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Parts of Amenhotep III’s double statue uncovered in Luxor

Six missing pieces belonging to the double statue of 18th Dynasty's King Amenhotep III were uncovered at his funerary temple in Luxor

Nevine Al Aref, Sunday 9 Jan 2011
The wig of queen Tiye
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130 years after the discovery of the colossal of King Amenhotep III and his wife Queen Tiye, six missing statue pieces have been uncovered at the king’s funerary temple on Luxor’s west bank. The colossal double statue is currently the centerpiece of the main hall at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The fragments were found during excavation work carried out by an Egyptian team under the directions of Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).

At the excavation site, Culture Minister Farouk Honsi stated that the parts were discovered130 years after French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette unearthed the double statue in Medinet Habu on the west bank of the Nile.

Hawass explained that when the statue was first discovered in 1889 an Italian team restored it, filling in the missing pieces with modern stonework. Several of the newly discovered pieces belong to the figure of Amenhotep III's, making up the right side of the chest, nemes headdress, and leg. The pieces belonging to the 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. These 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, where they will be restored and fitted into the colossal.

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

 

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