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Canal of the Pharaohs - the first link between the Med and Red Sea

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posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 06:08 PM
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This canal connected the Nile and the Red sea


Probably first cut or at least begun by Necho II, in the late 6th century BC, Darius the Great either re-dug or completed it. Exactly when it was finally completed is not known as the classical sources disagree.


Aristotle wrote:

One of their kings tried to make a canal to it (for it would have been of no little advantage to them for the whole region to have become navigable; Sesostris is said to have been the first of the ancient kings to try), but he found that the sea was higher than the land. So he first, and Darius afterwards, stopped making the canal, lest the sea should mix with the river water and spoil it.


Strabo also wrote that Sesostris started to build a canal, and Pliny the Elder wrote:

Next comes the Tyro tribe and, on the Red Sea, the harbour of the Daneoi, from which Sesostris, king of Egypt, intended to carry a ship-canal to where the Nile flows into what is known as the Delta; this is a distance of over 60 miles. Later the Persian king Darius had the same idea, and yet again Ptolemy II, who made a trench 100 feet wide, 30 feet deep and about 35 miles long, as far as the Bitter Lakes.



Pliny the Elder also says that Ptolemy II, who took up the work again, also stopped because of the differences of water level. Diodorus, however, reports that it was completed by Ptolemy II after being fitted with a lock.



Larger German language map of the canal





Ptolemy II was the first to solve the problem of keeping the Nile free of salt water when his engineers invented the water lock around 274/273 BC


The canal was used on and off for centuries - the various government fighting to keep the desert from overwhelming it - it is said to have been abandoned in the 8th century:


And so the canal continued operations in some form or the other all the way through to Arab rule of Egypt.
Then, in 770 A.D, the Abassid Caliph Abu Jafar abruptly closed the Canal. His enemies and rebels were using it to ship men and supplies from Egypt to Arabia, which he naturally did not appreciate. It is not known as to how he closed the canal


The canal slowly disappeared into the desert and by 1489, when Vasco Da Gama ‘discovered’ India, it had mostly disappeared from memory as well. It was refound by the scientists in Napoleon's army that invaded Egypt in 1799. A stela (one of four commemorating the construction of a canal linking the Nile with the Red Sea by Darius I) was located at the Wadi Tumilat and probably recorded sections of Darius's canal.

Image and description of the stelae with translation


To the Stelae





I went searching for the canal when I went out one day to look over the ground of Tel el-Kebir, where an ancestor of mine had once been. I found the canal to be nothing by a slight depression in the ground - and in the days before GPS I was never to sure if that was the actual canal!


Redmount, Carol A. "The Wadi Tumilat and the "Canal of the Pharaohs"" Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 54, No. 2 (Apr., 1995), pp. 127-135

The Wiki article

Canal of Pharaoh
edit on 4/1/12 by Hanslune because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 08:26 PM
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Very nice post Hans, forget pyramids or temples, a true civilization must have wide scale commerce and the transportation and trade routes to facilitate it. Nice to see something about the more utilitarian yet still ambitious projects of the ancient Egyptians.



posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 09:21 PM
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Originally posted by Blackmarketeer
Very nice post Hans, forget pyramids or temples, a true civilization must have wide scale commerce and the transportation and trade routes to facilitate it. Nice to see something about the more utilitarian yet still ambitious projects of the ancient Egyptians.


Yeah I've always been interested in the trade aspect of the early cultures. The first time I went to India I made a bee-line to the Roman, Arab and Chinese trading ports there.



posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 01:02 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 



The link below is for a web page titled
"Maps of Pi-ha-Hiroth (Pi-hahiroth) & Vestiges of Ancient Canals from the Great Bitter Lake to Tell el Herr"

Ancient Egyptian Canals

it has got lot more maps showing these ancient canals.
Hope this helps.

hey Hans, if you have made a bee-line for the ancient trade centers of India, you would have surely gone to Kerala, which had trade relations with ancient Rome and many other places. (i am from Kerala, though my ancestors are from Syria.)
edit on 5/1/12 by coredrill because: forgot to put the link to the website..my bad!



posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 09:52 AM
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Originally posted by coredrill
reply to post by Hanslune
 



The link below is for a web page titled
"Maps of Pi-ha-Hiroth (Pi-hahiroth) & Vestiges of Ancient Canals from the Great Bitter Lake to Tell el Herr"

Ancient Egyptian Canals

it has got lot more maps showing these ancient canals.
Hope this helps.

hey Hans, if you have made a bee-line for the ancient trade centers of India, you would have surely gone to Kerala, which had trade relations with ancient Rome and many other places. (i am from Kerala, though my ancestors are from Syria.)
edit on 5/1/12 by coredrill because: forgot to put the link to the website..my bad!


Thanks for the additional info - yes I visited Kerala; Cochin, Calicut and a drive thru Cannonore and the Roman port of Arikamedu on the other coast also went to the location of the Danish colony at Tranquebar where an ancestor of mine met Mr. Cholera and didn't profit from the occassion.

Were your ancestors the Knanaites?
edit on 5/1/12 by Hanslune because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 10:04 AM
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Brilliant post thank you Hanslune.

So it seems that good old Ptolemy II was another construction genius from that line!

Has the entire canal ever been found or is it mostly lost to the sands of time (and desert) now?



posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 10:31 AM
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Originally posted by Flavian
Brilliant post thank you Hanslune.

So it seems that good old Ptolemy II was another construction genius from that line!

Has the entire canal ever been found or is it mostly lost to the sands of time (and desert) now?


Parts can still be seen, look two posts above to Coredrills link - it'll give you a good idea of what is still there - there are number of maps too - in amongst the stuff on the exodus.
edit on 5/1/12 by Hanslune because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 01:03 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


Yeah Hans. my ancestors were Knanaites or more precise to say Knanaya



posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 05:31 PM
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Originally posted by coredrill
reply to post by Hanslune
 


Yeah Hans. my ancestors were Knanaites or more precise to say Knanaya


Ah you come clean eh, I can see why they were kicked out of Asia Minor, lol.....just kidding. I worked with another gentleman with your background some years ago - he ended up marrying a Parsi girl from Mumbai and setting up a technical school for the Tamils somewhere.
edit on 5/1/12 by Hanslune because: (no reason given)



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