The remains of a massive statue of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh has been discovered in a suburb of Cairo. Archaeologists from Egypt and Germany believes that statue portrays one of the biggest rulers of ancient times – Ramses II. Egypt’s antiquities ministry is calling it one of the most important archaeological finds ever.

Head pulled from the area of King Ramses II’s temple, at the ancient site of Heliopolis. Image Credit: Ibrahim Ramadan/Anadolu Agency/

Last week in the northern district of Cairo known as El Matareya a team of archaeologists has unearthed from the water-logged construction site an 8 meter (26 foot) statue. Since El Matareya lies at the location of famous ancient city Heliopolis and the spot where the statue is found is near the sun temple, archaeologists think it depicts Ramses II Ozymandias. He ruled more than 3,000 years ago, during the most powerful period of Egyptian history – the period of the New Kingdom. Ramses II was not just the Great Ancestor of Egypt but it is believed that he could be the pharaoh from the biblical Book of Exodus from whom Moses demanded the release of his people. However, there is no physical evidence for these claims.

A quartzite colossus of Ramses II, along with a limestone bust of Seti II. Image Credit: Ibrahim Ramadan/Anadolu Agency

Archaeologists were able to dig up the bust of the statue, the lower part of the head with the crown, the right ear and a fragment of the right eye. Although there is no a name tag on the rocks, proximity to the Ramses II’s Sun temple clearly indicates that portrays him ( old rules require that every statue belongs to its own temple ). The remains are made of quartzite and it is estimated that 3000 years old. Beside Ramses II statue, it is also discovered an 80 centimeters long statue of his grandson Seti II, the fifth ruler of the Nineteenth dynasty ( 1200 BC to 1194 BC ).

The part of discovered remains of Ramses II statue. Image credit: Ibrahim        Ramadan/Anadolu Agency
The limestone bust of Seti II. Image credit: Ibrahim Ramadan/Anadolu Agency

The archeologist’s team from Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities and the University of Leipzig now will attempt to extract the remaining pieces of both statues before restoring them. If they successfully finish the restoration, statues will be sent to the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is set to open in 2018.

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