An eight-metre tall quartzite statue found submerged under a slum in Cairo is believed to be of Pharaoh Ramses II, who ruled Egypt over 3,200 years ago.
The discovery was made close to the ancient city of Heliopolis, located in the eastern part of modern-day Cairo. It was hailed by the Egypt's antiquities ministry as one of the most important to date.
"Last Tuesday they called me to announce the big discovery of a colossus of a king, most probably Ramses II, made out of quartzite," the antiquities minister, Khaled al-Anani, said at the site of the discovery, reports the Guardian.
Ramses II is one of the most famous of the old Egyptian rulers, known for his military conquests and the colossal monuments he left behind.
Dietrich Raue, head of the expedition's German team, said ancient Egyptians believed Heliopolis was the place where the sun god lives, meaning it was off-limits for any royal residences, said the Guardian.
"The sun god created the world in Heliopolis, in Matariya," he said.
"That's what I always tell the people here when they ask if there is anything important. According to the pharaonic belief, the world was created in Matariya.
"That means everything had to be built here. Statues, temples, obelisks, everything. But ... the king never lived in Matariya, because it was the sun god living here."Suggest a correction