15-Y-23 Melik en Nasr West

This small cemetery lay on a heavily sanded terrace on the side of a large wadi that reachs the river near the upstream end of Tangur island, c.300m from the river bank. A campsite [15-Y-24] lay closeby on the south side of this outcrop. The location probably survives above modern water levels. Test excavations in 1968 revealed 16 graves, in two clusters, but there may have been others more deeply buried in blown sand. In the cleared areas surface cover of blown yellow sand was generally 40-70cm deep. The blown sand covered  an ancient surface of fossil alluvium which was the level at which the graves were cut; the accumulations of sand post-dating the burials. The very good preservation of some of the grave superstructures, as well as the survival of several intact pots deposited beside them suggests that wind-blown sand may have begun to accumulate in this area at an early date.

15-Y-23 well preserved grave superstructure, buried in blown sand
15-Y-23 – Surface deposit of pottery beside partly-preserved superstructure, constructed on alluvial soils
15-Y-23 pottery from surface deposits