The ruin field of San Al Hagar has for the last century been giving up its secrets to weather beaten archaeologists, braving the delta’s unforgiving soil, painstakingly recording the history of Tanis, once capital of ancient Egypt.
For the curious tourist however, the site has remained an enigma at best, a nondescript rubble field at worst.
Following a plan by the SCA to introduce the delta to tourists, our proposal aimed to provide an informative and adventurous visitor experience without compromising the sensitive nature of the site as an ongoing archaeological dig.
Through our own research and, collaborating with the SCA and with Dr. Phillipe brissaud, head of the Tanis archaeological mission, we identified the following;
- Though hard to perceive whilst on site, the ancient city held a complex of temples, sacred lakes, wells and huge enclosure walls that are believed to have mimicked Thebes and Karnak, leading some to call it ‘Thebes of the north’
- One main tomb, several statues. monuments fragments and smaller finds that needed to be relocated to a controlled environment to prevent their further deterioration
- At least thirteen relatively complete obelisks, the columns of a hypostyle hall, and about six entrance columns that could be re-erected in their former places. This would give a sense of scale to the place as there is no standing structure
Site Management plan
The vision of a functioning archaeological site open to visitors is outlined below;
- A Visitor Information and Services Centre would replace existing dilapidated services, providing information about the history of the site through a physical scale model of a reconstructed Tanis, while a multimedia show would tell the story of the migrating people of the city.
- San Al Hagar Museum would house the sensitive tomb and statues in a specially controlled environment, and would provide information on the history of the archaeology of the site.
- Visitor routes would be clearly marked and information panels would be provided to help the interpretation of the site in relation to the information previously witnessed
- Road upgrades of the tarmac between the site and the village of San Al Hagar are recommended to facilitate the increase in tour bus traffic without compromising local village traffic
- A dirt track would circle the site as an alternative to the network of tracks that crisscross the site and threaten the archaeology
- All contemporary structures would be removed and their services relocated to an archaeologically in-active area on the periphery of the site
|San Al-Hagar Heritage Plan & Museum
Client: Supreme Council of Antiquity