This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
I would like to acknowledge the generous support provided by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, the Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M, and Dr. Kevin Crisman. I would also like to thank the Antiquities, Monuments, and Museums Corporation of the Bahamas for providing the permits to carry out this research, the landowners who granted permission to survey their property, and the staff of the National Archive of the Bahamas for research assistance. Special thanks also to my field assistant, Catherine Sincich.
Lawlor A. and J. Lawlor. 2008. The Harbour Island Story. Oxford: Macmillan Caribbean. National Archives of the Bahamas. 1977. Archives Exhibition: The Pineapple Industry of the Bahamas: A Booklet of the Exhibition Held at the Art Gallery, Junkey Village, 14 February-27 February 1977.
Albury, P. 1979. “Some Aspects of Shipbuilding in the Bahamas.” Journal of the Bahamas Historical Society 1(1): 9-12. Colonial Office Records 23/26, 23/27. Craton, M., and G. Saunders. 1992. Islanders in the Stream: A History of the Bahamian People. Vol. 1, From Aboriginal Times to the End of Slavery. Athens: The University of Georgia Press. Craton, M., and G. Saunders. 1998. Islanders in the Stream: A History of the Bahamian People. Vol. 2, From the Ending of Slavery to the Twenty-First Century. Athens: The University of Georgia Press. Hatch, H.E. 2010. “The Harbour Island Archaeological Survey2009 Season.” The INA Annual 3:94- 101.
CO 23/26 “Extracts from A Letter From An Loyalist,” 161-163, CO 23/27 110-111. 2 Craton and Saunders 1992, 179- 195; Lawlor and Lawlor 2008, 71-73. 3 Lawlor and Lawlor 2008, 134- 135, 140, 145. 4 Lawlor and Lawlor 2008, 72. 5 Albury 1979, 11; Craton and Saunders 1998, 140; Lawlor and Lawlor 2008, 158, 160, 173. 6 Lawlor and Lawlor 2008, 160- 161. 7 Lawlor and Lawlor 2008, 166- 167. 8 Lawlor and Lawlor 2008, 112. 9 National Archives of the Bahamas 1977, 7; Lawlor and Lawlor 2008, 125. 10 Lawlor and Lawlor 2008, 119- 122. 11 Craton and Saunders 1998, 12-20. 12 Craton and Saunders 1998, 33-45. 13 Lawlor and Lawlor 2008, 96. 14 Craton and Saunders 1998, 60, 147-149; Lawlor and Lawlor 2008, 105. 15 Hatch 2009, 96. 16 Lawlor and Lawlor 2008, figure 26. 17 Lawlor and Lawlor 2008, figure 26. 18 Lawlor and Lawlor 2008, figure 30.
62 the INA Annual ~ 2009 Projects the INA Annual 2010
29/09/2011 2:55:02 PM
which opened onto the Mediterranean. Recent studies in the Nile Delta have unveiled the Nilotic harbor and provided a foundation for the study of the Egyptian maritime cultural landscape. Herodotus (484- 430 B. very little is actually known about the physical interface between man and river. however.3 Today. and (c) the ancient hydrology of the region. Two consecutive summers of fieldwork at Tell el-Timai by the University of Hawaii and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) at Texas A&M University. By Claudius Tell el-Timai―Egypt 2010-INA-Annual-Sept29.A.1 The primary goals of the Tell el-Timai harbor project are to determine: (a) when and how the harbor was constructed and when it fell out of use. revealed the location of one of ancient Thmuis’ riverine harbors and a defunct channel of the Nile. and to trace the former waterways of the region. and excavation were employed to locate and explore the layout of the harbor.C.C. The ancient city is now a degraded tell.inadiscover. a tributary of the Sebennytic branch of the Nile.E. the latter is perhaps a development of the medieval Arab suburb of Thmuis. Texas A&M University/INA Tell el-Timai The Greco-Roman city of Thmuis was a major Background economic hub.2 is located amidst the salt-ridden soils of the Eastern Nile Delta within the Dakhaliya province. outside the modern villages of Timai el-Amdid and Kafr el-Amir Abdulla Ibn Salam. in recent times the expansion of surrounding farmlands has separated the settlement into two tells. Candidate. contributing to the decline of the city of Mendes.7 In the fourth century B. While Egyptian harbors have experienced a wave of interest over the last decade. naval center and capital located along the Mendesian branch of the Nile in Egypt.com 63 The Egyptian city of Ta-mawy (“new land”). the Mendesian branch of the Nile began to shift.indd 63 29/09/2011 2:55:02 PM .5 The city of Thmuis is documented in historical texts beginning in the fifth century B. known to the Greeks as Thmuis.E.E. to the ninth century C..Veronica Morriss M. www. the modern villages of Timai el-Amdid and Kafr el-Amir Abdulla Ibn Salam encroach upon the northeast and northwest limits of the tell.4 The tell itself stretches more than 1 km in breadth and lies 400 m (quarter of a mile) south of Tell el-Roba. coring.C.6 Here too is the first mention of the Mendesian River. or ancient Mendes. The likelihood that these tells were a single landform during antiquity is high.) provides the earliest literary reference to Thmuis as a settlement in the Nome of the Calasaries.E. (b) the function of the harbor (commercial or temple-related). Geophysical survey.
In this important text. certainly a symbol of maritime importance. of course. Arab sources reveal that Thmuis retained a role as an administrative division (Kura).E.E. Thmuis appears to have supplanted Mendes as capital of the Mendesian Nome. Alexandria.8 the majority of Mendes’ inhabitants had migrated southwards to Thmuis.) relates that the settlement was one of the most important Egyptian towns of his time.E.16 Not far away. the king commemorates the deification of his wife Queen Arsinoe II at Mendes.13 During the first centuries of Islam under the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties. However. but rather that of Thmuis. an awareness and perhaps an involvement in maritime affairs. was erected by Ptolemy II Philadelphus (309-246 B. Swiss Egyptologist Edouard Naville directed the first systematic exploration of the tell in 1892 for the Egypt Exploration Fund.Fig.E.17 Two of these portray a Ptolemaic queen.C. perhaps Arsinoe II. Findings During the summers of 2009 and 2010.18 The most curious aspect of these masterpieces is. Unguentum Mendesium. by the time of the Fatimid Caliphs in the 10th century C.C.).). the city became an Episcopal See and remained a stronghold for Christianity throughout the Coptic period up until the arrival of the Arabs. Ammianus Marcellinus (353- 378 C. with the prow of a ship atop her head (Fig. Josephus (37-95 C.E. His discovery of a burnt storage house in the southwest extremity of the tell revealed the second largest cache of papyri ever discovered in the Nile Delta. 1). Earlier explorers of the site had proposed that the northern limit of the tell revealed traces of one of Thmuis’ ancient harbors. represented tribute to the queen’s importance in the Mendesian Nome. the University of Hawaii and INA began the exploration of a potential harbor at Tell el-Timai. but for whom exactly? Some scholars believe the women featured in the mosaics are not Arsinoe but are personifications of the great naval city. discovered at Mendes in 1871. where they disembarked and continued overland to Jerusalem.11 Centuries later.E. the symbol of the ship.indd 64 29/09/2011 2:55:03 PM . 64 the INA Annual ~ 2009 Projects Therefore.10 and was a production and distribution center of the popular perfume. 1 Rendering of mosaic believed to be Queen Arsinoe II (V.15 The recent history of Tell Timai is marked by intermittent exploration by looters. the city had been abandoned. Morriss).) alludes to Thmuis’ role as a naval center. a group of mosaics was discovered in the early- 20th century.14 However.). Ptolemy’s time (90168 C.12 At the beginning of the fourth century B. considering the maritime role of Thmuis it seems reasonable to suggest that these two mosaics were intended to signify not the maritime importance of Alexandria. it is possible that these mosaics. archaeologists and farmers. Either way. (known as fellahin) who remove the phosphate-rich mud brick (sebakhin) from the tell to use as fertilizer. the INA Annual 2010 64 2010-INA-Annual-Sept29. including the remains of a limestone quay-like structure and a fine-silt depression reminiscent of a harbor basin. The Mendes Stele. He relates that the ships of the Roman emperor Titus (39-81 C. perhaps crafted at Thmuis by local artisans. the two mosaics discovered at Thmuis are a poignant reminder that we are dealing with the remains of a once-great maritime center with important royal connections (vel sim) that signify at the very least. departed from the coast of Alexandria and sailed as far as Thmuis.E.
com 65 Tell el-Timai―Egypt 2010-INA-Annual-Sept29. Although our excavation revealed a temple and not a quay. Dating of the ceramics found within the structure indicates construction sometime during the first century B.FIG 2 The high water table of the Nile Delta poses a problem for excavation.C.inadiscover. His survey revealed a network of buildings surrounding the beginning of a rectangular basin devoid of architecture (Fig. Tomasz Herbich from the Polish Center of Mediterranean Archaeology completed a magnetometer survey of the fine-silt basin situated east of the Ptolemaic temple (Fig. the foundations of a Ptolemaic temple built atop an earlier mud brick structure (Fig. Modern records of the tell indicate that the potential harbor district experienced intense sebakhin harvesting activity during the mid-20th century by local farmers. March 2010 (V.E. March 2010 (V. Morriss). In 2010. Morriss). Herbich). Here workers pump water from the limestone temple. FIG 4 Magnetometer results and location of grids N and O. This activity severely altered the landscape and potentially created a harbor-like depression in this region of the tell. 2).19 These blocks were dovetailed into position to form three casemate rooms that were filled with limestone debris and minimal pottery. instead. Morriss and T. 3). The foundation is composed of re-used and well-worn limestone blocks from the quarry of Tura in Cairo. 4). geophysical survey provided clues for the location of a potential harbor. FIG 3 Study area at Tell el-Timai. www.indd 65 29/09/2011 2:55:03 PM . Excavation of the possible ‘quay’ that was located during a preliminary investigation by New York University in the 1960s revealed. (V.
6). Unfortunately. Shortly after the death of Alexander the Great (323 B. July 2010 (V.20 Initially it was thought that the function of the harbor was related to the small temple located near its western shore. metal fragments. Morriss). suggest otherwise.E. Small projectiles like these would have been used to target marines. These antipersonnel projectiles were launched from the smallest caliber of stone throwers. perhaps moored in the harbor or river.E. 5). the Seleucid Empire emerged alongside Macedon and the Ptolemaic Empire as one the INA Annual 2010 66 2010-INA-Annual-Sept29. which destroyed this area and perhaps decommissioned the harbor.C.C.C.) and the subsequent Wars of the Successors.E. While the survey did not reveal the overall extent of the enigmatic basin. and a ballista ball. all strata above this level were removed in recent times by local farmers.E. these quarters were immediately filled in with debris.C. is replete with invasions and naval battles waged against the Seleucid Empire.21 Ptolemaic history of the third and second centuries B. compact in design so that they could be used in urban conflict or aboard small warships or freighters. a decapitated human skull.C.FIG 5 The deposits discovered during the excavation of the harbor. Destruction deposits and burnt ceramics unearthed in the quarters surrounding the harbor basin (see grids N and O on Fig.indd 66 29/09/2011 2:55:04 PM . deck crews or shore personnel when used in naval siege warfare or combat between ships. July 2010 (R. fish and animal bone. Hellenistic amphora fragments from the Aegean. Following the destruction. Littman). presumably to accommodate a new phase of construction and the limestone temple was subsequently built in the late- first century B. 2) indicate a tumultuous event around the mid-second century B. FIG 6 inset A ballista ball discovered in the harbor area. 66 the INA Annual ~ 2009 Projects A similar ballista ball was discovered in the excavation of a nearby mud brick structure (Fig.E. These deposits included pottery. Excavation of the harbor basin revealed sloping deposits presumably related to the destruction fill discovered in the nearby quarters (Fig. stone. Mediterranean and Nilotic shells. however.E. The areas in and around the potential harbor revealed three phases of settlement spanning from the fourth through late-first centuries B. Ceramics discovered within the basin in 2010 indicate that the harbor was in use between the third and mid-second centuries B.C. dozens of votive figurines. the dimensions appear to be smaller than the three harbors discovered at nearby Mendes. Excavation of both features.
Tell el-Timai―Egypt 2010-INA-Annual-Sept29.E. Beginning in the seventh century B.C.inadiscover. dominated the landscape.C. indicates lively commerce between between Mendes and the Aegean and Levantine coasts. March 2010 (V.23 The prevalence of East Greek and Phoenician wares at Mendes dated to the seventh through fourth centuries B.of the three great kingdoms in the Mediterranean. Rhodian amphora fragments dated to the third through second centuries B.) that ultimately resulted in the erosion of Ptolemaic hegemony over the Mediterranean and Aegean. Although the evidence of this trade tapers off at Mendes around the fourth century B.C..E.indd 67 29/09/2011 2:55:05 PM .C. 7). The other passed further to the east (Fig. an Egyptian team from Mansoura University conducted a geophysical survey around the archaeological sites of Mendes and Tell el-Timai. These wares suggest that Thmuis assumed the role of ‘international emporium’ and maintained on a smaller scale the foreign trade first established by Mendes in the seventh century B. were unearthed in preliminary investigations of the harbor area at Tell el-Timai.com 67 FIG 7 Location of the waterways proposed by Taha in the 1990s.E.C. it reappears shortly thereafter at Thmuis.E.C.26 One flowed up to a kilometer west of Thmuis and Mendes.E. The evidence of destruction layers and ballistae from this period suggests that Thmuis may have been caught up in these skirmishes. Tracing the defunct waterways that fed the region of Tell el-Timai is problematic as the topography of the ancient eastern Nile Delta was highly dynamic. the Seleucids were the foremost rivals of Ptolemaic military and economic interests in the Aegean and Asia Minor. What followed were six Syrian Wars between the reigns of Ptolemy II (285-246 B.C..E.E.25 Their findings revealed traces of two defunct branches of the Mendesian Nile. On the home front during the late-third century through the second century B.C. which lay further to the east.) and Ptolemy IV (180-145 B.22 Centered in Syria and Mesopotamia. the Mendesian River began a period of increased flow.E. By Claudius Ptolemy’s time (90-168 C.24 In the late 1990s.. Egypt was consumed by a nationalistic fervor and the cities of the Nile Delta were involved in local revolts against the Ptolemaic administration.E. This geophysical survey also identified a manmade canal that flowed along the western limits of Thmuis and Mendes and connected them with the western branch of the www. perhaps due to the shifting course of the Mendesian River.) the Mendesian River had partially silted up and the Busiritic branch. Morriss after Taha 1998).
clays and fluvial sands. Unfortunately.27 To substantiate their findings. It is welldocumented that the Egyptians organized dredging operations to counteract siltation in the various waterways of the Nile.’ Lucy Blue’s investigations at the Roman-Islamic port of Myos Hormos along the Red Sea coast revealed a ‘hard’ consisting of an amphora foundation covered with packed sediment. Morris). watercraft were repaired and maintained. Morriss). FIG 10 above The waterway located during 2010. and warehouses for storage. and between the sites of Mendes and Tell el-Timai is expected to locate additional waterways and better characterize the courses of the river throughout antiquity. conform to the 1998 study. harbor basins silted up and became inaccessible to the river. the meandering nature and seasonality of the Nile often led to the establishment of multiple harbors within a city. such as moorages.29 Such rudimentary installations were both practical and efficient in the riverine and lagoon environments of the Nile Delta. as well as load and unload their cargoes by using dock facilities such as quays or wharves. The cores. the use of stone for mooring facilities is quite rare in the Nile Delta. Mendesian River. 10). customs facilities. the evidence at hand for Egyptian riverine harbors is minimal. imports and exports were exchanged. which consist of silts. Future coring and radio carbon dating to the east. and imperial fleets were stationed. harbors were simply places to beach vessels upon a firm shore or ‘hard.FIG 8 & 9 left The coring team. Recent work at nearby Mendes has uncovered the locations of three harbors. however. The fluctuating conditions of the river often negated the construction benefits of permanent stone moorings.31 Such operations were presumably Discussion Nile Delta cities that became emporia of bustling trade or capitals with naval fleets were presumably 68 the INA Annual ~ 2009 Projects the INA Annual 2010 68 2010-INA-Annual-Sept29. These were places at which tolls and duties were collected. recent work at the eastern harbor at Mendes suggests the presence of a ‘hard’ where vessels were beached and unloaded.indd 68 29/09/2011 2:55:05 PM . Often. A harbor is a safe haven for watercraft to moor. June 2010 (V.28 Similarly. The remains of this waterway lie beneath the modern village of Kafr el-Amir and the surrounding farmlands. Rather. a series of 21 cores were taken with a handheld coring auger in 2010. and new ones were adopted. March 2010 (V. three within the purported harbor basin and 18 along the western limits of the tell (Fig. equipped with harbor installations. and confirm the presence of a major waterway that once flowed west of ancient Thmuis (Fig. 8 & 9). As the Nile shifted course. the west.30 Apart from the permanent harbors and portages found along the seacoast and at the river port of Schedia in Lake Mareotis.
1987. perhaps concurrent with the construction of the limestone temple during the late-first century B.E. and J. (R.E. “Late Quaternary Stratigraphy and Paleogeography of the Eastern Nile Delta. “Mendes 1964. al-Qadim: a Roman and Islamic Port on the Red Sea Coast of Egypt”. utilized. Thmuis emerged as the primary emporium of the Mendesian Nome. D.com 69 Tell el-Timai―Egypt 2010-INA-Annual-Sept29. reflect major hydrological changes which certainly played a part in the decline of the harbors at Mendes. “Man-Made Landforms in the Nile Delta.. Additional coring and subsequent radio carbon dating of sediments will be imperative to delineating the ancient waterways that passed through the landscape.C. from the two eastern harbors at Mendes suggest that any such efforts to control siltation were ultimately futile once the river changed course. Rather. Darressy.employed in riverine harbors.inadiscover. the harbor area and its facilities were destroyed in what might have been a local revolt against the Ptolemaic administration. 1965. “Homme et milieu dans le nome mendésien à l’époque romaine. Conclusion According to the preliminary findings from Thmuis and Mendes. Evidence.32 The ceramic evidence and the multitude of votive figurines (Fig. Blue. Works Cited Blouin.C. While the city of Thmuis is documented in historical texts beginning in the fifth century B. 2006.. Josephus.” Ph.C. www. “A travers les koms du Delta. however. Littman). Lake Mareotis: Reconstructing the Past. Histories II.” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 4:31-37.D. An understanding of the hydrology around Thmuis will provide clues to understanding how the inhabitants of this GrecoRoman city adapted to their transient maritime environment. reflect a last desperate attempt to restore the failing waters of the Mendesian River. University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. the harbors of the Nile Delta did not always conform to the typical harbor design.E..C. Blue.E. already established by the third century B.C. 2010. geophysical survey and coring are the only absolute methods for locating and tracing the evolution of the defunct waterways of the Nile. Khalil. The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 36(2):265281. 2007. A History of the Jewish Wars IV. the demise of the Mendesian branch of the Nile marked a decline for the Pharaonic city of Mendes. and interacted with their maritime space. Holz. Egypt.” Geographical Review 9(2):253-269. diss. 1969. K. G. 1914. However.D. which began its final ebb during the first century B. With Mendes effectively cut off from the river.E. and E. L. R. 11) from the northern harbor of Thmuis suggest that it too might have witnessed a similar scenario.E. Oxford: Archaeopress. until the ninth century C.indd 69 29/09/2011 2:55:05 PM .C. Hundreds of terra cotta votive figurines discovered in Mendes’ smaller eastern harbor.E. V. The area appears to have been rebuilt later. Herodotus. very little is known about the topography of the surrounding landscape. Initial coring along the western limits of Tell el-Timai in 2010 confirmed the location of a waterway that once flowed west of ancient Thmuis.. appears to have maintained some fraction of Mendes’ former trade with the Aegean. and perhaps also Thmuis. in the mid-second century B. Thmuis’ northern harbor. Due to the highly dynamic nature of this region of the Nile Delta.C.. these riverine portages were adapted to and at the mercy of the ephemeral conditions of the Nilotic landscape. L. Stanley.” Annales du Service des Antiquities de l’Egypte 13:179- 186. Coutellier. The loss of the Mendesian River and the appearance of a more easterly Busiritic branch during the first century B. Hansen. Reconstructing the riverine environment of Thmuis will play an integral role in understanding how the citizens of this GrecoRoman city perceived. “Locating the Harbour: Myos Hormos/Quseir FIG 11 One of the Ptolemaic terracotta figurines discovered in the harbor area. Beginning in the fourth century B.” Marine Geology 77:257- 275.E.
10 Meulenaere 1976a. 8 Meulenaere 1976a. 20 Redford (2010. 30 See Blue and Khalil (2010) for information on the harbors and mooring facilities discovered at Lake Mareotis. 20. by H. 5 Holz 1969. Warminster: Aris and Phillips Ltd. Blouin 2006. 6 Herod. “Scholarly Exploration.’ 19 Geologist Adam Shahat from Mansurah University confirmed the origin of the limestone.” In Mendes II. 166. 29 Redford 2010. by H. 15 Mackay 1976. Tah‑a. “Shallow Geophysical Studies for Archaeological and Hydrogeological Investigation at El-Simbellawein Distric. Redford’s recent work at Mendes. 27 Tah‑a 1998. 9 Darressy 1914. 32 Redford 2010. 15. 151. Salomon. Meulenaere. 2010. 659. Mackay. 2000. Meulenaere. 12 Josephus. 16 Meulenaere 1976c.). 6-11. L. Tronchere. H. 21 Personal communication with William Murray.” Ägypten und Levante 18:327-339. Goiran. 271-273. 17.” In Mendes II. 13 Meulenaere 1976b.” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 6:32-51. 1-4. “The Ptolemaic Period (332-30 B. J. D. 7 Herod. Ochsenschlager. 184.II. 1998. 269. 151. 5. 5. 3 Hansen 1965. Y. 32. 85-86.. 388-413.” In Mendes II. Mackay. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Eastern Nile Delta. Redford. Meulenaere and P. 6. Schmitt. 11 Josephus.C. 70 the INA Annual ~ 2009 Projects the INA Annual 2010 70 2010-INA-Annual-Sept29. Mansoura University. Mackay.” In Mendes II. 9) states that ‘Al-Mawrada’ was the old name for Kafr el-Amir Abdullah and presently lies alongside the ruins of Tell el-Timai. 183. by H. Meulenaere. “Greek and Roman Sources. Meulenaere and P. “The Excavations at Tell Timai. Meulenaere and P.Lloyd.A. 173. 1976.indd 70 29/09/2011 2:55:05 PM . thes. 31 Butzer 1976. 18 One of the mosaics is signed by the Alexandrian ‘Sophilos. 202. 17 Darressy 1914. Meulenaere and P. 659. E. Bietak. 25 Ayman Taha conducted a variety of geophysical survey methods around the sites of Tell el-Timai and Mendes. Mackay. 87. 1976. Notes 1 See Blue and Khalil 2010. H. 1967.. 31. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1. Tronchere et al. 254. “Geoarchaeology of Avaris: First Results. 4 Mackay (1976. Warminster: Aris and Phillips Ltd. 22 Lloyd 2000 23 Redford 2010. H. Egypt. Warminster: Aris and Phillips Ltd. Warminster: Aris and Phillips Ltd. Mackay.” In The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. 24 Coutellier and Stanley 1987. A. “Arabic Sources. 1. 1976. 28 Blue 2007. 14 Mackay 1976. 14-18. “Coptic Sources. P. Shaw. 2008. F. Forstner-Muller and M. 2008. edited by I. 26 Tah‑a 1998. Redford 2010.P. I. City of the Ram-Man. 149-150) states that the northwestern-most and smallest harbor of Mendes was approximately 40 x 100 meters. 2 Ochenschlager 1967. A. 165. 1976. Ptolemy places the capitol of the Mendesian Nome at Thmuis. H. Callot. by H.II.” M. 9.