(MENAFN) Archaeologists from New York University's Institute for the Study of the Ancient World have made a startling discovery in Egypt's city of Abydos. They have uncovered over 2,000 rams' heads at the temple of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II. The find surprised even veteran Egyptologists and shows the endurance of Ramses' impact, as the skulls were left there a millennium after the pharaoh's rule.
The city of Abydos is located about seven miles west of the Nile River in Upper Egypt, some 270 miles south of Cairo. It is one of the oldest cities and richest archaeological sites in Egypt. The discovery was made in the northern precinct of the temple, and the ram skulls were found stacked together. Some of the ram heads were still mummified, while others could have been mummified but the wrappings or the covers of mummifications were not there anymore.
According to Dr. Sameh Iskander, head of the ISAW mission, the team came across some random pieces of skulls first, and they did not know what they were. However, as they continued their excavation and exploration, they found a whole area filled with ram skulls. These were offerings that were made to the temple of Ramses during the Ptolomaic period, which shows that even 1,000 years after Ramses II, he was still revered. Ramses II ruled over ancient Egypt for about 60 years before his death in 1213 BC.
The skulls were found among other objects such as papyrus, leather artifacts, and statues, about six feet under the contemporary surface of the desert in what had been a storeroom of the ancient temple. The large number of skulls found in the same place was surprising even for Egyptologists, said Iskander.
The discovery highlights the enduring impact of Ramses II on ancient Egyptian culture, even a thousand years after his rule. The temple of Ramses II is one of the most famous and important ancient Egyptian sites, and this discovery sheds new light on the practices and beliefs of the people who lived and worshipped there. The find is a significant contribution to the understanding of ancient Egyptian history and culture and shows the importance of continued archaeological research in the region.
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