Minya’s Al-Ashmunein Basilica Undergoes Major Restoration Work
The basilica’s ancient granite columns have been restored, while further excavations revealed more of the site’s history.
Minya’s Al-Ashmunein Basilica has seen its ancient granite columns restored and reinstalled in a major restoration work on the site. The restoration project is a collaboration between the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the Egyptian-American Archaeological Mission as well as the University of Colorado.
The basilica was originally the site of a Ptolemaic-era temple, and later became a sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary for Egypt’s early Christians. Further excavations at the site have revealed an ancient Egyptian temple dedicated to Ramses II, as well as a gate guarded by sphinxes.
The layout of the temple has been demarcated for the first time. The original temple has been estimated to date back to the reign of Ramses II, with studies showing that the stone used for the temple may have been brought from Amarna.
Further work on the site is planned, with hopes to excavate more of the temple and restore the entirety of the basilica.
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