A team of researchers discovered 2,000 mummified ram heads inside a temple in one of ancient Egypt’s oldest and most sacred cities.
A team of researchers discovered 2,000 mummified ram heads inside a temple in one of ancient Egypt’s oldest and most sacred cities, officials said.
Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a March 25 news release that the team, led by researchers from New York University, was working inside the temple of Ramses II when they unearthed a vast collection of mummified heads.
Along with the remains of the ram, the team found mummified goats, dogs, cows, deer and an ostrich, officials said.
These were likely offerings to honor Ramses II, who was buried in the historic ancient city of Abydos after an impressive 67 years of rule from 1279–1213 BC.
But this elaborate gift was not given until 1,000 years after Ramses II’s death, suggesting that the pharaoh’s life and works were remembered long after his time, said Sameh Iskandar, the team’s head.
According to Smithsonian, Ramses II was thrown into the struggle to take the throne at the age of 14, as Egypt battled the Hittites. This was the first of many military victories that would be laid at the pharaoh’s feet, and although it is unclear how much of his legend is truth or embellishment, he reigned during a period of wealth, growth and much more. Construction
Researchers at Abydos also uncovered a massive building at the site “with a distinctive and unique architectural design” and walls about 15 feet thick, the release said.
The structure, which dates from Egypt’s Sixth Dynasty and predates the rule of Ramses II, could change the way experts think about the city of Abydos and how it may have come before Ramses II’s temple was built.
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