Tuesday, June 19, 2018
New Discovery, Edfu: New Discovery in Egypt's Edfu Reveals Roman Era Settlement, Pre-Dynastic Cultural Links
An Egyptian-American archaeological mission involving Yale University has uncovered a flint quarrying area that has been dated to several archaeological periods at the Elkab site in Edfu, on the west bank of the Nile near Aswan. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
The discovery was revealed during the Elkab Desert Archaeological Survey Project at Bir Umm Tineidba, located at the juncture of Wadi Hilal Road. The mission discovered a wealth of archaeological and epigraphic material, including numerous concentrations of rock art, primarily of the Pre-Dynastic and Proto-Dynastic periods; burial tumuli of the Proto-Dynastic period; and another thus-far unrecorded Late Roman settlement.
John Coleman Darnielen, head of the Yale University team, said that the mission found three rock art sections revealing important scenes of the Naqada II and Naqada III Dynasties (ca. 3500-3100 BCE), providing evidence for the continuity and interaction of artistic styles of the Eastern Desert and Nile Valley.
“The most impressive image may be dated to ca. 3300 BCE, depicting animals, including a bull, a giraffe, an addax, a barbary sheep and donkeys,” Darnielen said. The image provides important clues to the religion and symbolic communication of Pre-Dynastic Egyptians before the invention of the hieroglyphic script, he said.
Wadi of Umm Tineidba is also the location of several burial tumuli that appear to belong to desert dwellers with physical ties to both the Nile Valley and the Red Sea. One of the tumuli, he said, was the burial place of a woman of age ranging between 25-35 years old at the time of her death.
She was probably one of the local desert elite and was buried with at least one vessel in the standard Nilotic style, as well as with a strand of Red Sea shells and carnelian beads, alluding to her desert and Red Sea associations. Additional tumuli at the site may reveal further evidence concerning these desert people.
To the south of the rock inscription and tumuli sites lies a Late Roman-era settlement with dozens of stone structures. The ceramic evidence, as well as comparative material, indicates that the site dates to between 400 and 600 CE.
This Late Roman site complements the evidence for similar archaeological sites in the Eastern Desert, and once again fills a gap in an area once blank on the archaeological map of the area. “The newly discovered rock art at Bir Umm Tineidba reveal a desert population coming under increasing influence from the Nile Valley during the time of Dynasty 0,” Darnielen asserted.
It also shows the adoption of Nile Valley imagery and its proper understanding by a group whose earlier art has more in common with that of other Eastern Desert sites. The rock art and burial tumuli discovery shed more light on the understanding of the integration of “marginal” groups into the early pharaonic culture and state.
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Structures consist of two large mudbrick buildings surrounded by vast open courtyards and workshops. Excavation of an ancient Egyptian site has found evidence of beer and bread-making in a newly discovered building complex.
The city of Tell Edfu, located around 400 miles south of Cairo in the Nile Valley, has been explored by archaeologists for the past 16 years. At the end of 2017, researchers from the University of Chicago found a complex of buildings that marked the earliest point of the town’s occupation. They dated from around 2400 BCE – the so-called “Old Kingdom” period of ancient Egypt, when the great pyramids were built.
The structures consist of two large mudbrick buildings surrounded by vast open courtyards and workshops. “It’s a wonderful find because we have so little information about this era of settlement in the southern provinces,” said Professor Nadine Moeller, an Egyptian archaeology specialist who co-led the excavation. “We don’t know any such similar complexes for the Old Kingdom.”
The excavation uncovered storage containers and other artifacts in the workshops that suggested the towns inhabitants had been brewing beer and making bread on the site. There was also evidence for copper smelting in the complex, which the archaeologists think was built to provide accommodation for important officials sent to oversee the mining of precious minerals from the eastern deserts.
Underneath the floors of the buildings the archaeologists discovered stamps marked with the name, in hieroglyphs, of an official who led a group of prospectors to mine for the pharaoh Djedkare-Isesi – the penultimate rule of Egypt’s Fifth Dynasty. “It’s just about this time that the Egyptian royalty, until then focused on the northern area directly around the capital Memphis, began to expand its reach after a period of contraction during the fourth and much of the fifth dynasties,” said Professor Moeller.
The use of Edfu as a departure point for expeditions to the east was further confirmed by the presence of shells from the Red Sea and rare imported ceramics from the ancient civilization of Nubia, in what is now Sudan. “This is a first sign that the ancient city of Edfu was evolving into an important departure point for large expeditions leaving for the Eastern desert regions, and possibly the Red Sea shore, located about 125 miles to the east,” Professor Moeller added.
The researchers also said the building may have had religious or cult ties, given their proximity to the temple of the falcon god Horus. “It’s such a unique site. We’ve had a hard time finding architectural parallels, because no other settlement in Upper Egypt has such extensive remains from this time period,” said Professor Moeller. “We’ve learned so much at Tell Edfu, and there’s still more to come.”
Monday, January 8, 2018
The two temples will close an hour later during the winter due to lower River Nile water levels, which delay the arrival of cruise boats. Written BY/ Nevine El-Aref.
The Ministry of Antiquities is to extend the official opening hours of the Edfu and Kom-Ombo temples in Aswan during the winter months, starting on Saturday.
Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the decision was taken in cooperation with the governorate of Aswan in response to the delayed arrival of cruise boats at both temples due to a drop in water levels on the River Nile. The move also reflects the ministry’s keenness to provide high-quality services to tourists, he said.
The opening hours for the Edfu temple will be extended to 5 pm every day, instead of 4 pm. The temple at Kom-Ombo, meanwhile, will remain open until 9 pm, instead of 8 pm.
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