Shrine discovered in Egyptian temple with evidence of previously unknown rituals

The Sikait Project research team, directed by Professor Joan Oller Guzmán from the Department of Antiquity and Middle Age Studies at the UAB, recently published in the American Journal of Archaeology the results obtained from the January 2019 excavation season at the ancient seaport of Berenike, located in Egypt’s Eastern desert.

The paper describes the archaeological dig of a religious complex from the Late Roman Period (4th to 6th centuries CE) named the Falcon Shrine by researchers, and located within the Northern Complex, one of the most important buildings of the city of Berenike at that time.

The site, which was excavated by the Polish Center of Mediterranean Archaeology and the University of Delaware, was a Red Sea harbor founded by Ptolomy II Philadelphus (3rd century BCE) and continued to operate into the Roman and Byzantine periods, when it was turned into the main point of entrance for commerce coming from Cape Horn, Arabia and India.

Within this chronological period, one of the phases yielding the most new discoveries was the one corresponding to the Late Roman Period, from the fourth to sixth centuries CE, a period in which the city seemed to be partially occupied and controlled by …

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