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An unidentified royal statue head found in Luxor

A black granite head of an unidentified New Kingdom king's statue has been uncovered in Luxor

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 26 Dec 2013
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The newly discovered head

The Egyptian-Spanish archaeological mission unearthed on Thursday a large granite head of a statue of an unidentified New Kingdom king during routine excavation at King Thutmose III’s funerary temple on Luxor’s west bank.

Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Section at the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA), explained that the head is 29.6cm high, 24.3cm wide and 26.9cm deep. The head depicts a round face of a royal figure, not identified yet, wearing a wig, with traces of a broken nose, and two long ears that each reach 8cm. The eyes, he continued, have traces of kohl, with thick eyebrows.

Abdel-Maqsoud said that the head was found buried in sand in a pit on the northern side of the second court of the temple. Studies are underway in an attempt to determine which New Kingdom king it belongs to.

The temple of Thutmose III is a vey small temple located beside the temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Al Deir Al-Bahari. It was first discovered in February 1962 during routine restoration work carried out by a Polish excavation mission of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology led by archaeologist Kazimierz Michalowski.

The temple is poorly preserved and was dedicated to god Amun-Re.  Although Thutmose III’s actual funerary temple Henkhet-Ankh is located a short distance away, such a temple had played some role within the king’s funerary cult.

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Saxon de Kock
31-12-2013 11:41am
An interesting discovery. How about it being part of a statue of Senmut, Hatshepsut's Chief of Works and assumed lover? Tutmosis hated him and destroyed all reminders eventually of those two. The head, whilst wearing a nemes cloth has no protective uraeus on the front centre, which makes me wonder if this actually was a likeness of a pharaoh. Just a thought.
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27-12-2013 11:33pm
New Kingdom?
Okay, it was found near the Thutmose III's temple, beside Hatshepsut's much better known mortuary temple, both dating to the New Kingdom's 18th Dynasty. But the hair looks distinctly Middle Kingdom. Could it be from the tombs of Mentuhotep I or II (Dynasty 11), on the south side of Hatshepsut's temple?
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Glen Parry
29-12-2013 09:31am
Posssible but...
Whilst there is a possiblity that this could be a Middle Kingdom piece, one thing that is certain is that the lack of a uraeus on the forehead makes it very unlikely to be a statue of a King, either from the Middle or New Kingdoms. More likely it is a votive image, that had been deposited in one of the nearby temples or fragment of a cult statue, that originates from one of the Asasif/Deir el Bahari tombs.

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