Archaeologists from the American archaeological mission at the University of New York have made a remarkable discovery in the area of the King Ramses II Temple of Abydos in Egypt. The team has unearthed more than 2,000 decomposed ram heads dating back to the Balthlemian era, as well as a huge building from the Sixth Dynasty era.

2000 mummified ram heads
Courtesy of Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

According to Dr. Mustafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Archeology, this discovery is significant as it uncovers important details about the life and history of the Temple of King Ramses II and the surrounding area. He emphasized the temple's archaeological and historical importance and how it contributes to understanding the location of the temple and what it witnessed over a thousand years, from the Sixth Dynasty to the Heroic Age.

Dr. Sameh Iskandar, the leader of the mission, suggested that the abundance of decorated rams found could have been used as offerings in a remarkable veneration of the rams in Abydus during the Bipidus period. He also suggested that the sanctification of King Ramses II in Abydos remained after his death for a thousand years.

The team also uncovered a number of animals perched beside the heads of the rams, including a group of goats, dogs, wild goats, cows, deer and an ostrich. These animals were found in a newly discovered warehouse room within the northern area of the temple.

In addition to the ram heads, the team found a huge building dating back to the Sixth Dynasty era, which has a distinctive and unique architectural design featuring its huge thick walls about five meters in width. This structure will be a major factor in reconsidering the activities and architecture of the ancient state of Abydus, as well as the character and form of the area and the activities that occurred prior to Ramses II's construction of his temple and its accompanying features.

Professor Mohamed Abdel-Badi, head of the Central Administration for Archeology of Upper Egypt at the Supreme Council of Archeology, said that the team also succeeded in uncovering parts of the northern wall surrounding the temple and its accessories. This finding calls for a change in mind about the shape of the temple of King Ramses II and what has been described and painted for it since its discovery over 150 years ago, this information has been widely shared among scientists and researchers. The team also found parts of statues, parts of hills, remains of ancient trees, clothing, and leather shoes.

The mission will persist in their excavation efforts at the site in order to gain further insight into its history. They will also analyze and record the discoveries made during the current excavation season. The discovery of the ram heads and the building from the Sixth Dynasty era is a significant step in piecing together the history of the Temple of King Ramses II in Abydos and shedding light on the activities and architecture of the old state in the area.