Cairo, April 13 (IANS/AKI) A team of archaeologists in Egypt has unearthed what are believed to be the world’s most ancient harbour and a set of hieroglyphic papyri dating to the third millennium B.C..
“The port of Wadi el-Jarf located on the Red Sea, 180 km south of Suez, dates to around 2,600 B.C. and the reign of King Khufu,” Minister for Antiquities Mohammed Ibrahim said.
It 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 said.
“The papyri, which provide detailed accounts of daily life and traditions at the time of the Old Kindgom, are considered the oldest ever found,” he said.
The papyri are currently being studied by experts at the Suez Museum.
The team of French and Egyptian archaeologists also discovered stone anchors at Wadi el-Jarf that were marked with ropes used to tie the ships inside the port.
A collection of stone tools used for cutting ropes, some wooden remains and ropes as well as remains of ancient houses for port workers and 30 caves whose entrances were closed with stone blocks bearing inscriptions of King Khufu were also discovered at the site.
The pharoah King Khufu is credited with building the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.