Tue May 12, 4:42 pm ET
CAIRO (AFP) – An Egyptian archaeological team has found prehistoric fishing gear, sewing equipment and jewellery all made from animal bones, as well as pottery and coins, near an oasis south of Cairo, officials said on Tuesday.
Culture Minister Faruk Hosni said in a statement: "An Egyptian archaeological mission working near El-Karn island on Lake Qarun in Fayoum has found a large amount of fishing tackle, sewing equipment and jewellery made from animal bone dating back to prehistoric time."
"The mission also found caves used by prehistoric man," he said.
"The most important item is an awl made of animal bone and granite, which shows that prehistoric man devised many ways to sew leather," Khaled Saad, who headed the mission, was quoted as saying.
The team also found ancient pottery, coins, whale vertebrae and fossils of seals, sawfish as well as crocodile and turtle parts, Saad said.
Medical equipment and weapons made of animal bone were also unearthed, he said.
The site was used by many civilisations, antiquities chief Zahi Hawass was quoted as saying in the statement.
"During excavation, the mission found antiquities from the Pharaonic, Greek, Roman and Islamic periods," Hawass said.
The team also found a rare block which dates back to 3150 BC depicting the mythical leader known as the Scorpion King, as well as colourful mosaic plates with engravings of the Fatimid caliph Al-Zafir.