The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities has announced another major archaeological find, this time in the desert to the southwest of Cairo. It was there, near a town called Abusir, that a joint Egyptian-Czech team found the remains of the Temple of Ramses II, dating back to the 13th century BC.
The temple is located not far from the step pyramid of Saqqara and is said to be roughly 167 feet in length and 105 feet wide. It is in a serious state of disrepair, and isn’t quite as impressive as some of the other famous monuments located throughout the country, but it is still of significant historical and cultural value. Rameses II is considered the greatest of all the Egyptian pharaohs, reigning for more than 66 years and leading several military conquests of neighboring states while sitting on the throne. When he perished, he was buried in the Valley of the Kings, but his body now sits on display in the Cairo Museum.
In its heyday, the temple was likely a beautiful structure on par with some of the most impressive buildings that the Egyptians ever created. Archaeologists have uncovered mud brick foundations that served as the pylons for a massive gateway, as well as a large forecourt that was filled with a hall of pillars, some of which still have blue painting on them. Beyond the forecourt, a staircase led to a sanctuary, which was also found. Inside the sanctuary where three parallel staircases leading up to an area used to worship the sun god Ra, who was the principle deity of the era.
This marks only the latest archaeological find in Egypt, which continues to unearth new and interesting ancient sites on a regular basis. The amount of history that is preserved there is staggering, and a find like the Temple of Ramses II is only proof that there is much more yet to be discovered.
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