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History & Heritage


In Egypt, 2000 Mummified Ram Heads unveiled, Gift to Pharaoh Ramses II

Several hundred mummified rams’ heads have been discovered near the temple of Pharaoh Ramses II in Egypt. They date from the Ptolemaic period (323 to 30 BC).

In the ancient Egyptian city of Abydos, near the temple of Ramses II, more than 2,000 mummified ram heads from the Ptolemaic period have been found, along with the remains of other animals, including sheep, dogs, wild goats, cows, gazelles and mongooses.

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And that’s not all: the excavation by American archaeologists from New York University and their Egyptian colleagues uncovered a large palace from the 6th Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, which contained statues, clothes, papyrus, tree remains and leather shoes.


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According to the director of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, the discovery is one of the most important in recent years, as it will allow us to learn more about the temple of Ramses II and the activities that took place there, over a period ranging from its construction more than 4,000 years ago to the Ptolemaic period (323 to 30 BC).

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A forthcoming artefact study

The marvellous display of ram heads, arranged one behind the other, creating a huge expanse of skulls, could be the result of votive offerings for the pharaoh himself, Ramses II, known as The Great, whose veneration as a deity continued for more than a thousand years after his death, making him one of the most famous pharaohs of the New Kingdom, the height of ancient Egypt.

The next step for the archaeological team will be to study and catalogue all the artefacts one by one, a process that, given the magnitude of the treasures, will probably take some time.

Publié le 29 March 2023