Who knows how many discoveries are waiting to be made in Egypt. It is a land full of wonders and untold secrets buried under the sand. The country is still giving up its secrets – and these range from the lost ancient 3000 capitals like Dazzling Atem (just discovered in 2020), to the pyramids (not all of them big), to the oldest brewery in the world, to the amazing Atlantis-like lost city of Heracleion (also called Thonis).
Egypt is a country that many people have mixed feelings for, but it is also a country with so much history that visitors can only scratch the surface. Egypt spans so many thousands of years of history and is unlike anywhere else. The Great Pyramids of Giza are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
What you need to know about the great pharaoh Ramses II
Another recent discovery is that of a 3,000-year-old statue of King Ramses II that was found buried under a Cairo slum. It has been hailed as one of the most important finds of all time and is a statue of the pharaoh who was arguably Egypt’s most famous and greatest pharaoh. During his long reign, Egypt was considered to have been at the peak of its power and glory.
- Lived: Around 1303 to Around 1213 BC.
- Long Reign: Reigned for 66 years
- Children: He fathered over 100 children
- Chief Queen: Nefertiti
- Abu Simbel Temple: The entrance has four 60-foot-tall seated statues of Ramses II
Ramesses II enjoyed a very long reign and is famous for his many building projects – such as the famous Abu Simbel temple in southern Egypt which is guarded by four colossal statues of himself. Ramses II was so great that when he died, nine other pharaohs took his name (much like “Caesar”).
Today we have his mum and the fun fact is that he still needs a passport to travel out of the country. In 1974, his mummy needed conservation work due to a fungal infection. He was flown to Paris in a French military plane and was greeted by Republican Guard – according to an article in the New York Times of 1976. But to go to France, he needed a “passport”.
The huge statue of Ramses II under a Cairo slum
In 2017, it was reported that a massive 3,000-year-old statue of the pharaoh had been found under a Cairo slum. It was found by archaeologists from Germany and France (including input from the University of Leipzig) and is about 26 feet (or 8 meters) tall. He was found submerged in groundwater in an area of unfinished buildings and dirt roads.
- Cut: 26 feet or 8 meters
- Ministry of Antiquities: Hailed as one of the most important discoveries of all time
- Temple: Fun next to the ancient Sun Temple of Ramses II
- Lester: 83 Tons
The statue was found buried near where the Temple of Ramses II once stood in the ancient city of Heliopolis. They also found part of a life-size limestone statue of Pharaoh Seti II, grandson of Ramses II.
Where to see the great statue of Ramses II
In 2018, the BBC reported that the statue of Ramses II had been moved to its new home at the Grand Egyptian Museum. To transport the massive statue, a team of specialist army engineers and contractors transported it on its 400-metre (1,300 ft) journey from its storage area to its new home.
The Grand Egyptian Museum is considered one of the world’s most important museums in ancient history and a must-see for anyone in Cairo. It opened in 1902 and was specially built to house Egypt’s many ancient treasures.
- Location: Tahrir Sduar in Cairo
- Hours : 9am-7pm Mon-Wed, 9am Sun & Thu, 4pm Fri & Sat
- Price : Adult/student LE120/60, after 5:30 p.m. Sun and Thurs LE180/90, royal mummies
It is in this museum that one will find the treasures of another famous pharaoh. See Tutankhamun’s iconic mask and other treasures.
Tickets and tours:
- Egyptian Museum: $85.72
- Egyptian Museum in Cairo: $36.60
- Half-Day Egyptian Museum: $60.72
Many people offer guided tours of this impressive but often overwhelming museum. One can negotiate the price with them before entering (one can negotiate lower prices than listed above).
A trip to the Grand Egyptian Museum is a journey through time that will bring many childhood memories and impressions to life in a real-life setting.
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