An Egyptian archaeological mission working to reduce the underground water level at Kom Ombo Temple in Egypt’s southernmost district of Aswan has uncovered a marble head of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Ayman Ashmawi, head of the ancient Egyptian Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, described the head as depicting the Roman emperor with wavy hair and beard; the size of the head being 40 x 33 x 34 cm. He describes the find as “unique”, since statues of the Roman ruler are rare. It was discovered at 15 metres deep down a well that was back in history used as a Nilometre, located next to the temple. Nilometres were used to measure the volume of the Nile waters’s annual inundation, according to which the taxes to be paid by farmers that year were estimated.
The head Marcus Aurelius is now in storage until it can be restored and preserved.
Another Egyptian archaeological mission working in Luxor made a rare discovery of an unusually positioned Osirian temple situated on the southern side of the 10th pylon at Karnak Temple. The architectural elements revealed indicate a Late Period (664 – 332 BC) shrine dedicated to the god Osiris-Ptah-Neb. The well-preserved find consists of an entrance, foundation remains, columns, inner walls and ruins of a third hall located on the eastern side. Paving stones from the shrine floor were also uncovered, along with other extension structures built during a later period.
Essam Nagy, head of the archaeological mission, said the shrine was not located on the eastern or northern side of the Amun-Re temple in line with the ancient Egyptian belief, but was on the southern side. Also uncovered were a collection of clay pots, remains of statues, and a winged frame relief decorated with offering tables bearing a sheep and a goose. The relief, Nagy said, bears the name of kings Taharka and Tanut Amun, the last ruler of the 25th Dynasty (746 – 653 BC).
24 April 2018