Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Discoveries along Avenue of Sphinxes

Discovery News (Rossella Lorenzi)

With photo of Nilometer

Egyptian archaeologists carrying routine excavations at the so-called “Avenue of Sphinxes,” have unearthed the remains of a 5th century Egyptian Christian church and a "nilometer," a structure used to measure the level of the Nile during floods. . . . .

Divided into five sections, the path is now yielding a number of archaeological remains.

On the second section of the path, the archaeologists found the ruins of a 1,600-year-old church. The stone remains revealed that the building was constructed with recycled limestone blocks.

“The blocks originally belonged to the Ptolemaic and Roman temples that stretched along the Avenue of Sphinxes,” Zahi Hawass, the head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, said in a statement released by Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities on Tuesday.

“They are very well preserved and decorated with scenes depicting Ptolemaic and Roman kings offering sacrifices to ancient Egyptian deities,” Hawass said.

At the avenue’s fourth section, the team also discovered remains of a cylindrical sandstone nilometer with New Kingdom (1569-1081 B.C.) clay vessels at its bottom.

Earth Times

The archaeologists also unearthed foundation stones which were used to install the sphinx statues that used to be found along the Avenue of Sphinx.

Since the beginning of restoration work at the Avenue of Sphinxes, some 128 sphinx statues have been unearthed. They are to be displayed in their original positions along the avenue.

Egypt State Information Service

A mission of the Supreme Council of Antiquities discovered the remains of a church and a Nilometer during excavations at the Rams Road between the Luxor and Karnak temples, Minster of Culture Farouk Hosni said.

The discovery dated back to the fifth century AD.

At the same context, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Zahi Hawwas said on May 11th 2010 that the remains of the church were found in the second sector of the Rams Road which is divided into five sectors.

The church was built during the fifth century AD with stone blocks dating back to the Ptolemaic era with religious inscriptions on it.

The mission has also discovered a Nilometer seven meters in diameter and assortment of pottery.

1 comment:

Jane Akshar said...

I have got lots of photos of this on my blog, second part of my day out with Mansour