London, September 25 : Archaeologists have discovered an ancient statue of Ramses II, the famous Egyptian pharaoh, five feet under the sands of a Nile delta town in Egypt.
According to a report in the Telegraph, Egyptian archaeologists located the pink, granite monument at a site in Tell Basta, once the capital of the ancient state 50 miles north of Cairo.
The great king's nose had been broken and his beard was missing, according to Zahi Hawass, the head of the country's supreme council of antiquities.
"The head is 76 cm high (around 30 inches), the nose is broken, and the false beard that was once attached to the king's chin is missing," Hawass said.
"The discovery is important because it may indicate that the excavators are close to the ruins of a major temple of Ramses II in the area," he added.
Archaeologists are still excavating the Tell Basta site in the hopes of discovering the rest of the statue.
Ramses, also known by his Greek name Ozymandias, commanded a mighty empire during Egypt's new kingdom from 1279-1213 BC.
He built luxurious palaces, lavish temples and other huge monuments across the kingdom.
These included Abu Simbel, constructed in the far south of the country. The husband of the beautiful queen Nefertiti, he has also been identified with the Biblical Exodus led by Moses into ancient Israel.
Ramses was buried in the valley of the kings at Luxor, but was discovered last century and his mummified remains are now displayed in a Cairo museum.