Arts & Culture

Remains of First Hellenistic Gymnasium Discovered in Egypt’s Fayoum

Remains of First Hellenistic Gymnasium Discovered in Egypt’s Fayoum

Photo Credit: ‎Ministry of Antiquities

A German-Egyptian team of archeologists have discovered the remains of a gymnasium dating back to the Hellenistic era some 2,300 years ago.

The site of the discovery is located in the Watfa village in Fayoum, approximately 100 kilometers southwest of Cairo.

The gymnasium is believed to be the very first of its kind to be unearthed in Egypt.

The archeological mission was headed by Professor Cornelia Römer with the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), and made the discovery as part of ongoing excavations at the site.

The site of the discovery was once the location of the ancient village Philoteris, established by king Ptolemy II in the third century BCE.

Head of the Ancient Egyptian Department at the Ministry of Antiquities

Ayman Ashmawi said that the gymnasium was made up of a large meeting hall, decorated with status, a dining hall, a courtyard and an almost 200-metre-long racetrack, AP reports.

Römer on her part said the new discovery is a testament of how strong an influence Greek life had in Egypt as a whole, not only in Alexandria as has been previously thought.

During the Hellenistic era, all major cities like Athens or Pompei had gymnasia such as the one discovered in Watfa.

“The gymnasia in the Egyptian countryside were built after their pattern. Although much smaller, the gymnasium of Watfa clearly shows the impact of Greek life in Egypt, not only in Alexandria, but also in the countryside,” Ahram Online quotes Römer  as saying.

The German Archaeological Institute has been carrying out excavations at Watfa since 2010.

Doreen Assaad Becomes the First Egyptian Woman Mayor in Brossard, Quebec
Rights Lawyer Khaled Ali Announces Planning the 2018 Presidential Election Campaign

Subscribe to our newsletter


Arts & Culture

More in Arts & Culture

Six Egyptian Films to Screen at the Arab Cinema Week in New York

Egyptian StreetsNovember 13, 2017

Mini Free-For-All Library Set Up in Downtown Cairo

Egyptian StreetsNovember 11, 2017

Egyptian Project Helping Underprivileged Children Explore the World is Up for UN Award

Aya NaderNovember 5, 2017

19 Podcasts on Egypt’s Society, Culture and History

Egyptian StreetsNovember 4, 2017

Maison Groppi: Cairo’s Downtown Historical Gem to Reawaken Following Renovations

Toqa EzzidinNovember 2, 2017

Cairo Joins the UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Egyptian StreetsNovember 2, 2017

Up-Close with Voices from Egypt’s Contemporary Art Scene

Samir ShalabiNovember 1, 2017

Greek Pianist Plays Cavafy Poems as Part of the 2017 Cavafia in Egypt

Maydaa Abo El NadarOctober 20, 2017
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2017 Egyptian Streets. All Rights Reserved.