A Travellerspoint blog

Rashed or Rosetta

the site where French scholar Jean-Francois Champollion discovered the historic Rosetta stone

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Rasheed is located 65km east of Alexandria. It offered the world the key to the Hieroglyphs, the Rosetta stone which revealed the secrets of the great ancient Egyptian civilization. Rasheed resisted, under the leadership of Governor Ali Bey Al-Salanki and Head of Noblemen Sheik Hassan Kirit, the 1807 Frazer military expedition.

Rasheed was known as Khito, a hieroglyphic word meaning "the populace", under king Menes reign. It was famed for military chariots manufacture in the XXVI Dynasty. Under king Minfitah, Rasheed powerfully resisted the Greek and Sicilian attacks.

Rasheed hosted a garrison established under Psammetichus I. In the Coptic era, Rasheed was known as "Rasheet". Rasheed governorate’s National Day on 19 September marks the day when the lionhearted people of Rasheed conquered the British army. In 1956, late President Gamal Abd Al-Naser inaugurated Rasheed Museum within the framework of Rasheed’s National Day celebrations.

Mosques on the land of Rasheed
All Rasheed’s mosques were built in the Turkish-Mameluke architectural style. Simplicity and soft ornaments characterize the minarets, domes and facades.
Zaghloul Mosque: Built in 1545, Zaghloul mosque is Rasheed’s oldest and largest mosques. It is named after Mameluke Zaghloul IX. It has 244 granite and marble columns and 200 domes. From its minaret, the people of Rasheed were called to fight the British invaders. It has an area of 4,000 square meters and locates at the southern entrance to Rasheed. Zaghloul mosque, following suit of Al Azhar, graduated religious heralds.

Sidi Ali Al-Mahali: It was established in 1134 Hegira. It consists of 99 columns in various shapes, 6 doors, a nave, an ablution yard covered by a sunshade erected over 12 columns and a library containing 200 valuable books donated by AL-Garem family.
Al-Gendi mosque: It was built in honor of the memory of Prince Mohammed AL-Gendi in 1973. It has 39 columns. Other mosques are Al-Abassi mosque established to Mohammed Bay Tabozada in 1809, Sheik Toqa mosque erected in 1711, Al-Orabi mosque which locates next to Rasheed entrance, Papa Hassan mosque and Al-Samet mosque.

Gold coins and earthen lampstands were excavated in the peninsula of Abu Mandour which was long ago called "the hill of happiness" despite the copious graves dug in its land.

Ancient Buildings

Rasheed has two groups of ancient buildings. The first group which locates in the king’s Passageway Street (Dahliz Al-Malek) consists of Kohai, Basyoni, Ramadan, Maharem, Abuhum houses as well as Elwan’s house and agency where leader Ahmed Orabi met Rasheed’s famous merchant Mohammed Elwan. The second group comprising Al-Amsili, Al-Kanadili, Thabet, Tabq, Al-Toqatli, Galal, Al-Manadili and Al-Bawab locates in Sheik Qandil Street. Each house of the second group has its own bathroom containing a stove for heating water and a massage mastaba .

Public Lavatories
Rasheed has a 300-year-old public lavatory known as Azouz lavatory which contains 2 baths, 4 rooms for rinse and massage, ablution rooms, a sauna as well as a room where brides get their hair styled and make-up done. Azouz, owner of the lavatory, lived in an apartment in the second floor above the lavatory.

The Antique’s Craft Institution
In 1986, President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak inaugurated the Antique’s Craft Institution with 30 workers in the fields of carpentry and carpet weaving. The institution provides restoration necessaries.

Rasheed National Museum

Towards the middle of the 18th c., Hussein Arabi, Governor of Rasheed, established a 4-storey building. The archives which locates at the first storey hosts transcripts of manuscripts belonging to the Ancient Egyptian Art Revival Center while the second and third are designed to host 334 antiques, the most remarkable of which are the marbles, vessel holders and gravestones bearing inscriptions in Kufic writing. The Central Park facing the museum has two gravestones dating to the Mameluke age.

Marine Sports
Rasheed enjoys an agricultural extension with a background of palm trees which is suitable for yachting and has touristic potentials.
Rasheed, the land of 1 million palm trees Rasheed produces 50,000 ton/year of dates and provides seedlings locally as well as internationally. Many handicrafts hence emerged producing chairs, baskets, rope and divans using palm branches.

Burg Rasheed Citadel

The village of Burg Rasheed locates 7 kilometers away from Rasheed governorate. The Mameluke Sultan Qayitbay built in it a citdael similar to that bearing his name which he built in Alexandria. Burg Rasheed citadel is however less in area and is architecturally simpler. It is surrounded by water from three sides. It was built for defensive purposes on a spot where the River Nile meets the Mediterranean sea. It hosts a large mosque.

In 1799, a stone bearing the name of Btolemy V was found inside the citadel. The stone is made of black basalt, is 3 feet high and 2 feet in width. The stone details the meeting of Memphis’ priests to crown Ptolemy V after he conferred money and crop upon temples, exempted the Egyptian people from half of the taxes and debts and declared amnesty for all prisoners as well. In 1985, President Mubarak gave the go-ahead for the restoration of the citadel.

Posted by Aladdino 13:46 Archived in Egypt Comments (0)

Excavations at Karnak temple in Egypt might change its histo

Egyptian archaeologists have made several important discoveries at the Karnak temple in Luxor, which might lead to reconsideration of the history and landscape of the site.


A report in Al-Ahram Weekly states that the findings, which emerged after 18 months of excavation at the front of the temple, include a Ptolemaic ceremonial bath, a private ramp for the 25th-Dynasty Pharaoh Taharqa, a large number of bronze coins, an ancient dock and the remains of a wall that once protected the temples of Karnak from the rising Nile flood.

Another important discovery was of a sandstone embankment wall built some 3,000 years ago to reinforce the bank of the river, which has since moved.

This wall has generally been interpreted as the eastern limit of a huge lake dug in front of the sanctuary and linked to the river by a channel.

Accoridng to Mansour Boraik, general supervisor of antiquities in Luxor, the discovery of the embankment had changed the thinking about the features of the temple's ancient façade.

Previous theories, based on depictions found in several 18th- Dynasty private tombs, were based on the view that Karnak Temple was linked to the Nile by a canal through a rectangular pool dug in front of the temple.

This theory held until December 2007, when Egyptian excavators found another part of the same wall several metres away from the first.
Archaeologists now believe that the pool depicted in ancient drawings was backfilled in ancient times and that the temple was expanded on top of it, built out to the edge of where the Nile flowed 3,000 years ago.
"It is a very important discovery that changes the landscape of the whole of Luxor city," Boraik told Al-Ahram Weekly.

This will also allow excavations to uncover the ancient harbour and canal that once connected the temple to the Nile.

According to an old map, the ancient Egyptians used this canal to gain access to the west bank of the river in a position corresponding to Hatshepsut's Deir Al-Bahari Temple, which was built on the same axis.
Among other discoveries, a number of Ptolemaic clay pots and pans were unearthed during excavations, among them a large jar containing 360 bronze coins dating from the Ptolemaic and Byzantine eras.
One of the most important discoveries in the area was the remains of a great circular Ptolemaic bath (dated 2nd century BC) with an intricate mosaic tiled floor and seating for 16 people, with some seats flanked by dolphin statuettes.

According to Egyptologist Tareq Al-Awadi , director of the Abusir archaeological site, archaeologists had also found a giant ramp leading up to the temple complex and inscribed with the name of Pharaoh Taharqa , who ruled in the late seventh century BC.

The ramp probably served as the ruler's personal dock area, extending directly into the Nile to allow the Pharaoh to transfer directly from his boat to the temple.
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Posted by Aladdino 09:11 Comments (0)

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