Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ancient Cat Goddess Temple Unearthed in Egypt

According to a news article from the Associated Press, archaeologists have unearthed a 2,000-year-old temple that may have been dedicated to the ancient Egyptian cat goddess, Bastet. The ruins of the Ptolemaic-era temple were (Picture: Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities) discovered by Egyptian archaeologists in the heart of the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C.

A statement from the Supreme Council of Antiquities said the temple was thought to belong to Queen Berenice, wife of King Ptolemy III who ruled Egypt in the 3rd century B.C.

The large number of statues depicting Bastet found in the ruins suggests that this may be the first Ptolemaic-era temple dedicated to the cat goddess to be discovered in Alexandria. This would indicate that the worship of the ancient Egyptian cat-goddess continued during the later, Greek-influenced, Ptolemaic period. Statues of other ancient Egyptian deities were also found in the ruins.

Modern Alexandria was built squarely on top of the ruins of the classical-era city and many of its great temples, palaces and libraries remain undiscovered. The temple was found in the Kom el-Dekkah neighborhood near the city's main train station and home to a Roman-era amphitheater and well preserved mosaics.

1 comment:

Parag said...

The large number of statues depicting Bastet found in the ruins suggests that this may be the first Ptolemaic-era temple dedicated to the cat goddess to be discovered in Alexandria.
Temple of Egypt