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Egypt says ancient colossus pulled from slum likely not Ramses
A massive eight-meter statue discovered in the ground water of a Cairo slum this month is likely not a depiction of the revered Pharaoh Ramses II as first believed, Antiquities Minister Khaled Al-Anani said on Thursday.
The colossus is instead thought to be of King Psammetich I, who ruled from 664 to 610 BC and, if confirmed, would be the largest statue of the Late Period ever discovered.
Egyptian and German archaeologists found the statue in the working class
area of Matariya among unfinished buildings and mud roads, but near the
ruins of Ramses II’s temple in the ancient city of Heliopolis.
It was initially hailed by the Antiquities Ministry as among the most
important discoveries to date on the basis that it depicted Ramses the Great, the most powerful and celebrated ruler of ancient Egypt.
After examining pieces of the 8-meter statue however, Anani said its
characteristics pointed to a different time.
“When the head was lifted, we started to find some features which are
characteristic for other periods,” he told a news conference.
A key piece of evidence is the name “Nebaa” inscribed on the statue.