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Ancient Roman, Greek Cemetery Discovered in Egypt

Ancient Roman, Greek Cemetery Discovered in Egypt

Saturday, 9 November, 2019 - 08:45
: An Egyptian archaeologist works on sarcophagi at the newly discovered burial site dating back to around 2400BC ( Reuters )

The Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of an ancient cemetery in Ismailia, dating back to the Roman, Greek and pre-dynastic eras.

"The Ministry of Antiquities' mission working in Ismailia, Hassan Dawood archaeological area, revealed a part of a multi-layered cemetery dating back to the Roman, Greek and pre-dynastic eras," the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

The discovered site is a multi-layered cemetery. Its upper layers consist of mass graves of mud-bricks from the Greek and Roman eras, while the lower layers consist of burials from the pre-dynastic era.

"The Tal Hassan cemetery is rich in funerary deposits including stone and alabaster vessels.

The first discoveries in the site revealed inscriptions featuring the name of a king from the First Dynasty, which indicates that this area was occupied at the beginning of the dynasties, at the time when King Mina united the southern and northern regions of Egypt.

This also means that Sinai that had witnessed an Egyptian presence since the beginning of history, and the valley was a region of stability on the trade route leading to Asia and the Arabian Peninsula," Ayman Ashmawy, head of Egyptian Antiquities Sector told Asharq Al-Awsat.

"The importance of the Tal Hassan region comes from its location on 'Al-Toumailat' route, one of two main routes that linked Egypt and Asia. The second is "Hawras" extending through the heart of Asia. During the ancient eras, it was used as a trade route that extended to the heart of Sinai, and linked the Peninsula and Egypt," explained Ashmawy.

For her part, Head of the Central Department of the Nile Delta Antiquities Nadia Khadr, said "The cemetery includes mass and individual graves made of mud bricks dating back to the Greek and Roman eras, in addition to other graves dating back to the predynastic and early dynastic eras. Distinctive pottery spanning back to the aforementioned eras were also unearthed."

The mission's work for this season came after a 20-year of suspension. The last excavations taking place in that region were carried out by Mohammed el-Hanjouri and a mission from the University of Liverpool.

"This region was discovered in the 1990's by Dr. Hanjouri. Then an English mission continued the excavation works. However, the recent works were conducted by an Egyptian mission," Ashmawy noted.

Head of the archaeological mission Rizk Diab revealed "Tel Hassan Daoud is one of the most important archaeological hills in Ismailia and the eastern delta. It includes important archaeological layers dating to the pre-dynastic era, the early dynastic era, and even the Greek and Roman eras," noting that excavations are ongoing to unearth and preserve more."

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