An American archaeological team from New York University, working in the temple of King Ramses II in Abydos was successful in discovering more than 2,000 mummified rams' heads dating back to the Ptolemaic era which symbolizes the god Khnum of fertility and creation plus the creator god Amun, in addition to a huge building that dates to the Sixth Dynasty. The mission began in 2005 for the purpose of preserving the temple of Ramesses II and many discoveries with time began to come to the light.
This discovery was able to unveil important details about the life of King Ramesses II from his temple in Abydos and the surrounding area. The temple and the life it witnessed for more than two thousand years, from the Sixth Dynasty (2345 – 2181 BC) to the Ptolemaic era (305 - 30 BC). It proves that the worship of animals and rams heads remained active all the way to the Ptolemaic period.
The head of the rams held great importance in many different time periods which held great religious value as it represented Khnum the Lord of Elephantine who made humanity by a potter’s wheel and the spirit of Osiris plus Amun was sometimes seen in the skin and the face of a ram across ancient Egyptian mythology.
A number of mummified animals were uncovered next to the heads of rams, including a group of ewes, wild goats, dogs, deer, cows, and mongooses, that were found placed in one of the recently discovered storage rooms inside the golden northern area of the temple. The discovery of this large number of mummified rams may have been utilized as a mythical votive offerings center during the practice of unprecedented worship of rams deity in the golden center of Abydos during the magnificent Ptolemaic period, in addition, it may indicate that King Ramesses II was revered in Abydos.
The building is characterized by a distinct and striking architectural design pointing out that this building will help in understanding the activities and architecture of the Old Kingdom in Abydos. It shows that the predynastic Egyptians has a strong connection to this place which held a great religious significance.
Many parts of statues, papyri, clothes, the ancient tree remains, and leather shoes were uncovered across the northern wall. more information is set to be discovered with the continued excavation.
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