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[Manifestations de l'Ifao] :
Avaris, Capital of the Hyksos : Recent work of the Austrian Archaeological Institute in Tell el-Dab’a
Dr Irene Forstner-Müller (Austrian Archaeological Institute, Cairo)
The ancient city of Avaris, modern el-Dab’a/Qantir in the Egyptian Eastern Delta, covers an area of more than 250 ha. The town was one of the major urban sites in Egypt with a population size of ap. 28,800 to 34,600 people.
The Austrian Archaeological Institute has been working at this site for more than 40 years. In recent years the research focus has been to understand the layout of the town and how the town was organised and functioned.
This paper will focus on area R/III in the northern part of Avaris. There salvage excavations were undertaken in 2010 and 2011 in response to the ongoing destruction of archaeological remains by modern agricultural activity. A town quarter of the later Second Intermediate Period was excavated with buildings, courtyards and granaries divided by streets. Some of the buildings must originally have had an upper storey. One of the most striking finds was a fayence vessel in the shape of a hippopotamus which served as a libation vessel. The large number of sealing impressions hint at an administrative function for this part of the town.