German archaeologists discover ancient mortar pit with impressions of Egyptian children’s feet

A German excavation team has discovered the remnants of a building complex, a mortar pit with children footprints, and a painted wall in Qanatir, east Delta, according to a press release from Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities department, on Tuesday.

"The building complex is truly monumental … it is likely to be a temple or a palace," Afifi was quoted as saying in the press release.

Henning Franzmeier, the mission director, was also cited in the press release: "Based on the results of the measurements carried out by the team last year to determine the structure of the ancient city, a field was rented out, beneath which relevant structures were to be placed."

The Piramesse excavation team of the Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim, Germany also uncovered a small trench that was laid out in an area where they believe the enclosure wall can be traced.

"These finds and archaeological features being uncovered are promising. They can all be dated to the pharaonic period," Franzmeier said.

Franzmeier pointed out that just a couple of centimeters beneath the surface a multitude of walls were uncovered.

The German excavation team also found a mortar pit extending at least 2.5×8 meters.

In the pit, a layer of mortar has been preserved at the bottom which shows some childrens' footprints. The footprints are mixed with the components of the mortar, the team's findings showed.

"What's extraordinary is the filling of the pit, as it consists of smashed pieces of painted wall plaster," the statement read.

"No motifs are recognizable so far, but we are certainly dealing with the remains of large-scale multi-coloured wall paintings," the mission director said.

According to the press release, a comprehensive excavation of all fragments, followed by their permanent conservation, and the reconstruction of motifs will be the subject of future seasons.

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