ARCE Northern California: A Gateway into the Desert: History, Exploration, and Cyclical Rediscovery of Wadi Tumilat

Presented by: Dr. Aleksandra Ksiezak; University of Toronto

  • 3:00 PM PTNorthern California
  • In Person126 Social Sciences Building (Barrows Hall) UC Berkeley Campus, Berkeley, California
  • + Add to Calendar

Lecture Information

Once a distributary of the NIle, Wadi Tumilat is a dry river valley in the Eastern Nile Delta. In antiquity, the wadi was a major communication artery for trade between Egypt and her neighbours to the east, and its importance was recognized by many great strategic minds of their day. Across Wadi Tumilat are numerous archaeological sites, dating from the 3rd millennium BCE to the Late Roman Period. Accompanying them was a navigable canal- an impressive waterway that not only provided the arid valley with water but allowed transportation of goods and people in and out of Egypt. While the ancient canal and its surrounding ruins were a source of fascination for ancient geographers, and historians, and were recorded in their writings, it took centuries for these antiquities to re-imerge in the letters, reports, and memoirs of early European travellers to Egypt. 

Speaker Bio

Dr. Aleksandra Ksiezak is a field archaeologist, Egyptologist, and ceramicist specializing in macro and microscopic analyses of Egyptian and Nubian pottery. She obtained her PhD in Egyptology at the University of Toronto (Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations) where she focused on the analysis of the ceramic material from the Second Intermediate Period Hyksos settlement at Tell El-Maskhuta excavated by the Wadi Tumilat Project during the late 70s and early 80s. She is currently involved in research on the identification and study of the Middle Bronze Age trade routes involving Wadi Tumiat through the identification of imported objects and their local imitations identified at Tell el-Maskhuta and the neighboring sites. Both her past and present research deal with the broader question of migration and mobility in Egypt, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Levant during the Bronze Age. She currently holds the position of W. Benson Harer Egyptology scholar in Residence of California State University, San Bernardino.