Archaeology of the Western Nile Delta, Egypt by Mohamed Kenawi. xii+241 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 116 2014. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784910143. Epublication ISBN 9781784910150. |
This volume contains detailed information about 63 sites and shows, amongst other things, that the viticulture of the western delta was significant in Ptolemaic and Roman periods, as well as a network of interlocking sites, which connected with the rest of Egypt, Alexandria, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean. Far from being a border area — as perhaps it had been in the Pharaonic period — the west Delta network exerted an important economic production influence over a very wide area. In addition, with access to medieval and later Arabic sources, Kenawi’s discussion of the sites has an added dimension not found in the work of western scholars. Mohamed Kenawi’s meticulous and determined work has resulted in an improved set of data for the Delta and shown how its potential can be tapped.
'Kenawi's main interest is economic production: wine, olive oil and amphorae in which agricultural products were transported, but he also briefly raises questions about the cultural character of the landscape: was this an essentially Egyptian landscape, with few (urban) pockets of Graeco-Roman culture? Or was the latter more widespread and deep-rooted? Or put another way, what was the extent -and limit- of Alexandria's ability to shape communities of its hinterland?' - Robert Witcher (Antiquity, vol 90:349, February 2016)
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