A 3,400-year-old cemetery on Egypt’s Nile Delta has reopened to the public, allowing archaeologists to make some of the deepest finds in the region.
A police station at the foot of the city of Minya’s Wadi Minlawi Hill, where the cemetery once stood. The cemetery was excavated during the 2012 Wadi Minlawi project, the world’s largest archaeological dig to date, a project initiated in 2003 by UNESCO. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
The Burial Suitable Site (BSS) contains the remains of thousands of ancient Egyptians who are the ancestors of the Suez Canal traders and investors of the mid 19th century. Its excavations have revealed artefacts representing the earliest kingdom in the Nile Valley. The burials were made at the city of Minya, on the edge of the Blue Nile, which is also a major manufacturing center for a range of ancient Egyptian ceramics.
Reporter Amr Nabil, who was present at the reopening, described the site as “an astounding, profuse, and absolutely rewarding hodgepodge” of modern to ancient materials:
The remains include pottery, ceramic bottles, bricks, papyrus sheets, wafers, linen fabric, linen cloths, ceramic objects, grave-side mirrors, hieroglyphs, coins, rods and beans for mixing water — just to name a few.
The cemetery’s decision to be reopened this year, despite the years of restorative works, came after the European Union donated about $9.6 million (£7.8 million) to rebuild the cemetery.
Egypt’s culture minister, Khalil el-Husseini, said that the cemetery had been “kept out of public view” for so long in order to protect its artifacts.