Since the conclusion of even the most recent fieldwork at Merimde Beni Salama (MBS) in the 1990s, new theoretical and methodological approaches in archaeology and anthropology mean that it is possible once again to look at the issues surrounding the emergence of the Neolithic in the Nile Delta, from a new perspective. This contribution focusses on the application of methods, including geophysical survey, to the region through a new fieldwork project in the area of MBS, ‘The Imbaba Prehistoric Survey’ which began in 2013 with the aim of surveying the western Delta hinterland around the Neolithic settlement. The survey aims to recreate the local environment to determine its impact upon the ‘transition’ to a more sedentary way of life, the relationship between the Neolithic and the preceding Epipalaeolithic, and the wider exploitation and movement across the landscape throughout prehistory. This contribution discusses some preliminary results of the project, including the discovery that the settlement of MBS, or perhaps settlements, covered a much larger area than previously realised. MBS provides a great case study which also aids in interpretation and understanding of other sites in the region, and farther afield. The results of the first faunal analysis from new excavation trenches are discussed together with an overview of the survey on the Wadi el-Gamal terraces, including some preliminary remarks on the varied types of activity across the landscape during the Neolithic.
- North Africa
- Merimde Beni Salama