German and Egyptian archaeologists discovered an ancient Egyptian statue that they believed to depict Pharaoh Ramses II or Ozymandias who ruled from 1279BC to 1213BC. Ramses the Great, as some people call him, expanded the Egyptian empire and led several military expeditions to stretch from Nubia in the south to Syria in the east. He was so prodigious that his successors called him the “Great Ancestor”. There was even a sonnet made in his name by Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1818.
The discovery happened on March 9, with Egypt’s antiquities minister Khaled al-Anani saying that “Last Tuesday they called me to announce the big discovery of a colossus of a king, most probably Ramses II, made out of quartzite. 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”. The statue was submerged in a muddy pit, towering at 26 feet and could be about 3200 years old. They also found Ramses II’s grandson, Pharaoh Seti II’s upper part of a life-sized limestone statue, measuring 80cm in length.
The industrial waste, piling rubble and rising water table have made excavation of the ancient site difficult but is said to be continued soon, and if completed, will be erected at the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is set to open in 2018 in Giza. The neighborhood on which the statue was discovered is in the eastern part of the city and was built over the ancient city of Heliopolis. The city was named because it served as the center of worship for the ancient Egyptian sun god Ra.
As a chief worshiper of Ra, Ramses commissioned a number of temples in Heliopolis to be built for worshiping the sun god. It's also believed Ramses II may have been the pharaoh from the biblical Book of Exodus from whom Moses demanded the release of his people.