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Friday, 29 March 2019 01:00

Ancient Egyptian inscriptions found at Amethyst mines

Ancient Egyptian Inscriptions Found at Amethyst Mining Site Ancient Egyptian Inscriptions Found at Amethyst Mining Site.

Over 100 ancient inscriptions were found at an Amethyst mine in Wadi el-Hudi.

According to archaeologists, the inscriptions were carved in the rock. The researchers also discovered 45 more written on parts of pottery (called ostraca) and 14 carved on a stone slab or on a pillar (called stele).

Wadi el-Hudi is located 35 km southeast of Aswan in Egypt's Eastern Desert. Some of the findings date back about 3,900 years during the "Middle Kingdom" period which lasted from around 2050 BC to around 1710 BC. Amethyst was a precious stone in Egypt as is was utilized to make amulets and talismans for religious and magical purposes. Some of the ostraca date back about 2,000 years to the period when Rome had conquered Egypt.

When the Pharaohs of Egypt discovered the source of amethyst in Wadi el-Hudi, "they were bringing it back and making it into jewelry and doling it out to their elite and their princesses," Kate Liszka, the director of the Wadi el-Hudi expedition, stated.

The researchers believe that the new findings will unveil new information about Wadi el-Hudi.

For example, the inscriptions may reveal whether the miners were free citizens or slaves. Some inscriptions show that there were soldiers in some spots of the mine. Scientists do not know if they were there to protect or to supervise the miners. But, according to other inscriptions, workers were proud of their achievements and, thus, they may have been there voluntarily. Moreover, no bodies were not found inside the mines, therefore, people that died were brought back for a proper burial.

Another mystery that needs to be resolved is how the Egyptians brought water to Wadi el-Hud. There were about 1000-1500 workers in the mine and the nearest possible well was 3 kilometers away. "Best-case scenario, they were carrying water for 1,000 to 1,500 people a minimum of 3 km, but possibly in from the Nile (30 km away)," Liszka said.

The team is now working on finding new inscriptions and on mapping the archaeological remains. They utilize specialized techniques including reflectance transformation imaging (RTI), photogrammetry and 3D modeling. They need to complete the assessment soon as modern gold mines that operate in the area are currently causing damage to the archaeological remains.


To learn more about the ancient inscription findings, click the video below:

Read 147 times Last modified on Friday, 29 March 2019 17:01


Ancient Egyptian Inscriptions Found at Amethyst Mining Site

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