The Supreme Council of Antiquities announced on Monday that an Egyptian archaeological mission working in Wadi Al-Nasab in South Sinai unearthed the remains of a building that is believed to have been used as a headquarters for the leader of mining expeditions in Sinai during the Ancient Egyptian Middle Kingdom era.
Ayman Ashmawy, the Head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said that the preliminary studies indicate that the building consisted of two floors; the first one had two halls, two rooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a staircase that leads to the second floor.
Ashmawy added that in the middle of some rooms inside the first floor, the mission found some column bases, which means that they were used to install and support the ceiling.
Mustafa Nour Al-Din, the Head of the Mission and Director of the Scientific Centre for Training in South Sinai and the Red Sea, said that the study also proved that this building had been used since its construction during the Middle Kingdom as a headquarters for mining missions, but it was abandoned during the second transitional era and then re-used during the era of the modern state, then neglected again.
He explained that archaeological and scientific evidence indicates that the building was also exploited during the Roman era; where some internal modifications were implemented to the building, such as making an entrance to it from the north side, adding separating walls between the halls, and using some rooms as workshops for smelting copper.
“In the upper layers of the building, the mission found copper smelting furnaces and metal processing areas, in addition to four copper ingots, each weighing between 1,200 and 1,300 grams,” according to Nour El-Din.
Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri said that this mission is the first ever to carry out excavations in the Wadi Al-Nasab area. He explained that the discovered building is located in a distinct area in the middle of the valley and in the middle of the copper and turquoise mining areas.