Part of long-lost Pelusiac branch of Nile uncovered in Egypt's Qantara

Nevine El-Aref , Monday 14 Sep 2015

The ancient water-way was a key transport link for the 26th Dynasty and was lost to silt around two millennia ago

Excavation work at Tel Al-Dafna

Excavations by an Egyptian mission at the Tel Al-Dafna archaeological site in Qantara have uncovered a 200 metre section of the long-lost Pelusiac branch of the Nile.

The Pelusiac branch was the major navigational byway into the delta from Sinai which once divided the ancient Qantara city into east and west.

Kilns discovered

Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, head of the mission, told Ahram Online that the first ever complete industrial city was uncovered at Qantara. It includes a collection of kilns used to melt iron and bronze in weapon-making for Egyptian army during the 26th dynasty (664-525 AD).

He said the antiquities minister has ordered more archaeologists and excavators to work at the site in order to reveal more of the Pelusiac branch and of the industrial city.

The course of the Pelusiac branch has been traced on a deltaic plain east of the Suez Canal, between the El Baqar Canal and Tell El-Farama (ancient Pelusium). Two minor distributaries branched northward.

The critical stage in the process of the silting of the lower reaches of the Pelusiac branch, due to beach accretion, occurred around 25 AD. Ancient ruins in the area are closely associated with the waterway.

Excavation team with the minister of antiquities and Abdel Maqsoud

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