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Fayoum’s Valley of the Potters: Where Ancient Egypt Lives On

Fayoum’s Valley of the Potters: Where Ancient Egypt Lives On

Since pre-dynastic ancient Egypt, pottery has been a core craft to the Egyptian culture, faith and identity. Through excavation across the entire country, archaeologists have been able to date back many historical sites through examining the pottery shards found therein.

However, to fully understand how deeply rooted pottery is in the Egyptian culture, one must dig farther than the layers of the Earth’s crust, and excavate how Egyptians have long perceived the craft.

Thousands of years later, pottery continues to live on in Egypt, and is proudly passed on from one generation to the other.

One safe haven where the ancient Egyptian craft has stood the test of time is al-Nazla Village, 30 km north-west of Fayoum city. Originally called Nazlet Shoketi, the village name was eventually shortened to al-Nazla, which refers to its geological formation seen in the form of ladder like depression where the village crouches.

“The origins go back to a man named Al Farkh, who became the first to craft pottery at the site in seven generations. The site itself was chosen for functionary reasons as it naturally contained pottery production materials, such as Nile silt and water,” Nora Shawky, from the site preservation project Past Preservers, told Daily News Egypt.

In search of what the ancient shards don’t narrate, Seif el-Din Khaled, an Applied Arts alumnus of the German University in Cairo, headed to al-Nazla village where he captured some of the most captivating footage of the village, its people and the pottery making process.

Take a trip to where time stands still, and watch “a poetic exploration of the traditional pottery produced in the village of al-Nazla in Fayoum,” as Seif describes his video.

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