North Sinai Archaeological Project, Tell el-Borg excavations

PUBLISHED 2019. Please visit the publication's webpage.
This grant will support the costs of preparing the second volume of the final report of the
excavations at Tell el-Borg, which took place between 1999 and 2008. Tell el-Borg is an crucial
military site on Egypt’s east frontier that dates to the New Kingdom or Late Bronze Age. It is
located in north Sinai, 10 km east of the Suez Canal at QantaraEast. It is situated on the ancient military road, the “Ways of Horus,” that was lined with forts that guarded the Egypt’s east frontier.
The full significance of the site was realized thanks to our excavations. Tell el-Borg was part of
the east frontier defense network, centered at the nearby forts at Hebua I & II (6 & 5 km. to the
NW respectively), identified as ancient Tjaru or Sile, Egypt’s huge frontier military town. Excavations
uncovered two forts at Tell el-Borg, the earlier one from the 15th and 14th centuries (LB I), and
the second from the late 14th through early 12th centuries (LB II-III). They were strategically
located beside a previously unknown distributary of the Nile that the project’s geologist
discovered. Thus this site, probably the “Dwelling of the Lion” of Ramesside inscriptions,
guarded the military road and a key waterway into Egypt.
Because of its location so close to the Mediterranean coast and on a Nile distributary, Tell el-
Borg had contact with the Levant and the Aegean, to judge from the abundance of Syro-
Canaanite, Cypriote and even Mycenaean ceramics that were documented (see Tell el-Borg I, Chaps. 8-11). Thus this site is not only of interest to Egyptologists, but to the connections with the Levant and the Mediterranean world.
The publication project is directed by Dr. James K. Hoffmeier.