Newly discovered Matariya statue is not Ramsis II, identity to be announced tonight

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 16 Mar 2017

Initial studies reveal that the statue is not of King Ramses II, as originally suggested

The colossus' torso which bears the original name of its owner

Initial studies on the colossus lifted from a muddy pit in Matariya and transferred to the Egyptian Museum today reveal that it is not of King Ramses II as originally thought, the Ministry of Antiquities told Ahram Online.

In a ceremony to be held tonight at the museum's garden in Tahrir, Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany is set to announce the real identity of the colossus’ owner.

Upon its discovery last week, Egyptologists suggested that the statue could have belonged to Ramses II, but initial studies on its torso revealed that it may belong to an another king.

Some archaeologists suggested that the colossus could represent King Senusret III who erected a tall obelisk near the location where it was uncovered.

Others believe it could belong to a king who reigned before Ramses II and that Ramses had the original name erased, attributing the colossus to himself, as he was known to have done in some cases. 

The two parts of the royal colossus as well as three other artefacts newly discovered in Matariya are to be put on temporary exhibition at the museum. Among these are a limestone bust of King Seti II.

The statue was discovered last week by a German-Egyptian archaeological team.

The statue will undergo restoration at the Egyptian Museum and eventually be displayed at the Grand Egyptian Musuem -- a facility under construction near the Giza pyramids which could become the world's largest archaeological museum.

The $795 million project, which sits on nearly 120 acres of land approximately two kilometres from the Giza pyramids, is part of a new master plan for the plateau. 

It is scheduled to open partially in 2018.

Short link: