This is the moment archaeologists lifted a 3,000-year-old statue of an Egyptian Pharaoh considered ‘one of the most important discoveries ever’ from a muddy ditch.
Experts descended on the Souq al-Khamis district of the capital Cairo and used a crane to lift the three-tonne torso of the statue, which is believed to depict revered Pharaoh Ramses II.
The discovery, hailed by the Antiquities Ministry as one of the most important ever, was made near the ruins of Ramses II’s temple in the ancient city of Heliopolis.
Researchers from Egypt and Germany say the 26ft statue probably depicts revered Pharaoh Ramses II, who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.
The first part of the colossus – a large portion of the head – was pulled up Thursday.
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PIctures captured the moment archaeologists lifted a 3,000-year-old statue of an Egyptian Pharaoh considered ‘one of the most important discoveries ever’ from a muddy ditch
Experts descended on the Souq al-Khamis district of the capital Cairo and used a crane to lift the statue which will now be taken away for examination and restoration
Discovery: Egyptian workers pose next to the excavated three-tonne torso of the statue after it was lifted from a ditch
Egyptians look on as a crane lifts parts of a statue for restoration after it was unearthed at Souq al-Khamis district, at al-Matareya area, Cairo
Antiquities workers and reporters watch on as the statue’s torso is slowly lifted out of the hole before being take away
The Ministry of Antiquities says the statue’s parts would be assembled at the Egyptian museum in central Cairo, where they would be pieced together and restored before being moved to the yet-to-open Grand Egyptian Museum near the Giza Pyramids.
WHAT DID THEY FIND?
Archaeologists in a Cairo suburb – once the site of the ancient capital of Heliopolis – found two 3000-year-old pharaonic statues.
The statues are thought to represent Pharaohs from the 19th dynasty.
One statue stands 26ft (8 metres) tall and is carved out of quartzite – a tough stone composed mainly of quartz.
It could not be identified from its engravings but it was found at the entrance to the temple of King Ramses II – also known as Ramses the Great – suggesting it represents him.
The other relic is a limestone statue of 12th century BC ruler King Seti II.
The discovery of the two statues shows the importance of the city of Heliopolis, which was dedicated to the worship of Ra.
Ramses the Great was the most powerful and celebrated ruler of ancient Egypt.
Known by his successors as the ‘Great Ancestor’, he led several military expeditions and expanded the Egyptian Empire to stretch from Syria in the east to Nubia in the south.
He was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt and ruled from 1279 to 1213 BCE.
‘Last Tuesday they called me to announce the big discovery of a colossus of a king, most probably Ramses II, made out of quartzite,’ Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani told Reuters on Thursday at the site of the statue’s unveiling.
‘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.
Just days ago, archaeologists, officials, local residents, and members of the news media looked on as a massive forklift pulled the statue’s head out of the water
The joint Egyptian-German expedition, which included the University of Leipzig, also found the upper part of a life-sized limestone statue of Pharaoh Seti II, Ramses II’s grandson, which is 80 centimetres long.
A German-Egyptian archaeological mission found two 19th dynasty royal statues in the vicinity of King Ramses II temple in ancient Heliopolis
The statue was gently lifted to safety with the help of a crane as a crowd of dignitaries watched on in Cairo
Antiquities workers cover the head of a massive statue, thought to be that of pharaoh Ramses II, one of the country’s most famous ancient rulers
The three-tonne torso was pulled by a crane as dozens of workers supported it while being moved to dry land Monday
The Ministry of Antiquities says the statue’s parts would be assembled at the Egyptian museum in central Cairo, where they would be pieced together and restored before being moved to the yet-to-open Grand Egyptian Museum near the Giza Pyramids
Statues of the kings and queens of the nineteenth dynasty (1295 – 1185 BC) were unearthed in the vicinity of the Temple of Ramses II in what was the old Pharonic city
Archaeologists from Egypt and Germany have found a massive 26ft (8 metre) statue submerged in ground water in a Cairo slum. Researchers say it probably depicts revered Pharaoh Ramses II, who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago
Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anani (second left) and German ambassador to Egypt Julius Georg Luy (left) watch as the statue is lifted from the ditch
The statue is likely of Ramses II, who took the throne in his early 20s and ruled Egypt for 60 years more than 3,000 years ago. He is credited with expanding ancient Egypt’s reach as far as modern Syria to the east and modern Sudan to the south