WOW! Could you imagine discovering ‘one of the most important discoveries EVER in your profession?! Talk about a real life, modern day ‘Indian Jones’ event. To top that off, the discovery was found in a neighborhood in the SLUMS in Cairo, Egypt. Pretty wild, if you ask me.
It seems a team of archaeologists from Germany and Eypt unearthered a very large section of a 26-foot-tall statue, they believe to be Egypt’s most famous ruler, Pharaoh Ramses II, who reigned during the 1200’s BC.
H/T Daily Mail:
Last Tuesday they called me to announce the big discovery of a colossus of a king, most probably Ramses II, made out of quartzite,’ Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani told Reuters on Thursday at the site of the statue’s unveiling.
Ramses the Great was the most powerful and celebrated ruler of ancient Egypt.
Known by his successors as the ‘Great Ancestor’, he led several military expeditions and expanded the Egyptian Empire to stretch from Syria in the East to Nubia in the South.
He was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt and ruled from 1279 to 1213 BCE.
We found the bust of the statue and the lower part of the head and now we removed the head and we found the crown and the right ear and a fragment of the right eye,’ Anani said.
Yesterday, archaeologists, officials, local residents, and members of the news media looked on as a massive forklift pulled the statue’s head out of the water.
The joint Egyptian-German expedition, which included the University of Leipzig, also found the upper part of a life-sized limestone statue of Pharaoh Seti II, Ramses II’s grandson, which is 80 centimeters long.
The sun temple in Heliopolis was founded by Ramses II, which increases the likelihood the statue is of him, archaeologists say.
It was one of the largest temples in Egypt, almost double the size of Luxor’s Karnak, but was destroyed in Greco-Roman times.
Many of its obelisks were moved to Alexandria or to Europe and stones from the site were looted and used for building as Cairo developed.
Experts will now attempt to extract the remaining pieces of both statues before restoring them.
If they are successful and the colossus is proven to depict Ramses II, it will be moved to the entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum, set to open in 2018.
The discovery was made in the working class area of Matariya, among unfinished buildings and mud roads.
Dietrich Raue, head of the expedition’s German team, told Reuters that ancient Egyptians believed Heliopolis was the place where the sun god lives, meaning it was off-limits for any royal residences.
The sun god created the world in Heliopolis, in Matariya. That’s what I always tell the people here when they say is there anything important. According to the pharaonic belief, the world was created in Matariya,’ Raue said.
I don’t know about you, but I think it would have been kind of cool to be a part of this archeologist team that discovered this statue, not sure I would have wanted to visit a slum neighborhood to do it though. It just goes to show you, you never know where you’ll find your ‘roots’ of history, when you’re looking for them.
Looking at the size of this stature, I’ll bet there will be more news coming adding to the team’s ‘one of the most important discovery’s ever’. Talk about discovering your roots.
We will have to wait and see though, if we see any kind of a spike in foreign tourism to Egypt to view the future display of Pharoah Ramses II, at the Grand Egyptian Museum.
Until then, well if you want to ‘THINK BIGGER’ there’s always Noah’s Ark and the great ‘Ark Encounter‘ in Grant County, Kentucky.
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