More than 2,000 mummified ram heads discovered in Egyptian temple

Hundreds of mummified ram heads, placed in the ground, were discovered during excavations at the Temple of Ramses II.

More than 2,000 mummified ram heads dating back to the Ptolemaic dynasty have been discovered at the Temple of Ramses II in Abydos, southern Egypt, authorities announced Sunday.

Sheep, dog, goat, cow, gazelle and mongoose mummies were also exhumed by a team of New York University archaeologists at this site famous for its temples and necropolis, the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism announced.

According to the director of the supreme council of antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, these discoveries will allow us to learn more about the temple of Ramses II and the activities that took place between its construction -during the 6th dynasty of the Old Empire (between 2,374 and 2,140 BC)- and the period Ptolemaic (323 to 30 BC).

For Professor Sameh Iskandar, head of the US mission and quoted in the same statement, these rams’ heads are “offerings”, indicating “a cult of Ramses II” celebrated centuries after his death.

In addition to the remains of mummified animals, the team discovered traces of a palace with walls about five meters thick dating back to the 6th Dynasty, as well as various statues, papyri, remains of ancient trees, leather clothing and shoes.