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Two Historic Statues Reassembled, One in Egypt, One in Turkey

Michael East, Red Revolution

In an unusual piece of international archaeological symmetry, two ancient statues have been pieced back together and unveiled, one in Egypt and one in Turkey.

The statues, which have no other link besides the timing, include a Ramesses II statue in the Sohag region of Egypt and a statue of the Roman emporer Trajan that was found in the Turkish city of Laodicea.

Unveiled on Saturday by Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani, the statue of Ramesses was discovered at a site in Akhim and was in 70 separate pieces. The statue took six months to reassumble, with restoration work also including cleaning, archiving and reinstallation.

“The restoration work took six months from the Egyptian conservators and restorers, it was a miracle to finish revival of the 12-meter high and 43-ton weight statue in short period.”

Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities

The statue has been installed next to the statue of Queen Merit Amun in the city in Akhmim and unveiled in a ceremony to acknowledge Sohag National Day, with the team working on the restoration all from the Sohag region. It is hoped that the statue, amongst other finds in the area, will attract tourism to the region.

Meanwhile, archaeologists working at the Turkish City of Laodicea have unveiled their own reconstructed statue, a 1,906-year-old depiction of the Roman emperor Trajan.

The reconstructed statue of Trajan | Excavation Committee of the Ancient City of Laodicea

Discovered by researchers from the Excavation Committee of the Ancient City of Laodicea, the statue was found in hundreds of pieces beneath a water fountain in the city and stands an impressive 3 meters tall. The statue shows Trajan in his full military regalia and standing triumphant with a defeated enemy in the background. Researchers state that the statue dates to 113 AD.

While honouring Trajan, the statue also shows both the might of imperial Rome and the value placed on culture.

“On the upper part of the armour, there is the thunder of Jupiter, the celestial god of thunder. Medusa is located right in the middle of the chest, which is important because it shows the emperor’s frightening side. There are two reciprocal griffons, which are the symbol of the god Apollo. We see Apollo as the god that protected the fine arts. With this, what…comes to mind is that the emperor did protect fine arts at his time”

Celal Şimşek, Excavation Committee of the Ancient City of Laodicea Project Leader

Trajan, who ruled Rome at the greatest extent of its empire, built a waterway at the trading route city of Laodicea, spending lavishly in the city. The statue would have been commissioned in his honour and the quality of the workmanship denotes the intent and expense. Said to be incredibly finely worked and likely to have been sculpted by somebody familiar with the Emperor, the statue was likely toppled by an earthquake that destroyed the city in 60 AD, shattering it into 356 pieces.


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