Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena

Egypt’s Tourism and Antiquities Police have arrested four thieves undertaking undercover excavation work in an area near to ​​Nag Hammadi in Qena governorate.

The arrests led to the discovering of monuments attributed to the reign of Ptolemy IV, the fourth King of Ptolemaic Egypt, who ruled from 221 to 204 BCE.

The Supreme Council of Antiquities confirmed that a stone wall discovered in Qena has been dated to the same Ptolemaic ruler’s reign.

Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the wall is made of sandstone and decorated with inscriptions and cartouches belonging to the Ptolemaic era.

He directed for archaeological missions to be sent to the area to start on the excavations work, with the anticipation that the site will reveal more archaeological gems.

The wall was discovered at a distance of about 200 metres from the shrine of the goddess Hathor in ​​Naga Hammadi, which represents the seventh region of Ancient Egypt.

Ptolemy IV was also known as Philopater, a name given to him by his father Ptolemy III. The young prince succeeded his father to the Egyptian throne in 221 BCE, aged about twenty-three.

His reign, which saw him establish himself through a bloody family purge, was also marked by the Fourth Syrian War (219-217 BCE) with the Seleucid empire. The latter was brought to a close through a definitive Ptolemaic victory at the Battle of Raphia, one of the Hellenistic Age’s largest battles.

However, Ptolemy was criticised for being more interested in luxury and court ceremony rather than the day-to-day running of a country through government, politics, and foreign relations. The decline of Egypt’s Ptolemaic dynasty is usually traced to his reign.

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