Monday, February 27, 2006

Egyptian sun temple found under marketplace


A pharaonic sun temple with huge statues believed to be of Ramses II has been discovered underneath an outdoor marketplace in Cairo, Egypt, CNN said on Monday.

The ancient city of Heliopolis, the center of sun worship, was located in what is now the Aim Shams and Matariya districts of Cairo.

A four to five ton pink granite statue resembling Ramses II is among the artifacts found. Also found: a five-foot-high statue of a seated figure with with hieroglyphics that include three tablets with the name of Ramses II inscribed.

The green pavement stones of the temple's floor were also uncovered.

King Ramses II, also known as "Ramses the Great," ruled Egypt for 66 years from 1270 to 1213 B.C. He erected monuments up and down the Nile with records of his achievements, as well as building temples — including Abu Simbel, erected near what is known as Upper Egypt, near the southern border.

In 1836, the 227-ton Obelisk of Ramses II was moved from Luxor, Egypt, and installed along the River Seine at the Place de la Concorde, Paris's largest public square [see photo].

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