Posted in Africa | June 22, 2010 | 1

One of the biggest surprises to the archaeological world came about when a group of Austria archaeologists uncovered what may be the biggest find of this year. They have found remains of a 3500 year old Egyptian town which was completely buried under the earth in the northeastern region of the Nile Delta.

The Austrian archaeological mission was in Tell El-Dab’a when they managed to unearth this splendid secret of the past. It is being believed that this city is likely to be ‘Avaris’, which in records, is said to be the capital of the Hyskos rulers. This ancient city being discovered in Egypt is a reason to celebrate for many researchers, as this may be the link they were looking for.

Who were the Hyskos?

The thirteenth and the fourteenth dynasties of the Egyptian lands were captured by the Hyskos rulers. Hyskos, literally translated, means ‘Princes of foreign lands’. These rulers were native to Asia, but they incorporated the Egyptian culture and ruled over the entire expanse of Egypt as ‘Pharaohs’. Their capital was called Avaris, and was said to be quite a bustling center for most activities.

They were said to be quite innovative in their methods of warfare. The biggest contribution that they made to the Egyptian culture, which continued to have its effects later on as well, would be the composite bow and the horse-drawn chariot. These have been seen in the millions of wall paintings that have been discovered that date back to the period of these dynasties.

Thebes turned into their successors by establishing the Seventeenth dynasty. They laid siege to Avaris; and when Ahmosis took over the entire kingdom by expelling the existing Hyskos rulers, a new era began for the country.

What did the archaeologists find?

A geophysical survey was conducted of the region and it allowed them to identify parts of Avaris, which is located in current day Nile Delta. Close to the modern day town of Tal al-Dabaa, this area comes just a little northeast of Cairo.

Urban planning

Radar pictures were taken of the area, and they showed up images of an underground city replete with streets, houses and tombs. This gives us proof about the extent of urban planning even at that point of time.

Irene Muller, who headed the Austrian mission, claims that there is proof of them having a port inside the city as well, which helps show how meticulous the planners of those days were. One of the Nile river tributaries also passed through this city, and there was evidence of two islands as well.

When Egyptians returned to power, in their hatred for the foreign rulers, they destroyed all the monuments erected by Hyskos rulers. This discovery, then, comes as a blessing to those who wish to further research the history of the period.

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