Parts of Ramses II statue found in Aswan in southern Egypt

CAIRO -- Egypt says archaeologists have discovered parts of a statue of one of its most famous pharaohs in the southern city of Aswan. The Antiquities Ministry said Tuesday the head and chest of the statue of Ramses II were found in the Temple of Kom Ombo during a project to protect the site from groundwater. 

Ramses II, also known as Ramses the Great, ruled Egypt from 1279 B.C. to 1213 B.C. He is credited with expanding Egypt's reach as far as modern Syria to the east and Sudan to the south.   

Egypt Antiquities

This photo released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, shows the head of a statue of one of the most famous pharaohs, Ramses II, that was discovered along with other parts of a statue in the Temple of Kom Ombo, in Aswan.

Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities via AP

Egypt hopes the find, along with other recent discoveries, will help revive its tourism sector, which has been battered by years of unrest since the 2011 uprising.

Over the weekend, Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced another find: the discovery of an ancient necropolis near the Nile Valley city of Minya, south of Cairo. The large cemetery is located north of a vast archaeological site on the edge of the western desert, and it hosts a range of family tombs and graves. 

"We will need at least five years to work on the necropolis," Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said. "This is only the beginning of a new discovery."

Mostafa Waziri, head of the archaeological mission, said eight tombs in that discovery have been uncovered so far, and he expects more will be found soon.

"They still contain the mummified inner organs of the deceased. The jars are decorated with hieroglyphic texts showing the name and titles of their owner," Waziri told BBC News. "This is a message sent to us from the afterlife."