Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities last week announced a new discovery in Elkab desert in Edfu, in the southern region of Aswan. The discovery was made by a joint Egyptian-Yale University archaeological mission, and involved the uncovering of a flint quarrying area that dates back to several archaeological periods.
The discovery was made during work at the Elkab Desert Archaeological Survey Project at Bir Umm Tineidba, and included a wealth of archaeological and epigraphic material, as well as stunning rock art sites that go back to the Pre-Dynastic and Proto-Dynastic periods. Burial tumuli of the Proto-Dynastic period were also found, as well as another thus-far unrecorded Late Roman settlement.
Ayman Ashmawi, Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Antiquities Ministry, said that the site was known as the Lost Oasis.
John Coleman Darnielen, head of Yale University team, said that the mission found three rock art sections revealing important scenes of the Naqada II and Naqada III Dynasties (ca. 3500-3100 BC), providing evidence for the continuity and interaction of artistic styles of the Eastern Desert and Nile Valley.
“The most impressive image may be dated to ca. 3300 BC, depicting animals, including a bull, a giraffe, an addax, a barbary sheep and donkeys,” Darnielen said. He said that the inscription found may be the oldest from of writing Egyptians used, and predates hieroglyphs.
Wadi Umm Tineidba is also the location of several burial tumuli, one was the burial place of a woman of aged 25-35.
She was probably one of the local desert elite and was buried with at least one vessel in the standard Nilotic style. Buried with her was a strand of Red Sea shells and carnelian beads, indicating her desert and Red Sea associations.
19 June 2018