Archeologists discover ancient gymnasium near Egypt's Cairo This undated photo released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities shows an ancient gymnasium dating back about 2,300 years, from the Hellenistic period. (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities via AP)
Archeologists discover ancient gymnasium near Egypt's Cairo
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Egypt's antiquities ministry says archaeologists have discovered remnants of an ancient gymnasium. It dates back about 2,300 years. That makes it from the Hellenistic period.

The discovery was made by a German-Egyptian mission at the site of Watfa. That is in Fayoum province. It is about 50 miles southwest of the capital. The capital is Cairo.

Watfa is the site of the ancient village of Philoteris. It was founded by King Ptolemy II in the 3rd century BC.

Ayman Ashmawi of the ministry says the gymnasium consists of a large meeting hall. It was once adorned with statues. It had a dining hall and a courtyard. It also had a racetrack that was nearly 200 meters long.

Cornelia Roemer is the head of the mission. She says the discovery clearly shows the impact of Greek life in Egypt/ This is not only in Alexandria, but also in the countryside.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why would ancient people have a gym?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (37)
  • MyaB-cha2
    11/27/2017 - 01:35 p.m.

    I think ancient people had a gym because all Egyptians need there exercise. Also i'm sure it made there life more enjoyable being in that gym with other Egyptians, it probably made people happy.

  • RickyI-cha1
    11/27/2017 - 01:36 p.m.

    I think they would have a gym to get strong to run the 200 meter racetrack. They would also need it to strong for Olympics. Last they would want to do that to make more money from winning so they can build a bigger track so they can hold more races.

  • SydnieJ-cha1
    11/27/2017 - 01:39 p.m.

    I think that they had gyms, so they could make up games. And so they can just have fun.

  • MeliahH-cha1
    11/27/2017 - 01:39 p.m.

    I think Ancient people had a gym so they had somewhere to store food and water and it also could have been used to be a shelter for animals and the Ancient people.

  • CourtneyT-cha3
    11/27/2017 - 01:40 p.m.

    I think that ancient people had a gym because they need to exercise their kids and bodys and they had a race track because then people can watch people race. So it would be like the fights in the medieval times but instead it would be a race like we have today. So people would watch and do activities like sports that they played back when they were alive.

  • HeavenA-cha1
    11/27/2017 - 01:41 p.m.

    The Ancient Egyptians need a gym to exercise and learn team building activities. They would also need a gym to build muscles so they can move the lime stone blocks for the pyramids.

  • sophiac-fra1
    11/27/2017 - 01:47 p.m.

    I think that that this was an amazing discovery in my opinion.I believe that there are so many more things to discover and I hope that I might be able to be part of discovering something else amazing someday.

  • 24ejflag
    11/28/2017 - 10:23 a.m.

    i think the ancient people would have a gym because maybe they had a tradition where they had games like the Olympics. i love this article because it talk about Egypt. i LOVE that place. i would like to see that gym myself.

  • 24smdrie
    11/28/2017 - 10:26 a.m.

    Why would Ancient Egyptians have gyms. I think maybe because their pharaohs had to stay in shape so they did not look bad in public. Because if they looked bad in public or in meetings they might look bad and people don't want to look bad. Or maybe because they want to keep soldiers and guards in shape so they don't fail to do their duty when they need to. Or to hold tournament with the royal families to show how good their empire is or for fun.

  • 24lkmalo
    11/28/2017 - 10:29 a.m.

    I think ancient people would need a gym because they might use it to store weights and other exercise items. Ancient people might want to get fit just like we do so they need a place to do so. The track would be a great way to exercise because it is so big and you can do a lot of different things on it. The gym also has a large meeting hall so people can have meetings about important things and stuff related to the gym. I think the gym should build a shower room so people can wash off after a long day of exercising.

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