Nectanebo I sanctuary
Sanctuary of Nectanebo I potentially discovered. Egypt Antiquities Ministry

Evidence of the sanctuary belonging to the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Nectanebo I has been discovered in Heliopolis. German and Egyptian archaeologists found limestone columns, basalt walls and artefacts dating back 2,400 years - the time of the pharaoh's reign.

Nectanebo I, who ruled between 380 and 363 BC, founded the 30th Dynasty. He came to power after a career as an army general by overthrowing the previous pharaoh, Nepherites II. As of yet, his tomb has not been found.

The discovery of the sanctuary was announced by Egypt's Antiquities Ministry. Researchers unearthed evidence of an original building constructed from limestone reliefs and columns. They also found an eastern gate made of brown silicified sandstone, which was "decorated with inscriptions and ritual scenes".

Along with the sanctuary, archaeologists discovered a bronze figurine of the goddess Bastet (the goddess of warfare) and what are thought to be sculptor's practice pieces. "Furthermore, additional evidence for the representation of geographical processions consisting of Nile gods with accompanying texts were found," the ministry said.

"This fits to the growing evidence for the enormous activity of the kings of the 30th Dynasty in this sanctuary," said Dietrich Raue from the University of Leipzig in Germany.