It is believed that this statue presents one of the most famous rulers of the Ancient Egypt.
Joint forces of archaeologists from Egypt and Germany believe that they have found a statue of one of the most famous rulers- Pharaoh Ramses II. The statue was found in Cairo, in a part of the city where working class lives, and more precisely- the statue was found submerged in groundwater.
Egyptian minister of antiquities told that the archaeologists first found the bust and the part of a head, but further examination found the crown and upper right part of the head.
The statue is made of quartzite and estimated to be 26-foot tall. It is also believed that it could 3,000 years old. The discovery of statue was announced as significant. Although inscription containing pharaoh’s name is missing from the statue, the proximity of discovery to Ramses temple, suggest that this is a statue devoted to him.
At the same site, the upper part of the limestone statue of Pharaoh Seti II was also discovered. The statue presented this pharaoh in life size. Seti II was the grandson of Ramses II.
Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities and University of Leipzig researchers joined forces in this project. The excavation site was quite difficult due to the presence of water, industrial waste, and rubble.
Ramses II ruled in Ancient Egypt from 1279 to 1213 B.C. His 60 years long rule expanded Ancient Egypt, from modern Syria to modern Sudan. He is often called “Ramses the Great”, due to prosperity and growth he brought to Egypt. Excavation process continues in Cairo. It is expected that the statue will be restored and exhibited at the Grand Egyptian Museum in 2018.
The statue was discovered in eastern part of Cairo, where an entire neighborhood called Matariya was built over the ancient city of Heliopolis. This city was the center of worship of Re, ancient Egyptian sun god. Ramses II was the main worshiper of this god and had built numerous temples dedicated to the sun god. One of the greatest temples was twice the size of Karnak in Luxor, but it was destroyed during the period of Ancient Greece and Rome. One of the German archaeologists told that Ancient Egyptian believed this was the place where sun god lives, so this was not a royal residence. According to this, the world was created in Matariya. On the other hand, it is believed that this ruler may have been the pharaoh pictured in Bible, responsible for the exodus of Jewish people, and from whom Moses demanded the freedom.
Back in 2006, one of the largest sun temples was found under Cairo’s marketplace. The temple had numerous statues, which weighted astonishing five tons! One of the statues suggested that Ramses II was the high priest of the Re sun temple.
Today, Ancient Heliopolis is covered with buildings. Researchers believe that more interesting discoveries are yet to be found in the city of Cairo. It is also believed that this discovery will benefit Egypt’s tourism, which had serious drawbacks in 2011 with political changes in country’s administration.