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Discovering parts of the temple of King Nectanebo I dating back to the Pharaonic era

The Egyptian-German archaeological mission, working in the area of ​​​​Al-Matareya, revealed many basalt blocks that represent parts of the western and northern facades of the temple of King Nectanebo I (380-363 BC), in addition to an extension of the temple from the northern side, possibly to connect the temple of Nectanebo to the main axis of the temple.

This discovery came while the mission was carrying out archaeological excavations at the center of the Great Temple of Heliopolis in the Matareya antiquities area. This was stated by Dr. Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, noting that the mission also found many blocks representing the regions of Lower Egypt, including the view that represents the region of Heliopolis, in addition to views of the other regions of Lower Egypt.

Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Supreme Council of Antiquities and head of the mission from the Egyptian side, explained that the inscriptions on these stones mention the years 13 and 14 (366/365 BC) of the reign of King Nectanebo, in addition to the dimensions and materials used in this temple. There are also several unfinished blocks indicating that it seems that no decoration work was carried out for the temple after the death of King Nectanebo I in 363 BC.

Dr. Dietrich Rau, head of the mission from the German side, said that other architectural elements testify to the building projects of King Ramses II (1279-1213), King Merneptah (1213-1201 BC) and King Apris (589-570 BC). The Ramesses activity also shows Also by cutting inlay inscriptions of which part of a facet of jasper stone from the early nineteenth dynasty (about 1300 BC). And a fragment of a statue of Seti II (1204-1198) add to the evidence of the activity of this king from the late nineteenth dynasty in Heliopolis.

The axis of the temple towards the west was also studied, where scattered evidence indicates the presence of buildings from the Middle Kingdom, the twenty-second dynasty (Osorkon I, 925-890 BC) and a shrine for the god Shu and the goddess Tefnut from the era of King Psamtik II (595-589 BC). . As well as parts of a statue of Ramses II, part of a baboon statue, a pedestal and parts of a quartzite obelisk of Osorkon I and parts of worship facilities such as an offering table for Tuthmosis III, 1479-1425 BC.

Dr. Ayman Ashmawi also explained that these discoveries indicate continued royal support and investment in the Temple of the Sun and the Creator God in Heliopolis.

The excavations also provided additional evidence for the Thirtieth Dynasty and the Ptolemaic period in the region. Dr. Dietrich Rau points out that this is through models of sculpting exercises as well as limestone molds for inscriptions and molds to produce ushabti statues that testify to the activities of the workshop before all evidence of temple activity during the Roman era disappeared

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