Last Update 14:11
Saturday, 19 October 2019

Two-millenia-old chapel discovered in Cairo's Matariya

Found on the archeological site of the Heliopolis temple, the chapel dates back to the reign of king Nectanebu I in the fourth century BC

Nevine El-Aref , Tuesday 14 Apr 2015
A block of the chapel
Views: 3287
Views: 3287

A German-Egyptian archaeological mission has discovered the lower part of an over-two-millenia-old basalt chapel in Cairo's suburb of Matariya.

Found on the archeological site of the Heliopolis temple, the chapel is believed to have built while Ancient Egyptian king Nectanebu I ruled over Egypt from 380 to 362 BC.

Egypt's minister of antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty explained that the chapel is made up of several basalt blocks engraved with hieroglyphic text.

“It's a very important discovery,” the minister said, explaining that it is the first time that a chapel has been found within the temple’s walls. 

A team is now working to reduce the level of underground water in the area so as to continue excavations to reveal more of the temple’s secrets, he said.

The archeological team also unearthed a royal statue featuring the cartouche of king Merneptah, who ruled centuries earlier from 1213 to 1203 BC, said Ayman Ashmawi, Egyptian co-director of the mission.

Detrich Rau, German co-director of the mission, added that his team hoped to uncover the rest of the chapel during the next archaeological season, to start in September. 

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.