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Sinkhole in Egypt Reveals Long-Lost Temple Of Doom

Sinkhole in Egypt Reveals Long-Lost Temple Of Doom 1

A CRACK in the wall. A growing pothole. Strange rumblings in the night. When a sinkhole in suburban Abydos collapsed, it opened a portal to a long-lost temple of the dead.

The Luxor Times reports that late in April this year a mysterious subsidence in a narrow suburban alley was drawn to the attention of city municipality workers.

The street had collapsed into a hole dug from inside one of the neighbouring houses.

Only once workers entered the pit did they realise the dig was by illegal looters — and that they had uncovered an ancient construction. Egypt’s Tourism and Antiquities police were summoned, and the diggers arrested.

Egyptologists then set about examining exactly what lay beneath a suburb established in 1935, only some 150 metres from the renown Temple of Seti I. After shoring up the entrance and tunnel roof with timbers, a short climb revealed wonderful things. First it was just rubble. Then archaeologists had to dodge a leaking sewage tank.

But a few metres beneath the street and the foundation of the houses were stained limestone blocks, marking the remains of an old wall.

Once the excavators pushed their way inside, they were greeted with the crowded sight of neat rows of ancient hieroglyphs and high reliefs — proudly declaring the memorial chapel as belonging to Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II — who reigned about 2046-1995BC.

Few artefacts and inscriptions dedicated to this pharaoh remain. Most are in and around Abydos, Aswan and Thebes.

Ancient unifier … One of the few remaining depictions of Mentuhotep II.

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Ancient unifier … One of the few remaining depictions of Mentuhotep II.

Mentuhotep II reigned at a time of civil war in Egypt, continuing the fight against Lower-Egypt for 39 years of his reign.

His eventual victory saw him unify the two lands once again, and he was declared the first pharaoh of the Middle Kingdom.

His title means “Horus, he who invigorates the heart of the two lands”.

Archaeologists have since removed the sewage tank — leakage from which was eroding the stone inscriptions — and have begun restoring the room to prevent further damage.

Excavator Ayman Damarany told the Luxor Times: “I expect there would be more to the site and maybe other sites of the era either former or later to Mentuhotep II.”

Further excavation of the site is restricted due to the many occupied buildings above.


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