Pharaonic necrostratigraphy: a review of geological and archaeological studies in the Theban Necropolis, Luxor, West Bank, Egypt Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • We present a review of archeological and geological studies on the West Bank as a basis for discussing the geological setting of the tombs and geologically related problems with a view to providing archeologists with a framework in which to conduct their investigations on the restoration, preservation and management of the antique monuments. Whereas the geology of the Upper Nile Valley appears to be deceptively simple, the lithologic succession is vertically variable, and we have recognized and defined several new lithologic units within the upper Esna Shale Formation. We have been able to delineate lithologic (shale/limestone) contacts in several tombs and observed that the main chambers in some were excavated below the Esna Shale in the Tarawan Chalk Formation. We have been able to document changing dip in the strata (warping) in several tombs, and to delineate two major orientations of fractures in the field. Investigations behind the Temple of Hatshepsut, in the Valley of the Kings and around Deir El Medina, have revealed four broad regional structures. We confirm that the hills located near the Nile Valley, such as Sheik Abel Qurna, do not belong to the tabular structure of the Theban Mountain, but are discrete displaced blocks of the Thebes Limestone and overlying El Miniya, as supported by Google Earth photographs.

publication date

  • August 2009