US Agency for International Development (USAID) Egypt Director Sherry Carlin announced that a project for reducing groundwater in the Temple of Kom Ombo in Aswan will cost $9m and USAID will completely fund it, according to state media outlet EgyNews.
The statement came in an interview with the Middle East News Agency (MENA). Carlin added in her statement that the project is one of the cultural cooperation projects between the United States and Egypt, adding that it is one of the most important ones both countries are focusing on.
She also stated that the project includes cooperation with archaeologists to maintain the temple in good condition while withdrawing underground water beneath it, and protecting the existing artieacts at the location, as well as speeding up the required time period of doing so.
Withdrawing groundwater that is jeopardising the safety of the thousand-years-old temple is one of many historical projects the USAID funds in Egypt in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.
The $9m fund will include establishing three pumping systems, each costing around $ 3.2m. Work on the project started last October and is planned to be complete by August. The archaeological site is a historically rich location where antiquities are still being discovered.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Antiquities unearthed a late-Fifth Dynasty administrative complex, as well as a collection of four artefacts at the Temple of Kom Ombo.
The discovered artefacts are currently considered the oldest in Aswan, as the earliest archaeological evidence previously found dates back to only the second half of the Sixth Dynasty.
The discovered antiquities included 220 of a pharaoh’s mud brick stamps, as well as the names of the workers who participated in the excavations and mining works such as a commander named Sementio. Shells from the Red Sea and Nubian pottery were also found, as well as fragments of mining activities.