A headless granite statue of a Ptolemaic king has emerged from the ruins of an ancient Egyptian limestone temple believed to be the burial site of Queen Cleopatra and her lover Mark Antony.
According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the sculpture was unearthed at Taposiris Magna, a site some 30 miles from the port city of Alexandria, by an Egyptian-Dominican team searching for the tomb of the doomed lovers.
More than 2,000 years old, the statue represents the traditional shape of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh wearing collar and kilt.
“Even though the head is missing, this is one of the most beautiful statues from the Ptolemaic period. I think it portrays Ptolemy IV, the pharaoh who constructed temple,” Dr. Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Discovery News.
The team, led by Dr. Hawass in collaboration with the Dominican archaeologist Kathleen Martinez, also discovered the temple’s original gate on its western side.