More on Egypt discovers ancient port and writings

Archaeologists have stumbled upon what is thought to be the world's oldest port. The harbour, discovered on the Red Sea coast, is believed to date back 4,500 years, to the days of the Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops) in the Fourth Dynasty.

More on Egypt discovers ancient port and writings
Part of the port at Wadi el-Jarf. Egyptian authorities said the archaeologists found a variety of docks, as well as a collection of carved stone anchors [Credit: British Museum]
Teams believe it was once of one of the most important commercial ports of ancient Egypt, and would have been used for the export copper and other minerals from the Sinai Peninsula.

Alongside it were pieces of ancient papyri, which include fascinating details about the daily lives of ancient Egyptians.

More on Egypt discovers ancient port and writings
Egyptian authorities said the archaeologists found a variety of docks, as well as a collection of carved stone anchors [Credit: British Museum]
Egyptian authorities said the archaeologists found a variety of docks, as well as a collection of carved stone anchors, NBC reports.

The harbour, which was built on the Red Sea shore in the Wadi al-Jarf area, 112 miles south of Suez, was discovered by a team  from the French Institute for Archaeological Studies.

More on Egypt discovers ancient port and writings
The harbour is thought to be 1,000 years older than any other port structure in the world [Credit: British Museum]
It is thought to be 1,000 years older than any other port structure in the world.

The team also discovered a collection of 40 papyri offering a fascinating insight into the daily lives of ancient Egyptians during the 27th year of Pharoah Khufu's reign. Khufu died around 2566 B.C.

It includes details of the arrangements for getting bread and beer to the workers heading out from the port.

More on Egypt discovers ancient port and writings
Pieces of worked wood, oar, tenons, pieces of wooden boxes, ropes found at Wadi el-Jarf [Credit: British Museum]
Egypt's antiquities minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, said they were are the oldest papyri ever found in Egypt.

He said one ancient papyrus tells of the activities of an official named Merrer, who was involved in building the Great Pyramid of Giza, the tomb of Khufu.

More on Egypt discovers ancient port and writings
Hieroglyphic papyrus detailing the arrangements for getting bread and beer to the workers heading out from the port [Credit: EPA]
'He mainly reported about his many trips to the Turah limestone quarry to fetch block for the building of the pyramid.

'Although we will not learn anything new about the construction of the Cheops monument, this diary provides for the first time an insight on this matter.'

Author: Amanda Williams | Source: Mail Online [April 16, 2013]

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