Archaeologists working in Luxor have unearthed a magnificent statue of King Amenhotep III of ancient Egypt and several statues and statue parts of the cat goddess Sekhmet meant to protect him.
The project of excavating the temple by the Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project has been underway for many years. Over time, rising Nile waters, pillaging, and a powerful earthquake contributed to the temple’s ruination.
The statue of Amenhotep III is in black granite and shows him seated on his throne. It is 248 centimeters (8.14 feet) tall, 61 cm (2 feet) wide and 110 cm (3.6 feet) deep, according to an article about the find in AhramOnline that quoted project director Hourig Sourouzian.
“It is a masterpiece of ancient Egyptian sculpture: extremely well carved and perfectly polished,” AhramOnline quoted Sourouzian as saying. She added that the king’s facial features look quite juvenile, meaning that perhaps the statue was carved in his earliest years as Egypt’s ruler.
The team found a similar sculpture of Amenhotep III in 2009. That statue is on display in the Luxor Museum of Ancient Egyptian Art. Someday it will be returned to stand in Amenhotep’s restored funerary temple in its original position, as will this latest find.
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