USAID completes ancient passageway of Memphis

25-09-2017 03:13 PM

Mariam Adly


USAID completes ancient passageway of Memphis

A recent ceremony has been held in Cairo by the Ministry of Antiquities to celebrate the completion of development of Mit Rahina archaeological site. The celebration was attended by Minister of Antiquities Khaled Enani; Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr; Giza governor Kamal al-Dali; Chargé d’Affaires Thomas Goldberger of the US Embassy in Cairo; American archaeologist Mark Lehner, director of Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA); as well as a number of ambassadors of European countries and US.

The Mit Rihana project aimed at preserving the cultural heritage of Memphis, Egypt’s first capital in ancient times, through development of the region’s archaeological passageway, in addition to documenting and developing it. Dr Enani said the project was launched in August 2015 with funding by USAID, within the context of joint cooperation agreement between Egypt and the US.

Dr Nasr stressed that there was collaboration between the ministries of investment and antiquities to inject new investment and grants in archaeological and heritage projects, including the Egyptian Museum. A grant from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) worth USD9.2 million was thus directed to the Mit Rahina archaeological area project.

“This project is an investment in both the past and the future,” said Mr Goldberger. “The United States is committed to continuing partnership with the Ministry of Antiquities to conserve Egypt’s cultural heritage and increase tourism.”

Many tourists visit the colossal limestone statue of Ramses the Great at Memphis, but fewer visit the surrounding eight sites where archaeologists have excavated important parts of Memphis. These sites include the Great Temple of Ptah, the Apis House (a major tourist stop in Roman times), a temple to Hathor, a New Kingdom shrine, and a series of early tombs and residences. The passageway includes new signs developed with USAID support by Ministry of Antiquities field school students, and will encourage visitors to learn more about ancient Memphis.

Watani International

25 September 2017

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