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News: Egypt
Part of the excavated magazines. Sais, Egypt.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

New Archaeological Discoveries at the Red Sea coast

The magazine storerooms of the late Ramesside period

Antiquities Minister, Dr. Mamdouh Eldamaty declared the Durham/Egypt Exploration Society/Ministry of Antiquities team working at Sais (Nile Delta), excavated part of the magazine storerooms of the late Ramesside period. They discovered a complete assemblage of pottery, food storage and preparation vessels, within a large shop of around 6×6 m and a similar set of vessels in a neighbouring shop.

Eldamaty added that outside this domestic area a series of circular mud features were located, perhaps bases of storage silos for grain or tree-pits (special fruit-treeσ or plants).

On the other hand, Head of Ancient Egyptian Archaeology Sector Dr. Mahmoud Afify said that the discovered pottery jars were all in fragments but included globular cooking vessels, Canaanite amphorae and large Egyptian amphorae dating to the late 20th Dynasty.

Mission’s Director, Penny Wilson elaborated that the ceiling of the magazine had collapsed in a catastrophic event which may have affected the whole Ramesside city, burying it under rubble.

Late in the Third Intermediate Period a large walled structure was built upon the rubble and several phases of domestic activity were recorded either within or outside this large mud-brick wall. Large hearths associated with the houses were used for some time, being refurbished and reused. Also, some earlier pottery fragments from the Old Kingdom were found attesting to the habitation of the settlement at Sais over a long period.

Although the glorious city of Dynasty 26 is almost completely destroyed, the finds in the northern part of the Sais site confirm that there are two earlier cities preserved. They could represent the powerful New Kingdom temple centre and the early Third Intermediate settlement of the Great Kingdom of the West.

NOTES
1. Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities