The Wadi elJarf project aims to study the various aspects of an Ancient Egyptian harbour on the Red Sea shore (Suez Gulf), that was built during the reign of Khufu, around 2600 BC. The site is spread over several locations – a storage area, made of caves cut in the mountain about 6 km to the west of the seashore, several camps and dwelling places, and a big L – shaped pier (200 x 200 m), oriented to the north, that was built directly on the sea, and which is probably the most ancient artificial sea harbour so far known in the world.
The project started in 2011, and we excavated both the caves area, and different installations on the sea shore – including a camp about 200 m away from the sea, where 100 stone anchors from the
Old kingdom were found in 2013.
For the 2018 season, we plan continue the excavation of the caves system and the study of a big square building (57 x 33 m) which is most probably an administrative building linked to the harbour. In the meantime, a team of divers from the Ministry of Antiquities of Egypt will work in the harbour basin for the third consecutive season. The knowledge of all the components of this site – and of the connection that exists between them – will help to define more precisely the main features of an harbour at the beginning of the pharaonic era.