Egypt: Antiquity News Briefs

Antiquity News Briefs

By Amargi Hillier

Renovations of the Sennary House in the Saida Zanaib district have been completed. It will be open to the public during this month. Renovations were performed by both the Committee of Antiquities of South Cairo and a French expedition. The Sennary House has the importance of being a rare historical building since the 18th century and it was the base of the scientific board of the French conquest of Egypt.

Emad Eddin Abd El-Hamid, the Inspector of Antiquities in the Wadi El-Gedid (New Valley), in cooperation with a Canadian expedition has started the registration of the antiquities which have been discovered in Mot El-Kharab and Ain El-Gazzareen. The antiquities include inscriptions found on the walls of the Dare El-Hagar temple in the Oases area. The Canadian expedition also started to study the remnants of pottery found in the areas which date back to the Roman Empire and the Byzantine period.

A French expedition working in the Dair El-Monira area in the New Valley is now performing explorations of a number of newly discovered tombs. The expedition is also studying the skeletons found there as well as numerous papyrus scripts.

A French expedition in Dendara Temple in Kena has found during a topographic study an ancient wall from the Roman Age and another wall from the Fatimie period. As well, a joint Egyptian-German expedition has discovered vaults in the Tona El Gabal area, which date back to the pre-Ptelomic period. The passages to the vaults have all been recorded. Parts of tombs have also been found. Ahmad Ismail, Inspector of the Antiquities of Kena and the Red sea, is recording the discoveries found there during this year.

Dr. Zahi Hawass has published a book in English titled The Wonders of Abu Simbel, Ramsis II and the Temples of the Rising Sun". The book tells the story of the restoration of the Nubian antiquities and their rescue by the UNISCO. It also talks about the Light and Sound show in Abu Simbel and many other interesting subjects.

Dr. Gaballah Ali Gaballah, Head of the Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA), announced that an expedition in Alexandria has unearthed two tombs, which date back to the Ptelomic Period in the Borg El-Arab area (North Coast). He mentioned that the tombs were carved completely in a stone. In addition, an old stone quarry was discovered near the tombs. This quarry was used to pad the inside of the tombs. He says, "The two tombs are carved 5 meters deep and they are both of the same architecture. Each tomb consists of a square clearing, which leads to a staircase of six steps. The stairs lead to another clearing that has a passage to the burial chambers. What is confusing is the presence of a Mihrab (prayer niche) in the tombs and during the cleaning process a cross was engraved on the Northern Wall. This may prove that the Coptic used to live in the tombs fleeing from the tyranny of the Romans. At the entrance of the tombs, circular openings were found which most probably were used to hold the doors of the tombs. The Borg El-Arab area has many tombs and temples that date back to the Ptelomic period and studies are currently concentrated on that area."



Last Updated: Aug 4th, 2011