In Egyptology, even though the Nile constitutes the main travel route, it is only with recent geoarchaeological studies of the evolution of the Nile that interest in fluvial harbours has considerably grown. This theme is of primary importance in Egyptian maritime archaeology because it helps to reconstitute the landscape during Antiquity as a whole, and to show that fluvial harbours are often located at the crossroads of terrestrial routes leading to the Sea, or directly nearby it. If fluvial Egyptian harbours in the specific Delta, Memphite and Theban areas are now beginning to be quite well known, we still have a lack of knowledge for the other part of Egypt.
Therefore, a perfect study case for this topic is the fluvial harbour at Mi-wer (modern Gurob), located at the entrance of the Fayyum area and mentioned in Late Bronze Age (i.e. New Kingdom: 1550-1069 BC) textual data.
Connected with the presence of a royal Harem, this harbour could have been used as a mooring place for the royal family and its court, as a stop-over for the Fayyum strategic zone and as a transit point for military campaigns. Hence, its location is not trifling as it is situated near the Bahr Yussef (a canal derived from the Nile), enabling one to navigate to Memphis, or to reach the Libyan Desert and the caravan roads. Furthermore, Egyptian fluvial harbours are an emerging subject for Ancient Egypt and the Near East leading to the crucial question of networks and mobility.
Since 2009, new fieldwork has been undertaken at the site of Gurob in order to locate the ancient channel and harbour. Additional geoarchaeological, geophysical and archaeological work needs to be done to have a better understanding of the exact position of the harbour and its place in the Egyptian landscape and port system.
Port studies have considerably increased, not only in Egypt, but for the whole Antique world. It is therefore important to find out if there are common features between them through history and to try to develop models of reflection for further studies.