Rich in years, great in victories
Updated: Sep 5
Ramesses II, is another king of Egypt who is just as well known as Tutankhamun - well almost, anyway - but a different caliber altogether. The 3rd pharaoh of the New Kingdom's XIXth dynasty, ascended the throne in his late teens and went on ruling for over 66 years, the second longest only after king Pepi II.
Ramesses II was a prolific builder and a great military leader. He led campaigns against enemies like the Hittites, Libyans, Syrians and Nubians. He built extensively throughout Egypt and his name can even be found on many monuments that were built by other kings originally.
Today we are looking at a majestic colossus of Ramesses II that can be found in the Mit Rahina museum, that is situated at the site of ancient Memphis, or Inebu-hedj - The White Walls. Memphis was the capital of ancient Egypt during the Old Kingdom and remained important throughout Egyptian history.
The limestone statue was discovered in 1820 by Giovanni Battista Caviglia at the Great Temple of Ptah, who was the principal god of Memphis. This statue is one of a pair, the other one has been standing for many years in Cairo's Ramesses Square, in front of the main train station. That statue has now been removed to the new Grand Egyptian Museum where it will greet the visitors in the entrance hall.
The statue shown here is missing its legs but it is still over 10 meters tall. It is displayed laying on its back. Visitors can climb stairs and walk around above the statue to admire it from different angles and marvel at his most beautiful smile...