Archaeologists were conducting excavations on the Cerro de San Vicente, one of three hills in Salamanca, Spain, where a walled Iron Age settlement was first uncovered in 1990. It is reported that an unusual ancient Egyptian relic has been recently found there.

The settlement is more than 2700 years old and covers the area of 3.2 acres. Over the past thirty years, archaeologists have explored about 11,000 sq ft.


In the course of the excavations, led by Antonio Blanco and Juan Jesús Padilla from the University of Salamanca, the team was able to find unusual ancient artifacts such as painted ceramics and amulets with motifs of Egyptian and Eastern Mediterranean origin.

The ceramics have attracted the most attention. It is part of a ceramic inlay with gold leaf depicting Hathor, the ancient Egyptian goddess and patroness of heaven, joy, and love. She was also the wife of the god Horus and the daughter of the god Ra. It is assumed that the goddess is symbolically the mother of the earthly representatives of these deities, that is, the pharaohs.

Hathoric capital from the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, fifteenth century BC. Source: wikimedia.commons

The fragments of the artifact together add up to a relic 2 inches long. They show the lower part of Hathor's hair with her curls. Archaeologists note that every part was shaped in a flawless way to fit the supporting base. It is assumed that this was done with glue or resin.


The ceramics were found within the walls of a large megaron, that is a large rectangular hall. A piece of amphora with drawings of flowers, beads, and a shark's tooth was found there as well.

It is still unclear how exactly the depiction of the ancient Egyptian goddess got to Spain. It is believed that the ceramics might have been brought by a Phoenician delegation. However, there is another theory. According to it, the inhabitants of the settlements adopted the the rites and iconography of the eastern Mediterranean cultures.

Both theories are supported by preliminary excavations. In 2021, the team discovered an amulet depicting the goddess Hathor.


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