Ancient stele found underneath mosque minaret

02-07-2017 11:12 PM

Islam Abul-Wafa

Ancient stele found underneath mosque minaret

Archaeologists of the Antiquities Ministry in the west-Delta region of Beheira have discovered an ancient Egyptian stele underneath the minaret of the mosque of Abu-Shousha in the village of Dairout, Mahmoudiya. The discovered panel is of quartzite rock 2.48m in length and 51cm in width, and carries hieroglyphic bas-reliefs depicting offerings to the gods. The offerings include duck, geese, migratory birds, gold, barley and wheat. It has not yet been announced what date the stele goes back to.
The Abu-Shousha mosque lies on the bank of the Rosetta Branch of the Nile Delta, and was built in the late 16th century by Prince Issa al-Adli. It underwent several renovations, one by Abdullah Bey al-Minawi at the beginning of the 19th century, and the most recent in 2003 at the hands of the villagers. The minaret had not been renovated, though, and was currently being dismantled in order to be rebuilt. In the process, the ancient rock stele was discovered; the rock forms part of the foundation of the minaret.
This is the second time a significant discovery is made in Beheira. The first was the Rosetta Stone, the 1700-pound granodiorite rock discovered in 1799 by Jean-Francois Champollion, a soldier in the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte. The stone is covered in inscriptions of essentially the same text in three different languages: Ancient Greek, Demotic, and hieroglyphs; and was the key to understanding the ancient Egyptian language and reading hieroglyphs.



Watani International
2 July 2017

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