Archaeologists from Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities have uncovered the remains of a 2,200-year-old Greco-Roman temple in the country’s Western Desert, according to National Geographic.
The ruins were found at the Al-Salam site, 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Siwa Oasis. The front section of the temple and parts of its foundation have been identified, along with an outer wall around the front courtyard, which is surrounded by doors to several chambers.
According to the Egyptian ministry, archaeologists expect to find more temple remains after further excavations.
The stones and architectural elements indicate that the temple was built in the Greco-Roman style. The upper lintels and corner pillars are decorated with bas-relief ovals with pointed, narrow carvings.
Among the discoveries were two limestone lion statues, a Greek-inspired sculpture of a man’s head plus fragments of pottery and coins, the National Geographic says.
The temple discovery might provide some clues as to the Greco-Roman occupation era. Not only were temples used as religious places, but they were also economic hubs where priests lived and locals visited.
Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 332 BC, bringing an end to Persian rule. After his death, his general Ptolemy took over, starting a line of monarchs who would rule for the next 275 years, until the Romans took over from 30 BC to 395 AD.