Open Air Museum and Lapidarium of Memphis

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The Open Air Museum and Lapidarium of ancient Memphis is an archaeological museum and lapidarium situated on the western bank of Nile in the Badrashin district of Giza, Egypt. It is located some 3 kilometers east of the Memphite Necropolis, directly inline with the pyramid of Pepi I.

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The Memphite open air museum houses a large number of architectural elements from various temples and other buildings in the area of Mit Rahina, ancient Memphis. The outdoor museum contains numerous other statues, colossi, sphinxes, and architectural elements. However, the majority of the finds have either been sold or gifted to major museums around the world. For the most part, these can be found on display in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Notable Artefacts

circa 1279-1213 BCE

Striding Statue of Ramesses II
This beautifully carved statue of Rameses the Great most likely dates back to the Middle Kingdom, though there's not direct inscription or identification it was restored in the name of Rameses II. The statue has muscular features and a stern facial expression representing his physical strength and power. During his 66 years reign, he built and developed multiple cities, temples and monuments, including the administrative capital of Pi-Ramesses in the Nile Delta. However, he never forgot his religious center of Memphis, building magnificient statues such as these to adorn his great temple of Ptah.

On the right hand wrist some traces of red paint that once covered the statue can still be seen. It is one of the rarest examples of ancient Egyptian statue paints.

circa 1279-1213 BCE

Memphis Triad
The ancient Egyptians believed that their gods werelike human families. One of the most prominent of these families consisted of thegreat god Ptah, his wife Sekhmet, and their son Nefertum, known as a triad of Memphis or the Memphite triade. This group statue was carved in red granite with Ptah in the middle, Sekhmet on his left and Ramesse II (depicted as Nefertum) on his right. Both Ptah and Ramesses II had temples or chapels dedicated to them.

circa 1550-1069 BCE

Memphis Sphinx
Sphinxes were often considered as guards or protectors of ancient Egyptian temples or sacred places. Some represent kings (pharaohs), withtheir human faces attached to the body of a lion - an animal recognized as the ultimate symbol of power.

In this case, we don't know which pharaoh is represented here, because there are no inscriptions on the monument. However, some theories suggest that it may even be queen Hatshepsut.

The sphinx was unearthed in 1912 CE by Flinders Petrie in the very place where it is displayed today. It is one of the largest artefact ever carved from Egyptian Alabaster.

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