(eTN) – The upper part of a double limestone statue of King Amenhotep III (1410-1372 BC) was unearthed at Kom El-Hittan in the west bank of Luxor.
Kom el-Hittan is the site of the temple of Amenhotep III, which was once the largest temple on Luxor’s west bank. The temple originally had two entrances: one on the eastern side where the Colossi of Memnon reside, and one at the northern side, where the double statue was located. The statue was found during a routine excavation carried out by an Egyptian team of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).
The statue depicts Amenhotep III seated on a throne accompanied by the Theban god, Amun. The king wears the double crown of Egypt, which is decorated with an uraeus.
Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, said that the statue is one of the best new finds in the area because of its expert craftsmanship, which reflect the skills of the ancient Egyptian artisans. He added that King Amenhotep III was famous due to the overwhelming amount of statuary, which feature him in groupings with different deities, such as Amun-Re, Re-Horakhti, Bastet and Sobek. The latter statue is now a masterpiece of the Luxor museum.
Since this new find is the third of such double statues discovered at the site of Kom el-Hittan, it is possible that a large cache for King Amenhotep III’s statuary may have been buried in the area, said Hawass.
Dr. Sabri Abdel Aziz, Head of the Pharaonic Sector of the SCA, said that the statue is the second of its kind to be found in the area. A similar statue was previously unearthed, which showed the king seated beside the solar god, Re-Horakhti. He added that the archaeological mission also found a statue of the god of wisdom, Thoth, carved in the likeness of a monkey.Mr. Abdel Ghaffar, head of the mission said that the newly discovered statue of Amenhotep III is 130 cm tall and 95 cm wide. Excavations are now focused on unravelling the rest of the statue.
A few months back, a granite colossus of the ancient Egyptian deity of wisdomThoth was unearthed at the northwestern side of King Amenhotep III’s funerary temple on the west bank of Luxor. The figure is 3.5 meters tall and 140 cm wide, and was found during routine excavations carried out by Hawass.
At the site where the colossus was found, Hawass said that more colossi would be found there similar to a statue 5 meters in height discovered last year.
Afifi Rohayem, the assistant of the mission’s director, said that the area could contain an avenue of Thoth statues that once outlined the original path leading to the temple.
Traces of these colossi were first uncovered at the site during the dig – aimed at controlling the subterranean water level on Luxor’s west bank. As part of the process Dr. Hawass assigned a special excavation mission to explore the site.
True enough, a few months later, Amenhotep rose from the sand.