Bir Abraq

The fort at Bir Abraq comprises a large enclosed area, on the summit of a hill, with a number of structures inside, among which this well preserved multi-room building:
Both inside and outside the fort at Bir Abraq petroglyphs were discovered and copied. The petroglyphs outside the fort depict mainly cattle, those inside look more like tribal markings:


Objective of visit:
To draw a measured plan of the site and study the surface remains (including the ceramic finds).
Date of visit:
  - February 1995
Fellow visitors:
  Eng. Brian Cannon (Berenike Project) and Mohamed Audid (our Bedouin guide).
Results: A survey was performed using a theodolite and steel tape measures. Off-site assistance was given by pottery expert Dr. Roberta Tomber (Museum of London). No excavations took place. A full publication of the results of our work can be found in Sidebotham SE, Zitterkopf RE. "Survey of the hinterland"; in: Sidebotham SE, Wendrich WZ (eds.). Berenike 1995, report of the 1995 excavations at Berenike (Egyptian Red Sea coast) and the survey of the Eastern desert. Leiden (CNWS) 1996: 372-77 (ISBN 90-73782-70-8).
Approximate position and date of the site:   The fort at Bir Abraq is in the far south of the Egyptian Eastern desert, just north of the Sudanese border. Surface pottery dated to the Ptolemaic period (ca. 330 - 30 BC).
Short description of the site:   The function of the fort in Bir Abraq is somewhat enigmatic although the large number of petroglyphs, depicting cattle, camels and elephants, suggests that the fort somehow accommodated the transport of these animals.
Additional remarks: Just north of the fort is a modern well which most likely was also active when the fort was operational. Our work was sponsored by the Berenike Project and private donors.