern Central Delta – Buto area E Settlement + Shrine.
47 Tell Fara’on / 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-Masha’la 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
 All material © Copyright of Fekri A. Hassan 2003.
 Last Updated: 17th August 2003