Archaeologists have made the surprising discovery of new hieroglyphics carved into rocks outside of a temple dedicated to Hathor in Gebelein, Egypt. The temple is thought to have been constructed 3,500 years ago during the time of Hatshepsut and the hieroglyphs are mainly religious in nature.
The many inscriptions that are just now being discovered are believed to have been made by priests and pilgrims visiting the area, with many of these individuals leaving behind their most personal prayers inscribed on the rocks, as Science in Poland reports.
One such Egyptian hieroglyph was left by a temple scribe who was known as Senebiu, who wanted to let it be known that he “adores Hathor Lady of Gebelein.”
A Ph.D. student from the Antiquity of Southeastern Europe Research Center of the University of Warsaw explained that archaeologists currently understand past religious beliefs in Egypt in part due to the many tombs and temples that were built. With the discovery of these new hieroglyphs in Gebelein, researchers will have a vast amount of new information to sift through.
“Inscriptions discovered by our mission are an invaluable source for research on popular religious beliefs. We know Egyptian beliefs primarily from official texts from monumental temples and tombs, made for royals and elite members.”
Reading the hieroglyphs in Gebelein has proven to be quite a challenge for archaeologists due to the extreme inaccessibility of many of the writings, which were found high up on rocks. Cameras were required for many of these, along with special climbing gear. Archaeologists note that the reason for this is that the landscape has changed dramatically over such a long span of thousands of years.
The vast majority of these Egyptian hieroglyphs were written between the years 1770 to 1400 BC and besides the many personal prayers that were discovered, some of the inscriptions were created to honor different religious festivals that occurred over the years.
These inscriptions were found to be either plain engravings or special engravings that were also painted. While this particular location in Gebelein is indeed well known to local residents, no archaeological research has ever been conducted in the area up until now.
With so many new hieroglyphs to decipher outside the temple of Hathor in Gebelein, Egypt, archaeologists will undoubtedly be revealing new inscriptions to the public when they are available.