Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New Discovery, Suez Canal: 3,400 year-old pharaonic ‘rest house’ unearthed nearby Suez Canal

Photo courtesy of Antiquities Ministry’s Facebook page
CAIRO: A 3,400 year-old “royal rest house” was unearthed during excavation work carried out at the ancient fortified city of Tell Habua near the Suez Canal, according to an official statement on the Antiquities Ministry’s Facebook page Tuesday.

Located nearby the construction site of Egypt’s New Suez Canal Project, “the newly discovered rest house, a 1,200 square meters mud brick edifice, belonged to the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Tuthmosis II (1499B.C.-1513B.C.),” said Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty. It is one of now three rest houses discovered in the area; the other two belonged to the 19th Dynasty Pharaohs Seti I (1290B.C.-1279B.C.) and Ramses II (1279B.C.-1213,) according to Damaty.

In January, Damaty also announced the discovery of the ruins and foundations of “the Wall of the Prince”; Egypt’s largest known fortress at Tell Habua. The fortress was part of a defensive line, known as the Horus Military Route, in the form of a series of fortresses and military cities. Detailed scenes of the route and the fortification line are still seen nowadays at the walls of Karnak Temple.

The scenes illustrate 11 military fortresses along the route, of which only 5 have been discovered so far in Sinai. The newly discovered rest house sheds more light on Egypt’s military history and the Pharaohs who led the Egyptian army conquest during the New Kingdom Period (1580B.C.-1080B.C.), archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban told The Cairo Post Wednesday.

“During his 14-year reign, Tuthimosis II has successfully conquered the Levant, was able to defeat a group of nomadic Bedouins and secured Egypt’s military presence in the Fertile Crescent area. It seems the that the newly discovered rest house was built to accommodate the Pharaoh and his generals during their ride through the 350 kilometer-long Horus Route,” said Sabban. This is the first, but “hopefully not the last,” building of its kind to be discovered along Horus military route, Sabban added.

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