Hoard of Ptolemaic bronze coins, prehistoric jewellery and a Whale discovered at the Fayum Oasis, Egypt

Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni announced today the discovery of 383 coins from the Ptolemaic period in the Fayum, or Faiyum, Oasis. Prehistoric jewellery made from ostrich eggs, and a skeleton of a 42-million-year-old whale were also unearthed.

According to the statement released by the SCA (Supreme Council of Antiquities) the coinage, very well preserved and dating to the reign of King Ptolemy III (243 to 222BC), was discovered during routine excavations north of Lake Quarun.

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, said that the 383 coins are fashioned out of bronze and have a weight of 32 grams each. They are decorated on one side with a scene depicting the god Amon-Zeus (Amon was identified by the Greeks as a form of Zeus), with two horns and a cobra. The other side of the coin is decorated with a falcon standing on a wooden branch. Underneath, 'King Ptolemy' is written in Greek.

The excavation – spanning an area of 1 x 7 km - also uncovered antiquities that can be dated to several historical eras, from the prehistoric to the Ottoman period. Three prehistoric necklaces made of ostrich eggs were discovered, as well as a Kohl container and two decorated rings from the Ottoman period.

Khaled Saad, director of the Prehistoric Department of the SCA, asserted that the ostrich egg necklaces, which date back to the fourth millennium BC, are unique. The technique used to create the jewellery has never been seen before in prehistoric necklaces. Earlier this year, inscribed 60,000-year-old ostrich eggs were found in Blombos Cave in South Africa, revealing that Stone Age man developed ‘symbolic thinking’ much earlier than previously thought.

Even older is the skeleton of a whale unearthed at the site, which dates back 42 million years. These prehistoric items will go on display in the planned site museum.

More images of the Fayum Finds

Garry Shaw Travels to the ‘Valley of the Whales’ in the Fayum Oasis

Ostrich Egg Shells Discovered in South Africa Could be Earliest Evidence of Human Language

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

    £18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

    Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

    £40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

    £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

    £20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

    Day In a Page

    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory