Results of Geophysical Survey in Bargat El-Shab in Southern Egypt. Insight into the Early Holocene Settlement Pattern of the El Nabta/ Al Jerar Interphase
Keywords:Early Holocene, Western Desert, settlements, magnetometry
Global climatic changes which occurred at the beginning of the Holocene had a huge impact on cultural development in northeast Africa. The shift of the tropical rain zone to the north led to the transformation of the desert into a savannah. The appearance of vegetation and animals also attracted people to considerable areas of the southern part of the Western Desert in Egypt. Settlement was concentrated around natural depressions or deflation troughs, which during periods of rain would fill with water creating seasonal lakes or playas. One such place is the playa located in Bargat El-Shab. Particularly intense traces of settlement dated to the climatic optimum of the Holocene was discovered on the eastern shore of the palaeolake (site E-05-1). Artefacts are dispersed over an area of over 2 ha. Excavation conducted in a few locations also uncovered the remains of storage pits, hearths, wells, etc., the fills of which are characterised by an enhanced magnetization of features in the ground. The geophysical survey conducted during the last season of research provided exceptionally interesting data allowing the partial recreation of the actual extent of the site and its relation with the lake basin.
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