Archaeologists discover ancient gym southern Egypt’s Cairo

November 7, 2017 7:15 PM

CAIRO, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) — German and Egyptian archaeologists discovered an ancient gymnasium at a site in Egypt’s Fayoum province south of the capital Cairo, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities revealed in a statement on Monday.
The archeologists “discovered remains of the first Hellenistic gymnasium ever found in Egypt on the site of Watfa, 5 km east of Qasr Qaroun in the north-western Fayoum,” said the statement, noting the German-Egyptian archaeological mission is led by German archeologist Cornelia Roemer from the German Archaeological Institute.
The remains showed that the Greek-style gymnasium had a large hall for meetings, a dining hall and a courtyard in the main building, besides a nearly 200-meter-long outdoor racetrack, said Ayman Ashmawi, head of Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector.
“The gymnasium of Watfa clearly shows the impact of Greek life in Egypt, not only in Alexandria, but also in the countryside,” said Roemer, the head of the mission.
She explained that gymnasia were private properties of rich people who wanted their villages to become even more Greek in aspect.
The German Archaeological Institute has been carrying out surveys and excavations at Watfa site since 2010.

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