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Ancient stone block discovered at illegal excavation site in Upper Egypt’s Sohag

An Egyptian archaeological committee from Al-Belinna inspectorate in the Sohag town of Abydos found a stone block engraved with the cartouche of the 30th Dynasty King Nectanebo II during the inspection of an old house in the Beni Mansour area, under which the owner was carrying out an illegal excavation.

Ancient stone block discovered at illegal excavation site in Upper Egypt’s Sohag
A stone block decorated with a cartouche of the pharaoh Nectanebo II was discovered in a hole 
in the floor of a home in the Egyptian city of Abydos [Credit: Ministry of Antiquities]
The Tourism and Antiquities Police caught the suspects conducting the illegal excavation red-handed and have confiscated the house until the completion of investigations, according to Hani Abul Azm, the head of the Central Administration for Antiquities of Upper Egypt.

Abul Azm added that the block may have been part of King Nectanebo II's royal shrine or an extension of a wall of a temple built by the king.

Nectanebo II is well-known for his construction projects in Abydos.

Abul Azm said that after the completion of the expropriation procedures, more excavation will take place at the site.

Ashraf Okasha, director-general of Abydos Antiquities, pointed out that the newly discovered block measures 1.40x40 cm, but the high level of subterranean water has made it difficult to determine whether it was part of a shrine or a temple wall.

Okasha added that the archaeological committee inspected the site at the two-storey mud brick house where the illegal excavation was underway, with the block discovered at the bottom of a four metre-deep hole.

Author: Nevine El-Aref | Source: Ahram Online [May 18, 2017]

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