Full text: New perspectives to save cultural heritage

1 Institute of Archaeology of Academy of Sciences of Czech Republic, Letenska 4, CZ-118 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic, 
tel.: +420-2-575 33 782, fax: +420-2-575 32 288, email: krivanek@arup.cas.cz 
2 Czech National Centre of Egyptology + Czech Institute of Egyptology, Charles University, Celetna 20, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech 
Republic, tel.: +420-2-24491394, fax: +420-2-24491628, email: miroslav.barta@ff.cuni.cz (or Czech Institute of Egyptology, 4 
Dokki Street, Giza-Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt, tel.: +202-3315257, 3315297, fax: +202-7485892, email: mbarta@yahoo.com) 
Task Group TG3 
KEY WORD: archaeology, geophysics, surveying, measurements, mapping, identification, egyptology, cemetery 
Enclosed paper demonstrates on example of south Abusir area in Egypt possibilities of application of present geophysical survey 
methods in desert region. Non-destructive geophysical prospection of large areas choosen by egyptologists outside of previous and 
present archaeological excavations brought a new view on extent and quantity of archaeological remains (cemetery) beneath the 
sand and also practical experience (limits and possibilities of applied geophysical methods) in various terrain desert conditions. 
Subsequently planned archaeological verification of geophysical results in 2003 field-season then could help for better interpretation 
of geophysical data. Comparison of results of non-destructive and destructive archaeological techniques then could coordinate 
another planned geophysical surveys in territory of the new Czech archaeological concession. 
Wide desert area western of Abusir village is a field 
working place of czech egyptologists for more than 40 
years. The large territory of the new Czech 
archaeological concession in Abusir (aprox. 2 km 2 ) 
includes very various and sloped desert terrains 
including some important archaeological monument 
from the time of Old Kingdom or Late Period. Northern 
part of territory of Czech archaeological concession 
includes flat or slightly sloped desert terrain with the 
pyramid field of Abusir, mortual complexes and 
mastabas from the 5th Dynasty (25th-24th century BC). 
This part is the most surevyed and also archaeologically 
excavated area of the whole territory with more visible 
modern landscape changes. Geophysical surveys of 
choosen parts of this area have been realised in late 70's 
and early 80's by dr. Hasek (Hasek-Obr-Prichystal- 
Verner 1986; Hasek-Obr-Verner 1988; Verner-Hasek 
1981). Middle part of territory of Czech archaeological 
concession is covered by more flat desert without many 
visible and significant terrain changes or indications of 
archaeological situations. Archaeological activities (and 
smaller geophysical surveys) were here up to now 
concentrated only on smaller parts of terrain in place of 
Sate-Persian shaft tombs of admiral Wedjahorresnet or 
majordomus Iufaa (6th-5th centrury BC). Southern part 
of territory of Czech archaeological concession (Barta- 
Krejci 2000; Barta 2001) includes different more 
various hilly or sloped desert terrains northern of North 
Sakkara with more areas of limited archaeological 
excavations on places of private tombs (and shaft 
tombs) of Hetepi, Ity, Kaaper, Fetekti, Inti or Qar family 
complex from the 3rd-6th Dynasty (28th-22nd century 
BC). This large perspective terrain of cemeteries has not 
been surveyed by any non-destructive method up to 
2001 when started a new field surface survey of areas 
including geodetical 3D-modelling (Bruna 2002) and 
fotogrammetry (Cech 2002). 
The new possibility of cooperation between new 
founded Czech National Centre of Egyptology and the 
Institute of Archaeology in Prague could start by new 
geophysical field surveys of choosen parts of Abusir 
territories in autumn 2002 (Krivanek-Barta 2003). 
During 23 days of geophysical measurements in the 
field there were used (or also tested in different scale of 
work) 3 types of geophysical equipment. Caesium 
magnetometers Smartmag, SM-4g (Scintrex, Canada) 
seemed to be the most efficient method for preliminary 
surveying (and mapping) of large unknown terrains 
especially in case of expected or supposed mud bricks 
components of subsurface features. Approx. 17,5 ha 
were surveyed (common grid-net 1x0,25 m, details in 
grid-net 0,5x0,2 m) by Cs-magnetometrs during 18 days 
(in total approx. 746 000 measured points). Kappameter 
for detailed measuremets of apparent surface magnetic 
susceptibility in situ KT-5c (Geofyzika Brno, Czech 
republic) showed interesting results for survey of 
particular features (tombs) and smaller open 
archaeological situations (different levels of magn. 
susceptibilty of mud brick walls from different tombs). 
Electromagnetic measurements by EM-38b (Geonics, 
Canada) tested also possibilities of identification of non 
magnetic materials (limestome, tafia or clay destruction) 
of shallow subsurface features. 
All of areas for geophysical surveys (4 in southern part 
and 1 in middle part of territory) were selected in 

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