Egyptian archaeologists unearth ‘rare’ bust of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius

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Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a rare Roman bust in the southern city of Aswan.

A team doing work at the Temple of Kom Ombo to protect the site from groundwater stumbled upon a sculpted head of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius – an unusual find for this site, according to the Antiquities Ministry.

Aurelius ruled from 161-180 AD, and his death is said to have marked the beginning of the end for the Western Roman Empire.

In addition to the bust, archaeologists excavating a site a few hours north of Aswan discovered artifacts from a shrine to the god Osiris-Ptah-Neb, in the ancient temple Karnak.

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The bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius discovered in Aswan is particularly unusual, the experts say, as statues to this ruler are not common in the area. The ancient head has remained largely intact over the years, and the wavy beard and hair can still clearly be seen

The bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius discovered in Aswan is particularly unusual, the experts say, as statues to this ruler are not common in the area. The ancient head has remained largely intact over the years, and the wavy beard and hair can still clearly be seen

The bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius discovered in Aswan is particularly unusual, the experts say, as statues to this ruler are not common in the area. The ancient head has remained largely intact over the years, and the wavy beard and hair can still clearly be seen

The discoveries at Karnak, in the city of Luxor, include parts of a stone panel depicting a ram and a goose – symbols of the ancient Egyptian god Amun – on an offering table, with a winged sun-disk at the top.

The team also found the entrance to the shrine itself, with several columns and inner walls, along with the remains of a third chamber, foundation stones, and the shrine’s floor unearthed at the site.

According to Dr Ayman Ashmawy, Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, this shrine for the god Osiris is one of the most important in the temple from that time, as indicated by its position on the southern side of the temple for the god Amun-Re.

In addition to the bust, archaeologists excavating a site a few hours north of Aswan discovered artefacts from a shrine to the god Osiris-Ptah-Neb, in the ancient temple Karnak

In addition to the bust, archaeologists excavating a site a few hours north of Aswan discovered artefacts from a shrine to the god Osiris-Ptah-Neb, in the ancient temple Karnak

In addition to the bust, archaeologists excavating a site a few hours north of Aswan discovered artefacts from a shrine to the god Osiris-Ptah-Neb, in the ancient temple Karnak

The discoveries at Karnak, in the city of Luxor, include parts of a stone panel depicting a ram and a goose - symbols of the ancient Egyptian god Amun

The discoveries at Karnak, in the city of Luxor, include parts of a stone panel depicting a ram and a goose - symbols of the ancient Egyptian god Amun

The discoveries at Karnak, in the city of Luxor, include parts of a stone panel depicting a ram and a goose – symbols of the ancient Egyptian god Amun

The shrine also contains the names of Kings Taharka and Tanout Amun, revealing its links to the late 25th Dynasty; Tanout Amun was the last king of the 25th Dynasty, the experts note.

Excavations over the last few years have unearthed countless remarkable artefacts from ancient Egypt, which the country hopes will spur tourism to the area.

Egypt has suffered from political turmoil following the 2011 uprising.

Both Aswan and Luxor contain significant archaeological sites that have provided a stunning glimpse into life in the ancient cities.

The team also found the entrance to the shrine itself (shown), with several columns and inner walls, along with the remains of a third chamber, foundation stones, and the shrine¿s floor unearthed at the site

The team also found the entrance to the shrine itself (shown), with several columns and inner walls, along with the remains of a third chamber, foundation stones, and the shrine¿s floor unearthed at the site

The team also found the entrance to the shrine itself (shown), with several columns and inner walls, along with the remains of a third chamber, foundation stones, and the shrine’s floor unearthed at the site

WHAT IS EGYPT’S VALLEY OF THE KINGS?

The Valley of the Kings in upper Egypt is one of the country’s main tourist attractions, situated next to the Giza pyramid complex.

The majority of the pharaohs of the 18th to 20th dynasties, who ruled from 1550 to 1069 BC, rested in the tombs which were cut into the local rock.

The royal tombs are decorated with scenes from Egyptian mythology and give clues as to the beliefs and funerary rituals of the period.

The majority of the pharaohs of the 18th to 20th dynasties, who ruled from 1550 to 1069 BC, rested in the tombs which were cut into the local rock. Pictured are statues of goddesses at the site

The majority of the pharaohs of the 18th to 20th dynasties, who ruled from 1550 to 1069 BC, rested in the tombs which were cut into the local rock. Pictured are statues of goddesses at the site

The majority of the pharaohs of the 18th to 20th dynasties, who ruled from 1550 to 1069 BC, rested in the tombs which were cut into the local rock. Pictured are statues of goddesses at the site

Almost all of the tombs were opened and looted centuries ago, but the sites still give an idea of the opulence and power of the Pharaohs.

The most famous pharaoh at the site is Tutankhamun, whose tomb was discovered in 1922.

Preserved to this day, in the tomb are original decorations of sacred imagery from, among others, the Book of Gates or the Book of Caverns.

These are among the most important funeral texts found on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs.

The Valley of the Kings in upper Egypt is one of the country's main tourist attractions, situated next to the Giza pyramid complex. The most famous pharaoh at the site is Tutankhamun, whose tomb was discovered in 1922

The Valley of the Kings in upper Egypt is one of the country's main tourist attractions, situated next to the Giza pyramid complex. The most famous pharaoh at the site is Tutankhamun, whose tomb was discovered in 1922

The Valley of the Kings in upper Egypt is one of the country’s main tourist attractions, situated next to the Giza pyramid complex. The most famous pharaoh at the site is Tutankhamun, whose tomb was discovered in 1922

The bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius discovered in Aswan is particularly unusual, the experts say, as statues to this ruler are not common in the area.

The ancient head has remained largely intact over the years, and the wavy beard and hair can still clearly be seen.  

Earlier this year, archaeologists announced the discovery of a partial statue depicting one of the most famous pharaohs in Aswan – Ramses II.

The head and chest were also discovered in the Temple of Kom Ombo during the ongoing efforts to protect the site from groundwater.

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a rare Roman bust in the southern city of Aswan. A team doing work at the Temple of Kom Ombo to protect the site from groundwater stumbled upon a sculpted head of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius ¿ an unusual find for this site

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a rare Roman bust in the southern city of Aswan. A team doing work at the Temple of Kom Ombo to protect the site from groundwater stumbled upon a sculpted head of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius ¿ an unusual find for this site

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a rare Roman bust in the southern city of Aswan. A team doing work at the Temple of Kom Ombo to protect the site from groundwater stumbled upon a sculpted head of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius – an unusual find for this site

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