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Egypt: Archaeologists uncover world's oldest port, hieroglyphic papyri

last update: April 11, 17:20

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Cairo, 11 April (AKI) - A team of archaeologists in Egypt has unearthed what is believed to be the world's most ancient harbour and precious hieroglyphic papyri dating to the third millennium BC, the government said on Thursday.

"The port of Wadi el-Jarf located on the Red Sea. 180 kilometres south of Suez dates to around 2,600 BC and the reign of King Khufu," Egypt's minister for antiquities Mohammed Ibrahim said in a statement.

Is is considered one of the most important ancient Egyptian ports because it was used to transport copper and other minerals from the Sinai peninsula, Ibrahim noted.

"The papyri, which provide detailed accounts of daily life and traditions at the time of the Old Kindgom, are considered the oldest ever found," Ibrahim stated.

The papyri are currently being studied by experts at the Suez Museum, he said.

"The team of French and Egyptian archaeologists working on the dig also discovered stone anchors at Wadi el-Jarf that were marked with ropes used to tie the ships inside the port," he said.

A collection of stone tools used for cutting ropes and some wooden remains and ropes were also discovered at the site as well as the remains of houses for ancient port workers and 30 caves whose entrances were closed with stone blocks bearing inscriptions of King Khufu.

The pharoah King Khufu is credited with building the Great Pyramid of Giza in Middle Egypt, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

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