Category Archives: EGYPT

‘Oldest tattoo’ found on 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummies

‘Oldest tattoo’ found on 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummies

The village of Deir el-Medina in ancient Egypt, 3,000 years ago, housed a community of artisans, all of whom lived and worked together on tombs in the Kings’ Valley. But new evidence has emerged that tombs were not their only creative outlet.

A number of tattoos on the previously unstudied mummified bodies of seven women have been discovered by infrared imaging. The ink was scattered across their bodies, with a range of different motifs.

This is evidence that in ancient Egypt, the art of tattooing might have been more common than we understood, according to University of Missouri anthropologist Anne Austin. At the American Schools of Oriental Science annual meeting in November, she discussed her findings.

The work has been several years in the making. It started in 2014 when Austin and her colleague Cedric Gobeil noticed markings on the neck of a female Deir el-Medina mummy. Closer inspection revealed that the marks were not, as she first thought, painted on – they were tattoos.

But, as we saw with the 5,000-year-old mummies from Gebelein, which had been sitting in a museum for over 100 years before their tattoos were discovered, tattoos on mummies aren’t always easy to see.

Mummified skin becomes discoloured and darkened, especially with mummification resins added to the mix; and tattoos can lighten over time.

Such hidden tattoos can, however, be revealed with infrared photography, which works in wavelengths usually invisible to the human eye.

So, that’s what the researchers did. On that initial female mummy, they catalogued a whopping 30 tattoos, most of which would not have been hidden by clothing, and would have required a second person to perform the tattooing – placed on the neck, back, and behind the shoulders.

The subject of the tattoos included sacred motifs such as Wadjet eyes, baboons, cobras, cows, scarab beetles, and lotus flowers. This combination of motifs and visibility led the researchers to the conclusion that the woman could have been a healer or a priestess of some kind.

But that mummy was just the first. By 2016, Austin had identified three more tattooed mummies from Deir el-Medina. Now, as reported by Science News, she’s added another three to that count, bringing the total to seven.

“The distribution, display, and content of these tattoos reveal how they were used both in religious practice and to forge permanent, public identities,” Austin wrote in her abstract.

“The extensive tattoos on one female mummy demonstrates the use of tattoos for identifying and enabling this woman to act as a key religious practitioner to the Deir el-Medina community. Additional tattoos found and analysed during the 2016 and 2020 seasons using infrared photography indicate that many more individuals were likely tattooed at Deir el-Medina.”

This is pretty significant. Although evidence for tattooing exists in the archaeological record from ancient Egypt, it’s primarily in art and figurines. Actual mummies that have tattoos have been found rarely; in addition to the seven Deir el-Medina mummies, only six other tattooed Egyptian mummies have been identified.

What this research shows is that maybe we haven’t been looking with the right tools.

It also shows that – just like people who get tattooed today – maybe there’s no one single reason the ancient Egyptians tattooed themselves. In addition to the woman’s inferred religious role, some of the motifs on the other mummies suggest healing or protection. (And, well, maybe they just thought the ink looked badass.)

Tattoos have been found on other mummies around the world. The Siberian Ice Maiden and unnamed warrior who died 2,500 years ago on the Ukok Plateau, for instance, had tattoos that anthropologists think signified age and status.

And evidence suggests the 61 tattoos found on Ötzi the Iceman, a mummified man who lived in Europe between 3400 and 3100 BCE, could have been a form of prehistoric acupuncture.

We can learn more about the tattooing practices of ancient Egypt by uncovering more tattooed mummies. And who knows – maybe they’re already sitting in museums, waiting for someone with an infrared camera to find them.

Emerald Tablets Of Thoth, 50,000-Year-Old Tablets Reportedly From Atlantis

Emerald Tablets Of Thoth, 50,000-Year-Old Tablets Reportedly From Atlantis

The Thoth Tablets are imperishable, resistant to all elements, acids, and corrosion. According to Bibliotecapleyades, in truth, the atomic and cellular structure is set and no change can take place, thus violating the material law of ionization.

Upon them are engraved characters in the Ancient Atlantean language;
characters who respond to the attuned thought waves of the reader and which release much more wisdom and information than the characters do when merely deciphered.

The Tablets are fastened together with hoops of a golden-colored alloy suspended from a rod of the same material. Dr. M. Doreal has translated this Work and has published through the Brotherhood of the White Temple, a translation of ten of these twelve Tablets.

He has divided the ten into thirteen parts for the sake of convenience. The last two Tablets are found in the “Interpretation of The Emerald Tablets”, also by Dr. Doreal.

THOTH, THE ATLANTEAN

When Thoth, the Atlantean and Master raised the people of Khem (Egypt) to a great civilization, and when the time came for him to leave Egypt, he erected The Great Pyramid over the entrance of the Great Halls of Amenti.

In the Pyramid, he posited his records and appointed Guards for his secrets from among the highest of his people. In later times, the descendants of these guards became the Pyramid Priests, while Thoth was deified as the God of Wisdom, the Recorder, by those in the age of darkness which followed his passing.

In legend, the Halls of Amenti became the underworld, the Halls of the Gods, where the soul passed after death for judgment.

During later ages, the ego of Thoth passed into the bodies of men
in the manner described in The Emerald Tablets, a Book of Record and Occult Wisdom, which he wrote and left in the Pyramid for those of a future Age of Light.

This is the first episode on the Emerald Tablets and its engravings by Lou Benedetto, written by Thoth, the Atlantean from the Lost city in Time of Atlantis. Thoth is an immortal who was once a very long time ago a regular human being who lived in a time over 50,000 years ago.

Second Video release of the Emerald Tablets by Lou Benedetto. Like all the Tablets they are written by an Atlantean King-Priest who ruled and lived in the Great Lost City in Time of Atlantis, over 50,000 years ago.

Thoth is a Human being that lived in a time long ago during an age now lost to us at present. Atlantis was a great civilization that thrived & flourished for many Tens of Thousands of Years.

Not only were they rulers of the sky and the land around them. But they were beings of peace, wisdom, and most importantly, a people with Great Soul Force.

Originally published in mimeographed form in the 1930s by a mysterious “Dr. M. Doreal,” these writings quickly became an underground sensation among esotericists of the time.

Tablets 1-13 are part of the original work; tablets 14 and 15 are supplemental. No one has ever seen the original tablets mentioned here, and in all likelihood, these writings would be considered channeled material today.

Dr. M. Doreal is a spiritual teacher of a multitude of seekers of light, having founded the metaphysical church and college. Doreal is the author of all of the organization’s writings and teachings and was granted permission for the esoteric wisdom to be remitted in the public forum, by the Great White Lodge and the Elder Brothers of mankind who shape and form the spiritual evolution for mankind.

Dr. M. Dorea

Doreal writes of the secrets of the symbolism of all mystery schools and gives a precisely and beautifully written step by step progression all seekers have searched for in their quest for oneness with God and attainment of the cosmic consciousness.

After traveling the world for knowledge of the light and truth, Doreal began publishing his findings in a spiritual retreat in Colorado named Shamballa.

Doreal studied the ancient teachings of the emerald tablets, the wisdom of the Kabbalah, and the light Jesus brought to mankind.

He has translated many ancient texts into English and other languages for the masses to read in order for all of us to reach atonement within ourselves and the cosmic universe. All his publications are available through the brotherhood of the white temple publication office.

However, the Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean are still part of the modern Corpus Hermeticum, for they elaborate and deepen the meaning of the historical Emerald Tablet and writings of Thoth/Hermes.

This 4,500-Year-Old Ramp Contraption May Have Been Used to Build Egypt’s Great Pyramid

This 4,500-Year-Old Ramp Contraption May Have Been Used to Build Egypt’s Great Pyramid

In a 4,500-year-old quarry in Egypt, archaeologists have uncovered an ancient ramp structure that could justify how the ancient Egyptians constructed the pyramids.

According to researchers from the University of Liverpool and Cairo’s French Institute for Oriental Archaeology, the Daily Mail says, the sloping ramp lined with two staircases and wooden poles may have been the location of a pulley device intended to make it easier to move large blocks of stone.

In a statement, Yannis Gourdon, co-director of the project, said This system is composed of a central ramp flanked by two staircases with numerous post holes.”

“Using a sleds which carried a stone block and were attached with ropes to these wooden posts, ancient Egyptians were able to pull up the alabaster blocks out of the quarry on very steep slopes of 20 per cent or more.”

The ancient ramps, which are located in the Hatnub quarry, are steeper than archaeologists expected.

This 4,500-year-old system used to pull alabaster stones up a steep slope was discovered at Hatnub, an ancient quarry in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. Two staircases with numerous postholes are located next to this ramp. An alabaster block would have been placed on a sled, which was tied by ropes to the wooden poles.

Previous calculations had suggested that ramps could not have been steeper than a 10 per cent grade in order to raise the blocks to the necessary height, which would have required ramps of absurdly long distances.

But by using the post holes, workers would have been able to move the stones with more force, and without dragging the massive blocks behind them.

The world has long marvelled at the construction of the Egyptian pyramids, the last of the Seven Wonders of the World that still exists.

Many archaeologists favour the theory that ramps were used to move the massive stone blocks that comprise the pyramids, but the exact nature of such a system has long remained a mystery.

“Since this ramp dates to the reign of Khufu (builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World), our research offers the exciting possibility for offering further insights into the logistics and technologies used in constructing that astonishing building,” said Roland Enmarch, an Egyptologist who worked on the project, in a statement.

A new graphic reveals the complex system of ramps and pulleys that may have been used by the Egyptians to construct the ancient pyramids. The system raised stone blocks weighing several tonnes hundreds of feet into the air via enormous sleds, archaeologists believe

Other experts, however, aren’t so sure. Although the blocks removed from the quarry would have been about the size of those used to construct the pyramids, the site’s alabaster is much softer than the pyramids’ hard granite stone.

“It’s a stretch to take an alabaster quarry and say this is how the pyramids were built because the pyramids weren’t built out of alabaster,” Kara Cooney, a professor of Egyptian art and architecture at the Los Angeles’s University of California, told the History Channel.

“The way that the ancient Egyptians cut and moved stone is still very mysterious.”

2,000 Years old Colourful Artworks Revealed in Egypt’s Temple of Esna

2,000 Years old Colourful Artworks Revealed in Egypt’s Temple of Esna

According to a statement released by the University of Tübingen, a team of Egyptian and German researchers has removed layers of soot and bird excrement from the 2,000-year-old decorations in the surviving pronaos, or vestibule, at the Temple of Esna.

The temple of Esna, seen from the east.

Reliefs and inscriptions are now freed from dark soot and soil deposits in bright colours. The project led by Egyptologist Professor Christian Leitz also discovered new inscriptions that reveal the ancient Egyptian names of constellations for the first time.

The restoration work is a cooperation between the Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies (IANES) at the University of Tübingen and the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

The temple is in Esna, 60 kilometres south of Luxor in Egypt. Only the vestibule (called the pronaos) remains, but it is complete. At 37 meters long, 20 meters wide and 15 meters high, the sandstone structure was placed in front of the actual temple building under the Roman Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD) and probably eclipsed it.

The roof is supported by 24 columns, the capitals of the 18 free-standing columns are decorated with different plant motifs. “In Egyptian temple architecture this is an absolute exception,” says Tübingen Egyptologist Daniel von Recklinghausen.

The work on the elaborate decorations probably took up to 200 years. The temple of Esna is famous for its astronomical ceiling and especially for the hieroglyphic inscriptions.

They are considered to be the most recent coherent hieroglyphic text corpus that has been preserved today and which de-scribes the religious ideas of the time and the cult events at the site.

Its location in the middle of the city centre probably contributed to the fact that the vestibule was preserved and was not used as a quarry for building materials as other ancient edifices were during the industrialization of Egypt. Indeed, the temple had become part of the modern city.

Houses and shacks were built directly against some of its walls, in other places, it protruded from a mountain of rubble, as can be seen on postcards from the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the first half of the 19th century, the hall served temporarily as a warehouse for cotton.

2,000 Years old Colourful Artworks Revealed in Egypt’s Temple of Esna
A restored column capital (spring 2019) shows the decoration in color.
Detail of a frieze (autumn 2019). The cartouche contains the name of Hadrian, framed by the local god Khnum (left) and the solar god Behedeti (right).
A column abacus before restoration.

As early as in Napoleon’s time, the pronaos attracted attention in expert circles, as it was considered an ideal example of ancient Egyptian temple architecture.

The real wealth, the inscriptions, was recognized by the French Egyptologist Serge Sauneron (1927-1976), who pushed ahead with the excavation of the temple and published the inscriptions in full. But without the original colours—Sauneron could not recognize them under the layers of soot and bird excrement.

Now the layers have been removed and the temple looks in part as it may have done some 2,000 years ago. In addition, it now offers new approaches for Egyptology research, says Christian Leitz, “The hieroglyphics that Sauneron explored were often only very roughly chiselled out, the details only applied by painting them in colour.

This means that only preliminary versions of the inscriptions had been researched. Only now do we get a picture of the final version.” In the area of the astronomical ceiling, many inscriptions were not executed in relief but only painted in ink.

“They were previously undetected under the soot and are now being exposed piece by piece. Here we have found, for example, the names of ancient Egyptian constellations, which were previously completely unknown,” says Leitz.

Since 2018, the two Tübingen researchers have been working with Egyptian authorities to uncover, preserve and document the paint layers.

Even during the coronavirus pandemic, the work is being continued by an Egyptian team of 15 restorers and a chief conservator from the Egyptian Ministry.

At regular intervals, the results are documented photographically in documentation campaigns. At the University of Tübingen, the finds are evaluated in terms of content and made available to the public via publications.

Cooperation partners on the Egyptian side are Dr Hisham El-Leithy, Mohamed Saad, Ahmed Amin, Mustafa Ahmed, Ahmed Emam. The project is supported by the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Ancient Egypt Foundation and the Santander Bank.

Nearly 100 coffins buried over 2,500 years ago found in Egypt

Nearly 100 coffins buried over 2,500 years ago found in Egypt

On 14 November, Egyptian antiquities officials declared the discovery. Some of the coffins had mummies inside them, the officials said.

Archaeologists discovered as many as 13 coffins from a burial ground in Egypt back in September that was believed to have been sealed for 2,500 years.

The large burial complex was buried deep in the desert necropolis of Saqqara, according to sources. The site is situated 30 km south of Cairo. Many scholars celebrated the finding because the coffins, which are considered to be over 2,500 years old, are well preserved.

An ancient coffin is seen on the site of the discovery in Giza province, Egypt, on Nov. 14, 2020.

About a few weeks later, the archaeologists unsealed one of the 2,500-year-old coffins in front of a live audience in Egypt. The mummy was wrapped in an ornate burial cloth, which had been decorated to resemble the deceased priest’s face.

According to a press release by Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, initially, three burial wells at different depths between 10 and 12 metres, with 13 coffins, were discovered in Saqqara. Then another 14 coffins were revealed until the total number of coffins reached 59.

Nearly 100 coffins buried over 2,500 years ago found in Egypt
The discovery dates back to the Ptolemaic dynasty that ruled Egypt for some 300 years from around 320BC to about 30BC.

Now, another ancient haul of more than 100 coffins and around 40 glided statues have been unearthed for the first time in 2,500 years in Egypt.

According to reports, Egyptian antiquities officials announced the discovery on 14 November. The officials added that many of the coffins had mummies inside them.

The massive hail was found in a vast necropolis south of Cairo. Recently, they were opened for the first time since they were buried nearly 2,500 years ago.

The officials said the coffins belonged to top officials of the Late Period of the Ptolemaic period of ancient Egypt. The discovery was made as deep as 40 feet below the surface in three burial shafts.

The coffins and other recovered artefacts are now being displayed at a makeshift exhibition in Saqqara.

Like last month, an archaeologist opened one of the coffins to reveal a well-preserved mummy.

“Saqqara has yet to reveal all of its contents. It is a treasure.

Excavations are still underway. Whenever we empty a burial shaft of sarcophagi, we find an entrance to another,” Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anany said at the event.

An Ancient Papyrus Reveals How The Great Pyramid of Giza Was Built

An Ancient Papyrus Reveals How The Great Pyramid of Giza Was Built

Stones of up to fifteen tonnes were shipped to a man-made port on wooden boats across the Nile. It has been one of the major enigmas of the world for centuries: how did a simple culture with no sophistication build Giza’s Great Pyramid.

The earliest and only survivor of the Ancient World’s Seven Wonders? It was the tallest man-made building on Earth for almost 4,000 years, at 146 metres high.

Archaeologists also discovered the diary of Merer, an official involved in the building of Giza’s great pyramid, in what is regarded by some to be one of the greatest discoveries in Egypt in the 21st century.

The 4,500-year-old papyrus is the oldest in the world and describes how wooden boats and ingenious system of waterworks transported blocks of limestones and granite weighing up to 15 tonnes from 13 kilometres away. In it, Merer (which means beloved) describes how he and a crew of 40 elite workmen shipped the stones downstream from Tura to Giza along the Nile River.

In the last few years, the papyrus and other archaeological excavations have revealed new information about how the pyramids were constructed. Here are some of the findings uncovered in Nature of Things documentary Lost Secrets of the Pyramid.

A papyrus Tallet found at Wadi al-Jarf from 2,600 B.C., the world’s oldest, refers to the “horizon of Khufu,” or the Great Pyramid at Giza.

Water was harnessed to transport huge stones.

Every summer, when the Nile flooded, giant dykes were opened to divert water from the river and channel it to the pyramid through a manmade canal system creating an inland port which allowed boats to dock very close to the worksite — just a few hundred metres away from the growing pyramid.

A recreation of the port from the documentary Lost Secrets of the Pyramid

The construction of artificial ports was a huge turning point for Egyptians, opening up trade and new relationships with people from distant lands.

Wooden boats built with rope instead of nails.

The limestone was carried along the River Nile in wooden boats built with planks and rope that were capable of hauling two-and-a-half tonne stones. 

Using ancient tomb carvings and the remains of an ancient dismantled ship as a guide, archaeologist Mohamed Abd El-Maguid has recreated one Egyptian boat from scratch.

3D scans of the ship planks revealed that the boats were full of holes that lined up perfectly with each other. Instead of nails or wood pegs, these boats were sewn together with rope like a giant jigsaw puzzle.

With 1,000 holes and five kilometres of rope the new boat was assembled and Abd El-Maguid and in Secrets of the Pyramid, attempts to re-create every step of Merer’s journey down the Nile with two-tonne limestone rock.

These boats were rowed carefully with the current down the Nile to the worksite. Once the rocks were unloaded, the wind helped propel the vessel back to the quarry.

Workers were valued and lived nearby in a huge settlement

Archaeologist Mark Lehner has uncovered artefacts that provide evidence of a vast settlement that held as many as 20,000 people. Average workers lived in huge dormitories, but team leaders like Merer lived in relative luxury with homes of their own.

Thousands of tiny bits of detritus of everyday life reveal that these hungry workers were well taken care of. An entire city was formed near the pyramid site to provide food and drink.

For most of the workers, building the pyramids was a source of prestige; these people have valued servants of the state.

Workers belonged to teams

Ankhhaf, Pharoah Khufu’s half-brother is mentioned in Merer’s diary and is thought to have been in charge of the operation.  He divided the workforce into ‘phyles’ teams of 40 men — of which someone like Merer oversaw.

Artefacts with team names on them have been discovered by archaeologist Pierre Tallet at a remote desert outpost in Wadi Al-Jarf about 250 kilometres away. Merer’s phyle was called “The Followers of the Boat named after the Snake on its Figurehead.”

Four phyles formed a gang of elite labourers. Each team has specific roles in the construction of the pyramid or the transportation of materials to the worksite.

Thousands of men, working together for over 20 years, succeeded in building the tallest, heaviest structure on earth. They transformed the landscape, and in doing so, also created a new society which archaeologist Mark Lehner says is the real achievement, “Once they had put all these systems and all this infrastructure in place there was no going back. They became more important than the pyramid itself and set Egyptian civilization off on a course for the next two or three millennia.”

Scientists Analyze Ancient Egyptian Ink containing lead were likely used as drier on ancient Egyptian papyri

Scientists Analyze Ancient Egyptian Ink containing lead were likely used as drier on ancient Egyptian papyri

Cosmos Magazine reports that a team of chemists, physicists, and Egyptologists from the University of Copenhagen and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility used advanced X-ray microscopy equipment to analyze the chemical composition of the ink markings found on papyrus fragments from Egypt’s ancient Tebtunis temple library. 

Scientists Analyze Ancient Egyptian Ink containing lead were likely used as drier on ancient Egyptian papyri
Detail of a medical treatise from the Tebtunis temple library.

The studies, published in the Journal PNAS, not only illuminate how writing practices developed in Egypt and around the Mediterranean, it could help with the conservation of many famous manuscripts.

In this study, the focus was on a dozen papyrus fragments from the only large-scale institutional library known to have survived from ancient Egypt: the Tebtunis temple library.

And the team of chemists, physicists and Egyptologists called in the big guns, using the advanced X-ray microscopy equipment at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble to examine them.

The work was led by the ESRF and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

They combined several synchrotron techniques to probe the chemical composition from the millimetre to the sub-micrometre scale to provide information not only on the elemental but also on the molecular and structural composition of the inks.

They concluded that the lead was used as a dryer because they did not find any other type of lead, such as lead white or minimum, which should be present if the lead was used as a pigment.

This also suggests that the ink had quite a complex recipe and “could not be made by just anyone”, says Egyptologist Thomas Christiansen from the University of Copenhagen, co-corresponding author of a paper in.

“Judging from the amount of raw materials needed to supply a temple library like the one in Tebtunis, we propose that the priests must have acquired them or overseen their production at specialised workshops much like the Master Painters from the Renaissance,” he says.

The ancient Egyptians have been using inks for writing since at least 3200 BCE, with black used for the primary body of text and red to highlight headings and keywords.

The researchers discovered that red pigment is present as coarse particles, while the lead compounds are diffused into papyrus cells, at the micrometre scale, wrapping the cell walls, and creating, at the letter scale, a coffee-ring effect around the iron particles, as if the letters were outlined.

“We think that lead must have been present in a finely ground and maybe in a soluble state and that when applied, big particles stayed in place, whilst the smaller ones diffused around them”, says co-corresponding author Marine Cotte, from the ESRF.

Ruins of the city Tebtunis, discovered in the 1930s. Credit: Kim Ryholt, University of Copenhagen.

Archaeologists find Rome-era tombs in Egypt’s the Western Desert

Archaeologists find Rome-era tombs in Egypt’s the Western Desert

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered two ancient tombs dating back to the Roman period in the country’s the Western Desert. The team discovered structures of two different architectural styles at the Beir Al-Shaghala site in the Dakhla Oasis, though both were built from mud-brick.

Archaeologists find Rome-era tombs in Egypt's the Western Desert
Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered two ancient tombs dating back to the Roman period in the country’s Western Desert. Colorful funeral paintings in one of the ancient tombs is shown above

Inside the colourfully-painted tombs, they also found several human skeletons, clay lamps, and a number of pottery vessels. Each of the tombs is decorated in vibrant funeral paintings, though much of the artwork has been lost to time.

According to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, the paintings once illustrated the process of mummifying the deceased.

Archaeologists have been excavating the site since 2002 over the course of five archaeological seasons.

Overall, they’ve discovered more than 10 incomplete sandstone tombs at the site.

The latest finds include one sandstone tomb with a 20-step staircase and a mud-brick tomb located on the east side of the first.

In recent years, Egypt has heavily promoted new archaeological finds to international media and diplomats in the hope of attracting more visitors to the country.

The vital tourism sector has suffered from the years of political turmoil since the 2011 uprising.

The latest finds include one sandstone tomb with a 20-step staircase and a mud-brick tomb located on the east side of the first

Archaeologists revealed another Roman-era discovery earlier this month from the Egyptian west coast.

Recent excavations uncovered the ruins of a sprawling Hellenistic fortress constructed more than 2,000 years ago.

Researchers say the ancient fortress was built to defend a port on the Red Sea coast, with three large courtyards and numerous structures that housed workshops and stores.

Inside, the team also found trash heaps filled with terracotta figures, coins, and even a fragment of an elephant skull.

The ruins of the Roman city, called Berenike Trogodytika, were first discovered in 1818, though it wasn’t until 2012 that excavations finally began.

Work at the site uncovered a ‘multi-phased’ building measuring about 160 meters long and 80 meters wide.

The team also found a line of defences along the north and north-east side.

According to the researchers, the findings at Berenike represent the first known Hellenistic urban site in the region.