Monday, January 29, 2007

Marsa Gawasis, Safaga - Oldest maritime artefacts

A much more detailed account than usual, on the State Information Service website, about the ongoing excavations at the Pharaonic port of Marsa Gawasis in Safaga:
"Late December last year, after more than three metres of sand had been removed from the slope of the coral reef, the entrance of a large man-made cave was uncovered by the Italian and American archaeologists. Stone anchors, two large cedar beams were found plus mud bricks and plaster that had been used to reinforce the entrance. To the north of the entrance, the archaeologists found an antechamber leading to two rectangular rooms both 12 x 4 metres. To the south is a smaller antechamber leading to yet another chamber hewn out of solid rock. Outside the cave entrance are small carved niches, four of which still contained limestone steles, which suggest that this cave was a temple.
The best preserved stele, which has fallen out of its niche, was found face-down in the sand. Carved on this stele was the cartouche of King Amenemhat III, who ruled in about 1800 BC. The hieroglyphic text below a scene of the King making an offering to the god Min concerns two expeditions led by officials Nebsu and Amenhotep to Punt and Bia-Punt."
See the above page for the full story.

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