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
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.