Image: Two coins dating back to the era of Ptolemy III 222-246 BC, discovered in an Egyptian oasis
AFP - Getty Images
These two coins, dating back to the era of Ptolemy III (222-246 B.C.), were discovered in the Fayum oasis, south of Cairo.
updated 4/22/2010 11:41:27 AM ET 2010-04-22T15:41:27

Archaeologists unearthed 383 bronze coins dating back to King Ptolemy III who ruled Egypt in the 3rd century B.C. and was an ancestor of the famed Cleopatra, the Egyptian antiquities authority announced Thursday.

The statement said one side of the coins were inscribed with hybrid Greek-Egyptian god Amun-Zeus, while the other side showed an eagle and the words Ptolemy and king in Greek.

Founded by one of Alexander the Great's generals, the Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt for some 300 years, fusing Greek and ancient Egyptian cultures.

The coins were found north of Qarun lake in Fayoum Oasis 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Cairo.

Other artifacts were unearthed in the area included three necklaces made of ostrich egg shell dated back to the 4th millennium B.C. and a pot of kohl eyeliner from the Ottoman Empire.

The objects will all be displayed in the new Egyptian museum under construction near the pyramids of Giza.

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