Sunday, June 08, 2008

Egyptian Fortress on Road to Canaan Revealed

From National Geographic:

Archaeologists have uncovered more remnants from Tharu, the largest known fortified city in ancient Egypt, which sits near the modern-day border town of Rafah.

The fortress, also known as Tjaru or Tharo, covered about 31 acres (13 hectares), Egyptian authorities say. Its discovery near the Suez Canal was announced in July 2007.

Tharu helped guard the empire's eastern front in the Sinai Peninsula and served as a military cornerstone for Egypt's ancient leaders.

"It was built [more than] 3,000 years ago, and it was an important and strategic point," said Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The fort's remains were found as part of a project that began in 1986 to explore the "Horus Way," an ancient military road that connected 11 fortresses linking Egypt and Palestine.

The path also served as an entry point for traders coming from Asia.

"This is the only way to enter Egypt by land coming from the east," said Fayza Haikal, a professor of archaeology and Egyptology at the American University in Cairo. "It was the way not only for armies but also commercial [expeditions]."

So far Egyptian authorities have discovered four fortresses along the Horus Way, which essentially formed the same line as Egypt's current eastern border (see map).

The story continues here.

HT: Joe Lauer

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