Newly found ancient Egyptian statue not Ramses II, say officials (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Bruno Cirelli
Marzo 17, 2017

A statue found in the mud on the outskirts of Cairo, which was thought to represent the great pharaoh Ramses II, is of another ancient king.

Khaled el-Anani told a news conference the statue was nearly certainly Psamtek I, who ruled between 664 and 610BC.

The big discovery was revealed by Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany at the famous Egyptian museum in the heart of Cairo, home of the country's ancient antiquities.

Sitting just yards away were parts of the statue, including the torso and a partial head, which were ferried across the city before dawn on Thursday. Ramses II, also known as Ramses the Great, ruled for around 60 years.

But further investigations revelaed it had features from another time as well as bearing inscription "Nebaa" - one of Psamtek I's five names.

Psamtek I was from lower Egypt and reunited the country, according to historian Matthew Ward. Egypt is hoping renewed interest in its ancient past could be a boon for its tourism industry, a vital source of foreign currency that has suffered many setbacks since the uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany and Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed are scheduled to hold an global press conference in the museum garden at 6 pm.

El-Anani allowed the anticipation to build, delivering his remarks after four archaeologists and restoration experts spoke.

It is thought the statue is most likely the first king of the 26th Dynasty of Egypt - Psamtek I. It will take three months to do.

The pieces will be restored before being displayed at the entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum when it opens next year.

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