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Egypt explorers discover ancient port, hieroglyphic writings in Red Sea area

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This undated photo released by Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities Thursday, April 11, 2013, shows hieroglyphic papyrus discovered at Wadi el-Jarf, nearly 180 km (111 miles) south the coastal city of Suez, Egypt. Egypt’s state of antiquities affairs minister has declared the discovery of a historic coastal port dating back to King Khufu of the fourth dynasty of the old pharaonic kingdom. The Franco-Egyptian team working in the Suez archaeological area also discovered hieroglyphic papyri and stone anchors. Most of the discovered papyri date back to the 27th year of the reign of King Khufu. The papyri included information about number of the port workers and details about their daily lives. They were transferred to the Suez museum for study and registration. (AP Photo/Egypt's Supreme Council Of Antiquities) (The Associated Press)

Egypt's state minister of antiquities says a Franco-Egyptian exploration team has discovered a Red Sea port dating back about 4,500 years to Great Pyramid builder King Cheops of the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom.

Mohammed Ibrahim said Thursday the port was discovered at Wadi el-Jarf, nearly 180 kilometers (110 miles) south the coastal city of Suez.

In a statement, Ibrahim said the port was used to transfer copper from Sinai to the Nile valley.

The team working in the Suez archaeological area also discovered hieroglyphic papyri, considered the oldest found in Egypt.

Ibrahim said the papyri reveal details about port workers and their daily lives. Most date back to the 27th year of the reign of Cheops, also known as Khufu.

The documents were transferred to the Suez museum.

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