History buffs, rejoice! Piece of 4,500-year-old royal statue unearthed in Egypt

Published May 3rd, 2015 - 11:00 GMT

A Belgian archaeological mission unearthed the lower part of a statue of King Sahure, who ruled during the 25th century BC, during excavation work at El-Kab archaeological site in the governorate of Aswan.

"This is a very important discovery that will add more detailed information about Sahure and his reign," Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh El-Damaty told Ahram Online, explaining that it is the third statue of the king to be found at the site. The first one is on display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the second is exhibited at the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo.

The newly discovered statue piece is rendered sandstone and depicts the lower body of the king, whose name is carved into the statue.

The Belgian mission is led by Dirk Huyge of Belgium's Royal Museums of Arts and History, and started its excavations at El-Kab in 2009. The site is the location of Upper Egypt's capital during the pre-historical period and the capital of Nekhen, a nome, or regional administrative division, until the Ptolemaic age.

The site, which lies on the eastern bank of the Nile, includes a number of rock-hewn tombs belonging to New Kingdom nobles. A Ptolemaic temple dedicated to the desert goddess Nekhbet is also still extant.

King Sahure was the second ruler of the fifth dynasty (2494 to 2345 BC). During his reign, Egypt had important trade relations with the Levantine coast, and several naval expeditions to modern day Lebanon were launched to bring back cedar wood.

He also ordered the earliest attested expedition to the land of Punt, a key coastal trading partner of Pharaonic Egypt whose location has not been determined by historians, but may have been located in the Horn of Africa.

By Nevine El-Aref


© Copyright Al-Ahram Publishing House

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