“Tell El-Maskhuta and the Canal of the Pharaohs” in a Lecture at the BA

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The BA Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies is organizing a lecture entitled “Tell El-Maskhuta and the Canal of the Pharaohs”, delivered by Dr. Giuseppina Capriotti, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Heritage Science, the National Research Council of Italy. It will be held on Sunday, 25 June 2023, in the BACC Delegates Hall.

Tell el-Maskhuta is an archaeological site in the eastern part of the Wadi Tumilat (eastern Delta, about 15 km west of Ismailiya), investigated for several years by the Italian archaeological mission of the Institute of Heritage Science (ISPC) of the CNR, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Tell el-Maskhuta, identified with the ancient city of Tjeku and located not far from the Suez Canal, conceals a large ancient city that owed its importance to its location along the Wadi Tumilat on Egypt's extreme northeastern border, along one of the most important routes toward the Levant. Furthermore, in ancient times, a navigable canal – the so called Canal of the Pharaohs – was dug along the Wadi Tumilat.

Ancient Tjeku was rich for international trade. Some parts of a big enclosure wall (about 200x300 m) have been excavated, in some sections preserved in all its elevation. In such a border area, the walls of Tjeku had to show the power of Egypt, its kings and its gods, to people arriving from the Levant. The northern side of the enclosure retains astonishing dimensions: about 8 meters above the current ground level and 22 meters thick.

During the recent excavation campaign, a large ramp has been found (known so far for a width of about 15 meters) which starts from the top of the town’s northern wall and descends towards the outside. Moreover, a large dump of Roman amphorae has been found. The large accumulation, only partially excavated, is a typical dump of containers that formed near a commercial harbour. The dump provides a mine of data on ancient Egyptian trade and indicates the proximity of a port on the navigable channel.

The lecture is in English and is available to the public until the maximum number of hall capacity is reached.