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Thursday, April 12, 2018
New Discovery, Cairo: New Discovery in Matariya Shed Light on The Shape of King Psamtek I Colossus
A frieze of falcons found in the temple
4,500 fragments of King Psamtek I's colossus reveal its original size and shape.
Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Egyptian-German excavation mission at Matariya, Heliopolis, uncovered roughly
4,500 fragments of King Psamtek I's quartzite colossus, parts of which were
first discovered last year at the nearby Souq Al-Khamis archaeological site.
Ashmawy, Head of the Ancient Egyptian antiquities department at the Egyptian
Ministry of Antiquities, said that these fragments, along with the previously
discovered 6,400 pieces, allow researchers to calculate the original size and
shape of the colossus, which was deliberately destroyed.
One of the uncovered fragments
new fragments confirm that the colossus once depicted King Psamtek I standing,
but it also reveals that his left arm was held in front of the body, an unusual
feature. A very carefully carved scene on the back-pillar shows the kneeling
king Psamtek I in front of the creator-god Atum of Heliopolis,” Ashmawy told
added that the majority of the fragments were found in south of the colossus'
pedestal. The temple area was left open, Ashmawy added, probably during the
Fatimids Era when the temple walls were dismantled to be reused in several
Raue, Head of the German mission, explained that excavation work was
accompanied by a geomorphological and geophysical survey which revealed many
fragments of a quartzite gate belonging to Ramses II and (1279-1213 BCE, 19th
Dynasty) and Nektanebo I (379/8–361/0 BCE, 30th Dynasty) near the latter's
temple in Matariya.
pointed out that the geophysical survey had indicated a number of areas with a
large number of fragments of the former temple. Within the four ruined walls of
the temple, he said, some exceptional finds were made.
them were a fragmented frieze of falcons, part of a gate of Merenptah
(1213-1203 BCE, 19th Dynasty) as well as parts of a colossal Ramesside sphinx
carved in red granite.
seems evident that Nektanebo I added his building to a major temple built at an
earlier date,” Raue told Ahram Online. The archaeologist asserted that
excavation work in the area has led to the discovery of new room units from the
Some fragments reveal the known practice of
reusing of older pharaonic temple items from previous periods during the 2nd and
1st millennium BCE. The work was accompanied by archaeobotanical and
archaeozoological studies for the identification of plant and animal remains at