New discovery of foundation deposits and the storerooms of Ramses II’s temple in Abydos

CAIRO – 8 April 2020: The mission of the New York University-ISAW at the temple of Ramses II in Abydos under the direction of Dr. Sameh Iskander discovered the temple’s foundation deposits at its south-west corner which was buried in 1279 BC at the time of its construction ceremonies.
The deposits materials include food offerings, plaques inscribed with Rameses II throne name painted in blue or green color, small copper construction tool models, pottery vessel with hieratic inscriptions, and oval shaped quartzite grindstones, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri announces.
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Ramses II Temple Foundation deposit 2020 – ET
The mission also discovered ten large mud-brick storerooms attached to the temple palace, originally roofed with vaulted brick ceilings. They were used as granaries, storage of other temple provisions, offerings, and other small equipment.
Twelve sacrificial votive bulls’ heads and bones dated to the Ptolemaic period were found inserted inside niches cut in the walls of the storerooms. In addition, a complete bull skeleton was found carefully buried under the floor of the temple palace.
Dr. Iskander further stated that the foundation deposits bearing the throne name of Rameses II buried under his first temple built in Egypt confirms that it was indeed constructed during his reign, and not earlier during his father’s time.
The latest discoveries have in effect changed the physical appearance of the Abydos landscape and shed considerable light on our understanding of the temple and its economy during the thirteenth century B.C.
The insertion of numerous votive sacrificial bulls within the walls of the temple dated to the Ptolemaic period reveals that the temple was still regarded then as a sacred place. This is a testimony to the vivid memory of Rameses II in the Egyptian mind one thousand years after his reign-an immense span of time.
Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities press release