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Sunken Sanctuary of Aphrodite and Temple of Amun Discovered in Egypt

September 20, 2023

An underwater archaeological mission near Egypt’s Alexandria coastline uncovered remnants of an ancient Egyptian temple devoted to the god Amun, along with a sanctuary dedicated to the Greek goddess Aphrodite dating back to 500 BC. The excavation, announced by Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in a Facebook post on 19 September, was made within the submerged ancient city of Thonis-Heracleion, situated approximately seven kilometres off of Egypt’s North Coast. The find was first announced by the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM), which led the Egyptian-French mission that made the recent discovery. The remains of the Amun temple consist of massive stone blocks, believed to have collapsed during a catastrophic event dated around 200 BC. Among the temple’s treasures were silver ritual instruments, gold jewellery including lion-head shaped earrings, Horus-eye pendants, and alabaster containers that stored perfumes. These discoveries provide insights into the luxury of the sanctuary and the religious devotion of the sunken city’s former inhabitants. Islam Selim, head of the Underwater Archaeology Department at the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), highlighted that the discovery of silver ritual instruments was a rare find, as silver was extremely valuable…

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