Geoheritage

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Geo-Archeoheritage Sites Are at Risk, the Manzala Lagoon, NE Nile Delta Coast, Egypt

Original Article

Abstract

The Manzala Lagoon is one of the most important coastal geo-archeoheritage sites in Egypt. It encompasses a variety of geodiversity that should be highlighted. The lagoon is tectonically originated and includes hundreds of islands, which identified either as coastal sand ridges associated with paleo-shorelines or as river banks. Five paleo-shorelines were identified tracing the history of Late Holocene shorelines from 5000 BP to < 1000 BP. The archeological sites at Lagan and Tinnis islands refer to ancient cities belong to the Medieval ages. Although Tinnis still bears the hallmarks of a flourishing famous city, Lagan has suffered human encroachments and has been highly vandalized. Satellite images acquired from 1973 to 2017, combined with field records from 1991 to 2016, revealed the expansion of landfilling processes for the purposes of agriculture, urbanization, and fish farm construction. These landfillings were at the expense of the lagoon’s water body, which decreased in area from 1540.85 to 853 km2, at present; only 55.4% of the 1973 lagoon’s area does exist, with an average rate of 16 km2/year. Such processes negatively impact upon the lagoon ecosystem and might also threaten the archeological sites. On this basis, the present study does not recommend neither the landfilling of 12.2 km2 at the Ashtum El-Gamiel Protectorate, SW of Port Said in oder to construct a social housing project, nor roads crossing the lagoon. This study encourages the geoconservation of the lagoon in a sustainable framework, compatible with the general policy of the state, which contributes to the national economy. We recommend converting the Manzala Lagoon into a tourism destination similar to Italian Venice, with construction of outdoor museum supported with facilities making it attractive to tourists who enjoy culture and nature. Such a project could enhance the lifestyle of local residents and increase the national income.

Keywords

Nile Delta Manzala Lagoon Encroachment Geo-archeoheritage site Tinnis Geoconservation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Mr. Tarek Ibrahim, the inspector of the Supreme Council of Antiquity at Tinnis, for maintaining and keeping the site save. His continuous support during our field work in Tinnis is greatly appreciated. Great thanks are also extended to Mr. Magdy Abdelwahed, General Director of Leasing Cooperation, the General Authority For Fish Resources Development, for the facilities he offered during the field work.

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Copyright information

© The European Association for Conservation of the Geological Heritage 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceHelwan UniversityHelwanEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceDamietta UniversityNew Damietta CityEgypt

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