Egypt finds rare Indus temple buried in sand

Written by Staff Writer

Dar al-Helal, Near-Palmyra, Syria (CNN) — Archaeologists say they’ve found a hidden temple left by the Indus peoples, who lived across Asia and Africa before the arrival of the Indus Valley civilization in India around 5000 B.C.

The temple was found buried in the sand with a series of inscriptions in the language of the Indus, according to Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.

“This is the first time such a surprise to such an extent has been found in Egypt,” Hawass said at a press conference.

One of the inscriptions, found in the remains of a foundation made of coral blocks. Courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities

The temple is 1,050-feet-long (300 meters) and can house 6,000 people, according to CNN. It’s one of 10 excavations underway by a team of about 30 archeologists from Egypt and the United States, said Hawass.

The council discovered the temple in an area known as the “golden triangle” — between the desert oasis of Dar al-Helal and the city of el-Mal. The discoveries are nearly 600 miles east of Cairo, near the ancient city of Kessab, said the Egypt’s Culture Ministry.

In 2000, King Tutankhamun, the 3,000-year-old Egypt’s oldest human civilization, made headlines across the world after he was discovered in a well-preserved sarcophagus.

Inside the ancient Temple of Borj. Courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities

While the temple is a historical find, archaeologists do not know if the Indus people worshiped the sun or worshipped a different deity.

Dar al-Helal, near-Palmyra, Syria, is one of the most important temples of the Indus people in the Eastern Indus region, according to the council. It’s an Indus town that dates back to 100 B.C. — although archaeologists now believe the settlement existed as early as 70 B.C.

The Indus people were the first people to occupy northern Egypt, Hawass said. They made the area their capital, and did a lot of agriculture. The temples they built in the region in Egypt date back to about 3000 B.C.

Archaeologists say one temple had a phallic style, while the others were more abstract in style.

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