Egypt: The Castle of Kaytbay Coins: Will They Rewirte the History of Alexandria, Egypt Antiquity News

The Castle of Kaytbay Coins:

Will They Rewrite the History of Alexandria

July 5th 2001

By Amargi Hiller

(Alexandria) During recent renovations performed by the Supreme Council for Antiquities at the Castle of Kaytbay, an archaeologist discovered 9 pieces of silver coins each weighing 26 grams. The coins were found in ancient vaults which were used to hold monetary expenses during its days.

Dr. Gaballah Ali Gaballah, Head of the Supreme Council for Antiquities, stated that these coins date back to he 18th and 19th centuries. He explained, 'All the coins held the name of King Karnos IV, the King of Spain. On the other side of the coins we found the Spanish Royal emblem. The coins date back to 1805 which is the time when Mohammed Ali ruled Egypt. At that time Mohammed Ali was renovating all the castle and fortresses in the country so he used soldiers from different nationalities to aid in these renovations, and this is probably how the coins were brought into the country.'

Mohammed Adu-Al-Aziz, Head of the Islamic and Coptic Antiquities in Alexandria, announced that restoration on the castle have already been started, but they are not being done blindly. He says, 'Thorough research on the structure of the castle has been preformed before we started renovations. We have found some interesting things during the course of prior excavations and current restorations. For example, we found the old Kibla stone in the castle mosque and we also found a complete water supply and disposal system for the castle.

Anther Ismaiel, Head of Antiquities Supervision in Alexandria, said that renovations have uncovered important historical and structural methods of construction. He gave reference also to the unique ancient Islamic engineering for the complete water supply system for the castle.

Antiquity News Briefs

July 5th, 2001

The Italian Egyptologist, Alto Banetie, opened an exhibition about the history of Helwan. The exhibition is located the School of the Holy Family School in Helwan. The exhibition shows the most important books and publications which discuss the history of the area and the most important antiquities located there. Banetie has his own book on display called the 'History of Helwan'. The book talks about the origin of Helwan, it antiquities, and the most famous society people who used to live there.


A fisherman in Res El-Bar City was setting his nets on a fishing trip when he accidentally pulled up some various antiquities including pieces of pottery, a head of a pillar, and a portion of a stone sarcophagus lid made from basalt. He also pulled up an alabaster statue of Zeus. The Supreme Council for Antiquities dispatched a team to investigate the new finds.


The English expedition working in Quseir near the Red Sea unearthed some ancient Islamic antiquities as well as some remaining Roman building structures. The exact spot where they found these antiquities is by the road which links Safaga and El-Quseir. During the Roman times, this area was known to be an exporting market. The expedition also found an ancient set of ropes which were used by the exporting ships.


In a joint study between archaeologist, Mona Fathi, and John Jacque, head of a French expedition, official documentation and recordings were made on what was found in the Montol Temple located north of Karnak. Participating also in the study was the Center for Antiquity Studies in Cairo. The focus of the temple finds is a collection of pottery and ceramic works. The researchers aim to find the ways that these pieces of pottery and ceramics were made. In addition, these studies would help in the issuing of booklets about the history of pottery in ancient Egypt.


An Egyptian expedition at Abu Shnar in Rafah, North Sinai found 200 meters away from the shore of the sea 3 ruins of historical workshops, storage rooms an a wine brewery. Each workshop contained a main hall and furnaces. Dating of the site has not been established but estimates are ranging back to the early 1800s.


A French expedition working in Frafra in Dakhla City in the New Valley unearthed ruins of the Temple of NedoNefer. They unearthed two towers, clay arts, as well as numerous carvings and glyphs. They all date back to old Egypt.


In Alexandria, a French archaeological team unearthed in the Roman Orthodox Church an underground water reservoir which dates back to the time of the Mamlouks. They also found a connecting deep well and numerous old coins. It is not uncommon to find Islamic antiquities in the vicinity of ancient Christian churches.


Archaeologists in El-Hasna City in Ain Shamps Mataria discovered the remnants of an ancient Pharaonic fortress. Most notable was a 78 meter fortress wall which was made from mud brick. end

Last Updated: May 17th, 2011