Sunday, January 30, 2011

Statue 'Cemetery' Found Near Egyptian Tomb

Egyptian archaeologists believe they have found a type of cemetery of broken and damaged ancient statues near the northern side of the funerary temple of King Tut's grandfather on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor.

A team excavating the site, which has recently yielded many statues, has unearthed two red granite statue fragments.

One is part of a larger statue of Amenhotep III, believed to be the grandfather of King Tutankhamun, and features two legs. The other is a 2.73-meter (9-foot) high head of the god Hapi.

Statue of King Tut's Grandfather Unearthed in Luxor

Depicted with a baboon face, Hapi, one of Horus’s four children, was the god of fertility and the Nile flood.

According to Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the large number of broken statues found in the area suggests that the spot was a burial for granite fragments of damaged and imperfect sculptures.

“Because the statuary were ritually significant they could not be destroyed, the ancient Egyptians gathered the fallen statues and buried them in a cache beside the temple,” Hawass said in a press statement.

Ancient Letter to Pharaoh Found

The ninth ruler of the 18th Dynasty, Amenhotep III (1390-1352 B.C.), reigned for 38 year during a time when Egypt was at the height of prosperity and cultural development.

His mummy was found in 1898 in a tomb dubbed KV35 by French Egyptologist Victor Loret.

Amenhotep III’s funerary temple was the largest in ancient Egypt and was guarded by two (still standing) gigantic statues of the Pharaoh, known as the Colossi of Memnon.

Statue Unearthed in Tomb of Tut's Grandfather

Unfortunately, the temple was demolished during the Late Period, and its blocks were reused in the construction of other buildings.

According to Abdel Ghaffar Wagdi, supervisor of the excavation team, more statues are expected to come to light in the next few months, as his team excavates the agricultural land surrounding the pharaoh’s mortuary temple.

In the past two archaeological seasons, the site has yielded five double statues of King Amenhotep III in the company of different deities, such as Re-Horakhti, Khepri, Horus and Hapi.

Source from :

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

No comments: