CAIRO: A Ptolemaic limestone temple was discovered at Gabal el-Nour, in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Beni Suef, said Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim on Monday.
The temple was built during the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (309–246 BC) and was dedicated to Isis, the ancient Egyptian Goddess of motherhood fertility and magic, who was identified with the Greek Goddess Aphrodite, said Ibrahim.
“The new discovery is attributed to the efforts of the Egyptian archaeological mission that has been conducting excavations at Gabal el-Nour since 2002,” Ibrahim added.
This is the first Ptolemy II temple to be discovered in Beni Suef, he said, adding, “The new discovery will shed more light on the history of Egypt’s Greco-Roman period (330 B.C.-395 A.D.) in general and on the history of Ptolemy II in particular.”
The archaeological mission tasked with excavations at the site reached the temple’s second level, which includes several rooms, hypostyle halls and open courtyards filled with sand, head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities section at the Ministry of Antiquities, Ali Al Asfar, told The Cairo Post.
“The temple is in a good state of preservation as it has been buried under sand for thousands of years in dry heat and an arid climate,” said Asfar.
The temple was built over an area of 600 sq. meters and consists of an open courtyard, a façade of two pylons, an open court, two hypostyle halls and a sanctuary.
The sanctuary’s walls are carved with figures of Isis, along with other Egyptian deities, receiving offerings from Ptolemy II, Mansour Boraik, the head of the Middle Egypt Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities told The Cairo Post.