Image: A quartzite colossus, possibly of Ramses II, has been discovered at the ancient Heliopolis archaeological site in Cairo. (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Archaeologists in Cairo have discovered an ancient statue, believed to depict Ramses II, submerged in mud. 

What’s bookish about this story? Well, blogger Camila Domonoske couldn’t help but note, “The discovery of a forgotten, submerged statue of Ramses II brings to mind one of the most famous poems in English literature – albeit substituting muck for desert sands.”

Yup, Ramses II was also known as Ozymandias, a name you may know from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s famous sonnet:

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—"Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert… . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away. 

-Nicole

Massive Ancient Statue Discovered Submerged In Mud In Cairo

7

Twin Mausolea

Imbriogon (Demircili), Turkey

2-3rd centuries CE

Midway between Uzuncaburç and Silifke, the village of Demircili retains some Roman mausolea of the IInd or IIIrd century CE. They were built outside the town of Imbriogon, the scanty ruins of which are barely visible in the fields to the west of the road.
The mausolea were built on commanding locations and therefore have always been very visible, yet unlike the town, they are almost intact as if they were protected by a sort of awe.

The overall design of the mausolea with columns and a standard entablature still produces the effect of small temples.

The small size of the door in one mausoleum and the remaining part of a relief showing a couple in the other one indicate the actual purpose of the two buildings.

4

Arch of Trajan

Timgad, Algeria

2nd century CE

12 m.  in height

The three vaulted arch composed the western gate of the city, at the beginning of the decumanus maximus and the end of the road coming from Lambaesis.

The arch reaches a height of 12 metres, with a central arch of 6 metres in height which permitted the passage of vehicles that have left deep ruts in the ground under the archway).

The lateral arches, each 3.75 metres high, were reserved for pedestrians. Above the lateral arches on both sides are deep rectangular niches, framed by aediculae with smooth-stemmed Corinthian columns of coloured marble supported by shelves. The niches were designed to hold statues which are now lost. The whole assemblage of each lateral arch and niche was framed by two red corinthian columns, detached from the walls and supported by pedestals. The entablature that runs across the wall above the lateral arches, protrudes above the columns and a curvilinear pediment rests on it in turn. The attic must have been surmounted with a group of monumental statues.

Other sculpture was added to the arch in later times. This includes a statue of Mars and one of Concordia erected under Emperor Septimius Severus by Lucius Licinius Optatianus, on the occasion of his election as flamen-for-life of the colonia.