A French archaeological mission from the French Institute for Archaeological Studies have unearthed a yet unidentified royal statue of a New Kingdom king during routine excavations at Monthu Temple, northeast of Karnak Temple in Luxor.
The statue is 125 centimetres tall and made of black granite and depicts a standing king wearing short dress with hands aside.
Christopher Tiers, head of the archaeological mission, said that early studies of the statue suggest that the artistic features of the depicted king confirm its royalty.
The statue is to be transferred to the storage facilities of the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA) for restoration and documentation. Tiers asserted that excavation at the site is in full swing in order to find any additional statues that may enable archaeologists to identify the New Kingdom king.
Monthu Temple is dedicated to the worship of the falcon-headed got of war Monthu. The temple is located five kilometres northeast of Karnak in an area called Armant on Luxor’s east bank.
Armant was excavated by French archaeologist Fernand Disson de la Roque from 1925 to the post-war period, when he revealed many buildings, including Monthu Temple. The temple replaced an older sanctuary from the Old Kingdom and consists of an open forum with a tower and enclosing two mounds that housed the chapels of worship.
The ruins of the last structure date to the reign of Ptolemy VIII, although decorations and additions continued to be added centuries later by the Romans. Along the span of time, Monthu Temple was a major centre of worshipping Apis bulls, that is why it contains many statues and reliefs of bulls. Most of these statues are now on display in various museums around the world.