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» 16.02.2011 - King Tut statue among stolen pieces, UN confirms
» 11.11.2010 - US returns Tutankhamun collection to Egypt
» 05.03.2010 - UK returns ancient artefacts to Egypt
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Pharaonic army HQ found in Sinai

Ancient Egyptian inscriptions at the Sinai fortress town of Tharu

© Supreme Council of Antiquities
afrol News, 30 May
- Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed the relics of an ancient Egyptian city named Tharu, dating back to the New Kingdom era (1570-1070 BC) north on the Sinai Peninsula. The ruins are believed to include a fortress that was used as army headquarters for Pharaoh Ramsis II and his successors.

An expedition by Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) has excavated the city as part of a project to unearth fortresses on the ancient Horus Road since 1986, according to information released by the Cairo Ministry of Culture. The Horus road was the vital commercial and military link between Egypt and Asia, via Palestine.

SCA Secretary General Zahi Hawwas said a Thutmose II Cartouche was found as the first evidence of the King in Horus Road. Great Pharaohs such as Ahmose, Thotmose III, Seti I, Ramsis II, Merenptah and Hormoheb trod the road in defence of Egypt's eastern borders.

A fortress of mud-brick dating back to Ramsis II was also discovered. Initial evidence suggests the fortress was the headquarters of the Egyptian army in the area since the New Kingdom era until the Ptolemy rule. The archaeologists believe that the ruins are after the fortress city of Tharu, to which there are references in historic texts. The fortress site included ruins of ancient Pharaonic warehouses where the army stored its supplies.

Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, Director of Lower Egypt Archaeology Department and head of the archaeologists' team, said a temple of the new kingdom was also discovered in the area. The temple, dedicated to Horus, was connected to the fortress.

Mr Hawwas emphasised that this temple was the first of its kind on the Sinai Peninsula, where royal Pharaonic monuments of this size are seldom. The site, which is is close to present-day Rafah at the border of Palestinian Gaza, will only be open for archaeologists while excavations and registrations continue.

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