Sunday, July 11, 2010

More re discoveries at Avaris

Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine El-Aref)

Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni has announced that the Austrian mission at Tell Al-Dabaa has located the southern suburban quarters of the ancient city of Avaris, the capital of the Hyksos, dating back to the Second Intermediate Period (1664- 1569 BC). The excavation team found the area using a combination of magnetometry and resistivity surveys.

The 3,500-year-old city was established after the Hyksos invaded Egypt, which they ruled for more than a century, holding the southern part of the country in alliance with the Nubian kingdom of Cush. The drive to expel the invaders began in Thebes, and the Hyksos were finally repelled by Ahmose, the founder of the 18th Dynasty.

The location of their summer capital, Avaris, had long been one of the great mysteries of Egyptology.

Objects excavated at San Al-Hagar, Tel Al-Yahoudiya in Qalioubiya and Tel Al-Rataba in Ismailia, had led to wrong attributions of their capital, Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, head of Antiquities in Lower Egypt and Alexandria, told Al-Ahram Weekly. Later studies revealed that while the unearthed artefacts did indeed date from the time of the Hyksos rule they were reused items that had been transferred from Avaris.

"The site of the ancient city was one of the great historical enigmas," says Abdel-Maqsoud. "The city was almost completely destroyed during the war to liberate Egypt, and it was not until the early 1960s that the Egyptologists Mahmoud Hamza and Labib Habashi correctly identified the site of Avaris at Tel Al-Dabaa in Sharqiya governorate.

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