Follow-up to Ramesses II’s statue find: A different Pharaoh!

The massive 8-metre statue found in Cairo earlier this month, is believed not to depict Ramesses II, as previously thought. Features of the statue, studied after removal from the site, show that it probably represents King Psamtik I, a pharaoh of the 26th Dynasty, who ruled between 664-610 BC.

Colossus being seen by Prince Henrik of Denmark (left) and Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled (right) el-Anani (by Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

The statue was found earlier this month, by archae0logists working in the Matariya neighbourhood of Cairo, near the ruins of Ramesses II’s temple in the ancient city of Heliopolis. Initially, it was hailed by Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry as among the most important discoveries to date on the basis that it depicted Ramesses the Great, the most powerful and celebrated ruler of ancient Egypt.

Transport of the statue from the excavation site (by İbrahim Ramadan & Anadolu Agency)

After examining pieces of the 8-meter statue the experts came to conclusion that its characteristics point to a different time than that of Ramesses rule. According to archaeologists, a key piece of evidence is the name “Nebaa” (or “Neb Aa”) inscribed on the statue, as the only pharaoh who was referred to with the name “Nebaa”, is Psamtik I (also spelled Psammeticus or Psammetichus), of the 26th Dynasty. The name means the possessor of the arm, which can be interpreted as the mighty

Egyptian Minister of Antiquities showing evidence that the statue depicts Psammetich I (by Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

Despite the statue’s clues, the authorities state it could take months to determine with 100 percent certainty which historical figure it depicts as archaeologists search for additional fragments at the excavation site.

Statue before removal from the site (by Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

(after Reuters Africa, ABC, Euronews, Mohamed Abd El Ghany, İbrahim Ramadan & Anadolu Agency)

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