Shallow Seismic Refraction, Two-Dimensional Electrical Resistivity Imaging, and Ground Penetrating Radar for Imaging the Ancient Monuments at the Western Shore of Old Luxor City, Egypt


A combined near surface geophysical survey conducted in archaeological site at the western bank of Luxor area shows that, the geophysical methods offer the possibility to characterize and reconstruct the geometry of subsurface structures without destroying the deposits, providing a way to find solutions to the questions of archaeological or engineering significance. The two dimensional electrical imaging (R2D) and the shallow seismic refraction (SSR) techniques were carried out through twelve profiles measured across the study area in NW-SE directions with 5 m profile spacing. The interpretation of the 2-D resistivity imaging shows that there are two layers which are arranged from the top to the bottom as soil layer consists of weathered clay and its thickness varies between 3.82 m and 4 m; wetted clay and mud with depth varies from 25.3 m to 26.23 m and a massive body may composed of Alabaster, limestone or granite is present within the second layer. Following, the inverted 2-D models were merged to form a quasi-3D resistivity model which was visualized as depth slices. A high resistive anomalous feature was detected in successive depth slices. Moreover, analysis of shallow seismic data shows that, P-velocity ranges from 400 - 1350 m/sec whereas S-wave ranges from 280 - 460 m/sec. The massive body with high resistivity is detected and shows also a high velocity. Following a detailed Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) a survey was carried out to image the subsurface. 200 MHz antenna frequency was used on the survey. Inspection of the 2-D GPR profile shows the presence of hyperbolic anomalous features is present at a depth nearly 4 m. Moreover, three dimensional depth slices shows also the presence of an anomalous feature which appears at depth slices ranging from 3.5 m to 5 m. Finally, the interpreted geophysical results have been verified through archaeological direct excavation started by the Egyptian supreme council of Antiquities in cooperation with the European Commission working in the restoration project of Memnon’s and the Temple of Amenhotep III. They have found a body of Pharaonic statue, the statue has been known by the archaeologists as a statue of Queen Tie, wife of Amenhotep III and mother of Pharaoh Akhenaton unification, carved in Alabaster stone, and this result confirmed that the integrated geophysical method can be effectively contributed in the archaeological prospection in Egypt.

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Selim, E. , Basheer, A. , Elqady, G. and Hafez, M. (2014) Shallow Seismic Refraction, Two-Dimensional Electrical Resistivity Imaging, and Ground Penetrating Radar for Imaging the Ancient Monuments at the Western Shore of Old Luxor City, Egypt. Archaeological Discovery, 2, 31-43. doi: 10.4236/ad.2014.22005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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