• 21:41
  • Tuesday ,19 May 2015
العربية

Archaeologists uncover long lost Egyptian temple

By-redorbit

Home News

00:05

Tuesday ,19 May 2015

Archaeologists uncover long lost Egyptian temple

Archeologists have uncovered a twice-forgotten Ancient Egyptian temple located in the southern part of the African country, according to an announcement on Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities official Facebook page.

Mamdouh Eldamaty, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities, said via translated Facebook post the discovery significantly elevates the historical importance of the Gebel Elsilsila site, which was previously considered just a sandstone quarry.
 
The discovery also shows that the site had major religious significance for the nearby ancient settlement of Kheny.
 
Gebel Elsilsila is located on both side of the Southern Nile and served as a quarry from around the 15th century BC until Roman times. In fact, many of Ancient Egypt’s iconic temples were built from sandstone excavated from Gebel Elsilsila.
 
“We know that huge quantities of sandstone for temple building were quarried there,” site director Maria Nilsson told Discovery News. “Now this finding changes the history of the site, and it firmly establishes Gebel el Silsila as not only a quarry, but also a sacred location.”
 
Sobek, god of crocodiles, was the principal deity in the region around the time the temple was in use. However, Nilsson said her team can’t definitively say “to whom the temple was dedicated.”
 
The temple had been somewhat forgotten until a map published by German Egyptologist Ludwig Borchardt in 1934 made note of the site based on records from earlier in the 20th century. However, the site failed to catch the attention of the larger research community and was once again forgotten–until recently.
 
Nilsson and her team based their investigations partly on Borchardt’s map as well as unpublished sketch by renowned Egyptologist Peter Lacovara. The researchers were able to uncover foundations measuring about 115 feet by 60 feet, four visible dressed floor levels, column bases, as well as inner and exterior walls. The team also found two sandstone fragments painted with the Egyptian star and sky, a sign the temple featured a starred ceiling.