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Earthquakes In Egypt In The Pharaonic Period: The Evidence At Dahshur In The Late Middle Kingdom

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Chapter Summary

Mediterranean archaeology is increasingly concerned with the impact of earthquakes on ancient monuments and cultures, as demonstrated, for example, by a conference on Archaeoseismology in 1995 in Athens. Egypt, however, located at the boundary of the African and the Arabian plates, is an earthquake-prone land. Numerous severe earthquakes in Egypt are recorded from the Roman Period through the Middle Ages and in modern times. A study of structural damage to the monuments of Dahshur automatically brings to mind the Dahshur pyramid of Amenemhat III. Exploration of the underground apartments of that pyramid has clearly shown that a catastrophic event brought construction work to an end shortly before the completion of the interior rooms, at a moment when the above-ground buildings had already been built, even after the pyramid temple was decorated. Huge cracks also split the granite blocks of the crypt of Amenemhat I at Lisht.

Keywords: Amenemhat; Athens; Dahshur; earthquakes; Egypt



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