CAIRO: Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani called on the archaeological mission excavating in Aswan’s Elephantine Island to prepare a scientific report on carving of a Star of David recently spotted on a 3,200-year-old shrine, Youm7 reported.
Anany directed the joint Egyptian-German archaeological mission to verify whether the carvings of two Stars of David in question are modern and to provide several archive photos of the monoliths since it was discovered.
“The carvings will be examined by a committee of specialists who will clarify the date they were made and whether such carving was popular in Egypt during that time,” said Anany.
Last week, a senior official at the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry ordered the removal of the monolith after media reports claimed the Star of David carvings were recently made by members of an archaeological mission working in the site.
“We are not sure about the date when these graffiti were added to the monolith. I rule out that this was made by a member of the German archaeological mission,” Mahmoud Afifi, the head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department told Youm7.
Veteran tour guide Magdy Abdel Mohsen believed the carving is modern. “A group of tourists are believed to have defaced the block by craving the Stars of David on it,” Abdel Mohsen told The Cairo Post Thursday.
“The last time I have visited the site was 2004 and I do not remember seeing the reliefs,” he added.
Elephantine is an island in the western bank of the Nile River in Aswan. The southern tip of the island, which was built over a core of natural rounded granite boulders, is the site of an ancient settlement, Abdel Mohsen said. It is also the site of ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman (332 B.C.-395A.D.) temples and shrines dedicated to God Knonum.