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Two 4,000-year-old reliefs discovered in Egypt

Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty announced Sunday that two reliefs dating to 4,000 years ago were found by Polish archaeologists in the temple of Serapis belonging to the Ptolemaic Queen Berenice, on the coast of the Red Sea.

Two 4,000-year-old reliefs discovered in Egypt
Upper right portion of an inscription on a sandstone stele in hieroglyphs. 
The cartouche records the Pharaoh Amenemhat IV (reigned about 1800 BC) 
[Credit: S.E. Sidebotham/MOA]
The pieces date to Ancient Egypt's so-called Middle Kingdom (2050-1750 BC) and the Second Intermediate Period (1650-1550 BC), epochs long before the temple's construction date.

Two 4,000-year-old reliefs discovered in Egypt
Stele in Egyptian pharaonic style of Roman date depicts (from left to right) images
 of Hathor/Isis, some emperor whose name is lost, Harpocrates standing 
on a podium and Min/Pan [Credit: S.E. Sidebotham]
The first relief has a cartouche containing the name of the Pharaoh Amenemhat IV - the seventh and next-to-last pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty - whose reign was characterized by exploration expeditions for precious turquoise and amethyst, while the second relief, quite damaged, requires restoration.

Two 4,000-year-old reliefs discovered in Egypt
Inscription dedicated by a secretary to Isis the Greatest 
Nurse Goddess in 49 AD [Credit: S.E. Sidebotham]
The archaeologists also found a number of blocks of stone, which served as bases for the temple's statues and are engraved with lotus and papyrus flowers and a goddess, as well as with writing in Greek.

Two 4,000-year-old reliefs discovered in Egypt
Inscription (records a statue) dedicated by a secretary in charge of an aromatics
 warehouse at Berenike to a prominent citizen of the city in 112/113 AD 
[Credit: S.E. Sidebotham/MOA]
Other finds by the team include three burials from the Roman epoch, as well as parts of the facade of the temple to Queen Berenice.

Two 4,000-year-old reliefs discovered in Egypt
Skeleton of an adult male wearing an iron ring (indicated by red arrow). 
First century AD [Credit: S.E. Sidebotham]
The Polish scientific mission, after analyzing satellite photography of the area, uncovered the existence of a new archaeological site near the seaport of Berenice containing the remains of the base of a long and narrow building with three platforms.

Two 4,000-year-old reliefs discovered in Egypt
Intaglio from a ring or necklace, likely made of carnelian. 
Second/first century BC [Credit: S.E. Sidebotham]
Port Berenice was established at the beginning of the 3rd century AD by Ptolemy II, who ordered campaigns to the East African coast to capture elephants to be used in battle

Source: EFE [July 20, 2015]

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