Thursday, March 3, 2016

New discovery, Cairo: Robot Camera Discovers Old Islamic Structures Beneath Al-Sultan Hassan Mosque in Cairo

Newly Discovered Structures (courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities)
The robot camera offered last month by a German engineer has helped archaeologists discover the remains of Islamic structures beneath Al-Sultan Hassan Mosque. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

During the first operation of the robot camera offered last month by German engineer Friedhelm Kremer, the Ministry of Antiquities uncovered the ruins of a number of Islamic structures beneath Al-Sultan Hassan Mosque in the Citadel area in old Cairo.

Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online that the newly discovered structures were stumbled upon by chance as a team of archaeologists were carrying out a survey on the foundations of the mosque to determine the causes of a depression of the ground beneath it.

Archaeologists read the mosque's
construction document
Initial investigations of the structures, he explained, reveal that they date to an age older than the mosque.

According to Al-Sultan Hassan Mosque's construction document, the mosque was originally built on the remains of Islamic structures that are not identified.

Ahmed Motawea, director of the Islamic antiquities section at the ministery's technical office, said that the work team took samples of the ground beneath the mosque in order to analyse and determine the causes of the depression. 

Excavation work at the foundation of
Al-Sultan Hassan Mosque
They will also explore the area further, in order to identify the origin and nature of the discovered structures.

Al-Sultan Hassan Mosque is a gigantic Mameluk edifice built in 1356 AD and includes a mosque and a madrassa (Quranic school) for the four Sunni schools: Shafii; Malki; Hanafi and Hanbali.

At the time of construction the mosque was considered remarkable for its fantastic size and innovative architectural components.

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