Baku, January 2, AZERTAC
Over 10,000 discovered artefacts heralding from the Ancient Egyptian city of Naukratis are revealing an abundance of information about a trading port which the Ancient Greeks established there. Led by the British museum, an excavation of the area, which sits on the Nile Delta, unearthed discoveries such as shrines to deities, jewellery, amulets and statues, among many other items, in Greece's earliest settlement in the north African country.
The findings also reveal a significant trading network between the two ancient powerhouses and other cities around the world. Excavations of the city first began in 2012 and the British Museum has given a better insight to the city which was once believed to be a small town that measured just 30 hectares.
The name translates from Greek to "mistress of ships" and some of the findings include fragments from ancient boats. Dr Ross Thomas, the British Museum curator who leads the project, told the Guardian's Observer: "It's exceptionally rare. To find [Greek ships] this far into Egypt is exciting.
"Previously, people thought the ships just stopped at the Mediterranean [coast] and offloaded on to barges. We can now confirm for the first time that seagoing vessels travelled this far into Egypt."
He added that the excavations suggest that in its prime, the city once was the home to 16,000 residents and that inscriptions around the city detail the lives of the inhabitants. "There are more Greek inscriptions of the sixth century from Naukratis than in any Greek sanctuary. They tell us a lot about the traders: there are some women represented; usually it's just male traders. There are characters that also appear in other Greek cities, so we can start to track where people are coming from."
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