Cairo, April 15:
Egyptian and German archaeologists have discovered a 2,400-year-old basalt shrine and bust beneath Cairo’s modern Ain Shams and Mataria districts, the antiquities minstry announced.
“The shrine belonged to the 30th Dynasty Pharoah Nectanebo I,” said Antiquities Minister Mamdouh El Damaty.
He was referring to Egypt’s pharoah from 379 BC to 360 BC, a member of the last native Egyptian royal family to rule before Alexander the Great conquered the country.
The excavated part of the shrine consists of carved basalt blocks and the dig also unearthed a royal bust belonging to the pharaoh Merenptah from the New Kingdom (1,580 BC to 1,080 BC), Damaty said.
The statue represents Merenptah standing and making offerings to ancient Egyptian deities, Damaty said.
The finds were unearthed at the site of a sprawling and extremely important temple from Heliopolis, Egypt’s most ancient capital city, known in ancient Egyptian as Lunu.
Ground water was being reduced in order to complete excavation works at the temple, said Damaty.
Digs carried out in the area have uncovered pottery and other artefacts from prehistoric human settlements, according to Aiman Ashmawy, head of the ministry’s Egyptian department. (IANS)