Friday, December 19, 2014

Recovered Artifacts, Cairo: Ottoman coins, Roman map of Palestine recovered from smugglers at Cairo Airport

King Farouk Coins (Ahram Online Archive)
Collection of 48 antique coins and Roman-era map of Palestine taken from passengers at airport. written by Nevine El-Aref


Authorities at Cairo's international airport foiled two smuggling attempts, a collection of mostly Ottoman-era coins and a Roman map of Palestine, an antiquities official told Ahram Online.

The coins were held by an Egyptian passenger travelling to the Greek capital of Athens, said Ahmed El-Rawy, head of the antiquities unit at the airport. 

El-Rawy told Ahram Online that the collection includes 48 coins, among them three from the Ptolemaic era and engraved on one side with the face of King Ptolemy III.

Another coin is from the Islamic period and engraved with Kufic writing, while the rest of the coins are dated from the Ottoman period and the reigns of Sultan Hussein Kamal, Sultan Fouad I and kings Fouad and Farouk. 

A Map of Palestine from
the Roman Empire
The coins have been given to the antiquities ministry. The same unit at the airport also succeeded in catching an American passenger trying to smuggle a Roman-era map of Palestine from the year 1750, El-Rawy said.

The map was inspected by an archaeological committee, which approved its authenticity and agreed that it had been stolen from Egypt's Scientific Institute, which was set on fire in the aftermath of the January 2011 uprising. 

El-Rawy said the map is in very good condition and was detached from a still undetermined book. The map depicts a large part of Palestine during the Roman Empire and includes the old names of several cities and towns.

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