Ministry of Antiquities launches 2nd phase of project to document rock inscriptions in S. Sinai

Stage two of a project to document rock inscriptions has started in South Sinai, particularly in the valleys area, under the auspices of the Ministry of Antiquities.  

Nadia Khedr, Head of the Central Department of Lower Egypt’s Antiquities, said the second phase of the project aims to document hieroglyphic, Greek, Nabataean and Arabic writings, as well as engravings of animal scenes.

Khedr said the mission began its work documenting the inscriptions located in Wadi Omeira, which includes the names of the kings of the first dynasty, such as Iry-Hor, Narmer, Djer.

The mission will be documenting all inscriptions, which date back to the beginning of dynasties and until the Islamic eras, Khedr further said.

Hisham Hussein, Director General of North Sinai and head of the mission, pointed out that the mission is working to set up a data base of all rock inscriptions, noting that it would include high-resolution images and coordinates for each of the inscriptions.

State-of-the-art techniques should also be used with the aim to restore faded inscriptions and images, Hussein added.

He made it clear that the Central Training Department of the South Sinai and Red Sea Training Center will organize a training course to train archaeologists to document those historical inscriptions. Themed “Documentation of Rock Inscriptions”, the course will be organized on the sidelines of the project.

It is worth mentioning that the first phase of the project of documenting the rock inscriptions included the sites of Wadi Al Dom , Al Silik, Al Rasais and Al Ain Sokhna in the Suez Antiquities area. 

The idea behind the project is to preserve the rock art and inscriptions, which are of inestimable historical value,especially given that most of them lie in remote desert areas hard to guard.

The rock inscriptions belong to a well-known type of Egyptian text, often called“graffiti”. In Antiquity, carving inscriptions or drawings on rocks was a very common practice, performed by everyone, from the king to ordinary people.

The rock inscriptions preserve the largest and earliest documentation of the development and formation of the Ancient Egyptian writing system. 

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