The Pennsylvania     State University 1997

LogoExcavations at Tel er-Rub'a (Ancient Mendes)

The Mendes siteUnderway since 1990, the expedition to Mendes seeks to reveal the secrets of one of the largest and longest-lived ancient cities in Egypt, and, in the process, to undertake an in-depth study of ancient urbanism and trade. Already the excavations have revealed evidence of a dramatic destruction by fire of the temple of the Ram-god at the close of the Old Kingdom (c. 2200 B.C.), and a concomitant massacre. From the 7th through 3rd centuries B.C., the city thrived on foreign trade (particularly in perfume and wine) with countries all over the Mediterranean, especially Phoenicia and Greece. From 399 to 379 B.C. Mendes enjoyed the status of royal city, and the tomb of one of the kings of the period, Neferites I, has come to light. Two harbours have been uncovered with their warehouses, along with evidence of a massive annihilation of the city at the hands of the invading Persians in 313 B.C. There are many historical and archaeological problems still to be addressed, and many fascinating questions to be answered; but our experience suggests that the answers are there, and an abundance of evidence waiting to be unearthed.
Part of the Mendes team with a drain


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Published 11/10/2000.
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