Although earthen architecture makes up the vast majority of public and domestic structures in ancient Egypt, it still does not receive the same analytical attention from archaeologists as other categories of architectural evidence. During this talk, I will present recent work my colleagues and I undertook to change the way earthen architecture is dealt with in the field, presenting a case study from Tell Timai, a Graeco-Roman period site that is among the largest urban tells in the Delta and boasts substantial amounts of preserved standing earthen architecture.
Our goal was to develop a methodology that can be implemented in the field by excavators with little geoarchaeological training and limited laboratory access in order to generate useful data for determining building stratigraphy and studying construction processes. Through the close examination and sampling of three buildings of different periods and scale, we tested a new field methodology combining geoarchaeological techniques and mensiochronology. The results have provided information useful for stratigraphy and phasing as well as for identifying specific patterns of mudbrick manufacturing and construction during the Graeco-Roman period at Tell Timai.