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Archaeologists discover 2,600-year-old castle that used to guard Egypt’s eastern border

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A former military castle that experts think served as a gate to Egypt‘s eastern border protecting it from the Persians 2,600 years ago has been unearthed. 

Discovered in North Sinai, the fortress is believed to date to 664-610 BC in the Psamtik era – the last before the Persian invasion in 525 BC.

Photos released from the dig reveal a number of items including metal arrow heads, stone daggers and figurines.

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An Egyptian archaeological mission has discovered remnants of a military castle (pictured) that dates back to Psamtik era from 664-610 BC in North Sinai province

An Egyptian archaeological mission has discovered remnants of a military castle (pictured) that dates back to Psamtik era from 664-610 BC in North Sinai province

The building was discovered by an Egyptian archaeological mission and has been dated to almost three millennia ago, a hundred years before the Persian invaded Egypt.

According to Mr Hussein, it has encountered serious attacks that destroyed most of its buildings.  

The remnants indicated two castles on the site and it’s thought the main castle which has 16 towers was built on the structure of an unfinished construction. 

During the excavation work, some rooms for the soldiers who were tasked with securing the castle were found.   

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said in a statement: ‘The mud brick-constructed castle that belonged to the 26th dynasty is the oldest historically,’

He added that the 85-meter-long southern wall of the castle was built on a structure of another unfinished castle.  

The remnants of two castles were found and it's thought the main castle with 16 towers was built on the structure of an unfinished construction that came before. The above pictures released by Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities shows an aerial views of the excavation

The remnants of two castles were found and it’s thought the main castle with 16 towers was built on the structure of an unfinished construction that came before. The above pictures released by Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities shows an aerial views of the excavation 

In a post on Facebook by the Ministry of Antiquities, the government agency said that it had located a tower previously standing on the north-East corner and the remains of the South-East Corner Tower, as well as parts of a southern wall. 

‘So far, the excavation works are completed to discover the remains of architectural installations inside the castle,’ the post said.

‘This is the historic castle that the mission revealed on its eastern wall in 2008 and was built on the ruins of this castle another castle that has been previously revealed on the site.’

The Psamtik era which lasted from from 664-610 BC was also known as the 26th dynasty, after which a battle led by Persian King Cambyses II defeated Psamtik III’s army at the Battle of Pelusium, a city on Egypt’s eastern frontier

Photos released from the dig revealed a number of items including metal arrow heads, stone daggers and figurines (pictured). The castle was discovered by an Egyptian archaeological mission and has been dated to almost three millennia ago

Photos released from the dig revealed a number of items including metal arrow heads, stone daggers and figurines (pictured). The castle was discovered by an Egyptian archaeological mission and has been dated to almost three millennia ago

Discovered in North Sinai (pictured), the fortress is believed to date to the Psamtik era - the last before the Persian invasion in 525 BC and could have protected it from the invaders beyond the eastern border

Discovered in North Sinai (pictured), the fortress is believed to date to the Psamtik era (664-610). King Psamtik III lost the battle at the city of Pelusium and was later executed by the invading Persians.

The excavation indicated two castles on the same site with the later castle which has 16 towers was built on an unfinished construction. The occupation of Egypt, which began in 525 BC extended the Persian Empire, shown in purple above from what is now Turkey to Afghanistan

The excavation indicated two castles on the same site with the later castle which has 16 towers was built on an unfinished construction. The occupation of Egypt, which began in 525 BC extended the Persian Empire, shown in purple above from what is now Turkey to Afghanistan

After only six months on the throne, Psamtik II went into battle with the Persian invasion led by King Cambyses II. 

The Persians crossed Sinai with assistance from the Arabs, where the battle ensued  at Pelusium. 

The Egyptian military withdrew to Memphis, the traditional capital near Cairo and Cambyses besieged the Sinai and captured it, seizing Psamtik III.

 The former king was initially well treated, but he was later executed for conspiracy against the Persians.

The Persian empire extended to a vast area that includes modern day Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and lasted  from the 6th century BC to the 20th century AD.  

WHAT WAS EGYPT’S 26TH DYNASTY? 

The Psamtik dynasty – known as the 26th dynasty – ruled over Egypt between 664BC to 525BC. 

The reigns of Psamtik I, II and III was the last era of Egyptian reign before Egypt became occupied by the Persians. 

King Psamtik I ruled Egypt from 664–610 BC and Egypt regained stability after years of political upheaval and returned to its past artistic glory.

The King also encouraged a policy of large property donations to temples by the wealthy nobility. 

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During his reign, the king expelled the Assyrians from Egypt and reunited the country, founding its 26th dynasty.

Psamtik II reigned during The Late period (664–332 BCE) of ancient Egypt, who conducted an important expedition against the kingdom of Kush, Egypt’s southern neighbour Nubia. 

 Psamtik III, was the last king  who reigned from 526–525 BCE in the 26th dynasty during The Late period of ancient Egypt.

He failed to block the Persian invasion of 525 and was later executed for treason.



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