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An international team of German and Egyptian researchers has recovered an astonishing eight-meter quartzite statue which was found in a pit in a neighborhood in the Egyptian capital city of Cairo. According to the Cultural Ministry, if the statue is what the archaeologists suspect it to be then it might just be one of the most significant discoveries in Egyptian history.
The intricately crafted statue, which clearly depicts a ruler, was found in the region which once lay in the shadows of the temple of Ramses II in the ancient city of Heliopolis, which lies in the east of modern day Cairo. According to the head of the Egyptian archaeological team, the archaeologists are currently completing their research and excavation of the site in order to confirm who the statue depicts.
Archaeologists recover one of the most significant discoveries in Egyptian history
The archaeologists have not yet found any inscriptions on the statue which would definitively identify who the ancient king was. However, they are almost certain that the statue depicts Ramses II who founded the extraordinary sun temple which used to stand in this particular area.
Researchers say that the sun temple, which was destroyed during the Greco-Roman age, was one of the largest and most intricate in Egypt as well as being one of the holiest and most culturally significant sites in the age of the ancient Egyptians. According to Dietrich Raue, the head of the German team, the ancient Egyptian people believed that Heliopolis was the home of the sun god which meant that not even the pharaohs and their families were permitted to build their residences there.
The sun temple was one of the most important architectural projects undertaken by Pharaoh Ramses II which is considered by experts to have been one of the most powerful and respected rulers of the ancient Egyptian civilization. He was the third ruler of the nineteenth dynasty and was best known for his expansionist military endeavors across the continent of Africa. Under the reign of Ramses, the ancient Egyptian empire grew to encompass territory from Syria in the east to Sudan in the south. His military prowess led to his successors referring to him as the ‘great ancestor.’
According to the archaeological team, they will extract remaining pieces of the statue and then begin the painstaking task of restoring the ancient structure to its former glory. It is expected that the statue will be placed in the entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum in 2018.