Ancient Egyptian shrine, bust unearthed under modern Cairo
Lower part of the shrine -Photo courtesy of Antiquities-Ministry
By

CAIRO: A 2,400 year-old basalt shrine was unearthed from beneath Cairo’s modern districts of Ain Shams and Mataria, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty announced Tuesday.

“The finds were discovered during the ongoing excavation work carried out by an Egyptian-German archaeology mission. The shrine belonged to the 30th Dynasty Pharaoh Nectanebo I (379 B.C.-360 B.C.,)” said Damaty.

Nectanebo I was the founder of the 30th Dynasty: the last native Egyptian royal family to rule ancient Egypt before Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 332 B.C., Archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban told The Cairo Post Tuesday.

“Historical evidence suggests the Pharaoh came to power by overthrowing Nepherites II, his predecessor and the last pharaoh of the 29th Dynasty,” Sabban added.

The mission also unearthed a royal bust belonged to the New Kingdom (1580 B.C.-1080 B.C. ) Pharaoh Merenptah, Damaty said, adding that the statue represents the Pharaoh standing and making offerings to ancient Egyptian deities.

Archeology surveys carried out in Heliopolis have revealed prehistoric human settlements under this part of the modern city of Cairo, said Damaty.

Little remains of what was once one of the ancient Egyptians’ most sacred cities, since much of the stones used in the construction of the temples were later plundered and reused in building modern buildings, according to Sabban.

Bust of Merenptah - Photo courtesy of Antiquities Ministry

Bust of Merenptah – Photo courtesy of Antiquities Ministry

Heliopolis, known in ancient Egypt as Iunu, was Egypt’s most ancient capital city.

“The area was first excavated in the early 20th Century and most of the finds ended up in private collections. The obelisk of the Middle Kingdom Pharaoh Senusert I, probably the oldest standing obelisk in Egypt, is among the most significant excavations at the area,” according to Sabban.

Recommend to friends

Comments

  1. Rene Remington
    April 17, 2015 at 7:52 am

    It is easy to understand how these artifacts have been built upon. Lookings at how the sand blows. This is exciting to here.

  2. Robert Schumi
    April 19, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Since serval years the area in Heliopolis/Mataria is closed for tourists. When it will be open again for visitors?

  3. farang
    April 28, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Merenptah: the real “Jehosaphat.” “Both” of them.

Leave a comment