Cultural Minister Farouk Hosni announced today that the Austrian mission at Tell el-Daba has located the southern suburban quarters of the ancient city of Avaris, the capital of the Hyksos in the Second Intermediate Period (1664-1569 BC). The excavation team found this area using a combination of magnetometry and resistivity surveys.
Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the computer-generated images of the city, which is still buried under the ground, show a very detailed layout of ancient Avaris. Several architectural features including houses, temples, streets, cemeteries and palaces can be seen. The team has also been able to make out the arrangement of neighborhoods and living quarters.
“Using such a special scientific survey to locate such a city is the only way to gain a better understanding of such a large area at one time,” Hawass pointed out.
Dr. Irene Forstner-Müller, Director of the mission said that approximately 2.6 square kilometers have been investigated using a combination of geophysical survey and excavation.
She explained that the aim of the magnetometric and resistivity surveys were to define the borders of ancient Avaris. The team has succeeded in identifying a collection of houses and a possible harbor area. A series of pits of different sizes are also visible but their function has not yet been determined.