Showing posts with label Ramsesses II. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ramsesses II. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

News, Abu Simble: Egypt prepares for solar alignment in Abu Simbel temple amid coronavirus

The solar alignment where the sun illuminates the face of the statue of Ramses II is considered a major event in Pharaonic history and holds many secrets of the pharaohs.
This phenomenon occurs twice a year in the Temple of Abu Simbel in the city of Aswan in Upper Egypt, a scene that attracts the world’s attention.
Maj. Gen. Ashraf Attia, governor of Aswan, said in a press statement Oct. 22  that preparations have been made by all parties involved to receive tourists, both foreign and Egyptian, flocking in to witness this phenomenon. He stressed that precautionary and preventive measures against the coronavirus have been taken.
Attia added that it was agreed with the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Ministry of Culture not to hold the celebration that usually takes place on the sidelines of the biannual event, in a bid to prevent many people gathering.
King Ramses II is known as Ramses the Great, the third pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty of Egypt, who led many military campaigns in the Levant. 
At the age of 14, Ramses II took over the reins of power from his father Seti I.
Twice a year, the sun illuminates the face of Ramses II, passing over a 60-meter (197-feet) distance until it reaches the Holy of Holies room, where the king lies. The sun also passes over the Ramses II statue for 20-25 minutes at dawn of Oct. 22, which coincides with the start of the flood and agricultural season in ancient Egypt. On Feb. 22, the sun announces the start of the harvest season.
The Holy of Holies is a room in the temple that is home to the statue of Ramses II and, sitting next to him, the God of the Sun Ra, the gods Re Hor Achti and Amun, and Ptah, the god of darkness.
According to Egyptologist Wassim al-Sisi, ancient Egyptians were geniuses in astronomy and all sciences. He told Al-Monitor that the world’s scientists acknowledged that the sun phenomenon over the statue of Ramses II is a great miracle, as the sun passes over the statue twice a year — on Ramses II’s birthday and the day of his coronation.
Sisi added that at the same time the sun also illuminates the statues of Re Hor Achti and Amun.
“The great surprise is that the sun illuminate’s half of the face of the god Ptah, the fourth god in the Holy of Holies room.
Ptah symbolizes the night and the day, or the light and the darkness,” Sisi said.
He noted, “This phenomenon embodies the gigantic efforts made by Egyptian pharaohs in the world of astronomy to serve all humanity."
Sisi said that the pharaohs were successful in creating a great astronomical phenomenon, while the rest of the world struggled to come up with a calendar.
“Back then the lunar calendar was common.
We had found an archaeological papyrus that read, ‘Save me, Amun. Summer and winter are overlapping and intertwining,’” Sisi said.
“This solar phenomenon proves that Egypt under the pharaohs revealed back in 4242 B.C.
that the earth was part of the solar and not the lunar system. This is why we, Egyptians, have to celebrate the fact that Egypt set for the world the correct solar calendar for the year — with 366 days,” he said.

Sisi pointed out that civilization begins with written records. 
"Before civilization there was what is called civilization quest.
Ancient Egyptians assured the world since 4241 B.C.
that a year is made up of 365 days. This indicates that nearly 500 years of astronomical research had been done to pave the way for this [discovery],” he said.
“For instance, the First Dynasty began in 5619 B.C., and not 3003, as the British Museum claims.
This was proved by recent studies,” Sisi said.
The British Museum had previsouly confirmed that the First Dynasty comprised three kings, but nine royal tombs of the First Dynasty were later found in 2016 in several areas in Egypt.
Elhami al-Zayat, a tourist expert and head of the Egyptian General Company for Tourism and Hotels, told Al-Monitor that the sun phenomenon on the statue of Ramses II is seen as one of the greatest events in the world, which has a major positive impact on Egytian tourism.
“The timing, however, of this [biannual] event does not suit many tourists, especially students who are usually caught up at schools or universities at these times of the year. But the Temple of Abu Simbel, in general, is seen as one of the major tourist attractions in the city of Aswan in Upper Egypt,” Zayat said.
He added, “This event is occurring this year amid exceptional circumstances, namely the coronavirus pandemic that has negatively affected the turnout of foreign tourists."
Zayat said that the pandemic has dealt a blow to the tourism sector not only in Egypt but the entire world.
“Several major tourist companies laid off a large number of their workers, not being able to pay salaries.
The tourism industry has been the hardest hit by the coronavirus since its outbreak until now.
Zayat called on the world’s governments to save the tourism sector from collapse, by offering tourism companies financial aid, especially since the global movement of tourists has drastically dwindled compared to previous years.
Sisi added that at the same time the sun also illuminates the statues of Re Hor Achti and Amun.
“The great surprise is that the sun illuminate’s half of the face of the god Ptah, the fourth god in the Holy of Holies room. Ptah symbolizes the night and the day, or the light and the darkness,” Sisi said.
He noted, “This phenomenon embodies the gigantic efforts made by Egyptian pharaohs in the world of astronomy to serve all humanity."
Sisi said that the pharaohs were successful in creating a great astronomical phenomenon, while the rest of the world struggled to come up with a calendar.
“Back then the lunar calendar was common. We had found an archaeological papyrus that read, ‘Save me, Amun. Summer and winter are overlapping and intertwining,’” Sisi said.

“This solar phenomenon proves that Egypt under the pharaohs revealed back in 4242 B.C. that the earth was part of the solar and not the lunar system. This is why we, Egyptians, have to celebrate the fact that Egypt set for the world the correct solar calendar for the year — with 366 days,” he said.
Sisi pointed out that civilization begins with written records. “Before civilization there was what is called civilization quest. Ancient Egyptians assured the world since 4241 B.C. that a year is made up of 365 days.
This indicates that nearly 500 years of astronomical research had been done to pave the way for this [discovery],” he said.
“For instance, the First Dynasty began in 5619 B.C., and not 3003, as the British Museum claims. 
This was proved by recent studies,” Sisi said.
The British Museum had previsouly confirmed that the First Dynasty comprised three kings, but nine royal tombs of the First Dynasty were later found in 2016 in several areas in Egypt.
Elhami al-Zayat, a tourist expert and head of the Egyptian General Company for Tourism and Hotels, told Al-Monitor that the sun phenomenon on the statue of Ramses II is seen as one of the greatest events in the world, which has a major positive impact on Egytian tourism.
“The timing, however, of this [biannual] event does not suit many tourists, especially students who are usually caught up at schools or universities at these times of the year.
But the Temple of Abu Simbel, in general, is seen as one of the major tourist attractions in the city of Aswan in Upper Egypt,” Zayat said.
He added, “This event is occurring this year amid exceptional circumstances, namely the coronavirus pandemic that has negatively affected the turnout of foreign tourists."
Zayat said that the pandemic has dealt a blow to the tourism sector not only in Egypt but the entire world.
“Several major tourist companies laid off a large number of their workers, not being able to pay salaries. The tourism industry has been the hardest hit by the coronavirus since its outbreak until now.”
Zayat called on the world’s governments to save the tourism sector from collapse, by offering tourism companies financial aid, especially since the global movement of tourists has drastically dwindled compared to previous years.

Source:al-monitor

Friday, April 27, 2018

News, Luxor: Ramses II Colossus Revealed in Egypt's Luxor After Restoration

The colossus of Ramses II was unveiled at Luxor Temple as part of Ministry of Antiquities celebrations of the World Heritage Day. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Ministry of Antiquities celebrations of World Heritage Day extended to Luxor as Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany and Luxor Governor Mohamed Badr inaugurated a new display at Luxor Museum after the transfer of 122 artefacts from the King Tutankhamun collection at the Grand Egyptian Museum.

Elham Salah, head of the museums sector at the ministry, said that the new display includes of 186 artefacts that were recently discovered by an Egyptian archaeological mission at Draa Abul Naga necropolis on Luxor’s west bank. The objects include a collection of ushabti figurines (statuettes), painted mummy masks, anthropoid sarcophagi jewelleries, and a beautifully carved statuette of Isis Nefret, the singer of the god Amun.

El-Enany and Badr then went to Luxor Temple to unveil the colossus of King Ramses II after restoration. Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, explained that the colossus once adorned the façade of Luxor Temple but collapsed during a destructive earthquake in antiquity.

He continued that the restoration and reconstruction of the colossus took almost six months in collaborate with the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces and Luxor Governorate who provided the restoration material required.

Waziri added that the statue was found broken into 14 blocks of different sizes. The largest two were the head of the statue and the base, representing 40 per cent of the original colossus. The colossus is carved in black granite and weighs 65 tons at a height of 11.7 metres. It depicts Ramses II standing wearing the double crown, his left leg in front of him.

Ahmed Orabi, general director of Luxor Temple, said that the colossus was found during excavation works carried out by Mohamed Abdel Kader in 1958 to 1960, which also uncovered other colossi. 

This colossi is the second to be restored by the Ministry of Antiquities. The first was completed last year. It is carved in black granite, weighs 75 tons and stands at a height of 11 metres. It depicts Ramses II wearing the double crown, his left leg in front of him. Beside him stands a 1.5 metre statue of his wife, Queen Nefertari.

Monday, February 26, 2018

News, Giza: Sun Rays Touch The Face Ramses II at The GEM


The King Ramses II colossus at the GEM is now in its permanent place of display, 11 years after being removed from Cairo's Ramses Square. Written By/ Aymen Barayez.

It appears that the sun is greeting King Ramses II after the transportation of his colossus to its permanent place of display in the atrium of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM).

Today, the sun sent its rays to lighten the face of the king, 11 years after the colossus was removed from Cairo's Ramsis Square and transported to the GEM.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

News, Giza: Colossal Ramses II Statue Arrives at New Display at The Grand Egyptian Museum

The colossal statue of the pharaoh arrived at its new resting place to the sounds of the national anthem. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The 3,200-year-old colossal statue of King Ramses II is seen during its transfer
to the main entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo's twin city Giza
on January 25, 2018.
The colossus of Ramses II arrived safely at its new display area in the atrium of the Grand Egyptian Museum on Thursday, in preparation for the museum’s soft opening later this year. The statue had been being stored in another part of the GEM, and the 400-metre journey to its permanent resting place was marked with ceremony. Senior officials were in attendance, and the statue was preceded on its jourey by 11 Egyptian horsemen in ceremonial military dress. As it reached its final location, the national anthem was played.

Thursday’s trip was the fourth time that the colossus of the great king, who ruled from 1279–1213 BC, has been moved.  The first trip took place 3,000 years ago; the statue was carved in an Aswan quarry and then taken to Mit Rahina archaeological site in the Memphis necropolis, to be displayed as part of the façade of Ptah’s temple. In 1955, president Gamal Abdel-Nasser decided to move the statue to Bab Al-Hadid (now Ramses Square) in Cairo, as part of an initiative launched by the minister of governmental affairs, Abdel-Latif El-Boghdadi, to beautify the streets and squares of Cairo. The third relocation was in 2006 when former minister of culture, Farouk Hosni, decided to move the statue from Ramses Square to the headquarters of the GEM to protect it from pollution. 

The relocation process was carried out in collaboration with the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces and the Arab Contractors Company, which was responsible for the previous move in 2006.  Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany said that over the past three months the statue has been intensively studied to assess its condition before transportation. Safeguarding procedures have been put in place, and the foam rubber covering the statue has been replaced with stronger material and weak points consolidated.


Statue of Ramses II uncovered in Memphis by Joseph Hekekyan, 1852-1854
El-Enany added that the whole process has cost about EGP 13.6 million, including packing and unpacking the statue and preparing the road. Mohsen Salah, chairman of the Arab Contractors Company, told Ahram Online before the move that the statue would be transported in at iron cage, wherein it would be hung like a pendulum to allow it to move freely during the 400-metre journey. Tarek Tawfik, supervisor general of the Grand Egyptian Museum, said that the museum is expected to be fully open totally in 2022, but its soft opening will be at the end of this year.

The museum, located on the Giza Plateau, will feature an atrium, a grand staircase, and the Tutankhamun hall. The golden king’s whole collection will by put on show for the first time; it includes 5,200 artifacts. The partially broken colossus of Ramses II was discovered at Mit Rahina archaeological site in 1820 by the Italian adventurer Giovanni Caviglia, along with another similar one that remains on site. Caviglia tried to move it to Italy but he was unable to because of its 83-tonne weight. Mohamed Ali decided to offer the statue to the British Museum in London but the offer failed for the same reason. The statue stood in its place at Mit Rahina until it was eventually transferred to Ramses Square.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Short Story: Crowds Descend on Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel was abuzz with Ramses fever this week as the sun’s rays penetrated through his temple to illuminate the pharaoh’s face 200 years after its discovery. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

A crowd of over 4,000 people descended on Abu Simbel 280km south of Aswan on Wednesday to witness a phenomenon that only takes place twice a year. On 22 February and 22 October every year, the sun’s rays travel through the Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel to illuminate the face of a statue of the pharaoh.

Despite the cold weather, visitors stayed awake all night waiting for the sunrise, entertained by a musical troupe performing Nubian folkloric songs and dances as well as other troupes from Indonesia, Greece and India.

The atmosphere was joyous, as hibiscus and tamarind drinks were sampled along with stuffed dates served on large, coloured bamboo plates. The sound of music filled the dry night air, as women, men, boys, and girls in colourful Nubian garb danced to the rhythm of the duf, a kind of tambourine, while other foreign dancers in traditional costumes danced to their music.

Archaeological chief inspector Hossam Aboud said the celebrations took place every year and that people from neighbouring villages often flocked to Abu Simbel to attend. According to Aboud, couples have even been known to plan their weddings on the day. One couple had chosen to have their wedding ceremony within the temple itself, he said.

Beit Fekry, the house of a Nubian citizen called Fekry, was also buzzing with people who had come to celebrate the sun’s alignment in their own way. They danced to Nubian music and moved in rows backwards and forwards.

At 3am, people began to reserve their seats at the foot of the monumental temple. At 6:25am, the sun struck the innermost wall of the temple’s sanctuary, illuminating images of the right arm of the god Re-Horakhti, the face of Ramses II, and the right shoulder of the god Amun-Re, leaving only the god Ptah in darkness. Twenty minutes later, the temple was dark again.

Afterwards, a Swiss tourist who had come to witness the festival and celebrate 200 years since Abu Simbel’s discovery told Al-Ahram Weekly that although the event was “great it was also difficult because people had to position themselves so as not to obstruct the sun’s rays and move quickly so that others could see.” He said he had been so wrapped up in being careful that he had almost not been able to see the event.

Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, said people sometimes wrongly confused the event with Ramses II’s coronation or birth, while it was actually the way the ancient Egyptians identified the beginning of summer and winter in order to alert farmers to the start of the cultivation season or harvest.

The two Abu Simbel Temples were built by Ramses II (1279-1213 BCE) to demonstrate his political clout and divine backing to the ancient Nubians. On each side of the main temple, carved into a sandstone cliff overlooking the Nile’s second cataract, sits a pair of colossal statues of the pharaoh.

Though the statues have been damaged in earthquakes since their construction, they remain an awe-inspiring, tremendous sight. The temple is aligned to face the east, and above the entrance sits a niche with a representation of Re-Horakhti, an aspect of the sun god.

In the early 1960s the temple was moved to higher ground, a task requiring considerable international resources, when the building of the Aswan High Dam caused Lake Nasser to fill and inundate the area. For this reason, the sun now strikes a day later than originally planned, though the event itself is no less stunning.

This year, the event also marks the celebration of 200 years since the discovery of the Abu Simbel Temples by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, who died shortly after his discovery, and his colleague Italian explorer Giovanni Belzoni.

To highlight this in advance of the gala ceremony to be held in October, the ministry organised a photographic exhibition in the area’s visitor centre that related the history of the temples since their discovery in 1817. The exhibition was inaugurated by ministers of culture Helmi Al-Namnam and of antiquities Khaled El-Enany.

Hisham Al-Leithi, head of the Antiquities Registration Centre, told the Weekly that the exhibition put on show a collection of 50 vintage photographs showing the temples covered with sand, while others showed their excavation. Other photographs showed the salvage operation of the temples in the 1960s and their relocation and reconstruction at their current location in the desert on a 65-metre artificial hill above the High Dam to protect them from the waters of Lake Nasser.... READ MORE.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

News, Luxor: Egypt's Antiquities Ministry Restores Colossus of Ramsess II at Karnak Temples

Restoration began one month ago on a statue of the celebrated 19th dynasty pharaoh, which decorated the façade of the Karnak Temples' first pylon. Written By / Nevine El-Aref.

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities is conducting comprehensive restoration work on a colossus statue of king Ramsess II that once decorated the façade of the first pylon of the Karnak Temple Complex.

Mostafa Waziri, head of the ministry’s Luxor antiquities department, told Ahram Online that reconstruction of the statue began one month ago, and is expected to be completed within two months. The statue would then be erected in its original position, he said.
The colossus of Egypt's most celebrated pharaoh stood in front of Karnak's first pylon along with five others. Four of these colossi depict the king standing and the two others sitting.

During the fourth century AD, Waziri said, the colossi were subjected to damages by a destructive earthquake. Their blocks were selected and placed in wooden shelters on the first pylon's western side.

In 2016, the ministry decided to restore and reconstruct one of these statues. Luxor governorate has supported the project by providing the materials needed for restoration. 

The statue is carved in gray granite, weighs 65 tons and stands 10.8 metres tall.

New discovery, Sakkara: Hawass Announces New Archaeological Discovery in Saqarra

The Egyptian Mission working in the Saqqara antiquities area next to the pyramid of King Teti, the first king of the Sixth Dynasty of the ...