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Geomorphology of Dra Abu el-Naga (Egypt): The basis of the funerary sacred landscape

AuthorsBardají, T.; Martínez-Graña, Antonio Miguel; Sánchez Moral, Sergio ; Pethen, H.; García-González, D.; Cuezva, Soledad ; Cañaveras, Juan Carlos ; Jiménez-Higueras, A.
KeywordsRock quality
New Kingdom
Theban necropolis
Issue DateJul-2017
CitationJournal of African Earth Sciences 131: 233-250 (2017)
AbstractA geological and geomorphological analysis has been performed in the necropolis of Dra Abu el-Naga in order to understand the role played by these two factors in the development of the sacred landscape. The investigation focuses upon two aspects of the development of the necropolis, the selection criteria for tomb location and the reconstruction of the ancient funerary landscape. Around 50 tombs were surveyed, analysing the characteristics of their host rock and classifying them according to a modified Rock Mass Rating Index, in order to understand how rock quality affected tomb construction. This analysis resulted in the definition of five rock-quality classes (I to V) from very good to very poor rock. The geological study also resulted in a proposed geological-geomorphological model for the evolution of this zone of the Theban necropolis that complements previous works by other authors. Due to the lack of precise dating evidence this chronology is a relative one and is based on the chronology given by other authors for similar deposits and events. Two catastrophic events, represented by mega-landslides, have been identified, the first one predates the deposition of early Pleistocene fluvial deposits, and the second one possibly occurred during the middle-late Pleistocene. Two weathering surfaces developed under wetter than present climatic conditions and have been tentatively correlated to the mid-late Pleistocene humid period and the African-Humid Period (early-mid Holocene).
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2017.02.036
issn: 1879-1956
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