Chephren's Quarry, Upper Egypt: Archaeological registration and mappingof ancient quarry sites

Chephren's Quarry is one of the world's oldest hard-stone quarries. It is situated in the easternmost part of Sahara - covering nearly 100k2 of flat, hyper-arid desert, some 60 km west of Lake Nasser ( River Nile) and the famous Abu Simbel temple in the extreme south of Egypt. Lately, it has been discovered that this unregistered, archaeological site of great importance, is seriously threatened by modern development - the canal and irrigation work related to the South Valley Development Project. An initiative to a Norwegian - British - Egyptian Project aiming to provide accurate maps and documentation of the Chephren's Quarry site, was taken, and field work was carried out January 2003. The mapping and documentation work in January 2003 were carried out by the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) with help from the Geological Survey of Egypt (EGSMA), supported by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage (Riksantikvaren) and generous funding by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Simultaneously, our partner, a British team of archaeologists undertook archaelogical excavations in the area. This part of the project was funded mainly by the Egyptian Exploration Society (EES) and University of Liverpool. In total, 5 ancient stone quarry areas, one ancient mine and an ancient road were mapped. This included approximately 700 ancient quarries (of these 40 large ones) and 2-300 features related to ancient infrastructure. The mapping was done with GPS and field computers. Several thematic mapes were made, including accurate maps of the areas of interest for future protection. Maps and databases were handed over the EAIS (Egyptian Antiquities Information System) project of the Supreme Council of Antiquites. In addition to these data, the project revealed a lot of nwe and interesting information about the ancient quarrying techniques

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