Statue of Ramses II in Cairo slum heralded as 'important find'

A quartzite colossus possibly of Ramses II was discovered at the ancient Heliopolis archaeological site. Photo / Getty Images
A quartzite colossus possibly of Ramses II was discovered at the ancient Heliopolis archaeological site. Photo / Getty Images

Archaeologists have discovered a massive statue in a Cairo slum they believe is of pharaoh Ramses II who ruled Egypt 3000 years ago.

The find is being hailed as one of the most important discoveries ever by the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry.

"Last Tuesday they called me to announce the big discovery of a colossus of a king, most probably Ramses II, made out of quartzite," said antiquities minister Khaled al-Anani.

The 8-metre high statue was found in ground water in eastern-Cairo, an area which was the ancient city of Heliopolis, near the ruins of Ramses II's temple.

The pharaoh, also known as Ramses the Great, was the most powerful and celebrated ruler of ancient Egypt and ruled between 1279 to 1213BC.

Ramses II ran extensive building programmes and expanded the Egyptian empire.

Dietrich Raue, from the Egyptian-German archaeological team, said that the location of the statue strengthens the likelihood that it is Ramses.

"The sun god created the world in Heliopolis, in Matariya. That means everything had to be built here. Statues, temples, obelisks, everything," he said.

The discovery was made at the ancient Heliopolis archaeological site in Matareya area. Photo / Getty Images
The discovery was made at the ancient Heliopolis archaeological site in Matareya area. Photo / Getty Images

- NZ Herald

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