Ancient sun temple rises in Cairo
Archaeologists discovered a pharaonic sun temple with large statues believed to be of King Ramses II under an outdoor marketplace in Cairo, Egypt?s antiquities chief said on Sunday.Updated: Feb 28, 2006 11:51 IST
Archaeologists discovered a pharaonic sun temple with large statues believed to be of King Ramses II under an outdoor marketplace in Cairo, Egypt’s antiquities chief said on Sunday.
The partially uncovered site is the largest sun temple ever found in the capital's Aim Shams and Matariya districts, where the ancient city of Heliopolis the center of pharaonic sun worship was located, said Zahi Hawass, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Among the artifacts was a pink granite statue weighing 4 to 5 tons whose features “resemble those of Ramses II,” said Hawass. Also found was a 5-foot-high statue of a seated figure with hieroglyphics that include three tablets with the name of Ramses II – and a 3-ton head of royal statue, the council said in a statement.
The green pavement stones of the temple’s floor were also uncovered. King Ramses II, who ruled Egypt for 66 years from 1270 to 1213 BC, had erected monuments up and down the Nile with records of his achievements, as well as building temples. Numerous temples to Egypt’s sun gods particularly the chief god Ra were built in ancient Heliopolis.
First Published: Feb 28, 2006 11:51 IST