A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Special Introductory Offer!

Colossal Head of Ramses II Placed in Storage in Upper Egypt

Monday, May 13, 2013


AKHMIM, EGYPT—Six years ago, a colossal sculpture of the head of Ramses II was unearthed in the cemetery of the town of Akhmim. Further investigation revealed that the area could be the site of a temple dedicated to Ramses II, which was described by the Greek historian Herodotus as being larger than the Karnak temple complex. The residents of Akhmim were ordered to stop burying their dead in the cemetery in order to protect the archaeological site, and some of the modern tombs were relocated, but since the revolution of 2011, the cemetery has become a garbage dump. Now, the Ministry of State of Antiquities has moved the sculpture and additional artifacts into storage for protection. Guards are also said to be patrolling the site.