Archaeologists unearth pharaoh’s celebration compartment in Cairo

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Cairo –  An Egyptian archaeological mission uncovered parts of a celebration compartment belonging to ancient Egyptian King Ramses II in Matariya neighbourhood in the capital Cairo, the Ministry of Antiquities said in a statement on Thursday.

The royal compartment consists of four steps leading to a cubic platform, which is believed to be the base of the king’s seat during celebrations or public gatherings.“The structure was probably used in celebrations and for public gatherings, and it dates back to the 19th Dynasty,” said Egyptologist Mamdouh al-Damaty, head of Ain Shams University’s archaeological mission.Ramses II, one of the longest ruling pharaohs in ancient Egypt, ruled Egypt for 66 years more than 3,000 years ago.He was known as “Ramses the Great’’ due to his several military expeditions that expanded ancient Egypt to reach present-day Syria and Sudan.Damaty, also a former antiquities minister, noted that the compartment was used for the celebration marking the king’s inauguration anniversary.

“The discovery is important because it is a unique shrine from the New Kingdom that was used for the ‘Heb Sed’ festival, not only during the reign of King Ramses II but throughout the Ramesside period,” he added.Part of the compartment was uncovered in April this year.The excavation mission also unearthed a collection of scarabs, amulets, clay pots and blocks engraved with hieroglyphic text, according to Thursday’s statement.

Over the past couple of years, Egypt has witnessed several big archaeological discoveries, including pharaonic tombs, statues, coffins, mummies, burial sites, funerary gardens and other artefacts, in addition to Greco-Roman relics.In March 2017, also in Matariya district, an Egyptian-German mission discovered a pharaonic statue that was believed to be of ancient King Ramses II, but the antiquities ministry said later it might be of King Psamtik I of the 26th Dynasty. (Xinhua/NAN)


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