Cairo is one of those cities that’s known for having a very, very rich history. Whether you’re talking about the pyramids or the dozen-or-so temples, it’s pretty much the most exciting city to be in if you’re even remotely into archeology. Even Indiana Jones has spent some time there. Although the Cairo scene was actually filmed in Tunisia, but I digress.
Recently they’ve made archeologists even more excited by digging up a whopping 3000 year old statue in the ground water supply. If that doesn’t sound all that impressive, I should mention the statue is about 8 meters in length. How no one stumbled upon that in all those years, nobody knows.
The statue seems to be a depiction of Ramses II, which makes sense considering it was found in the vicinity of his temple.
Their minister of antiquities (I guess that’s a position you can use when you’re Egypt), Khaled al-Αпaпi, claimed it was one of the most important finds ever made. The statue of the so-called Great Ancestor was found alongside a smaller statue of his grandson, Pharaoh Seti II.
After the extraction and careful restoration of both statues, they’ll be identified to determine whether it’s really Ramses II.
Once that’s been established, the statue can be moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum, in a somewhat unsubtle attempt to boost tourism in the area. As if Cairo needs any more cultural heritage to boost their tourism, right? Well, they have had some small setbacks to their tourism in the past because Egypt hasn’t always been the most politically stable country, but they seem to be pretty fine overall.
The place where it was found, Heliopolis, was claimed to be the place where the sun god lived. Ramses II demanded everything be built there, but the area was off limits to regular citizens and mere mortals.
Even the Pharaoh himself never lived in that holy place, which makes the find of this magnificent statue even more important. Hopefully we’ll see some additional finds as they’re bringing all the parts of the statue up to further grace the main hall of the Grand Egyptian Museum.