Thursday, 6 April 2017

Aiman Ashmawy is presenting a description of the work at Heliopolis-Matariya, once the most sacred site in Egypt and now threatened by urban development, sub-soil water and garbage. Action was taken by the Ministry of Antiquities to excavate the temple area, although work had been taking place there already. Initially talatat blocks of Akhenaten were found there and statue base, confirming the location of the temple of the Aten at Heliopolis. As the work continued they found many fragments of blocks, pedestals and colossal statues

There are some stunning images of the sections: 13m of garbage, 2m of Ottoman domestic dumps; then the pharaonic material. The scale of the task matches the scale of the ancient site.

Amazing story of the finding of the quartzite colossal statue, its excavation, removal of water and then bringing it out of the water and eventually taking it to the GEM. But who was it? the first thought was Ramesses II, but study has suggested Senusert I or Amenhotep III. But the inscription on the back was Psamtek I and this is logical, that he adopted earlier 'archaising' traditions, which made it so difficult to date on stylistic grounds. But details show it is from Dynasty 26 and also it is a seated statue.

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