Illegal excavation uncovers ancient wells in Cairo building
Egyptian security forces

CAIRO: Ancient wells were discovered under a building in el-Gamaliya district of Old Cairo by the police after the owner of the block reported suspicious digging, Youm7 reported Wednesday.

The Tourism and Antiquities police inspected the digging, found the old wells and passages leading to “underground homes.”

A committee formed by the Antiquities Ministry said the wells date back to the Fatimid era, which lasted from 973 to 1171.

Last September ancient water storage tanks were uncovered under Al-Azhar Mosque, which also dates back to the Fatimid era, during renovation work.

Old Cairo is home to many Islamic antiquities, some of which are masterpieces of the Islamic architecture and art. The city was originally called Fustat, the first capital of Egypt under Islamic rule in 641; it was enlarged and renamed Cairo during the Fatimid rule.

The Egyptian capital, currently with a population of 9.1 million, has been sprawling ever since. Adjacent Giza, part of Greater Cairo, has a population of 7.3 million, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in 2014.

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