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article image3400-yr-old statue of Tutankhamun's grandfather found in Luxor

By Subir Ghosh     Apr 29, 2011 in World
Luxor - Archaeologists have unearthed a colossal statue of powerful pharaoh Amenhotep III at his 3,400-year-old mortuary temple in southern Egyptian city of Luxor. It is one of the largest of its kind to be discovered by the country's antiquities authority.
The 13 metre tall statue of Amenhotep III, consisting of seven large quartzite blocks, was one of a pair that flanked the northern entrance to the grand funerary temple on the west bank of the Nile that is currently the focus of a major excavation, Minister of State for Antiquities Dr Zahi Hawass has announced.
The statue as of now still lacks a head and was actually first discovered in the 1928. It was subsequently hidden again. The temple itself was destroyed in an earthquake in 27BC. The blocks are currently undergoing restoration in an attempt to re-erect the statue in its original position.
According to Abdel Ghaffar Wagdi, the supervisor of the excavation site, said that the new mission has also discovered two other statues, one depicting the god Thoth as a baboon and another of the lion-headed goddess, Sekhmet. The Sekhmet statue is made of black granite, 185 cm tall and 74 cm wide. Sekhmet statues have been found in large numbers at this temple, and one theory for this is that Amenhotep III suffered from an illness near the end of his reign and made offerings to this goddess for protection against it.
Amenhotep III is believed to be the grandfather of the young King Tutankhamun. Eighteenth Dynasty king Amenhotep III, (1390-1352BC) is known for his overwhelming amount of statuary, particularly group statuary featuring the king with the ancient Egyptian deities. Amenhotep III is reckoned to have been one of the wealthiest and most powerful of all the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. His funerary temple at Luxor measured 700 metres by 500 metres, making it one of the largest monuments in ancient Egypt.
The 3,400-year-old temple is one of the largest on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor, where the powerful pharaohs of Egypt's New Kingdom built their tombs.
In January this year, six missing pieces from the colossal double statue of Amenhotep III and his wife Queen Tiye were discovered at the king’s mortuary temple. The pieces from the statue that were recovered come from the right side of his chest, headdress and leg. Fragments of a statue of Queen Tiye included a section of her wig, and pieces from her left arm, fingers and foot. A small section of the base of the double statue were also found.
In November 2010, archaeologists found the upper part of a statue of Amenhotep III at Luxor. The find – part of a double statue featuring King Amenhotep III with the falcon-headed sun god Re-Horakhti – was made on Thursday at the pharaoh's funerary temple on Luxor's west bank. The team also found a granite colossus featuring Thoth, the god of wisdom, in the form of a baboon.
Earlier, archaeologists discovered a 3400-year-old enclosure wall around Giza's Sphinx, presumably erected to protect the celebrated landmark from desert winds. It was probably one of the earliest tries at architectural conservation. Last month, archaeologists found a 4400-year-old tomb, south of the cemetery of the pyramid builders at Giza. The tomb belonged to a priest named Rudj-Ka (or Rwd-Ka), and was dated to the 5th Dynasty - between 2465 and 2323 BC.
In the October, Egyptian archaeologists unearthed part of a 3,000-year-old granite double statue of the Amenhotep III. The statue was excavated at Kom El-Hittan on the west bank of Luxor. Also in October, a team of archaeologists found the burial chamber of a priest named Karakhamun at the Theban Necropolis. The tomb dated back to Dynasty 25 (c. 755BC) and was uncovered during conservation and restoration work on the west bank of Luxor.
More about Luxor, Egypt, Tutankhamun, Amenhotep
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