The second SSEA lecture of 2018 will take place on Tuesday, January 30, at 7pm in Toronto, on Khufu’s Harbour and the recent work at Wadi el-Jarf. We look forward to seeing you there! To view the lecture poster, click here.


Who?Pierre Tallet

Dr. Pierre Tallet (Université Paris-Sorbonne)


Friday, January 30 at 7 pm


Emmanuel College (75 Queen’s Park Cres E)

  • Room EM 001



The Wadi el-Jarf site, under excavation since 2011, is an harbour on the Red Sea coast that was used at the beginning of the IVth Dynasty – mainly during the reign of Khufu, to reach the copper and turquoise mines of the south-western part of Sinai Peninsula. During the 2013 archaeological campaign, hundreds of fragments of papyrus from the end of Khufu’s reign were collected at the entrance of one of the storage galleries that are one of the most remarkable features of the site. This is, until now, the oldest papyrus archive ever found in Egypt. This material was produced by a team of sailors which is already well known for its work on the harbour, and it mainly includes two categories of documents: accounts of commodities delivered to the workers, and logbooks recording their daily activities over several months. Most surprisingly those last documents, for what is preserved of them, describe previous missions led under the direction of the « inspector Merer », mainly devoted to the transport of limestone blocks from the quarries of Tura to the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza, then under construction on the opposite bank of the Nile.

Speaker Bio

Pierre Tallet, former member of the French Institute of Archaeology in Cairo (1994-2001) is currently the holder of the chair of Egyptology at the University of Paris-Sorbonne. Since 1999, he is working on the Red Sea Shore (Suez Gulf), where two pharaonic harbours hitherto unknown have been successively identified at Ayn Soukhna (2001) and Wadi el-Jarf (2011). He also led several campaigns in Southern Sinai between 2002 and 2012.

(Photos courtesy of Pierre Tallet)


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