CAIRO: A collection of documents dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, have been found by chance in the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) storerooms, announced Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al Damaty Monday.
The documents comprise maps, architectural diagrams, and letters exchanged between Egypt’s antiquities organizations and Egyptologists who were excavating in Egypt at that time, including Gaston Maspero, Jacques de Morgan, Pierre Lacau, and Howard Carter, Damaty said in a statement published on the ministry’s Facebook page Monday.
The findings also include documents related to two Egyptian families; El Gabry and Fayed, who were known as antiquity collectors at that time. The antiquities trade was legal in Egypt until the protection of antiquities law was issued in 1983.
A committee has been formed to study and archive the collection of documents. “These are the oldest documents found in the history of the Antiquities Ministry,” Hisham El Leithy, director general of the Egyptian Antiquities Registration Center.
“Coordination has been made with the Papyrus Restoration Department at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to investigate the documents and preparing an immediate restoration plan then digitally registering them before and after restoration,” said Al Leithy.