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(ANSAmed) - CAIRO - An ancient temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Bastet, who has the likeness of a cat, was discovered by a team of Egyptian archaeologists in Alexandria, Egypt. The temple belonged to Queen Berenice, the wife of King Ptolemy III, who ruled Egypt from 246-222BC. The ruins discovered by the team, led by the head of antiquities in the northern part of the country, Mohammed Abdel Maqsoud, cover an area of 60 metres by 15 metres. The temple was damaged in successive periods of time, explained a statement from the head of antiquities in Egypt, Zahi Hawass, and was transformed into a quarry, resulting in the disappearance of many of the stone blocks. However, about 600 statues from the Ptolemaic era were found at the Kom Al Dikka site, many of which were of Bastet, the goddess of joy, music and maternity. This is the first temple dedicated to this goddess discovered in Alexandria, and this demonstrates, observed Abdel Maqsoud, that ''the cult of this goddess also continued after the decline of Ancient Egypt''. The Ptolemaic era marks the Greek period in Egypt from 305 BC to 30 AD. Alexandria was the capital and flourished as a cultural and trade centre.
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