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.