New York archaeologists have discovered an ancient Egyptian palace at the site of a royal temple, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities announced Thursday.
The structure adjoins the Temple of Ramesses II at the ancient site of Abydos, an important city also home to the tombs of several early kings.
Archaeologists uncovered evidence of the structure during excavations of the temple and the surrounding area. Researcher Sameh Iskander with the New York University mission said the team found a stone walkway at the southwest entrance to the temple. This led them to the entrance of another building adorned with the cartouche—a hieroglyphic marking that denotes royalty—of Ramesses II.
Researchers also excavated the temple’s cornerstones, which were decorated with similar royal symbols. These etchings, and the newly discovered structure itself, will contribute to archaeologists’ understanding of temples of this period, the ministry reported. Mustafa Waziri, who heads Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the evidence will change researchers’ floorplan of the temple for the first time in roughly 160 years.