Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene / Alexandria on the Indus (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Canal of the Pharaohs, the Suez Canal of antiquity

The Canal of the Pharaohs in Egypt’s Tell el-Maskhuta located northeast of Cairo was already known in the 1800s but was never properly documented until now.

Excavations started around a partially visible wall that belonged to a square fortress at nearby Wadi Tumilat, a valley that was an important turntable for commercial and cultural exchanges with Palestine and Syria, all the way into Mesopotamia. An enormous wall of 22 meters length and a height of eight meters leads to the fortress with its two twelve meters long walls. The complex measures 200x300 meters and was part of the city Tell el-Maskhuta that is still hidden underneath the desert sands over a distance of at least one kilometre.

Excavations have revealed that the settlement was built by the Hyksos as far back as 1,500 BC and  was used during the Ptolemaic era (3rd-1st century BC) as the foundation for this fortress. So far, it has been established that this was one of the largest fortresses in the Nile Delta before the arrival of the Romans.

The very first canal to connect the Red Sea to the Nile and ultimately to the Mediterranean ran past Wadi Tumilat and was built as early as the 19th century BC! Although it was difficult to maintain because of the ever shifting desert sands, it was still functioning during the reign of Ramses II in the 13th century BC. When Darius the Great conquered Egypt in the 5th century BC, he was keen to optimize the use of the canal for his imports of wheat and the transport of his troops. The first stone for this canal was laid around 520 BC and has been retrieved in 1866 during the construction of the modern Suez Canal. The precious stone and inscription can be seen at the Louvre in Paris.

This is more than sideline information as the very existence of the canal so early in history was a fact known to Alexander when he entered Egypt.

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