"Radar for the Lost Barque"
Sponsored by the Archaeological Research Center in Egypt - Tennessee Chapter and the
History Department of the University of Memphis
Dr. Pearce Paul Creasman, Curator and Assistant Research Professor in the Laboratory
of Tree Ring Research at the University of Arizona, will present a free public lecture
on the afternoon of Friday, April 20, 2012.
Lecture: 4:15 p.m.
Location: Mitchell Hall Auditorium (room 200), the University of Memphis campus
Pay parking is available in the Zach Curlin Garage (PG-2 #3 on the parking map) or
in the Fogelman Garage (PG-1 #40).
In the late nineteenth century, excavations at the pyramid complex of the Middle Kingdom
pharaoh Senwosret III at Dahsur, Egypt revealed five small boats. Today, at least
one boat reported at the time of excavation remains unaccounted for. Unfortunately,
the current conditions of the extant vessels have obscured critical evidence of the
technologies employed in their construction. Should the missing vessel be located
in situ, its study could provide a rare glimpse into the maritime history and technology
of ancient Egypt. This presentation details the attempts to locate this boat with
non-intrusive remote sensing techniques and relays the findings of this work.
The suspected site of the loast boat burial lay beneath a large 1894 excavation backfill
pile. The steep topography of the backfill pile necessitated nonstandard GPR processing
methods to accurately image the subsurface of the site. Although revealing no definitive
traces of remaining boats, imaging results did indicate discernible strata associated
with teh original naturally deposited surface, excavated boat pits, debris, and fill
associated with either the pits' original creation or their excavation, and deeper,
presently unidentified remains, which are most likely archaeological.
Dr. Creasman is Deputy Director of the University's Egyptian Expedition and assistant
editor of the quarterly publication Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections.
His research interests include the use of ship timber to understand human/environmental
interactions, maritime archaeology, dendrochronology, and Egyptian archaeology.