Ancient Senate Building Found in North Sinai

In the Roman provincial capital of ancient Pelusium

I will pour out my wrath on Pelusium,
the fortress of Egypt,
and cut off the troops of Thebes.

I will set fire to Egypt;
Pelusium will writhe in anguish…

-Ezekiel Chapter 30:15 & 16 (USCCB)

A 2,500 square meter building of brick and limestone was partially uncovered at the ongoing excavations of Tel Farma, ancient Pelusium, by the Egyptian mission working with the Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology. As excavations revealed, the building was located on the main street of ancient Pelusium, near the mouth of the Nile.

Featuring three main amphitheaters covered in marble, the rectangular building is believed to have hosted the city’s representatives during the rule of the Hellenistic Ptolemies and Romans. The Ptolemies ruled ancient Egypt from 305 BCE until Cleopatra’s death and the Roman conquest in 30 BCE. The Roman province of Aegyptus remained under Roman control until the Persians took control in the 7th century CE.

Ancient Pelusium was an important city of lower Egypt. It was often the site of major battles, as suggested by the passage from the book of Ezekiel. It was made the provincial capital when the Romans took control. It became a bishopric early in the history of Christianity, and is now a metropolitan bishopric of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The senate building on its main road would have been important in its time.

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