During routine excavations at the Ain Al-Sabil area of Dakhla oasis, an Egyptian mission of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) stumbled on what it believes to be a Coptic settlement dating back to the 4th century AD.
Mostafa Amin, the Secretary General of the SCA, made the announcement, explaining that the newly discovered settlement consists of remains of residential houses and service buildings as well as a large Basilica with distinguished columns and a wooden alter adorned with foliage decoration and icons showing Jesus, the Virgin Mary, angels and saints.
“I am very happy with what the mission has found; because it is the first time this area was explored,” Amin told Ahram Online. He continued that this new discovery not only forms another another archaeological attraction but “will lead us to other settlements that can be dated to different eras as well.”
The Head of Islamic and Coptic Antiquities department, Mohsen Sayed Aly said that excavators also uncovered a number of houses, bronze coins dating to the 3rd and 4th century AD, as well as a collection of clay pots. Aly pointed out that one complete and fully furnished house was found. It consist of a large hall enclosing several small living rooms, a kitchen, an oven and a large staircase.
Excavations are now in full swing, aiming in order to uncover more of the city.