Ruins unearthed suggest existence of 30th Dynasty King Nactanebo I temple in Cairo

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 5 May 2016

Evidence pointing to the existence of a temple to King Nekhtanebo I was unearthed at Heliopolis archaeological site in Matariya

A wall of the eastern gate discovered (Courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities)

An Egyptian-German archaeological mission discovered new evidence suggesting the existence of a temple to 30th dynasty King Nektanebo I (380-363 BC) in the Matariya district in east Cairo, the head of the excavation mission announced on Thursday.

Engraved blocks discovered of the temple (Courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities)

Mission head Ayman Ashmawy explained to Ahram Online that the team, which started excavation work in January, discovered a number of limestone and sandstone blocks as well as columns and painted reliefs inscribed with scenes depicting King Nectanebo I.

A lower wall of black basalt was also found along with an eastern temple gate constructed with brown silicified sandstone and decorated with inscriptions and ritual scenes.

A collection of bronze statues depicting the cat goddess Bastet was also unearthed, as well as colossi and massive stone blocks indicating the existence of a yet-undiscovered temple to King Ramses II.

Basalt slabs were also unearthed showing the geographical procession of the 6th nome of Upper Egypt.

Fragments of colossal statuary and large blocks with wall reliefs were also discovered.

Hieroglyphic text engraved on a block (Courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities)

Dietrich Raue, of the Egyptian Museum at the University of Leipzig in Germany, said in a statement that the mission focused its excavation work on the second area in the southeastern Heliopolis temple, where a workshop from the 4th century BC and a superseding Ptolemaic stratum were discovered.

"This fits the growing evidence of the enormous activities of 30th dynasty kings in the area surrounding the Sun Temple of Heliopolis," Raue said, adding that a new temple site for Ramses II was discovered between the Suq El-Khamis temple site of Ramses II and Nectanebo temple.

The excavation site (Courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities)

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