Monday, August 02, 2010

Valley of the Wales (Wadi al Hitan)

National Geographic

Following on from Saturday's article about whale fossils from the Faiyum being held up at Egyptian customs, thanks very much to Helen Williams-Alden for letting me know about this recent set of lovely photographs on the National Geographic website.

I've posted about the Wadi Hitan several times before, including news items, photographs and formal reports.

If you get the opportunity to visit don't pass it up. As well as whale and shark fossils, beatifully presented, there are fossilized wood and mangrove remains and lovely geomorphological features. Attractive modern visitor architecture and informative information boards completes the experience. This is one of the few heritage sites in Egypt where the challenge of preserving the past and presenting it to the visitor have been accomplished with great skill and efficiency.

It's not far from Cairo and whilst it is worth a visit in its own right there are some excellent archaeological sites to visit in the area, including El Lahun, Hawara, Karanis, gorgeous Medinet Madi, Qasr Qarun and Tebtunis.

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