Excavation in Egypt at Tell el-Balamun
A Roman paved street through the centre of the town
In Spring 2003, a Roman Street through the centre of the town was discovered. It runs along the line of the old processional avenue from the entrance of the temple enclosure to the temple of Amun.
The Roman level lies some two metres above that of the avenue of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty, as recorded in excavations at the gate in the enclosure wall.
Two levels of pavement remain of the street, the earlier one, perhaps dating from the second century AD, consists of irregular blocks of limestone fitted neatly together.
The width of the street at this level was at least 6m, but at one point it appears to have been wider and to have been flanked by fired-brick plinths.
The later level, provisionally dated to the fourth century, was built with thin rectangular paving-slabs, again of limestone, set on a bedding layer of pink plaster and crushed fired brick.
A pavement of similar construction, found in 1991 above the ruins of the temple of Amun, is probably another part of the same street.
The creation of this secular street fits the pattern of the Roman development of Egyptian cities.
On the north-west side of the street were remains of a Roman house, constructed against the eroded exterior face of the Twenty-sixth dynasty temple enclosure wall.
In the photograph of this house (left) the point of contact between the older enclosure wall and the brickwork of the house is being investigated.