Nile revealing its secrets

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Artefacts immersed in the Nile at Aswan and a 19th-Dynasty funerary collection in Luxor are the most recent discoveries in Egypt, as Nevine El-Aref reports.


It is surely in the quiet and relaxing city of Aswan that the Nile is at its most beautiful. The river flows through an amber desert, past granite rocks and round emerald islands smothered in palm groves and tropical plants. This peaceful scene, however, was disturbed last week by archaeologists shouting and yelling at one another from their moored yacht while they carried out the delicate task of hoisting a decorative object from the bed of the river where it had lain for more than 2,500 years.

It was one of several newly-found artefacts that sank beneath the ripples of the shifting Nile off the shore beside the Old Cataract Hotel, across the river from the legendary Elephantine Island where relics remain of stone temples dating from various eras in the history of ancient Egypt, along with the Roman Nilometre.

"Look what our young Egyptian archaeologist- divers have found on the Nile bed," Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), told Al-Ahram Weekly. "The Nile is revealing its secrets. The four-month-long underwater survey is finally yielding its fruits."

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