Uncovering over 2000 mummified ram heads in Abydos temple
March 25, 2023
The American archaeological mission affiliated with New York University and operating in the area of the Temple of King Ramses II in Abydos has succeeded in uncovering more than 2,000 mummified ram heads dating back to the Ptolemaic era, in addition to a huge building from the Sixth Dynasty.Dr. Mustafa Waziry, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, stated that this discovery is of great importance and sheds light on important details in the life and history of the Temple of King Ramses II in Abydos and the surrounding area, especially given the archaeological and historical significance of this temple. It contributes significantly to understanding the location of the temple and its history over more than two thousand years, from the Sixth Dynasty to the Ptolemaic era.He added that the mission also uncovered a number of mummified animals alongside the ram heads, including a group of sheep, dogs, wild goats, cows, deer, and the Nubian ibex, which were found placed in one of the newly discovered storage rooms in the northern area of the temple.Dr. Sameh Eskander, head of the mission, indicated that the discovery of this large number of mummified ram heads may have been used as sacrificial offerings during an unprecedented worship of rams in Abydos during the Ptolemaic period. It may also indicate that the deification of King Ramses II in Abydos continued for a thousand years after his death.As for the huge building that was discovered and dates back to the Sixth Dynasty, it is characterized by a unique and different architectural design, with its thick and massive walls reaching a width of about five meters. This building will contribute strongly to rethinking the activities and architecture of the Old Kingdom in Abydos, as well as the nature and form of the place and the activities that were carried out there before the construction of the Temple of King Ramses II and its surrounding annexes.Mr. Mohamed Abdel-Badi, head of the Central Department of Upper Egypt Antiquities at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, added that the mission also succeeded in uncovering parts of the northern wall of the enclosure surrounding the temple and its annexes, which is an important step towards understanding the development of the temple over time.