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World's oldest port, dating back to 4,500 years, found in Egypt

world Updated: Apr 22, 2013 01:47 IST
Pharaoh Khufu

Archaeologists have discovered what is believed to be the world's oldest harbour in Egypt. The harbour on the Red Sea coast dates back to 4,500 years and belonged to the days of the Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops) who died around 2566 BC.

A French-Egyptian archaeological mission discovered the port at Wadi Al-Jarf area, 180 km south of Sueze, Egypt State Information Service reported. The team also discovered quite a few ancient papyri.

"Evidence unearthed at the site shows that it predates by more than 1,000 years any other port structure known in the world," Pierre Tallet, Egyptologist at the University of Paris-Sorbonne and director of the archaeological mission, told the Discovery News.

The harbour was considered one of the most important commercial ports where copper and other minerals used to be exported from Sinai. A few vessel anchors carved in stone have also also discovered.

Egypt's Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim announced that a collection of 40 papyri, showing the details of daily life during the reign of King Khufu was also unearthed.

"These are the oldest papyri ever found in Egypt," said Ibrahim. He also stated that these papyri are very important because they reveal more information about the ancient Egyptians'.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is a testament to Khufu's power.