Raising Amenhotep III’s colossus


A quartzite colossus of 18th Dynasty King Amenhotep III is to be raised on Luxor’s west bank on Saturday . 

Attempt to lift the colossus [Credit: AhramOnline]

The colossus was unearthed in 2004 by an Egyptian-European archaeological mission led by Horig Sourouzian during routine excavation work. It was 100 meters behind the gigantic colossi of Memnon which represent the same king at the main entrance of its temple. The colossus was half buried under Nile alluvia in seven pieces. 

In 2011 the restoration work was completed and Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim is to witness the raising of the colossi at its original location. 

The colossus upright [Credit: AhramOnline]

Sourouzian said it is the first time that such a monumental sculpture will raised by combining Pharaonic methods and modern air-cushion techniques. She explained that the statue was one of a pair that once stood at the temple’s northern gate but a massive earthquake in 1200 BC destroyed the whole temple. 

Ibrahim described the colossus as a masterpiece of ancient Egyptian royal sculpture. It is 13 metres tall and depicts King Amenhotep III seated on a decorated throne and accompanied by a very well preserved statue of his wife Queen Tiye. 

Author: Nevine El-Aref | Source: Ahram Online [March 03, 2012]