In a gala ceremony at Edfu Temple on Friday, the antiquities ministry celebrated the completion of a three-year project to remove groundwater from the site.
Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany told Ahram Online that the project was “very important” because it has constructed a drainage system to lower the groundwater level that threatened the walls of the temple in Aswan.
The Edfu Temple Groundwater Lowering Project was carried out in collaboration with the American Research Centre in Egypt and the housing ministry, with a fund of EGP25.5 million provided by USAID and the National Authority for Water and Wastewater.
Mahmoud Afifi, head of the ministry's Ancient Egyptian Department, said that the project started in August 2013 and was in two phases; the first one was completed in June 2014 while the second was finished last September.
The head of the projects department at the ministry, Waadalla Abu El-Ela, said that eight wells were constructed at depths of eight metres, to pump groudwater out of the temple.
(courtesy of the ministry of antiquities
Nasr Salama, the head of antiquities for Aswan governorate, told Ahram Online that during the work, archaeologists unearthed a collection of pots and pans that are dated to the Old Kingdom era and the Late Period, as well as a collection of coffins and human remains.
The gala ceremony was attended by the US's ambassador to Egypt, R. Stephen Beecroft; the director of USAID, Sherry Carlin; the governor of Aswan, Magdy Hegazy, and top officials from the antiquities ministry.
The temple, built in the Ptolemaic period to worship Horus, is one of the best preserved in Egypt.
El-Enany and Beecroft and Hegazy during the opening ceremony
(courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities)