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The ruins of an ancient temple to Zeus discovered in Egypt: NPR

The ruins of an ancient temple to Zeus discovered in Egypt: NPR

Archaeologists work in the ruins of a temple to the ancient Greek god Zeus Cassius, at the archaeological site of Tell Al-Farma in the northwest corner of the Sinai Peninsula. Tell Al-Farma, also known by its ancient name Pelusium, dates back to the late Pharaonic era, and was also used in the Greco-Roman and Byzantine periods.

Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities via AP


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Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities via AP

Archaeologists work in the ruins of a temple to the ancient Greek god Zeus Cassius, at the archaeological site of Tell Al-Farma in the northwest corner of the Sinai Peninsula. Tell Al-Farma, also known by its ancient name Pelusium, dates back to the late Pharaonic era, and was also used in the Greco-Roman and Byzantine periods.

Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities via AP

CAIRO – Egyptian archaeologists have found the ruins of a temple to the ancient Greek god Zeus in the Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian antiquities authorities said Monday.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a statement that the ruins of the temple were found at the archaeological site of Tell Al-Farma in northwest Sinai.

Tell Al-Farma, also known by its ancient name Pelusium, dates back to the late Pharaonic era, and was also used in the Greco-Roman and Byzantine periods. There are also remains dating from early Christian and Islamic times.

Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, said that archaeologists excavated the ruins of the temple through its entry gate, where two huge granite columns appeared. He said that the gate was destroyed in a strong earthquake in ancient times.

Waziri said that the antiquities were found between Pelusium Castle and a memorial church on the site. Archaeologists have found a group of granite blocks that may have been used to build a staircase for worshipers to reach the temple.

Excavations in the area date back to the early 1900s when French Egyptologist Jean Clydet found ancient Greek inscriptions that showed the presence of the Temple of Zeus Cassius but did not discover it, according to the ministry.

Tell Al-Farma, also known by its ancient name Pelusium, dates back to the late Pharaonic era, and was also used in the Greco-Roman and Byzantine periods.

Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities via AP


Hide caption

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Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities via AP

Tell Al-Farma, also known by its ancient name Pelusium, dates back to the late Pharaonic era, and was also used in the Greco-Roman and Byzantine periods.

Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities via AP

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Zeus Cassius is a combination of Zeus, the sky god in ancient Greek mythology, and Mount Cassius in Syria, where Zeus was once worshiped.

Hisham Hussein, director of archaeological sites in Sinai, said inscriptions in the area show that the Roman Emperor Hadrian (117-138) renovated the temple.

He said that experts will study the discovered blocks and conduct a photogrammetric survey to help determine the architectural design of the temple.

The ruins of the temples are the latest in a string of ancient discoveries that Egypt has been promoting in the past two years in hopes of attracting more tourists.

The tourism industry was reeling from the political turmoil that followed the 2011 popular uprising that toppled old autocracy Hosni Mubarak. The sector has also been hit further by the coronavirus pandemic, most recently the Russian invasion of Ukraine.