New ancient Egyptian discoveries

This undated photo released by Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities Thursday, April 11, 2013, shows hieroglyphic papyrus discovered at Wadi el-Jarf, nearly 180 km (111 miles) south the coastal city of Suez, Egypt. Egypt s state of antiquities affairs minister has declared the discovery of a historic coastal port dating back to King Khufu of the fourth dynasty of the old pharaonic kingdom. The Franco-Egyptian team working in the Suez archaeological area also discovered hieroglyphic papyri and stone anchors. Most of the discovered papyri date back to the 27th year of the reign of King Khufu. The papyri included information about number of the port workers and details about their daily lives. They were transferred to the Suez museum for study and registration. (AP Photo/Egypt's Supreme Council Of Antiquities)

From Associated Press:

Egypt discovers ancient port and writings

04/11/2013 10:29:11 AM PDT

CAIRO—Egypt’s state minister of antiquities says a Franco-Egyptian exploration team has discovered a Red Sea port dating back about 4,500 years to Great Pyramid builder King Cheops of the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom.

Mohammed Ibrahim said Thursday the port was discovered at Wadi el-Jarf, nearly 180 kilometers (110 miles) south the coastal city of Suez.

In a statement, Ibrahim said the port was used to transfer copper from Sinai to the Nile valley.

The team working in the Suez archaeological area also discovered hieroglyphic papyri, considered the oldest found in Egypt.

Ibrahim said the papyri reveal details about port workers and their daily lives. Most date back to the 27th year of the reign of Cheops, also known as Khufu.

The documents were transferred to the Suez museum.

Ancient Egyptian Soldier’s Letter Home Deciphered: here.

25 thoughts on “New ancient Egyptian discoveries

  1. There are some things that need to be asked on the port site of Wadi Jarf.
    1) Sir Wilkinson who found this site in 1823, said the jars found in the 30 galleries were used for the ashes of cremated remains! And he called the galleries “catacombs”, why do they not mention of this? (Wilkinson thought the Greeks, who sometimes cremated, did this but there were no ancient Greek or Roman town within 60 miles of this site.)
    2) Sir Wilkinson was a respect British archeologist and he certainly would have known what “ashes” were which he said were inside the jars. However they said the jars were for “water and food” for the port, but did they find any water or food in these jars, why did they not gave evidence for this? And why store this “5 kilometers” away from the port?
    3) There was no explanation for why “large blocks” were used to seal the entrances to these caves when they were supposed to be for “temporary” storage?
    4) They said the date from the jars was from the 4th Dynasty, but again they gave no evidence for this, why?
    5) They gave no date for the wood and cloth found at the site, why not? They could have used Carbon 14 for these, this should have been the easiest and most accurate.


    • Hi Garry, these are many questions, which should really be addressed to the Associated Press authors, or better still, to the archaeologists at Wadi el-Jarf; not to a simple blogger like me 🙂

      So, just one point: Sir John Gardner Wilkinson was indeed a respected archaeologist. But in 1823 scientific archaeology had only just started. Nearly two centuries of development haver passed since.

      I am also not sure whether Sir John Gardner Wilkinson’s referred to the same jars as recent ones.


      • Sir Wilkinson knew what ashes were.And yes it is the same site, they admit to this, just not mention he found cremated remains there, read article = Royal Geographical Society, 1832, pp 33-34.


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  15. Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a number of rare Pharaonic seals of soldiers sent out on desert missions in search of red paint to decorate the pyramids, Egypt’s culture minister said Thursday.

    The 26 matchbox-sized seals belonged to Cheops, who ruled from 2551 to 2528 BC, in whose honour the greatest of the great pyramids of Giza southwest of Cairo was built, and show Pharaonic soldiers’ ranks, the MENA news agency quoted Faruq Hosni as saying.


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