Large statue of Egyptian Pharoah Ramses II found in Egypt

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A section of a limestone statue of Ramses II was unearthed by an Egyptian-US archaeological mission in El Ashmunein, south of the Egyptian city of Minya, Egypt in this handout image released on March 4, 2024. —Reuters
A section of a limestone statue of Ramses II was unearthed by an Egyptian-US archaeological mission in El Ashmunein, south of the Egyptian city of Minya, Egypt in this handout image released on March 4, 2024. —Reuters

An archaeological mission conducted by Egyptian and US archaeologists has discovered a large upper part of a Pharoah Ramses II statue during excavations in the Egyptian city of Minya, Reuters reported.

According to Egypt's Tourism and Antiquities Ministry, the limestone block is about 3.8 metres (12.5 feet) high and depicts a seated Ramses wearing a double crown and a headdress topped with a royal cobra.

Bassem Jihad, head of the mission's Egyptian team, said that the upper part of the statue's back column displays hieroglyphic writings that glorify the king, one of ancient Egypt's most powerful pharaohs.

Ramses II also called 'Ramses the Great,' ruled from 1,279 to 1,213 BCE, and was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt.

The size of the statue when combined with its lower section, which was unearthed decades ago, would reach about 7 metres.

The city of El Ashmunein, on the west bank of the River Nile, was known in ancient Egypt as Khemnu and in the Greco-Roman era was the regional capital of Hermopolis Magna.

Studies have confirmed that the upper part of the statue is a match for the lower section discovered by German archaeologist Gunther Roeder in 1930, said Mustafa Waziri, head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The mission has begun cleaning and preparing the block ahead of modelling what the statue would look like when the two sections are combined, Waziri said.