In pictures: an ancient cave discovered “by chance” in South Sinai


Source: Cairo – Reem El-Shishtawy

It was recently Discovering an ancient cave It dates back to 10,000 BC in the city of Saint Catherine of the South Sinai Governorate.

The archaeological mission of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities documented the colorful archaeological inscriptions found in the cave located about 60 km south of the eastern Serabit el-Khadem and 30 km north of Saint Catherine.

Dr. Mustafa Al-Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, explained that this cave is located in a difficult terrain called “Zaranij”, and it is of sandstone with a depth of about 3 meters and a height of 3.5 meters while its width is 22 meters.

He added this Disclosure is the first of its kind Which is revealed in the region of South Sinai, and it was found by chance according to the notification of one of the desert adventurers in the region.

For his part, Dr. Ayman Ashmawi, Head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, pointed out that the cave contains many colorful inscriptions, some on the ceiling of the cave and others on the stone blocks falling on the floor of the cave.

Inside the cave, the expedition also found large quantities of animal droppings indicating its use as a shelter for the Bedouins and livestock to protect against rain, storms and hail.

For his part, Dr. Hisham Hussein, Director General of North Sinai Archeology and head of the archaeological mission, pointed out that the discovered inscriptions depict many different scenes that It dates back to different eras.

It was divided into a number of groups: The first group is drawn on the oldest layer of the ceiling of the cave, and can be dated initially for the period between 5500 to 10 thousand years BC. This group features a dark red color and includes drawings of animals such as donkey and mule. The inscriptions also included a group of human paws painted on the ceiling of the cave and on one of the rocks, and handprints were found in the middle of the cave.

The second group of reliefs is likely to be from the copper age and includes drawings of women, along with scenes of animals. Finally, officials suggest that the third set of reliefs dates from the post-Christmas period, depicting people in a camel’s hawjd.

Dr. Hisham Hussein stressed that the mission will complete its work and survey the entire region, pointing out that the mission started its work in South Sinai during the past year and has documented a number of valleys in the Serabit Al-Khadim area.


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