Mar 18, 2017 01:27 PM EDT
A colossal statue unearthed in Cairo last week is not Ramses II but a "forgery." According to Egypt's antiquities minister Khaled el-Anani, the inscription on the statue reveals that it is likely to be Pharaoh Psamtek I instead. In 664-610 BC or 600 years after Ramses II, Psamtek I carved his lesser-known dynasty in the Egyptian history.
To recall, experts got excited over the discovery of the massive statue and initially thought that it could be the great Ramses II. The pharaoh lived 3,000 years ago and is one of the most well-known Egyptian rulers, thanks for being one of the candidates for the biblical exodus. The notion that he lived alongside Moses is thrilling but it has long been debunked. At any rate, Ramses II is still regarded as the most celebrated and powerful among pharaohs.
El-Anani said that they are not yet categorically announcing that the statue is Psamtek I. However, there is an inscription at the base of the statue which clearly reads "Neb Aa," ABC News reported. Psamtek I is the only pharaoh known to bear the title Neb Aa or "possessor of the arm" which could also be translated as "mighty." It is customary for Egyptian rulers back then to have their identity written with five titles, followed by five names.
Meanwhile, el-Anani has another interesting theory why there is so much confusion behind the Egyptian statue. Since it resembles Ramses II, el-Anani suggests that Psamtek I may have just reused the original Ramses to depict himself, IFL Science reported. With little changes on the base and "reinscription," Psamtek I may have done one of the biggest Egyptian forgeries - literally.
The statue weighs 7 tons and measures at 9 meters. Such colossal statue was typical during Ramses' time, which also contributes to the earlier notion. Experts are preparing the statue for "environmental adjustments" since it is going to be in open and dry display as opposed to mud and water when it was found.