New discovery in Egypt’s Matariya points to temple of Ramses II

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The Egyptian-German Archaeological Mission at Matariya archaeological site discovered new evidence that may lead to a temple of Pharaoh Ramses II.

New discovery in Egypt's Matariya points to temple of Ramses II
Ramses II anointing a divinity [Credit: Ministry of Antiquities]

Dr Mahmoud Afifi, the head of the Ancient Egyptian Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, stated that this evidence was found about 450 metres to the west of the obelisk of Senusret I in Matariya. It was discovered when the mission stumbled upon a number of blocks from the temple courtyards and fragments of the temple statuary.

New discovery in Egypt's Matariya points to temple of Ramses II
Detail of Ramses II anointing a divinity [Credit: Ministry of Antiquities]

Afifi explained that a new group of large blocks was yielded in the southern part of the area. They show Ramses II anointing a divinity. His name is rendered by a rather rare variant “Paramessu.”

New discovery in Egypt's Matariya points to temple of Ramses II
Relief of Ramses II [Credit: Ministry of Antiquities]

Dr. Aymen Ashmawi, the co-director of the mission, said that the recent find was part of the decoration of the innermost rooms of the temple. Further groups of relief fragments attest that Ramses II was the builder of this temple.

New discovery in Egypt's Matariya points to temple of Ramses II
Sun disc from ritual scene [Credit: Ministry of Antiquities]

“It confirms the hypothesis that Ramses II showed special interest in Heliopolis in the later decades of his long reign of almost 70 years,” Dr Ashmawi said.

In addition, Dr. Dietrich Raue, the co-director of the mission, reported that in the second area of excavations – located in the southeast of the innermost enclosure of the temple – houses and workshops from a mid-Ptolemaic stratum are under excavation.

Other discoveries in the area include faience amulets and metals, Dr. Raue reported.

Source: Ahram Online [September 27, 2016]

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