Historic discovery in Egypt: Experts find MASSIVE colossus representing Ramses II
Egyptian workers prepare to lift parts of the statue from the mud. Photograph: Khaled Elfiqi/EPA
埃及工作人員準備從泥中抬起巨型雕像的一部分。圖片來源： Khaled Elfiqi/EPA
German and Egyptian archaeologists have discovered an eight-meter quartzite statue submerged in the bottom of a pit in a neighborhood of Cairo that is likely to represent Pharaoh Ramses II, who ruled over Ancient Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.
The discovery, described by the Ministry of Antiquities of Egypt as one of the most important in history, was made near the ruins of the temple of Ramses II in the ancient city of Heliopolis, located in the eastern part of what is the current Capital of Egypt.
Archaeologists say that the sun temple from Heliopolis was founded by Ramses II, which means that it is very likely that the newly found colossus is his representation.
According to experts, it was one of the largest temples in Egypt, almost double the size of Luxor’s Karnak, but was destroyed in Greco-Roman times.
Pharaoh Ramses II, considered by many scholars as the most powerful and celebrated ruler of ancient Egypt, also known as Ramses the Great, was the third ruler of the nineteenth Dynasty and ruled over ancient Egypt between 1279 and 1213 BC. He initiated several military campaigns and extended the ancient Egyptian empire from Syria in the east to Nubia (now Sudan) in the south.
He was referred to by his successors as the “Great Ancestor“.
埃及文物部門認為這是歷史上最重要的發現之一。這個巨像是在拉姆西斯二世廟宇遺跡附近發現的，這座廟宇位在古城拉赫利奧波利斯（ Heliopolis ），此城位在埃及目前首都的東部區域。考古學家說，這座赫利奧波利斯的太陽神廟是由拉姆西斯二世建立的，也就是說最新發現的巨像很可能是他的塑像。
根據專家們的說法，這座神廟是埃及最大的神廟之一，幾乎是卡奈克神廟（ Luxor’s Karnak ）的兩倍大，但是在希臘羅馬時代被毀滅。法老拉姆西斯二世法老被許多學者認為是最強大、最著名的古埃及統治者，他也被稱為拉美西斯大帝（ Ramses the Great ）。他是埃及第十九王朝的第三任統治者，在西元前 1279 – 1213 年統治古埃及。他曾展開許多軍事行動、擴張古埃及帝國的版圖，從東部的敘利亞到南部的努比亞（ 現在的蘇丹 ）。他因為他的成就而被稱為「 偉大的祖先（ Great Ancestor ）」。
Egyptian workers with the head of the statue. Photograph: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images
埃及工作人員與巨像的頭部。圖片來源： Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images
“We found the bust of the statue and the lower part of the head and now we removed the head and we found the crown and the right ear and a fragment of the right eye,” Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said.
As Mr. Anani explained on Facebook:
“Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, the head of the Egyptian team, indicated that they are going now to complete the research and excavation work of the remaining sections of the statue to confirm the identity of its owner. On the discovered portions there is no inscription found that would make it possible to determine which king it is. But its discovery in front of the gate of the temple of Pharaoh Ramses II suggests that it is likely him.”
埃及文物部門的 Khaled al-Anani 說：「 我們發現這具巨像的半身和頭的下半部，目前我們移開頭部，發現了王冠和右耳、右眼的碎片。」
就像 Khaled al-Anani 在臉書上的解釋：「 Ayman Ashmawy 博士是這個埃及團隊的領導人，他說，他們正在完成這個研究和挖掘工作，他們要把這個巨像的其他部分挖出來，好確認雕像主人的身份。已經發現的部分並沒有碑銘來說明是哪位國王。但是這個在法老拉姆西斯二世廟宇的大門前發現的巨像極為可能就是他。」
A mechanical digger is employed to clear mud away and allow access to the statue. Photograph: Khaled Elfiqi/EPA
一台挖土機被雇來清除泥土，讓研究人員能接觸到雕像。圖片來源： Khaled Elfiqi/EPA
The next step is to attempt and extract the remaining pieces of the statue before restoring it. If experts are successful in their process, and the colossus is in fact proven to depict Ramses II, it will be moved to the entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum, set to open in 2018.
In an interview with Reuters Dietrich Raue, head of the expedition’s German team, the ancient Egyptians believed Heliopolis was the place where the sun god lives, meaning it was off-limits for any royal residences.
“The sun god created the world in Heliopolis, in Matariya. That’s what I always tell the people here when they say is there anything important. According to the pharaonic belief, the world was created in Matariya,” Raue said.
“That means everything had to be built here. Statues, temples, obelisks, everything. But … the king never lived in Matariya, because it was the sun god living here.”
下一步，在恢復雕像之前，研究人員將嘗試把剩下的碎片從泥裡挖出來。如果專家在每個步驟都獲得成功、這座巨像被證實屬於拉姆西斯二世，那這座巨像將被移到大埃及博物馆（ the Grand Egyptian Museum ）的大門前，並於 2018 年揭幕。
在一場與路透社的訪談中，德國考察隊領導人 Dietrich Raue 表示，古埃及人相信赫利奧波利斯是太陽神居住的地方，也就是說這是任何皇室居所的禁地。
Dietrich Raue：「 太陽神在赫利奧波利、馬它利亞（ Matariya ）創造了這個世界。當人們問起這裡有什麼重要的，我總是告訴他們這個。根據法老的信仰，世界是在馬它利亞創造的。也就是說所有的一切都是在那建造的。雕像、廟宇、方尖碑，所有的一切。但是… 國王從未在馬它利亞生活，因為那是太陽神的住所。」