CAIRO: A 4,200 year-old statue of an ancient Egyptian monarch was unearthed at Elephantine Island in Aswan, the Antiquities Ministry announced Monday.
The statue belonged to Heqaib, a ruler of Upper Egypt’s first nome (province) under the sixth Dynasty Pharaoh Pepi II, according to Mahmoud Afifi, head of ancient Egypt department at the Antiquities Ministry.
The statue was discovered during excavation work carried out by the German- Swiss archaeological mission at the Elephantine Island; the first nome of Upper Egypt during the Old Kingdom Period.
Led by Dr.Cornelius von Pilgrim, the mission also discovered another statue of an unidentified person as well as a painted sandstone stele dated to the 18th Dynasty (1580 B.C.-1450 B.C.) of the New Kingdom Period.
The offering stele is in a “very good state” of preservation and measures 0.4 by 0.6 meters.
According to Afifi, the statues were discovered near Khnum temple “which might be an indication to that worshipping Heqaib was not just in his sanctuary which was build during the Middle Kingdom but it might extended to Khnum temple.”
The two statues ar emissing their upper parts; one of them represents Heqaib sitting with an inscription of his name, whereas the other one is without any inscriptions, said Nasr Salama, the general director of Aswan and Nubia Antiquities.
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, tour guide Magdy Abdel Mohsen told The Cairo Post. It is also the site of ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman (332 B.C.-395A.D.) temples and shrines dedicated to God Knonum.