Newly found ancient Egyptian statue not Ramses II, say officials (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
An ancient Egyptian statue pulled from the mud in a Cairo suburb, originally believed to be of Pharaoh Ramses II, has been unveiled at the Egyptian museum as depicting a different ancient ruler.
It is thought the statue is most likely the first king of the 26th Dynasty of Egypt — Psamtek I .
The big discovery was revealed by Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany at the famous Egyptian museum in the heart of Cairo, home of the country’s ancient antiquities.
El-Enany said that hieroglyphic signs and initial studies indicate that the statue is of Psamtek I — the first of three kings of the 26th Saite Dynasty of Egypt and the last native dynasty to rule Egypt before the Persian conquest in 525 BC
The statue was first thought to be of Ramses II, who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.
But the minister explained that the statue's torso’s back pillar preserved one of the five names of king Psamtek, according to local media outlet, Ahram online.
"If it belongs to this king, then it is the largest statue of the Late Period that was ever discovered in Egypt," he said.
The fragmented remains of the large statue were discovered in a pit of earth and a water by German and Egyptian archaeologists in Cairo’s Matareya district earlier this month.
It was initially thought that the eight-meter-tall effigy could be a tribute to Pharaoh Ramses II who ruled Egypt between 1279-1213 BCE as it was found near Ramses’ Gate.
Friday’s find was met with great anticipation as the statue arrived at the museum’s gardens.
Arrived at the Egyptian Museum for the grand unveiling of the mystery statue! Catch us live very soon! pic.twitter.com/SFHpm9gHVF— Nigel J.Hetherington (@Pastpreservers) March 16, 2017
Psamtek I was from lower Egypt and reunited the country, according to historian Matthew Ward.
The statue will undergo restoration at the Egyptian Museum and will be displayed at the Grand Egyptian Museum, near the Giza pyramids, which is scheduled to open in 2018.