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Egypt: 85 ancient tombs and the ruins of the temple of the goddess Isis discovered

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Archaeologists during their work on the ancient Egyptian site of Gebel el-Haridi discovered the ruins of the temple of the goddess Isis, dating back to the Hellenistic era. Among other finds, the remains of an ancient tower, 85 tombs built on a mountainside, as well as 30 original death certificates, which, in particular, contain information about the name of the deceased, his place of residence and occupation, stand out. This was reported by the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism of Egypt on its Facebook page.

In Upper Egypt, about 350 kilometers south of Cairo, is the archaeological site of Gebel el-Haridi. Although the first mention of this place dates back to the second half of the 18th century, its systematic research began only at the end of 1991. As a result, scientists have discovered materials covering a long era from the Old Kingdom (XXVIII-XXI centuries BC) to the Coptic period (III-XII centuries AD). Among the first discoveries made at this site were found quarries where building stone was mined, tombs carved into the rocks, as well as the remains of dwellings. One of the rock inscriptions reported that these quarries were used as early as the time of Ramesses III, the pharaoh of the XXth dynasty (about 1185-1153 BC). In addition, the development of these sources of raw materials was carried out during the reign of the Ptolemies (305-30 BC).

Employees of the Egyptian Archaeological Mission presented the results of the last season of excavations that took place at the Gebel el-Kharidi site. They reported the discovery of the remains of an ancient mud-brick tower that was used to control the movement of the Nile, navigate and collect tolls. Archaeologists have also unearthed the ruins of a temple dedicated to the goddess Isis, said Mustafa Waziri, secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. This 33×14 meter structure, like the tower, dates back to the reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes (246/245-222/221 BC).

The head of the Central Antiquities Authority of Upper Egypt, Mohamed Abdel-Badi, said that archaeologists also managed to find the house of one of the local work supervisors and the remains of papers containing the names of workers, their salaries and their tasks. Among other finds, 85 tombs of various types stand out, built on the mountainside in different periods – from the end of the Old Kingdom to the end of the Ptolehemian era. In the tombs of the Hellenistic era, archaeologists have found 30 kinds of death certificates written in ancient Greek, in hieratic and demotic writing. These artifacts contained information about the name of the deceased, the name of his father or matter, place of residence, occupation, age, as well as some messages to the ancient Egyptian gods.

Among other finds, five shards with inscriptions in Demotic script, 38 coins dating back to the Roman era, and animal bones, which are the remains of the food of temple priests, attract attention. Archaeologists also carried out work on ancient quarries, where, in particular, they cut building material for the construction of a temple under Pharaoh Ramses III.

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