The power of the last dynasty of the native Egyptians (26th Dynasty) was snuffed out by the invading Persians – a political outcome often epitomized by the decisive Battle of Pelusium in circa 525 BC. However, one of the lingering legacies of this power has been visited by the archaeologists in the recent years, and it pertains to the ruins of a massive Egyptian fortress at the Tell El-Kedwa site in North Sinai. And while few sections of the ancient military complex were already unearthed during 2008, the sheer size of the fortress stopped them from assessing it entirely. And now in 2019, the researchers have successfully excavated major parts of the citadel – thus making it “one of the oldest fortresses to be discovered” in Egypt, according to Moustafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
In this year’s excavation project, the archaeologists came across the remnants of a later-built military outpost atop this Egyptian fortress site. However, harking back to the fortress itself, the researchers studied the girth of the older walls, with some sections boasting 23 ft (7 m) of width, complemented by four towers. The ‘succeeding’ layers constructed atop the core citadel even boast bigger defensive measures, with some walls sections having 36 ft (11 m) width, accompanied by 16 towers.
As for the older fortifications, the archaeologists discovered certain chambers filled with sand, debris, and broken pottery – and these sections may have served as support for the thick walls. Some of the chambers may have also functioned as passages for rainwater drainage, which was a typical architectural feature from the 26th Dynasty period.
Lastly, the researchers have also found the remnants of a mighty 280 ft (85 m) long wall on the southern side of this ancient Egyptian fortress along with dwellings that were built along the western part of the citadel. One of these houses contained an amulet inscribed with the name of King Psamtik I (or Psammetichus, as known to Greeks) – the Egyptian ruler of the 26th Dynasty known for winning against the Nubians, Libyans, and even the Assyrians, with the latter act restoring the (brief) independence of the ancient Egyptians.
Now in terms of chronology, Psamtik I died in circa 610 BC. Preliminary assessment of the ruins at Tell El-Kedwa also suggests a similar time frame when the ancient Egyptian fortress was constructed.
Via: Live Science
Image Credits: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities