Documenting and Recording Memphis
The most recent efforts to record the site of Memphis has been conducted by the members of the MSCD project. It was a long process involving specialists, surveyors and workmen.
We began by carrying out background research on the site. We carried out a full literature review about Memphis. We assembled map and image archives on the archaeology and excavation history of Memphis. The 8 sites of the walking circuit were our initial focus. We collected these data from a variety of sources, including the Egypt Exploration Society (EES) in London, the Cambridge University Library, the University of Michigan library, Internet research, meetings with the expert Dr. David Jeffreys, communication with former team members of the EES Survey of Memphis (SoM), prior excavation archives, and use of our own AERA library and e-library.
We then compiled a general bibliography for Memphis, wrote up the researched data as ‘Desk Based Assessments’ (an overview of all relevant records with the aim of understanding how best to protect, manage and promote the site in the short and long term), and created a Historic Environment Record (HER) for South Memphis. These materials were a crucial first step in terms of providing us with the information used to create interpretative content such as signage, a website and guidebook.
We employed 120 local workmen to clear away the thick vegetation growing over and around the archaeological sites of the circuit. This was necessary to allow us to present these sites to visitors. After we had cleaned each site, we documented its archaeological features (walls, statues, columns, fallen blocks etc.), wrote descriptions of each feature, and photographed the significant features.
Our surveyors used a Total Station to map each archaeological feature, as well as modern features (fences, modern buildings, existing signs, bins and benches, electricity posts, historical excavation trenches etc). Then we integrated this survey data into a GIS (Geographic Information System) database (the Memphis Archaeological Information System) and linked it with the written documentation. We added historical data (digitized from previous excavations) and our own photogrammetry (3-D models of the archaeological remains), to create a fully geo-referenced database of the data (archaeological and pre-MSCD project) of Memphis.
Click on the links below to download copies of the survey maps that we created: