Thursday, July 21, 2005

Red Sea archaeological sites

"The Ministry of Culture plans to convert Red Sea archaeological sites into tourist attractions. Accordingly, a comprehensive restoration plan is to be implemented along roads leading to these sites.Khaled Saad, of the Pre-historic Antiquities Administration, said that the Red Sea is also distinguished for its natural features that compliment the archaeological sites. For instance, there are many stone inscriptions by ancient Egyptians who travelled through this area on commercial or military journeys.The Red Sea is also famous for its pre-historic antiquities such as Wadi Al Gimal, Marsa Alam, Sharm Al Louli and Wadi Al Gawasis. Day after day excavations prove that these sites had been dwelled by inhabitants who traded in pre-historic times, said Saad.Among the sites to be restored are the remains of the Roman-Byzantine Abu Shaara fortress. The limestone fortress lies on the coast and was central for trade, storage, administration and military purposes.In the West Desert, 500 kilometres south of Cairo, the remains of a Roman city exist. While only rubble from walls and structures has survived, there are clear traces of roads, a water cistern and a stable. It is most likely that this stable housed the oxen that were used to transfer stones to Qena". See the Egyptian Gazette article for details of many other sites.

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