A collection of ornate blocks and fragments of the western and northern facades of the temple of King Nactanebo I at Matariya has been uncovered. Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities
The discovery was made a few weeks ago during excavations in the central area of the temple.
The blocks and fragments are made of basalt and belong to the west and north facade. A northern extension probably connected the sanctuary with the main axis of the area of the sun god. Several blocks of the Lower Egypt geographical procession have been found, including the scene with the Heliopolis nome, while others show the depiction of the additional nouns from Lower Egypt.
Aymen Ashmawy, head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities sector and head of the mission from the Egyptian side, explains that the inscriptions mention the years of reign 13 and 14 (366/365 BC) as well as the dimensions and materials used for this sanctuary.
“Several blocks were also unfinished, and after the death of Nectanebo I in 363 BC. No further decoration work appears to have been commissioned, ”he said, adding that other architectural elements were removed from the building projects of Ramses II (1213-1201 BC) and Apries (589-570 BC) . The activity of the Ramesside period is also represented by an insert for a relief from the early 19th dynasty (approx. 1300 BC). A fragment of a statue of Seti II (1204-1198) adds evidence of this late 19th dynasty king in Heliopolis.
Dietrich Raue, head of the German mission, pointed out that the main processional axis was investigated further west. Scattered fragments indicate separate building units of the Middle Kingdom, the 22nd Dynasty (King Osorkon I, 925-890 BC) and a sanctuary for Shu and Tefnut of King Psametik II (595-589 BC).
Raue said that some fragments of the statues of King Ramses II, part of a baboon statue, a statue base and fragments of a quartzite obelisk from King Osorkon I and parts of cult installations such as a sacrificial table were found by Thutmose III, 1479-1425 BCE.
These finds indicate continued royal support and investment in the Temple of the Sun and Creator God at Heliopolis, and the excavation work provided additional evidence of the 30th Dynasty and Ptolemaic Period in the district.
Dietrich Raue pointed out that sculptures and limestone casts for reliefs and molds for the production of faience ushabti (a kind of grave figure) testify to the activity of the workshops before all evidence of the temple function ceased during Roman times.