During recent excavation work at the ancient temple of Ramesses II in Abydos, Sohag, archaeologists under the direction of Sameh Iskander unearthed a hidden palace that once belonged to the famous Egyptian pharaoh.
As Ahram Online reported, Mostafa Waziri, the secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, explained that the new discovery of a palace located within the confines of Ramesses II’s temple is such a noteworthy archaeological find that it will greatly alter the known plan of this temple.
“It is a very important discovery which will change, for the first time, the plan of the temple more than 160 years since its discovery.”
Waziri further noted that the detection of the Egyptian palace was “an important contribution to our understanding of the development of the temple palaces during the Ramesside period.”
Archaeologists have determined that the layout and plan of the palace within Ramesses II’s temple is strikingly similar to that of the great pharaoh’s father Seti I, whose own palace can be found less than one mile away in Abydos.
The discovery of the ancient palace was purely accidental and only occurred after archaeologists noticed a stone walkway very close to a door located near a southwest corner of the temple. After archaeologists explored this stone walkway, they quickly discovered that this took them straight to a complex palace that held numerous depictions in the form of cartouches of Ramesses II.
The walls of the palace which once belonged to Ramesses II were constructed out of mud brick and limestone, and the temple palace’s floors were also fashioned out of smooth limestone. The second hall that was found within the palace had a large column base made out of sandstone, and depictions of stars were also seen scattered around this area in different locations.
Ayman Ashmawi, the head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department, has stated that many of the cartouches which were discovered in this part of the temple were exceptionally rare, and some of these include Ramesses II’s name emblazoned in gold and surrounded by a bright sun and feathers.
According to Newsweek, Professor Joann Fletcher of the University of York stated that the new find “will certainly emphasize the way Ramesses II, like his father Seti, saw Abydos as the origin of royal power.”
“The fact Ramesses II required a palace at Abydos also reveals that he didn’t just order a new temple at the site but was spending enough time there to warrant such accommodation.”
With the discovery of a lost palace hidden inside the temple of Ramesses II in Egypt, archaeologists will be busy now exploring this site fully so that the temple’s plan can be updated.