Colossus found in Egypt may have depicted famed pharaoh Psammetich I

Crowd of onlookers observes a recently discovered colossus now believed to depict Psammetich I in Cairo on March 16, 2017.

An ancient colossus uncovered in Cairo last week may have depicted the famed pharaoh Psammetich I, Egypt’s antiquities ministry said on Thursday.

The fragments of the eight-meter (26-feet) tall quartzite statue were found by an excavation team in ground water at the site of an ancient temple for King Ramses II, now a working class district in Cairo. But hieroglyphs on the statue’s fragments point to it having depicted Psammetich 1, who ruled from 664 to 610 BC, the statement said.

Antiquities minister Khaled el-Enany told a news conference that the hieroglyphs said “Strong Arm” — one of the names of the 26th Dynasty pharaoh. But “we don’t confirm 100 percent that it belongs to Psammetich 1” he told reporters at the Cairo Museum, where the fragments were taken.

It would require more study to find out whether Psammetich had simply appropriated an old statue. The fragments found were part of the head and torso. The excavation site was once the ancient Pharaonic capital of Heliopolis. Part of another statue, belonging to King Seti II, was also unearthed by a joint German-Egyptian archaeological mission at the site.


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