Cairo, Egypt: Cairo is a city where history sleeps. You really don’t know, how the city that has grown haphazardly over the last few decades, can throw a huge surprise at you.
If anyone had any doubt, it was cleared earlier this week, when the archeologists found to their astonishment a massive 3,000-year-old statue thought to depict Ramses II. The government officials claim that the discovery is among the biggest in scope in the last several decades.
The archeologists who discovered the historic marvel belonged from Egypt and Germany. The top archeologists from the two nations began removing the quartzite statue — estimated to stand 30 feet tall — from the ground in Matariya, greater Cairo, in front of state representatives and media crews Thursday.
The digging was going on for around five years. Dietrich Raue from the University of Leipzig says that it was a monumental work and it is indeed a great historic event. Raue heads the German team of archaeologists involved in the excavation.
While talking to the CNN he Dietrich Raue says, “It was in an area that was almost completely investigated…The team had found basalt bases in the dilapidated courtyard, but nothing more substantial…We thought [the pit] would be empty without any features… so that was a great surprise.”
Many top Egyptian officials were simply stunned by the discovery, more so by the fact that it was found at a place, where no one thought to hide something as important as this statue. Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani, who was on site for the unveiling, said the figure is most likely Pharaoh Ramses II, otherwise known as Ozymandias.
Nonetheless, it is still going to take sometimes before things become rather very clear. Archeologists say that despite their best efforts, no inscriptions on the statue identify it as Ramses II. Mahmoud Afifi, head of Ancient Egyptian antiquities at the ministry second the opinion. Its discovery near the gate of a temple dedicated to Ramses II temple makes him the most likely subject. But Raue says although the statue was certainly placed there by Ramses II, the jury is still out on who it depicts.