July 2, 2008--
A remarkably intact mud-brick settlement has been partially excavated near the ancient Egyptian temple (upper left) at Edfu, archaeologists announced Tuesday. (Read full story.
With layers dating from 2,400 to 280 B.C., the find offers unprecedented insights into the daily religious, commercial, and administrative lives of everyday people, a topic previously known mostly from written accounts.
In part, this was because Egypt's famous stone monuments and gold artifacts attracted the bulk of scholarly attention, experts say.
"[Archaeologists] are more and more interested in how settlements were organized and how normal people lived," said Nadine Moeller, who heads the Edfu excavation. "These towns were all made of mud-brick, so that's obviously not as glamorous than stone architecture."
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Photograph by G. Marouard/Tell Edfu Project