Ancient Egyptian Statue Stunned Researchers After “Changing” Pharaohs’ Understanding | Sciences | New

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Egyptologist discusses ‘surprise’ hieroglyphic discovery

Archaeologists, historians and other researchers have poured relics found throughout Egypt. The country has one of the longest and best recorded histories in the world. William Matthew Flinders Petrie, a British archaeologist and Egyptologist, made valuable contributions to the techniques and methods of field excavations in Egypt at the end of the 19th century.

He invented a method that made it possible to reconstruct history from the remains of ancient cultures.

One of his most important and revered finds took place in 1884 during the excavations of the temple of Tanis, where he found fragments of a colossal statue of Ramses II.

Ramses was a great pharaoh, who is often considered the most famous and powerful ruler of the New Kingdom – a period which was itself the most powerful era in ancient Egypt.

In March 2017, a team of researchers carried out excavations in a district in the northeast of Cairo, the territory formerly inhabited by Ramses.

Ancient Egypt: Statue “Changed” Scholars’ Understanding of Pharaohs and Egyptian History (Image: Youtube / Smithsonian Channel / GETTY)

William Matthew Flinders Petrie: British archaeologist and Egyptologist made vital contributions

William Matthew Flinders Petrie: British archaeologist and Egyptologist made vital contributions (Image: GETTY)

Archaeologists were nearing the end of their five-year excavation and had already found a myriad of relics from Ramses’s time, including a 3,000-year-old temple built by Pharaoh himself.

As things were coming to an end, the diggers at the far end of the site signaled to the co-director of the excavation, Dr Dietrich Raue.

What was discovered under the concrete was explored during the Smithsonian Channel documentary, “Secrets: The Pharaoh in the Suburbs”.

The workers pulled away from the sidewalk and discovered a stone structure, soon realizing they were standing on top of a giant chest.

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Ramses II: He was considered one of the greatest Egyptian pharaohs of the New Kingdom

Ramses II: He was considered one of the greatest Egyptian pharaohs of the New Kingdom (Image: GETTY)

A large torso was revealed before a head was removed from the deep underground water, with the entire statue buried upside down.

It was made of quartzite, one of the most treasured materials of ancient times and an indicator of the importance of the structure.

The narrator of the documentary noted: “The archaeologists realized that they had just made the discovery of their life – the giant statue of a pharaoh.”

The identity of the statue was originally to be that of Ramses: its size and quartzite cut all indicated that it belonged to one of the larger ones.

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Psamtik I: Outside Egyptology Psamtik is relatively unknown

Psamtik I: Outside Egyptology Psamtik is relatively unknown (Image: Youtube channel / Smithsonian)

Ancient statues: the structure was found in large fragments

Ancient statues: the structure was found in large fragments (Image: Youtube channel / Smithsonian)

A series of hieroglyphics had somehow been preserved along the side of the statue and revealed the identity of the structure, which belonged to a relatively unknown pharaoh, Psamtik I.

During Psamtik’s reign, it was believed that Egypt had passed its glory days.

Economic and political uncertainty ensued and robbed the once powerful kingdom of its claim to glory.

However, Dr Chris Naunton, an Egyptologist speaking at the documentary, explained that the statue had completely changed the understanding of Egyptologists of this period and, by extension, of the Pharaohs.

Ancient Egyptian sites: some of the most iconic ancient Egyptian sites mapped

Ancient Egyptian sites: some of the most iconic ancient Egyptian sites mapped (Image: Newspapers Express)

He said: “These were no longer the glory days.

“Egypt was not as rich as it had been, it did not control the same territory, it did not have the same empire.

“Until now, we had thought that the pharaoh did not really have the means to build statues on this scale.

“But this statue changes all that.”

Ancient historians seem to have not covered much Psamtik, with few and far between accounts.

Hieroglyphics: The engravings on the side of the statue revealed that Psamtik was the rightful owner

Hieroglyphics: The engravings on the side of the statue revealed that Psamtik was the rightful owner (Image: Youtube channel / Smithsonian)

He ruled Egypt for 54 years from 664 BC.

According to ancient Greek historian Herodotus, Psamtik was one of the 12 co-rulers and enlisted the help of Greek mercenaries in order to become the sole ruler of Egypt.

Its giant statue was carved in the ancient classical style of 2000 BC, with the aim of establishing a resurgence of the greatness and prosperity of the ancient classical period.

His condition suggested that he had been destroyed at some point.

Dr Raue believes it was either dismantled under Imperial Rome by the early Christinas or by Muslim rulers in the 10th or 11th centuries who could have reused the material for the Cairo fortifications.


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