Photo courtesy Supreme Council of Antiquities
CAIRO - 14 June 2017: The Ministry of Antiquities received 5,000 artifacts dating back to the Graeco-Roman and Islamic eras from the American University in Cairo (AUC).
The artifacts were unearthed by a delegation from AUC led by the late professor George Scanlon in 1964 at Establ Antar archaeological site in Cairo’s Fustat neighborhood, according to a Tuesday statement from the Ministry of Antiquities.
The collection of artifacts consists of different shapes and sizes of clay vessels, ushabti figurines, tombstones and wooden funerary masks from the Graeco-Roman era and lamps from the Islamic period.
Egyptian antiquities law at the time of the dig in 1964 allowed the AUC to keep half of its excavated collection, according to the ministry’s statement. Recently, AUC contacted the ministry and asked to hand over the artifacts in its possession. The ministry “immediately assigned an archaeological committee to inspect the collection, packing them and transporting them to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat,” the statement added.
At the end of the statement, the ministry expressed its hope that anyone possessing antiquities would imitate the actions of AUC and turn over the antiquities in their possession to the ministry, because such items are “not only a part of Egypt's heritage but for all humanity.