Colossal statue of ‘forgotten’ pharaoh brought to life in 3D images

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Ancient statue would have stood 26-ft tall

It depicted a 26th Dynasty pharaoh, Psamtik I

Archaeologists pieced together more than 6,000 fragments to reconstruct the colossus

CNN  — 

When a huge statue of a pharaoh was uncovered last year in Matariya, a working-class suburb of Cairo that was once the ancient city of Heliopolis, the press eagerly greeted it as a depiction of the great Ramses II, one of ancient Egypt’s most famous rulers.

To many it came as a disappointment when a tiny inscription found on the back pillar of the statue suggested it in fact belonged to Psamtik I, a lesser-known pharaoh who ruled six centuries later, from 664-610 BC.

But archaeologists suggest this identity makes the find much rarer and even more exciting. After piecing together more than 6,000 fragments, the Egyptian-German mission in charge of the excavations has been able to calculate the original size of the colossus and produce a 3D reconstruction.

Ruins of Heliopolis