3,400-Year-Old Underwater Temple from Era of Thutmosis III Discovered near Cairo
The Minister of Antiquities in Egypt has announced the discovery of an ancient Egyptian temple near Cairo, from the time of Pharaoh Thutmose III. The ancient temple was found beneath a house, submerged under groundwater, by a group of looters who used diving equipment to explore the nine-meter deep ruins. Seven tablets, two blocks covered in hieroglyphics, several column bases and a huge statue of a seated person made of pink granite have been unearthed so far.
According to Ahram Online, the temple, which was found 40km south of the Great Pyramids of Giza, in the town of Badrashin, dates from the time of Pharaoh Thutmose/Thutmosis III, one of Egypt’s most prominent warrior kings.
Thutmose III was the sixth Pharaoh of the 18 th Dynasty. During the first 22 years of his reign, he was co-regent with his stepmother and aunt Hatshepsut, famous for taking on the male role of Pharaoh. After her death and his later rise to pharaoh of the kingdom, Thutmose III created the largest empire Egypt had ever seen, through numerous successful campaigns.
Thutmose III smiting his enemies. Relief on the seventh pylon in Karnak. (Wikipedia)
According to Egyptian officials, the temple was found by seven men, who were illegally digging under their house in the Nile Delta. They dug down nine meters before reaching groundwater and then used diving equipment to reach the ruins of the temple. A team of experts from the Ministry of Antiquities took over the excavation work, while the seven men were detained but later released because the area was not a heritage site.
The Amada Temple built by Pharoah Thutmose III could be similar to the one found by seven men under their house in Giza. Dennis Jarvis (Wikimedia Commons)
The items found in the temple have been taken to Saqqara for restoration and further study.
“We will start an excavation project in the area to find more,” said antiquities minister Mahmoud al-Damaty, who expressed hope that the inscriptions on the temple walls could unlock new information about the kingdom and reign of Thutmose III.
Featured image: One of the blocks found with hieroglyphics in the newly-discovered temple linked to the reign of Thutmose III. Credit: Ahram Online