More on Missing pieces of colossal Egyptian statue unearthed

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Six missing pieces from the colossal double statue of the 18th Dynasty King Amenhotep III and his wife Queen Tiye have been discovered at the king’s mortuary temple on Luxor’s west bank.

A piece of Queen Tiye’s wig from the colossal double statue of Amenhotep III and Tiye that is in the main hall of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. This piece of the wig is one of six missing fragments that was recently uncovered at the temple of Medinet Habu on the west bank of Luxor. Photograph: Meghan E Strong / Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) The fragments were recently discovered during excavation work by a team of Egyptian archaeologists working under the direction of Dr Zahi Hawass, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).

According to an announcement made by Dr Hawass on his blog, the pieces from Amenhotep III’s statue that were recovered come from the right side of his chest, nemes headdress, and leg. Fragments of a statue of Queen Tiye include a section of her wig, and pieces from her left arm, fingers and foot. A small section of the base of the double statue was also found. The measurements of the six missing fragments range from 47cm to 103cm.

The pieces are currently being held at the site of Amenhotep III’ s mortuary temple on the west bank, but will soon be relocated to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo for restoration and placement into the colossal statue.

Amenhotep III is believed to be the grandfather of the young King Tutankhamun.

Archaeologist Abdul Ghafar Wagdy, supervisor of the excavation at the site in Luxor, informed that the pieces of the statuary were found as part of a project to lower the ground water on the west bank of Luxor. These six pieces are only a few of nearly 1,000 statuary fragments that have been found dating from the Pharonic to the Coptic era.

French egyptologist Auguste Mariette discovered the double statue at Medinet (Thebes) in 1889. Following this, the statue was restored, and an Italian team filled in the missing pieces with modern stonework.

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.


Source: Write2Kill [January 11, 2011]


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