Authorities in Egypt have found an engraved stone block while inspecting an illegal excavation site in the Sohag town of Abydos.

The stone block is engraved with the cartouche of the 30th Dynasty King Nectanebo II and was discovered during an inspection of an old house in the Beni Mansour area. A cartouche is a symbol consisting of ovals which frame a royal name (hieroglyphs). Hani Abul Azm, head of the Central Administration for Antiquities of Upper Egypt, said that the house has been confiscated until further investigations are completed.

The stone block was found at the bottom of a hole 4 metres deep and it might have been part of a royal shrine or an extension of a temple wall built for King Nectanebo. However, experts were not able to determine exactly what it was part of due to high level of subterranean water.

According to Ashraf Okasha, director general of Abydos Antiquities, the block measures 1.40×40 centimetres.

Once the Tourism and Antiquities Police have completed their investigation further excavation will be carried out at the site.