Giza Botanical Database

At the inception, the Giza Botanical Database Project there were records of 3202 archaeobotanical samples (296,936 plant/seed items) in the database. This constitutes one of the largest datasets of archaeobotanical botanical remains anywhere in the world in terms of both number of samples and duration of the project. Project Director: Claire Malleson


Since 1988 Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA), directed by Mark Lehner, have been conducting excavations at the so-called “workers” town of Heit el-Ghurab (HeG) adjacent to the Giza Plateau at the foot of the great pyramids of the 4th Dynasty, and in more recent years in the “priests” town of the Khentkawes Monument (KKT). From the outset, the project collected samples for macro-botanical analyses. When the team began work in the late 1980s, flotation or sieving for archaeobotanical remains was not standard practice on excavations in Egypt. HeG/KKT are among the few ancient settlements in Egypt from which archaeobotanical remains have been systematically sampled for the entire history of excavations at the site, making this assemblage a unique and vital resource. Archaeobotanical materials play an increasingly important role in studies of ancient ecology and environmental change, diet and health, agriculture, administration, and economics. At the inception, the Giza Botanical Database Project there were records of 3202 archaeobotanical samples (296,936 plant/seed items) in the database. This constitutes one of the largest datasets of archaeobotanical botanical remains anywhere in the world in terms of both number of samples and duration of the project. The comprehensive sampling strategy employed makes the Giza assemblage statistically viable, and it is of great value to the archaeobotanical community not only in Egypt but across North Africa, the Mediterranean, and into the Near East.

Project Details


Location: Giza, Egypt, Northern Africa, Africa Organiser(s): Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA) Funder(s): American Research Center in Egypt - Antiquities Endowment Fund Grant Funding received: $30,000 Commencement Date: 07/2017 Project Status: Completed
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