CAIRO – An Egyptian-German archaeological team has discovered 4,500 new fragments of a colossal statue of Pharaoh Psamtik I, founder of Egypt’s dynasty XXVI, in Cairo’s Matariya neighborhood, site of the ancient Egyptian city of Heliopolis, the Ministry of Antiquities announced on Wednesday.
Egyptian Antiquities Department chief Ayman Ashmawi said in a statement that the new findings reveal an unusual aspect of Egyptian sculpture; the pharaoh is portrayed with his left arm flexed forward, protruding from the torso, instead of his habitual position perpendicular to the body.
The original size of the statue of Psamtik I (654-610 BC) was nine meters high, and a total of 6,400 fragments have been found so far at the excavation site.
The identity of the statue was first announced Oct. 9, after the team found fragments of the lower part of the statue that carried the pharaoh’s name on the back, allowing the archaeologists to identify the statue after the top section was discovered in March in the same area, the ministry said.
Psamtik I was the founder of Egypt’s 26th dynasty, the last native dynasty to rule Egypt before the Persian conquest in 525 BC.
Many of the temples in Matariya neighborhood have been looted since the time of the Roman Empire.