Remains of statues depicted as those of the Pharaohs of the XIXth Dynasty were found in a pit near the temple of Ramses II in the suburbs of Cairo.
The discovery was made by a team of Egyptian and German archaeologists in a wasteland in Matareya, a popular suburb north-east of Cairo built on the ancient site of the solar temple of Heliopolis. According to Ayman Ashmawy, the head of the Egyptian archaeologists’ team, some of the remains discovered are those of a statue eight meters long, carved in quartz and „probably represents“ King Rameses II. The statue is dated more than 3000 years ago (1279 to 1213 BC). „This statue is not engraved and can not be identified but the fact that it is at the entrance of the temple of King Ramesses II would mean that it could belong to him.
Excavations must continue in Cairo
Among the remains of other statues is an 80 cm bust of king Seti II who ruled Egypt for ten years (from -1203 to -1194). It was carved on a limestone rock with a face with fine features. Ashmawy describes the discoveries as „very important“ because „they show that the site of the solar temple was gigantic with magnificent structures, prestigious inscriptions, colossi and obelisks . “
According to the statement, the site of Heliopolis was damaged in Greco-Roman times when most of its obelisks and giants were transported to Alexandria or Europe. At the time of the Muslim conquest, its stones were also used to build Cairo. The head of the German team, Dietrich Raue, explained that the mission was working to move the statues to the archaeological site near Matareya for restoration. Excavations will continue, the statement said.