Graeco-Roman industrial area uncovered in Egypt's Suez Canal

An Egyptian excavation mission from the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA) uncovered on Thursday a complete industrial area that can be dated to the Graeco-Roman era.

Graeco-Roman industrial area uncovered in Egypt's Suez Canal
The fully furnished Graeco-Roman industrial area discovered on Thursday
in Tell Abu-Seifi area, east of Egypt's Suez Canal [Credit: Ahram]
The discovery was found during routine excavation work at the archaeological site of Tell Abu-Seifi, located east of the Suez Canal and south of Qantara East.

The industrial area includes of a number of workshops for clay and bronze statues, vessels, pots and pans as well as a collection of administrative buildings, store galleries and a whole residential area for labours. Amphora, imported from south of Italy, was also unearthed.

"It is a very important discovery that highlights Egypt’s economical and commercial relation with its neighbouring countries on the Mediterranean Sea," MSA Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online. He added that it also gives a complete idea of the Egyptian labours’ daily life.

For his part, Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, supervisor of the excavation mission, pointed out that among the newly discovered objects is a very important Roman engraving that provides detailed information on the military importance of Tell Abu-Seifi and the army divisions in this area.

Tell Abu-Seifi is one of the most important historical military sites of Egypt on the Al-Bilozi Nile branch, where three Ptolemaic and Roman military castles are located.

The archaeological site of Tell Abu-Seifi is found on Egypt’s eastern gate, where a great military group was once located, Abdel Maqsoud told Ahram Online in a telephone interview.

The newly discovered engraving shows how and where soldiers were divided and distributed in different locations inside the castles, he explained.

A collection of bronze coins dated to the eras of King Ptolemy II and IV were also unearthed as well as terracotta (burned clay) statues of the god of war Bes.

This discovery came within the framework of routine excavations along the Belozi Nile branch, which is now non-existant, to discover the Horus Ancient Military Road once used by King Ahmose to expel the Hyksos.

Abdel Maqsoud pointed out that Egypt's MSA is applying a new training system for junior archaeologists and approximately 200 have joined the excavation mission to train them in excavations and restorations.

Until now, our mission has trained 600 archaeologists in five years, Abdel Maqsoud concluded.

Author: Nevine El-Aref | Source: Ahram Online [April 24, 2013]

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