Egypt announces discovery of ancient port used by temple builders

Port along Nile runs from quarries

Egypt Ministry of Antiquities via CNN

Archeologists have uncovered the main port used to transport stone along the Nile River to build ancient temples.

(CNN) - An ancient port used to transport stones for the construction of temples and obelisks has been discovered in Egypt, according to the country's Ministry of Antiquities.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, the ministry said the main port used to transport stone along the Nile River from the quarries of Gebel el-Silsila was uncovered during an archaeological expedition excavating the ruins of Kom Ombo near Aswan.

The port on the Nile's west bank extends over 100 meters (328 feet) and lies about 200 meters from a large quarry, according to Mustafa Waziri, the secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

River silt and greenery were cleared from the area, revealing inscriptions and mechanisms for tying the boats.

Gebel el-Silsila is an important source of sandstone in Egypt. Abdul Mouneim Saeed, director general of Aswan and Nubia Antiquities Council, said that it has been widely used from the 18th dynasty into the modern era.

Stone used to build temples such as Al Karnak, Habu, Kom Ombo and Dendera was mostly cut in the area's quarries, Saeed said, according to the announcement.

The port's discovery is the latest in a series of recent archaeological announcements. Egypt is hoping to increase tourism interest in a destination that suffered following a 2011 uprising.

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