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NewsBy chance.. An exciting archaeological discovery in the "Tombs of El-Shafei" in...

By chance.. An exciting archaeological discovery in the “Tombs of El-Shafei” in Egypt


The “tombstone”, which bears the date 229 AH, was discovered on Thursday during a visit by young Egyptians to the tombs of Imam Al-Shafi’i before it was demolished, and at that time there they noticed the presence of Kufic letters in the wall, so they immediately took them out with their hands.

Unique find

In an interview with “Sky News Arabia”, heritage researcher Mustafa Al-Sadiq said: “The discovery of the tombstone inside the Imam Al-Shafi’i neighborhood was done without no prior arrangement..

He explains: “At one of the sites that was evacuated from the dead for demolition, we walked in to see an old tombstone, and we were surprised at that moment to see a destroyed wall. in one of the corners of the courtyard, and on closer inspection, we noticed the existence of non-colon Kufic letters carved into the wall.”

Al-Sadiq notes that “as soon as they discovered the tombstone, they decided to remove it with their own hands, not knowing that they were about to discover something amazing”, as part of a voluntary project undertaken by these young people to save certain artifacts and antiquities from damage or loss.

authoritative interpretation

And he continues: “In half an hour or less, a complete tombstone written in unpunctuated Kufic characters was removed from inside the wall. After cleaning the tombstone, it was read with the help of the specialist Hossam Abdel-Azim, and it was found this time bearing the date 221 AH.”

Al-Sadiq continues, explaining that “the witness was handed over to the archaeologists of Hosh Al-Basha, which is the designated place for the preservation of antiquities and antiquities in the neighborhood of Imam Al-Shafi’i, and after their After handing over the witness, they contacted Islamic history professor and Kufic calligraphy expert Faraj Al-Husseini, and asked him to help them read and interpret the witness.”

And he adds: “Indeed, he complied with our request and went to Hosh Al-Basha to see the witness, and after a thorough study, he confirmed that it is a tombstone bearing the name of Abdullah bin Abbas bin Ubadah, who died in the month of Rajab in the year 229 AH, but I had another opinion, because I saw the history written 221 AH, there is a slight difference in the writing of the number 9 and the number 1 in the Kufic script.

Al-Sadiq believes that Al-Husseini’s opinion is “probably the most correct”, but this difference in dates did not affect the happiness of these young people with the tombstone, and their sense of pride in experience Egyptian history and culture.

great success

The heritage researcher described his feelings at this historic moment saying, “The reaction of archaeologists and local people has fluctuated between surprise, joy and pride at this discovery, as it is a very rare tombstone, dating from the era of the Abbasid Caliphate, and of great historical value.”

And he continues: “We hope to one day see the tombstone that we discovered inside the Islamic Museum, after it has been handed over to Hosh Al-Basha, who will in turn hand it over to the Ministry of Antiquities concerned with the next steps towards document the antiquity and place it in one of the Egyptian museums.”

Evidence from Egypt

Ibrahim Taya, also 38, was one of the young men who discovered the tombstone inside Imam Al-Shafi’i neighborhood. He explained in an interview with “Sky News Arabia” that on May 11, he went with Al-Sadiq to the Qarafa of Imam Al-Shafi’i, and there he met Abdul-Azim Founder of the Initiative (Egypt’s Evidence).

Taya refers to his role in the initiative “Egypt’s Witnesses”, specializing in the revelation of lost heritage, which began when its founder was inside the tombs when they found the witness, who played a major role in its extraction and delivery. to the relevant authority.

The historical researcher and heritage librarian of cemeteries in Egypt says, “Egypt’s Tombstones Initiative is playing a tremendous role in raising awareness of heritage preservation and campaigns to clean up archaeological sites, thanks to the efforts of its members, who were honored to be part of this incredible discovery.”

Pending Support

As for his specialization in discoveries, he explains: “We have been documenting Egyptian cemeteries for several years, and the cemeteries in Cairo in particular are full of ancient burials of Egyptian symbols in all areas, so we try to focus on them from once in a while.”

At the end of her speech, Taya hopes that these young people will be supported in their ongoing tasks by the relevant authorities of the Egyptian State, because they are “in love with its history and its heritage, and what they do does not is nothing but volunteering”. their role in documenting Egyptian heritage”.

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Arab Desk
Arab Desk
The Eastern Herald’s Arab Desk validates the stories published under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on


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