Pi-Ramesse Around the World
Today, Pi-Ramesse, the once proud capital of Egypt, has almost completely vanished above ground. Immediately after the abandonment of the old residence, architectural elements, statues, and other stone objects were brought to the new capital Tanis. The remaining ruins deteriorated over time and were covered by debris and alluvium, or built over.
The Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Photo: Matthieu Götz.
Special exhibition on the excavations in Qantir in the Egyptian Museum Cairo
The former general director of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Dr. Sabah Abd El Razek, talks about collaboration projects between the museum at Tahrir and foreign archaeological missions. The interview’s focus is a special exhibition on the long-standing cooperation between Egyptian and German colleagues in Pi-Ramesse, the modern village of Qantir.
“Well-travelled and Forgotten”
Identifying Objects from Pi-Ramesse
in Museums Around the World
In the second half of the 19th century, the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages picked up ancient artefacts from the ground or excavated them. These made their way into the art market and subsequently into museums and private collections. Early excavators, such as Mahmoud Hamza, discovered further finds, which they mainly sent to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
To build a more complete picture of how Pi-Ramesse once appeared, the Qantir/Pi-Ramesse Project plans to locate all artefacts that came from the city and are now part of museum collections. Each object will be registered in a database and joining fragments will be virtually reconstructed.
Unfortunately, in many cases, it is very difficult to prove whether an object said to come from Pi-Ramesse actually did. Other objects might not have any data on their origin, which makes the identification even more problematic. Moreover, many finds are unpublished, inaccessible, or not publicly known.
For this reason, to help identify an object’s association with a place, archaeologists develop a list of criteria. The names of art dealers mentioned in museum inventories can help, as well as presumed provenances. For Pi-Ramesse, further evidence can be gained by comparing objects with finds that definitely came from Qantir, by the representation of typical motifs; the mention of deities associated with Pi-Ramesse, or the identification of distinctive techniques used in the objects’ production.
From Pi-Ramesse to Pi-Ramesse:
Sphinxes, Kidnapped Statues, and Golden Gods
Images of gods, kings, and other people are typical of ancient Egypt, and can be found almost everywhere. This was also the case in the capital of Ramesses II, though none can be seen there today. Prof. Dr. Alexandra Verbovsek, Director of the Qantir/Pi-Ramesse Project, explains why no images are left on site and what role statues played in Pi-Ramesse.
AN XXL CITY
CHRONICLE OF A CITY
A CITY OF TECHNOLOGIES
HORSES FOR THE PHARAO
PI-RAMESSE AROUND THE WORLD