Ancient Egyptian shrine and hidden treasures unearthed in lost ‘City of the Sun’

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Ancient Egyptian shrine and hidden treasures unearthed in lost ‘City of the Sun’

Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient Egyptian shrine and hidden treasures while researching the lost “City of the Sun” – one of the oldest cities in Egypt.

The international team learned more about “the rulers’ intense investment in the creation and expansion of the temple” after analyzing inscriptions that could be over 2,000 years old.

Archaeologists researching the ancient temple city of Heliopolis have made remarkable discoveries documenting intense temple construction activities in Ancient Egypt.

Heliopolis, which translates to City of the Sun, was one of the oldest cities of ancient Egypt.

It was occupied since the Predynastic Period which spans the period from the earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period around 3,100 BC.

Heliopolis greatly expanded under the Old and Middle Kingdoms but is today mostly destroyed as its temples and other buildings were scavenged for the construction of medieval Cairo.

Some of the more spectacular remains like obelisks often ended up being sent abroad, such as Cleopatra’s Needles in London and New York that came from Heliopolis.

The international team studying the remains at the original site consists of experts from scientific institutions in Germany, Italy and Egypt.

A statue fragment of a sphinx of King Amenemhat III found during excavations in the city of Heliopolis in Egypt.
A statue fragment of a sphinx of King Amenemhat III found during excavations in the city of Heliopolis in Egypt.
Dietrich Raue/Newsflash

The experts recently discovered a limestone wall, fragments of a shrine of pharaoh Takelot I (887-874 BC), and the remains of a sandstone building at their excavation site near Cairo.

A precise estimation of when the wall had been created is yet to be carried out, according to the researchers.

Professor Dietrich Raue, 54, has headed the excavation operations northeast of the Egyptian capital city since 2010.

The expert on Ancient Egypt said, “Our latest discoveries document the rulers’ intense investment in the creation and expansion of the temple of Heliopolis during different periods in time.”

A pyramidion of Osorkon Naos found in the ancient Egyptian city of Heliopolis.
A pyramidion of Osorkon Naos found in the ancient Egyptian city of Heliopolis.
Simon Connor/Newsflash

Leipzig University spokeswoman Katarina Werneburg Werneburg said the temple complex could have been created by the 26th dynasty (664-525 BC) based on one of the few remaining inscriptions.

Further discoveries include pieces of architecture created during the reign of Cheops (2589-2566 BC) as well as fragments of statues of Thutmose III, Amenhotep II, and Ramesses the Great.

Local authorities have cooperated with scientists and students from Leipzig University’s Egyptology Department and experts from Pisa University, Italy, on the project.

This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.

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