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Traveling to Tell El Maskhuta

Tell El Maskhuta (Tal El-Maskhouta) is a city in the eastern Delta located near Abu Sweir Village, about 15km west of the city of Ismaliya. It was the capital of the 8th Lower nome during the Late Period and the center of worshipping god Atum (Atom). Its ancient name was ‘Per-Atom’ (“Atom’s City” or the “House of Atum”). Excavations were undertaken at this rich archeological site by Edouard Naville in 1883. Found at the site were ruined remains of a temple of Atum and some other mud-brick structures. Here, there are remains from the Middle Kingdom, the Hyksos Era, the New Kingdom, the Late Pharaonic Period as well as two coffins pertaining to the Ptolemaic Era, one of basalt and the other of alabaster. Archeologists maintained that the city produced archaeological evidence of the Hyksos culture: Some two-handled stone jars and non-Egyptian pottery and ceramics influenced by Canaanite techniques with a distinctive decorative style of vessels were found. Some antiquities pertaining to the Greco-Roman Period were also found. Among the most significant finds in the site is a red granite statue of the ‘Great inspector of the Palace’, Ankh-khered-nefer (now in the British Museum). It is said that it encouraged visitors to recite offering prayers. Also discovered in the site was a granite statue (also displayed in the same museum) with the shape of a falcon representing god Re-Horakhty.

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