Two ancient Egyptian fortresses discovered in Tell el-Maskhuta

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A joint Egyptian-Italian archaeological mission under the auspices of the National Research Council of Italy – Institute of Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CNR), in collaboration with Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities has discovered the remains of two ancient fortresses in Tell el- Maskhuta area in Wadi al-Tamilat, 15 km west of the city of Ismailia.

Two ancient Egyptian fortresses discovered in Tell el-Maskhuta
Credit: Ministry of Antiquities

Dr. Giuseppina Capriotti Vittozzi, who heads of the mission, explains that the first fortress probably dates back to the late era judging by the thickness of the northern wall (about 22m).

It comprises of two walls, relatively close to each other, one of which is 10m wide and the other12m wide. Their height reaches at least 7m in parts. The wall of the eastern fortress is about 12m wide and 4m deep.

The second fortress was built on the ruins of layers from the Hyksos era (Second Intermediate Period) and dates to the 26th Dynasty, she adds. Its western wall is about 8m wide and the northern section is 7m wide and 5m tall.

Two ancient Egyptian fortresses discovered in Tell el-Maskhuta
Credit: Ministry of Antiquities

Dr. Abdel Maksoud member of the Italian mission said that the newly discovered walls of the fortresses are built of mud bricks and are supported by defensive towers as usual in military castles.

The discovery is important because it adds to the history of military architecture in Egypt, because Tell el-Maskhuta represents an extraordinary example of ancient Egyptian fortress in the area of the Eastern passage way to the Nile.

Dr. Maksoud pointed out that the mission will prepare a project to revive the history of the area and its monuments and will begin by preserving the walls of the fortresses. It also plans to complete the excavation work, which is expected to reveal more about the sites.

Source: Ministry of Antiquities [December 11, 2017]

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