Colossal 3000-Year-Old Statue of Ancient Egypt’s Most Powerful Pharaoh Found in Cairo Slum

June 24, 2018 11:00 am Last Updated: June 24, 2018 11:00 am

This clip shows the moment when a gigantic statue of Pharaoh Ramses II—that’s more than 3,000 years old—was found near the ruins of an ancient temple, and has been hailed as one of the most important discoveries ever made. There is a reason why archaeologists say this.

In a Cairo slum in Egypt, archaeologists from Egypt and Germany discovered a 26-foot-tall statue submerged in groundwater near the ruins of Pharaoh Ramses II’s temple, in March. The temple was located in the ancient city of Heliopolis, which is now modern-day Cairo.

Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani told Reuters, “Last Tuesday they called me to announce the big discovery of a colossus of a king, most probably Ramses II, made out of quartzite.” Ramses II was regarded as the most powerful ruler of ancient Egypt from 1279 to 1213 BCE, which was during the Nineteenth Dynasty.

“We found the bust of the statue and the lower part of the head and now we removed the head and we found the crown and the right ear and a fragment of the right eye,” Anani said, in the same Reuters report.

The discovery was in the working-class area of Matariya. Local officials and archaeologists later had the statue pulled out of the water.

As the sun temple was founded by Ramses II, archaeologists deduced that the statue found is he.

Ancient Egyptians believed that the ancient city of Heliopolis was where the sun god lives, according to the head of the expedition’s German team, Dietrich Raue.

“The sun god created the world in Heliopolis, in Matariya. That’s what I always tell the people here when they say is there anything important. According to the pharaonic belief, the world was created in Matariya,” said Raue.

“That means everything had to be built here. Statues, temples, obelisks, everything. But … the king never lived in Matariya, because it was the sun god living here,” Raue added.

Photo credit: Getty Images.