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Egypt unveils 'rare' ancient pharaoh bust

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A "rare" bust of a statue of the pharaoh Ramses II has been discovered near Giza, south of Cairo, the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry announced Wednesday.

[CAIRO] A "rare" bust of a statue of the pharaoh Ramses II has been discovered near Giza, south of Cairo, the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry announced Wednesday.

The statue is the first rose granite bust of Ramses II found that includes the "ka" symbol, according to a statement from the ministry, which described the find as "rare".

Ka represented in ancient Egypt the spirit of a human or god that could reside in a statue of the person or deity after death.

The excavation last week by a ministry team took place on private land in Mit Rahina near the site of the ancient city of Memphis around 30km south of Cairo, the statement added.

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This statue of Ramses II, one of the most famous pharaohs of the 19th dynasty (1301-1236 BC), measures 105cm high and 55cm wide.

Egypt has in recent years sought to promote archaeological discoveries across the country in a bid to revive tourism, which took a hit from the turmoil that followed its 2011 uprising.

AFP