Reported today (Sunday), statues of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh, Ramses II, have been located in the northeastern part of Cairo. Some of the statues weight up to a reported five tons. In this article, you will learn a bit about the find, as well as background information on the pharaoh himself.
The uncovered statues were made of red granite, displaying features that closely resemble that of Ramses II. Restoration will be needed for further analysis. A royal head was one of the items also discovered, which weighed about two to three tons. It measured close to 17 feet. Accompanying this find were cartouches, which is a panel or tablet that is used for an inscription or coat of arms. In this case, “royal name signs” were found referring to Ramses II. These signs were placed on the side of the statue, which was found in the seated position.
The ancient statues were found at a sun temple in Heliopolis, Cairo. This area is mostly known for the sun worship that was common in the region. This is also the site where the solar year calendar was invented.
Who Was Ramses II?
From 1304 to 1237 BC, Ramses II ruled Egypt during the 19th dynasty, overseeing the expansion of the military throughout the land. He was the third king during this time period. Across Egypt, he ordered the creation of statues and temples in honor of himself. Ramses II became a pharaoh during his early 20s, continuing his reign for more than 65 years.
Throughout his reign, he led numerous expeditions beyond Egypt and is also known for establishing one of the earliest recognized peace treaty that has survived throughout history. Numerous monuments were constructed under his rule, including a mortuary temple called the Ramesseum, as well as an archeological dream called Abu Simbel. Out of all the Egyptian pharaohs, it is said that there are more statues of Ramses II than any others.
The legacy left behind by Ramses II is believed to have sired close to 20 sons and 20 daughters, while other scholars believe the number of children he left behind to be quite less. One of his most recognized wives include Nefertari, who was considered the Great Royal Wife, which means she was a principal spouse.
Some records state that he lived to be 99 years old, but other documentation suggests he died when he was 90 years old. Buried in the Valley of Kings, his mummy was later relocated to a Deir el-Bahri, which was meant for a collection of mummies. Thorughout the years, it was recovered and put on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
In the Bible, Moses refers to a pharaoh who is said to have ordered the release of his people from slavery. Many believe this was Ramses II. Numerous contradictions of this theory has been created, including the fact that he was not drowned in the sea and that he was never associated with the Plagues of Egypt. Some believe that it was his son and successor that Moses referred to.