A massive, broken statue possibly dating back more than 3,000 years has been discovered in the Cairo suburb of Mattarya.

Archeologists from Egypt and Germany made the discovery while working in a muddy pit near the ruins of Ramses II's temple in the ancient city of Heliopolis. They believe the statue, carved from a tough stone called quartzite, depicts Ramses II himself; one of the most famed and powerful rulers in ancient Egypt.

“We found the bust of the statue and the lower part of the head and now we removed the head and we found the crown and the right ear and a fragment of the right eye,” Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani told Reuters.

As you can see from the image below, details such as the ears appear virtually unblemished since they were first carved some three millennia ago.

One of the massive ears on the head of a statue thought to depict King Ramses II. One of the massive ears on the head of a statue thought to depict King Ramses II. (Photo: AFP/YouTube)

In addition to the colossus, the archaeologists also discovered a second, smaller statue believed to depict Pharaoh Seti II, Ramses II's grandson.

Once the excavation is complete, the Antiquities Minister says the statue will be placed at the entrance of the soon-to-be-opened new Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

You can see video of the dig below:

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.