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Ruins of temple for Zeus unearthed in Sinai

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This undated photo provided by the Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Ministry on Monday shows archeologists working in the ruins of a temple for Zeus-Kasios, the ancient Greek god, at the Tell el-Farma archaeological site in the northwestern corner of the Sinai Peninsula.
This undated photo provided by the Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Ministry on Monday shows archeologists working in the ruins of a temple for Zeus-Kasios, the ancient Greek god, at the Tell el-Farma archaeological site in the northwestern corner of the Sinai Peninsula. (Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Ministry) Photo Gallery

CAIRO — Egyptian archaeologists unearthed the ruins of a temple for the Greek god Zeus in the Sinai Peninsula, antiquities authorities said Monday.

The Tourism and Antiquities Ministry said in a statement the temple ruins were found in the Tell el-Farma archaeological site in northwestern Sinai.

Tell el-Farma, also known by its ancient name Pelusium, dates back to the late Pharaonic period and was used during Greco-Roman and Byzantine times. There are also remains dating to the Christian and early Islamic periods.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said archaeologists excavated the ruins through its entrance gate, where two fallen granite columns were visible. The gate was destroyed in an earthquake in ancient times.

Waziri said the ruins were found between the Pelusium Fort and a memorial church at the site. Archaeologists found a set of granite blocks probably used to build a staircase for worshipers to reach the temple.

Excavations at the area date back to early 1900 when French Egyptologist Jean Clédat found ancient Greek inscriptions that showed the existence of the Zeus-Kasios temple but he didn’t unearth it, according to the ministry.

Zeus-Kasios is a conflation of Zeus, the God of the sky in ancient Greek mythology, and Mount Kasios in Syria, where Zeus once worshipped.

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