A joint Egyptian French archaeological mission has unearthed the oldest known village during excavation works at Tel al-Samara in the province of Daqahliya, east of the Nile Delta, the Ministry of Antiquities has announced. The newly discovered village goes back to the Neolithic era, also known as the Later Stone Age in Africa.
According to chief archaeologist Frederic Gio, his team found silos containing animal bones and plant residue, indicating human habitation as early as 5,000 BC. The mission also found pottery and stone tools confirming stable communities in the moist Delta land since around 5,000 BC, before the time of the Pharaohs.
Gio explained that the discoveries made in Tel al-Samara since 2015 provide a unique opportunity for archaeologists to identify prehistoric communities that lived in the Delta for thousands of years before the First Dynasty of Egypt, and how they lived.
Ayman Ashmawy, Head of the Egyptian Antiquities sector at the Ministry of Antiquities explained that unearthing buildings pertaining to this era in this region was a first. He pointed out that buildings this old were only ever discovered in Sa al-Hagar in Gharbiya in the mid-Delta.
It is expected that the Egyptian French mission will carry on with excavations in the region during the coming season, Nadia Kheider, Head of the Central Department of Antiquities of Lower Egypt said. She explained that the analysis of discovered organic materials could provide a clearer view of the first communities which settled in the Delta, and the origin of agriculture in Egypt.