Friday 12 July 2024
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Newsletter 10: Wadi el Hitan
"Gigal in front of a Basilosaurus skeleton in Wadi el Hitan"
"Here I am, back from our expedition with members of around Fayum lake and inside the Western Desert: the Whale Valley: Wadi el Hitan,an exceptional valley when it comes to these fossils.Apart from the fantastic sites of the 1st, 2d Dynasties etc, nestled around the big lake (you will soon discover those sites, most of them not yet open to the public, in my coming writings published in the magazines: l'Egypte, Sacrée Planète, Top Secret and Nexus), the aim of our exploration was to discover this amazing valley where lay hundreds of whale skeletons. Whales dating from millions of years, the Archaeoceti, of the types "Basilausorus Isis" , "Zeuglodon" (20m long) and "Dorudon". They had rather the form of big dolphins with a snake-like tail, and feet, the latter sign of an important stage of the whale's evolution (a marine mammal after having been a land animal...)Forty million years ago, the Mediterranean Sea, called Thetys in those times, covered this part of Egypt; then it withdrew, leaving a lot of sediments in Wadi el Hitan. However, the main question I had in mind was "are these only whales dating from millions of years ? Couldn't there be among them some that would be much more recent, going back to only a few thousand years BC for example, a whale that Ancient Egyptians of the Dynastic Times could have known... I am carrying out this investigation at the moment; it leads us very far, as you will soon see."

Gigal during a study meeting at the Egyptian Geology Institute,
with the geologists.

Gigal Research 2013 - 2015