A limestone statue of the cat goddess Bastet discovered in Alexandria, Egypt.
Photo: courtesy of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.
temple dedicated to an ancient Egyptian cat goddess have been discovered by archaeologists near Alexandria's train station, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said today.
Possibly pointing to the long-sought location of Alexandria's royal quarters, the ruins of the Ptolemaic-era building have been unearthed at the Kom el Dikka area in the Mediterranean city founded by Alexander the Great around 331 B.C.
The temple remains, 60 metres (200 feet) in height and 15 meters (49 feet) wide, are thought to belong to Queen Berenike II, wife of king Ptolemy III (246-222 B.C.).
At the site, the archaeologists, led by Dr. Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, Head of Antiquities of Lower Egypt, also unearthed a cachette of 600 Ptolemaic statues.
The large collection contained many statue representations of the cat goddess Bastet, suggesting that the temple was dedicated to the deity and that its worship continued even after the decline of the Pharaohs, when the Hellenistic Egyptians associated her with their own Greek deity Artemis.