|One of the two ancient colossuses unearthed in Cairo last week may have depicted the pharaoh Psammentich I, Egypt’s antiquities minister says. — AFP Photo|Viet Nam News
CAIRO — An ancient colossus uncovered in Cairo last week may have depicted the famed pharaoh Psammetich I, Egypt’s antiquities ministry said on Thursday.
The fragments of the eight-metre tall quartzite statue were found by an excavation team in ground water at the site of an ancient temple for King Ramses II, now a working class district in Cairo.
But hieroglyphs on the statue’s fragments point to it having depicted Psammetich 1, who ruled from 664 to 610 BC, the statement said.
Antiquities minister Khaled el-Enany told a news conference that the hieroglyphs said "Strong Arm" -- one of the names of the 26th Dynasty pharaoh.
But "we don’t confirm 100 per cent that it belongs to Psammetich 1" he said at the Cairo Museum, where the fragments were taken.
It would require more study to find out whether Psammetich had simply appropriated an old statue.
The fragments found were part of the head and torso.
The excavation site was once the ancient Pharaonic capital of Heliopolis.
Part of another statue, belonging to King Seti II, was also unearthed by a joint German-Egyptian archaeological mission at the site. — AFP