Ain Sukhna is a town in Suez Governorate, Egypt, lying on the western shore of the Red Sea's Gulf of Suez. It is situated 55 km south of Suez and approximately 120 km east of Cairo.
Recent archaeological excavations have shown that there was an ancient pharaonic port and settlement in this area. The site was first brought to attention in 1999 by Professor Mahmud Abd el-Raziq. French and Egyptian archaeologists have been investigating this area since that time.
The site had been occupied during the Old Kingdom and through to the New Kingdom.
The port was used mainly to cross over to the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula on the other side of the gulf.
There are some important rock inscriptions in the area. In particular, there's an inscription by Mentuhotep IV, the last king of the 11th Dynasty (ca 2000 BC).
Large galleries carved into the sandstone mountain were found. They served as living and storage places. In one of them, a wall inscription from the time of Djedkare Isesi has been found. He was the king of the 5th Dynasty (ca 2400 BC). The inscription gives details on a large expedition in the area, looking for various minerals. It also mentions 'Byblos-boats' -- which Egyptians used for long seafaring expeditions. This is a very early mention of such boats.
As early as the Old Kingdom, seafaring expeditions on the Red Sea were organized from this port. Similar material was also found at the Wadi Maghareh, where many Old Kingdom inscriptions are found.
Another similar ancient site is at Wadi al-Jarf, a little south of Ain Sukhna.