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Missing Top Half of Ramses II Statue Found By Archaeologists in Egypt

March 5, 2024


In a joint effort, Egyptian and American archaeologists unearthed the upper half of King Ramses II’s statue in Minya’s Ashmunein region, according to a statement by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities on Monday, 4 March.

The mission, led by archaeologists Basem Jihad and Yuvouna Tranka, is a collaborative effort between the Supreme Council of Antiquities and the University of Colorado.

The unearthed upper half of the statue complements the lower part found in 1930 by German archaeologist G. Roeder. Mustafa Waziri, head of the Supreme Council, noted that the council has begun cleaning and strengthening the fragment for further study and visualization of the complete statue.

In the statement, Adel Akasha, head of the Central Directorate of Archaeology of Central Egypt, stated that the year-long excavation aimed to uncover the religious center of Minya’s Ashmonine, spanning the modern state era to the Roman period, including potential temples dedicated to King Ramses II. He believes this statue fragment underscores the site’s significance, hinting at further archaeological discoveries to come.

Made of limestone and 3.8 meters tall, the upper half of the statue depicts King Ramses II seated, adorned with a double crown and a cobra-topped headdress. Once the lower part is attached, the full complete statue will measure to around 7 meters tall.

The first excavation season witnessed the success of restoring and reassembling giant granite columns. These columns stand on the north side of the Ashmunein Basilica, built on the ruins of a 6th-century AD Temple of Talmi dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Ramses the Great, the third pharaoh of Egypt’s 19th Dynasty, reigned for 66 years, from 1279 to 1213 BC.

Towering figures of Ramses II beckon visitors to numerous historical sites across the country, including the iconic twin temples of Abu Simbel in Egypt’s southernmost province of Aswan.

In 2021, the mummies of Ramses II and 21 other pharaohs embarked on a grand parade through Cairo. The event, dubbed the “Pharaohs’ Golden Parade,” transferred the mummies from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square in Cairo to the Grand Egyptian Museum.


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