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On Tuesday, 7 March 2023, beginning at 5:00 PM in Murphey Hall 104, Professor Jennifer Gates-Foster (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) will present a lecture entitled, “Life at Berkou: A Newly-Discovered Roman Praesidium in Egypt.” A description follows:

Aerial view of al-Ghozza.In 2020, just before the onset of the covid pandemic, the French Archaeological Mission to the Eastern Desert (MAFDO) began excavations at the remote desert site of al-Ghozza, located near the Imperial Roman hardstone quarries of Mons Porphyrites and Mons Claudianus in Egypt’s remote mountains adjacent to the Red Sea. While most of the site’s remains were related to a third-century BCE occupation linked to gold and iron extraction in the nearby mountains, adjacent to this older settlement the team discovered and fully excavated a small but unusually well-preserved Roman military fortress, called Berkou in the ancient texts found at the site. Only occupied for a few decades, the fortress offers a snapshot of military life during the height of early Imperial expansion into this remote region, and provides a valuable glimpse of provincial military supply and organization during the Flavian era.

This lecture is free and open to the public. For inquiries, please contact Elissa Phillips at The image is an aerial view of al-Ghozza.

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