Sunday, July 18, 2010

Recent excavations and restoration in Beni Suef (Zahi Hawass)

With photo.

As part of the Ministry of Culture’s initiative to refurbish and develop museums around Egypt, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) is reorganizing the layout of the Beni-Suef museum in Upper Egypt.

Cultural Minister Farouk Hosni explained that the museum refurbishment involved extending the museum’s display area and transferring the administrative offices into the basement.

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, said that the whole museum is undergoing restoration. The building suffers from major water damage due to subterranean water, which has seeped into some of the walls of the museum’s galleries. New lighting and security systems are also being installed.

Dr. Sabri Abdel Aziz, Head of the Pharaonic Sector in the SCA, said that excavations at Ehnasia, an archaeological area in Beni-Sueif, recently uncovered remains of a temple that can be dated to the reign of king Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC). Inside the remains of this temple, excavators uncovered ten cartouches of Ramesses II and beneath them a relief saying that the ruler had built this temple for himself in Ehnasia. The excavation team, said Abdel Aziz, will continue excavation of the temple during the next archaeological season.

A collection of mud-brick structures dated to the fourth and fifth century AD were also found at the site. A collection of terracotta statues depicting Isis, Aphrodite and Horus were found inside along with pots and clay lamps.

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