Buddha statue found in Egypt points to ancient India linksPosted Fri 28 Apr 2023 at 7:01amFriday 28 Apr 2023 at 7:01am
A statue of Buddha has been discovered in Egypt's ancient seaport of Berenice on the Red Sea, shedding light on trade ties with India under the Roman empire.
- The 71cm statue was found missing part of its right side and its right leg
- The find points to trade ties between Egypt and India during the Roman era
- Berenice was often the destination for ships from India laden with trade goods
The find has "important indications over the presence of trade ties between Egypt and India during the Roman era", head of Egypt's supreme antiquities council Mostafa al-Waziri said.
The statue, with part of its right side and its right leg missing, measures 71 centimetres in height and portrays Buddha with a halo around his head and a lotus flower by his side.
Mr Waziri said Berenice was one of the largest seaports in Roman-era Egypt, and was often the destination for ships from India laden with spices, semi-precious stones, textiles and ivory.
Egypt has unveiled many major archaeological discoveries in recent years, amid attempts to revive its vital tourism industry after years of political unrest and the COVID pandemic.
However, critics say the flurry of excavations has prioritised finds that grab media attention over hard academic research.
The crown jewel in the government's plans is the long-delayed inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum at the foot of the pyramids in Giza.
The government plans to attract 30 million tourists a year by 2028, up from 13 million before the pandemic.