A new find by the German Egyptian archaeological mission working in Matariya, an eastern suburb of Cairo, promises to lead to more. Matariya is part of what was once the ancient city of Heliopolis, and the new find concerns the Pharaoh Ramses II of the 19th Dynasty, who reigned for 70 years and died in 1213BC, and is considered the most powerful of Egypt’s pharaohs.
According to Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Egyptian Archaeology Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, the archaeological team found a number of large blocks in the northern part of the area, which carried inscriptions depicting King Ramses II as a deity. His name is rendered by a rather rare variant “Paramessu”. The discovery holds evidence that may lead to a temple of Ramses II. Ayman Ashmawi, the Egyptian co-director of the mission, said that the blocks were part the innermost rooms of the temple.
“The find indicates that King Ramses II had built a temple in this region,” Dr Ashmawi said, “and that he was deified in Heliopolis.”
Dietrich Raue, the German co-director of the mission, reported that in the second area of the excavations, located to the southeast of the innermost enclosure of the temple, houses and workshops from a mid-Ptolemaic stratum have been found, as well as a number of amulets and house-metal tools. “Further excavations will reveal more about the kind of everyday-life the Egyptians led, and the tools they used at during that time in their history,” Dr Raue said.
28 September 2016