9.24.2008

New Bust of Ramses Discovered
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Excavations at Tel Basta, about 80 km north of Cairo in the Nile Delta(above), have revealed a new 76 cm head of the king Ramses II - suggesting the existence of a full statue of approximately 5 or 6 meters tall, which has likely been fragmented. Statues of this size (or larger) usually are associated with temples, which were often placed in border zones or easily visible shoreside riverine locations to impress onlookers. Ramses II sometimes is viewed as the pharaoh mentioned in Exodus, with his son, Amun-hr-khopesh-ef.


Large statue of Ramses II at Memphis



2nd red granite statue of Ramses

Tel Basta was known as Bubastis (Greek) or Per Bastet (Home of Bastet, the cat-goddess) northeast of Cairo in the eastern Nile Delta.

Bastet was a solar deity, war goddess, and protector of pharaoh, whose name translates as "the consumer" with a feminine determinative ending. The ancient mound (or tel) sets just to the southeastern side of modern Zagazig.

It was an important city from about the 4th Dynasty until the end of the Roman Period (2613 BC through 395 AD), and was the capital of the 18th Lower Egyptian nome during the Late Period. However, it's also known that even as early as the 2nd Dynasty, a number of kings built up close ties with the city and Bastet's temple. The city occupied strategic ground along the route from Memphis to the Sinai (Wadi Tumilat) and to Asia.

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