EGYPT: Radar finds an ancient city in Nile Delta


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Beneath the flag-like fields of the Nile Delta, an ancient city lingers.

A team of Austrian archeologists using radar and satellite imaging has discovered what is believed to be an ancient city once controlled by the Hyksos, invaders from Asia who ruled Egypt from about 1664-1569 BC.


‘The pictures taken during radar [imaging] show an underground city complete with streets, houses and tombs, which gives a general overview of the urban planning of the city,’ said Zahi Hawass, director of Egypt’s office of antiquities.

The archeological find is a reminder of Egypt’s deep historical layers. It is a nation with a glorious and raucous past underfoot, waiting to be unearthed, whether it be tombs, mummies, buried boats or walls of hieroglyphics. Each discovery also makes Egyptians more determined to regain what has been hauled away from digs throughout the centuries.

The country has been trying for years to have the Rosetta Stone returned from the British Museum and for the Egyptian Museum in Berlin to give back the bust of Queen Nefertiti, which is believed to be about 3,400 years old.

‘We are the country with the loudest voice on this issue and have so far had returned about 5,000 artifacts,’ Hawass said this year at a conference on stolen art. ‘We want to know how we can learn from each other; we need to cooperate to come up with one wish list and fight until we return those artifacts back.’

-- Jeffrey Fleishman in Cairo