Matariya (Egypte): Possible ancient sanctuary of Nectanebo I and temple of Ramses II discovered

Ministry of Antiquities

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The Egyptian-German Archaeological Mission to Matariya (Ministry of Antiquities of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Egyptian Museum University of Leipzig, University of Applied Sciences Mainz) discovered new evidence for a sanctuary of Nektanebo I (380-363 BC) in the temple precinct of Heliopolis... Declared Dr. Mahmoud Afify, Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector.

13102750 489569811248168 4321059425601731921 nA part of a sandstone pillar bears the royal name of Pharoah Nectanebo. Antiquities Ministry

Dr. Aiman Ashmawy, Head of the Egyptian team at the Mission stared that the number of blocks from a limited area proves that indeed the excavation area is the site of the original building built of limestone reliefs and columns, with lower wall zones made in black basalt. An eastern gate was constructed of brown silicified sandstone and decorated with inscriptions and ritual scenes.

13131760 489568641248285 7698001777038498123 o13131372 489571497914666 8572808346225975429 oWall Relief Show Hapi, God Of The Nile Seated Before An Offering Table. Antiquities Ministry

Furthermore, additional evidence for the representation of geographical processions consisting of Nile gods with accompanying texts were found. A group of basalt slabs proves shows the geographical procession of the 6 th nome of Upper Egypt. Additionally, objects like a sculptor’s practice pieces and a bronze figurine of the goddess Bastet were found in the same area.

13133362 489570041248145 5713850212822495767 nFigurine of Goddess Bastet; the ancient Egyptian cat Goddess. Antiquities Ministry

In addition, Dr. Dietrich Raue from the Egyptian Museum of the University of Leipzig/Germany focused on excavations in a second area in the southeast of the temple, where a workshop of the 4th century BC and a superseding Ptolemaic stratum were discovered. “This fits to the growing evidence for the enormous activity of the kings of the 30th Dynasty in this sanctuary." Furthermore, a new temple site of Ramses II was discovered between the location of the temple-site of Ramesses II at the Suq el-Khamis and the area of the Nectanebo temple. Fragments of colossal statuary as well as large blocks with wall reliefs were found.

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