New ancient Egypt temples discovered in Sinai

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New ancient Egypt temples discovered in Sinai

Post by Hurghada Lady »

CAIRO – Archaeologists exploring an old military road in the Sinai have unearthed four new temples amidst the 3,000-year-old remains of an ancient fortified city that could have been used to impress foreign delegations visiting Egypt, antiquities authorities announced Tuesday.

Among the discoveries was the largest mud brick temple found in the Sinai with an area of 70 by 80 meters (77 by 87 yards) and fortified with mud walls 3 meters (10 feet) thick, said Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The find was made in Qantara, 2 1/2 miles (4 kilometers) east of the Suez Canal. These temples mark the latest discovery by archaeologists digging up the remains of the city on the military road known as "Way of Horus." Horus is a falcon-headed god, who represented the greatest cosmic powers for ancient Egyptians.

The path once connected Egypt to Palestine and is close to present-day Rafah, which borders the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

Archaeologist Mohammed Abdel-Maqsoud, chief of the excavation team, said the large brick temple could potentially rewrite the historical and military significance of the Sinai for the ancient Egyptians.

The temple contains four hallways, three stone purification bowls and colorful inscriptions commemorating Ramses I and II. The grandeur and sheer size of the temple could have been used to impress armies and visiting foreign delegations as they arrived in Egypt, authorities said.

The dig has been part of a joint project with the Culture Ministry that started in 1986 to find fortresses along the military road. Hawass said early studies suggested the fortified city had been Egypt's military headquarters from the New Kingdom (1569-1081 B.C.) until the Ptolemaic era, a period lasting about 1500 years.

In a previous find, archaeologists there reported finding the first ever New Kingdom temple to be found in northern Sinai. Studies indicated the temple was built on top of an 18th Dynasty fort (1569-1315 B.C.).

Last year, a collection of reliefs belonging to King Ramses II and King Seti I (1314-1304 B.C.) were also unearthed along with rows of warehouses used by the ancient Egyptian army during the New Kingdom era to store wheat and weapons.

Abdel-Maqsoud said the fortified city corresponded to the inscriptions of the Way of Horus found on the walls of the Karnak Temple in Luxor which illustrated the features of 11 military fortresses that protected Egypt's eastern borders. Only five of them have been discovered to date.

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Post by FABlux »

5 down, 6 to go.
Really does underscore what everybody says about the small amount that has been found as a proportion of what is left :)
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Post by BBLUX »

An update to the first report. It now seems that in fact these are four parts of one larger temple.

"Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni announced today that an
archaeological mission sponsored by Egypt's SCA has discovered
the remains of a large New Kingdom temple in the area of Tell Hebua
in the Sinai. Excavators have found inscriptions in the temple dating
to the reign of Thutmose II (ca. 1516-1504 BC) through that of
Ramesses II (1304-1237 BC). (..) The temple covers an area
of some 80 by 70 meters. It is built of mud brick, and surrounded
by a 4 meter-thick wall. It consists of four rectangular halls containing
a total of 34 columns decorated with images of ancient Egyptian deities,
including Horus, Hathor, Tefnut, Montu, and Renenutet. The temple
also contains images of Thutmose II and Ramesses II. (..) Its walls were
brightly painted, and it housed three limestone purification basins along
with a number of chapels. Dr. Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, the SCA
director in charge of the region, said that to the east and west of the
temple, the team found two groups of storehouses consisting of
13 rooms each. These storehouses probably date to the reigns of
kings Seti I (ca. 1314-1304 BC), Ramsess II and Seti II (ca. 1315-
1215 BC). Inside, the team found thousands of inscriptions and seal
impressions of Seti I, Ramesses II, and Seti II. One particularly
important example depicts Ramesses I (ca. 1315-1314 BC) before
the god Set, the patron deity of the Hyksos capital of Avaris, now
known as Tell El-Dab'a, in the eastern Nile Delta some 50 kilometers
from Tell Hebua."

Note the important new info on the storehouses.

There are two photos at the above URL.

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