La misión arqueológica austríaca, del Centro Arqueológico Austríaco en Egipto, ha hallado un frgamento de un sello con escritura cuneiforme datado en las últimas décadas del Reino Babilónico.
Culture Minister Farouk Hosni made the announcement today, adding that the seal impression was found inside a pit that cuts into layers of the Late Period in Tel El-Daba, an archaeological site in the Sharqiya governorate, 120 km north-east Cairo.
Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the seal impression bears the name of a top governmental official who lived during the old Babylonian era, during the reign of king Hammurabi ( 1792-1750 1792-1750 BC).
`This is the second cuneiform seal impression of this type to be found´, Hawass pointed out, adding that the first example was unearthed last year inside the well of the palace of the Hyksos king Khayan ( 1653-1614 1653-1614 BC).
Dr. Manfred Bietak, the head of the Austrian mission, said that both seal impressions are of great archaeological importance, as they are the oldest to be found in Egypt. They are dated to 150 years before the cuneiform correspondence found in the capital of Akhenaten at Tel El-Amarna. `They are evidence that the Hyksos had foreign relations and extensive connections in the Near East that at this time reached southern Mesopotamia´, concluded Bietak.
Dr. Irene Forstner Muller, director of the mission, said that excavations carried out by the mission at aTel El-Daba can be dated back to 2006 when they found a palace dating to the middle of the Hyksos reign ( 1664-1565 1664-1565 BC). Inside it they unearthed a number of seals of a well known Hyksos king. The mission also found an old house with several rooms and yards along with a collection of round containers, animal bones and glasses.
The remains of a 5th Dynasty edifice were also found for the first time in this area, which houses a number of rooms, halls and yards that may have been used for administrative purposes.