Date: 7:30 – 9:00 pm, 04-Oct-2013
Cost: Meetings are Free to members, Guests $5 – Students with ID $2
The Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut in Thebes West area showing
the geological units (shale and limestone) into which the temples and tombs were built.
The Valley of the Kings and its tombs and artifacts are known around the world and most people are familiar with at least some Ancient Egyptian History. As such, the Valley at the foot of Gebel Gurn (Mt. Gurna) was the burial center for kings and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom from the 16th to 11th century BC (the Eighteenth through Twentieth Dynasties of Ancient). This presentation will provide a different view of Ancient Egypt and what happened to the landscape including its original tombs over the last 3000 years. In fact, the journey of the presentation starts ~50 Mio years ago when the northern part of Egypt was part of a shallow sea where the limestone and shale units were deposited into which the Ancient Egyptian Tombs were built. An overview of the geological features of Gebel Gurn is presented and its development discussed. A close look will be given to the ancient and modern landscape features in and around the Valley of the Kinds and the Queens. Moreover, tomb constructions will be dissected in a geological manner in order to better understand the knowledge of the Ancient Egyptian geologists and engineers.
Valley of the Kings looking north at the cliffs behind the tombs. The cliffs have several listric faults (displacements) due to the origin (uplift) of the mountains some 35 million years ago. The main valley is also the pathway for runoff water during flashfloods.
Valley of the Queens looking southwest. The main rock type into which the tombs are built is part of a large blockslide from Gebel Gurn that occurred during the Proto-Nile development about 3-5 million years ago.
About the speaker:
Raphael Wust received his MSc in Geology in 1995 from the University of Bern, Switzerland and his PhD in Geology in 2001 from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. From 2002 to 2009 he was a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. End of 2009, Raphael Wust joined Trican Geological Solutions Ltd. as a Technical Advisor in Calgary. He remains an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at James Cook University.
Raphael Wust is author and co-author of over 40 scientific papers and numerous field-guides and technical reports. His MSc. thesis focused on the Quaternary of the area around the Gebal Qurn including the Valley of the Queens and Kings and was initiated by Prof E. Hornung and C. Schluchter. Between 1995-1999 he was involved with the Valley of the Kings Research Group around John Rutherford and Garniss Curtis to investigate the flash flood damages in the Valley of the Kings. Between 2006-2008 he was working with the Getty Conservation Institute and the SCA (Supreme Council of Antiquities) on the geological mapping and analysis of the Valley of the Queens.
Wüst, R.A.J. (1995): Geological and geotechnical investigations in the Thebes area, Part South, Thebes West, Luxor, Egypt. MSc thesis, Geology Department, University of Bern, Switzerland, 254 pp.
Wüst, R. and J. McLane (2000)Rock Deterioration in the Royal Tomb of Seti I, Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt. Engineering Geology 58: 163-190.
Wüst, R. and C. Schluechter (2000) The Origin of Soluble Salts in Rocks of the Theban Mountains, Egypt: The Damage Potential to Ancient Egyptian Wall Art. Journal of Archaeological Sciences 27: 11620-1172.
McLane, J, Wüst, RAJ, Porter, B, Rutherford, J, 2003. Flash-Flood Impacts and Protection Measures in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt Association for Preservation Technology International Bulletin 34, Pp. 37-45.
Wüst, R.A.J. (2008), Geological assessment of the Hatshepsut cliff tomb excavation, report for SCA (Supreme Council of Antiquity, Luxor, Egypt, 8 pp.
Wüst, R.A.J. (2008), Valley of the Queens –Report of the geological investigations 2008 (Feb 11-18), 97 pp.
Wüst, R.A.J. and G. Curtis (2010): Valley of the Kings; Geomorphology and Hydrology. Final report for the California Academy of Science and the Valley of the Kings Research Group.
Wüst, R.A.J., Curtis, G., Rutherford, J. and B. Porter (2010): History of Flood Protection: Description and Recommendation of Current Tomb Flood Protection Measures. Final report for the California Academy of Science and the Valley of the Kings Research Group.
Room EDC 287 in the Education Block at the University of Calgary.