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Maltese Claims Extraordinary Discovery in Sahara Desert

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  • Kim Noyes
    *Maltese claims extraordinary discovery in Sahara desert * ** Explorers just returning from the Sahara desert have claimed they found a remarkable relic
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2008
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      *Maltese claims extraordinary discovery in Sahara desert * ** Explorers
      just returning from the Sahara desert have claimed they found a remarkable
      relic from Pharaonic times.

      Mark Borda and Mahmoud Marai, from Malta and Egypt respectively, were
      surveying a field of boulders on the flanks of a hill deep in the Libyan
      desert some 700 kilometres west of the Nile Valley when engravings on a
      large rock consisting of hieroglyphic writing, Pharaonic cartouche, an image
      of the king and other Pharaonic iconography came into view.

      Mr Borda would not reveal the precise location in order to protect the site.

      He explained the far-reaching implications of the find for Egyptology.
      "Although very active in the Eastern Desert, as attested to by the
      innumerable inscriptions they left behind, there is very little evidence for
      the presence of the ancient Egyptians in the much larger and harsher Western

      "The consensus among Egyptologists is that the Egyptians did not penetrate
      this desert any further than the area around Djedefre's Water Mountain. This
      is a sandstone hill about 80 kilometres south west of the Dakhla Oasis that
      contains hieroglyphic inscriptions. Its discovery in 2003 by the German
      explorer Carlo Bergmann caused a sensation as it extended the activities of
      the Pharaonic administrations an unprecedented 80 kilometres further out
      into the unknown and waterless Western Desert. The find we just made is some
      650 kilometres further on!! Egyptologists will be dumbstruck by this news."

      But that is not all. As soon as he emerged from the desert Mr Borda flew to
      London to discuss the find with Maltese Egyptologist Aloisia De Trafford
      from the Institute of Archaeology (University College London).

      She immediately facilitated a preliminary decipherment of the text via Joe
      Clayton, an ancient languages specialist who lectures on hieroglyphic
      writing at Birkbeck College at the same university.

      Mr Borda continues, "Within a matter of days the short text was yielding
      astonishing revelations. In the annals of Egyptian history there are
      references to far off lands that the pharaohs had traded with but none of
      these have ever been positively located.

      "It turns out that the script we found states the name of the region where
      it was carved, which is none other than the fabled land of Yam, one of the
      most famous and mysterious nations that the Egyptians had traded with in Old
      Kingdom times; a source of precious tropical woods and ivory.

      "Its location has been debated by Egyptologists for over 150 years but it
      was never imagined it could be 700 kilometres west of the Nile in the middle
      of the Sahara desert."

      Speculation about the extent to which the Egyptians penetrated the Western
      Desert gained momentum in the 1990s when it was determined that caches of
      pottery discovered all along the Abu Ballas Trail by Bergmann, where
      determined to be of XVIIIth Dynasty manufacture.

      *During this period it was also realised that the central stone in the
      famous Tutankamun pectoral was made of Libyan Desert Glass, which is only
      found just north of the Gilf, 700 kilometres west of the Nile. Egyptologists
      however, concluded that the Egyptian pottery on the Abu Ballas Trail was
      probably transported there by desert dwellers who were trading with the
      Egyptians, and that Tutankamun's natural glass also got to the Nile via such
      desert peoples.*



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