Ian Mathieson Memorial Lecture
Saqqara - secrets of the sands
As an engineering geologist, Colin Reader was first attracted to Ancient Egypt as a result of the controversy over the age of the Great Sphinx at Giza and what the weathering and erosion of that monument could tell us about its age. Although some of his ideas on the Early Dynastic origins of the Sphinx are controversial, they have received some support (being published in Archaeometry (Oxford University) and elsewhere) and have featured in a number of TV documentaries. Colin's initial interest in the Sphinx has led him to research wider issues associated with the geology of Egypt, looking particularly at the way the Egyptian landmass and features such as the Nile and the Red Sea Hills, evolved. Colin was invited by Ian Mathieson to join the Saqqara Geophysical Survey Project as a geologist, and spent four years mapping the site. This lecture is based on a reassessment of features at Saqqara. After initially examining the origins of the causeway in Egyptian pyramid complexes, a much broader question arises: what did Saqqara look like in the dynasties before the Step Pyramid was built?
Colin worked at Saqqara with Ian Mathieson on the Saqqara Geophysical Survey Project. Egyptology Scotland dedicate a lecture each year to Ian's memory, in recognition of his support for the society and his contribution to Scottish Egyptology. Find out more about Ian at: