Ramesses II was one of the great kings of Egypt, ruling for 67 years, 1293 – 1212 BC. He dominated the New Kingdom of Egypt. One of the finest statues of the Pharaoh is that discovered in 1882 in Luxor and then in 1955 it was taken in pieces down the Nile to Cairo where it stands at a busy crossroads. However, it is now to be moved to a new museum at Giza and as a result it has been surrounded by scaffolding and has been minutely surveyed by a scanning programme, by laser scanners by Digital Heritage Consultant, Duncan Lees, of Plowman Craven & Associates.
A laser survey has also been carried out of the Ramesseum, the great mortuary temple built by Ramesses. As the air photo shows, the temple was only a small part of the complex, for it was surrounded by huge storage batteries where the tribute paid to the Pharaoh could be stored. In this way, the produce produced in seven good years could be used to make good the famine of the seven lean years.
This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 9. Click here to subscribe