Photo: By James Byrum (Archaeologists) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
A 26-foot statue possibly of Ramses II was found in Matariya, Egypt in an area full of incomplete buildings and mud roads within a Cairo slum. The statue was discovered by archaeologists from Egypt and Germany. It is believed this recent discovery depicts Pharaoh Ramses II. The pharaoh ruled Egypt over 3,000 years ago. The Antiquities Ministry has regarded this particular development as one of the greatest ever.
” The Antiquities Ministry has regarded this particular development as one of the greatest [discoveries] ever.”
he slum is located on the Eastern side of Cairo is where Ramses II had his temple within the ancient city of Heliopolis. As such, the temple’s ruins are scattered throughout the area. It was one of the largest in ancient Egypt and was founded by Ramses II, adding weight to archeologists’ thoughts that the statue depicts him. Ramses II was the third of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He ruled from 1279 to 1213 BCE and is regarded as the most powerful ruler of ancient Egypt.
Uncovering the statue
Archeologists have been able to find the statue’s bust, its head, its right ear as well as its crown. A fragment of the right eye was also unearthed. The head was pulled out on March 9th by a forklift as members of the public looked on.
An 80cm long life-size statue made of limestone depicting Pharaoh Seti II was also discovered. If the team obtains the rest of the figure’s parts, it will be moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum set to open in 2018.
Heliopolis, an area in Matariya, was believed to be the residence of the sun god. Egypt royalty was not allowed to have its residence in the area since locals believed the sun god already lived there.
This recent discovery could improve the state of the dwindling tourism sector in Egypt. The industry has seen drops due to insecurity.