Ahram Online reports that two statues were discovered by an Egyptian-German excavation team at the site of the Ramses II temple in the Al-Matariya area of Cairo. Mahmoud Afifi, of Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, said the first statue is a limestone bust of King Seti II that measures about two and one-half feet tall. The second statue, which was found in pieces, was carved from quartzite and may have stood more than 25 feet tall. “Although there are no engravings that could identify such a statue, its existence at the entrance of King Ramses II’s temple suggests that it could belong to him,” Afifi said. Most of the temple’s colossal statues and obelisks are thought to have been taken to Alexandria and Europe in antiquity, while the blocks from the temple’s walls were reused during the Islamic period to construct buildings of Historic Cairo.
A Swiss excavation mission led by Swiss archaeologist Cornelius Pilgrim unearthed two headless statues and an offering stele during excavation works within the vicinity of Khnum temple on the Nile island of Elephantine in Aswan.
Part of the ceiling of the British Museum’s new exhibition space has had to be dismantled to allow the safe installation of three colossal Egyptian granite statues, which were recovered in 2001 from the water where they lay for more than 2,000 years since a wealthy harbour city was destroyed by earthquake and rising sea levels.