Mystery and intrigue has shrouded the lost city of Pi-Ramesses, built over 3,000 years ago in the Nile Delta by the great Pharaoh Ramses ll, which simply disappeared. For centuries, archaeologists have searched for this magnificent ancient city and when Pierre Montet, a respected French Egyptologist, and his expedition finally found the site, it was in the wrong place. Ramses ll built a spectacular capital city, full of opulence with hundreds of statues carved in his likeness, huge temples, beautiful villas and a palace fit for a king. Born a commoner, Ramses ll became a Master Builder and eventually ruled Egypt for 67 years. Due to his long life and siring over 100 children, Ramses ll known as ‘Ramses the Great’ was revered as a God and, wanting to reflect his status, built Pi-Ramesses which vanished and then reappeared in a place that did not exist when Ramses ll was alive.
In the 1920s Pierre Montet came across fabulous half buried statues, temple blocks and obelisks all bearing the cartouche of Ramses the Great on a site in Tanis and declared that he had found Pi-Ramesses. But had he? Other archaeologists in the 1960s, Manfred Bietak and Edgar Pusch, tried to solve the puzzle and discovered that by using original maps of the Nile and tracing the original course of the river, they were able to find a settlement, 30 kilometres south of Tanis which proved to be the real site of Pi-Ramesses. On this site magnificent buildings and a beautiful palace had once been built.