Signs of a temple to the Pharaoh Ramses II may have been uncovered in the Al-Matariya Archaeological Site, Nevine El-Aref reports
The Egyptian-German Archaeological Mission at the Al-Matariya Archaeological Site has stumbled upon new evidence that may lead to the discovery of a temple of the New Kingdom Pharaoh Ramses II in the area.
This temple could be located about 450 metres to the west of the obelisk of Senusret I in the Archaeological Site.
Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Al-Ahram Weekly that evidence of this temple had appeared in spring 2016 when the mission had uncovered a number of blocks and fragments of statuary on the western side of the obelisk and another group of large blocks in the southern part of the area.
The blocks, Afifi said, showed Ramses II anointing a divinity, with his name rendered by the rare variant of “Paramessu”. The recent finds were part of the decoration of the innermost rooms of the temple.
Ayman Ashmawy, co-director of the mission, said that further groups of relief fragments attested Ramses II as the builder of the temple. These confirmed the hypothesis that Ramses II had showed special interest in Heliopolis in the later decades of his reign of almost 70 years.
Dietrich Raue, co-director of the mission and curator of the Egyptian Museum at the University of Leipzig in Germany, reported on the second area of excavations in the southeast of the innermost enclosure of the temple. He said houses and workshops from a mid-Ptolemaic stratum had been uncovered, as well as faience amulets and metal tools.
Further excavations are being carried out to find out more about the probable temple