Archeologists discover ancient site used by Egyptian pharaoh on march to expand his kingdom

The multi-room structure in Sinai Peninsula hosted Thutmose III’s troops over 3,500 years ago.

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has announced that archaeologists have uncovered a multi-room structure in the northern Sinai Peninsula that may have served as a rest stop for the troops of Pharaoh Thutmose III over 3,500 years ago. 

During his reign, Thutmose III expanded ancient Egypt from a kingdom into an empire, securing more territory than any other predecessors. His military campaigns included marches across the Sinai Peninsula into the Middle East, and this newly discovered "rest house" provides rare evidence of those expeditions.

Egyptian researchers found the mud-brick building at the Tel Habwa archaeological site.

A hieroglyphic inscription indicates the structure dates to the 18th Dynasty, during Thutmose's rule from 1479 to 1425 BCE. The building features two halls supported by limestone columns connected to several rooms.

Excavation leader Ramadan Helmy, director of the North Sinai Antiquities Area, said the building was dated based on artifacts such as pottery and items bearing Thutmose's name. He believes that one of Thutmose's armies used the rest house during campaigns to expand the Egyptian empire eastward.

The building was later fortified with a wall and an east-facing main gate. The architectural design and the scarcity of pottery fragments suggest it was used as a royal rest house, the ministerial statement reads.

The rest house is located near the "Horus Road," an ancient path across the Sinai Peninsula dotted with military structures. It is one of many buildings found at Tel Habwa (also known as Tharu), an archaeological site about 100 miles northeast of Cairo.

The New Kingdom, starting around 1550 BCE with Ahmose I, spanned the 18th, 19th, and 20th Dynasties, marking a period of stability and prosperity, including Thutmose’s military expansions.

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