It is hard to imagine that Ramses II has ever been laying down instead of standing up, dominating the scene, and towering over his world…..but there is an exception.
During my first visit to Egypt part of our tour was a visit to Memphis, the capital of the Old Kingdom (around 3000 B.C.), located 12 miles south of Cairo.
There, in a museum, a beautiful limestone statue of Ramses II is laying on his back. The reason for not standing must be that his feet are missing. But even without feet, the statue still measures 33 feet. The museum in the archaeological zone of Memphis has been built to protect it.
The statue was found by Giovanni Caviglia in 1820 at the great temple of Ptah near Memphis. Mohammad Ali, the ruler of Egypt at the time, donated the statue to the British Museum. But the task of moving the colossal statue was so overwhelming that it prevented the British from taking it to England — what a lucky break for Egypt and us tourists!
Today not much is left of the Old Kingdom’s Capital. Our guide explained that since Memphis is the place where the Nile splits up into different branches to form the Nile Delta, the climate is more humid — the reason many old monuments and history have disappeared.
—– yes there are other Sphinxes besides the famous one guiding the Pyramids – unfortunately not much is known about this one – speculations are that it was carved between 1700-1400 BC and might honor the Female Pharaoh Hatshepsut???
More from Egypt soon