Discovery in Saudi Arabia suggests Egyptian empire extended further than thought

Friday, November 12, 2010

CAIRO - Archaeologists have discovered a hieroglyphic engraving in Saudi Arabia, which suggests that ancient Egyptian empire extended further than previously thought.

Archaeologists from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) have discovered what is believed to be the first ever ancient Egyptian royal artefact to be unearthed in Saudi Arabia.

The object, a rock engraving endorsed with a dual cartouche of Pharaoh Ramses III, was found at the northern town of Tabuk in Taima Oasis, 400km north of Medina.

A Pharaoh of the 20th Dynasty, Ramses III ruled from 1185 to 1153 BC.

The remains of ancient walls revealed that habitation of the oasis could be dated to as far back as the Bronze Age.

Ali Ibrahim Al-Ghaban, of antiquities and museums at the SCTA, said initial studies have uncovered evidence that the direct trade route used during the reign of Ramses III connected Taima to the Nile Valley.

“Discovering the route will be a turning point in studying the routes of civilisation between Egypt and the Arabian peninsula,” Al-Ahram Weekly quoted Ghaban as saying.

“This discovery is one of a series of new discoveries that will be announced following further study and investigation,” said Ghaban.

Zahi Hawass, of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that it reflected ancient Egypt’s dedication to extending its civilisation to reach its neighbours; Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and North Africa.

Hawass explained that Egypt extended its empire outside its boundaries during the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties-an era known as Egypt’s golden age. (ANI)

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