Archaeologists have discovered a massive ancient rock tunnel beneath an Egyptian temple, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced last week.
A group led by Dr. Kathleen Martinez, who heads the Egyptian-Dominican mission of the University of Santo Domingo, uncovered the tunnel. She has made several previous discoveries in her search for the tomb of Queen Cleopatra.
Archeologists described the tunnel a "geometric miracle," according to a news release from the ministry. It stretches over 4,300 feet and is carved in a rock 42 feet below the ground in the area of the Temple of Tapozeris Magna, which is located west of the city of Alexandria, the ministry said.
The name of the temple, Tapozeris Magna, is dedicated to Osiris — the God of death.
The tunnel's architectural design appears to resemble that of Greece's Jubilinos Tunnel, but longer, the ministry said. Martinez said a part of the tunnel was found to be submerged under the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, according to the ministry.
A network of tunnels stretching from King Marriott Lake to the Mediterranean were also discovered, as well as 16 burial sites inside rock-carved tombs commonly used in the Greek and Roman centuries, the ministry disclosed.
During previous excavations at the site, researchers also found important artifacts inside the temple, including coins bearing the images and names of both Queen Cleopatra and Alexander the Great. They said a number of beheaded statues, and statues of the goddess Isis, were also found.