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New discovery in Matariya points to a King Ramses II temple

New discoveries at the Matariya archaeological site near Heliopolis suggest the existence of a temple from the 19th dynasty of Ramses II

Ahram Online , Tuesday 27 Sep 2016
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The Egyptian-German Archaeological Mission at Matariya archaeological site discovered new evidence that may lead to a temple of King Ramses II.

Dr Mahmoud Afifi, the head of the Ancient Egyptian Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, stated that this evidence was found about 450 metres to the west of the obelisk of King Senusret I in Matariya. It was discovered when the mission stumbled upon a number of blocks from the temple courtyards and fragments of the temple statuary.

Afifi explained that a new group of large blocks was yielded in the southern part of the area.

They show King Ramses II anointing a divinity. His name is rendered by a rather rare variant “Paramessu.”

Dr. Aymen Ashmawi, the co-director of the mission, said that the recent find was part of the decoration of the innermost rooms of the temple. Further groups of relief fragments attest that King Ramses II was the builder of this temple.

"It confirms the hypothesis that Ramses II showed special interest in Heliopolis in the later decades of his long reign of almost 70 years," Dr Ashmawi said.

In addition, Dr. Dietrich Raue, the co-director of the mission, reported that in the second area of excavations – located in the southeast of the innermost enclosure of the temple – houses and workshops from a mid-Ptolemaic stratum are under excavation.

Other discoveries in the area include faience amulets and metals, Dr. Raue reported.   

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