More info about Queen’s Berenike’s Temple

Egyptians Unearth Ancient Queen’s Temple, Cat Goddess Statues
By Mahmoud Kassem

Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) — Egyptian archaeologists have uncovered the temple of Queen Berenike as well as 600 Ptolemaic statues in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria in what may be the first traces of the ancient city’s royal quarters, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said.

The remains of the temple, 60 meters in height and 15 meters in width, were discovered during routine excavation in the Kom el Dikka area of Alexandria by an archaeological mission led by Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, head of antiquities of lower Egypt, the council said in an e-mailed statement today. Queen Berenike, who reigned in the third century B.C., was the wife of Ptolemy III.

The team found a large collection of statues depicting the cat goddess Bastet, indicating that the temple was dedicated to the deity. Clay pots and bronze statues of other Egyptian gods including Harpocrates and Ptah were also discovered, the Supreme Council said. The find suggests that the worship of Bastet continued even after the decline of the Pharaohs, it said.

The base of a granite statue of a top official during the reign of Ptolemy IV was also unearthed and is believed to celebrate Egypt’s victory over the Greeks during the Battle of Raphia in 217 B.C., the statement from Egypt’s archaeological authority said. A large number of clay pots dating back to the fourth century B.C. as well as a Roman water cistern were also discovered, it said.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Mahmoud Kassem at mkassem1


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