Friday, January 07, 2011

Red granite cachette at Amenhotep III's mortuary temple

Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine El-Aref)

On the northwestern side of Pharaoh Amenhotep III's mortuary temple on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor, a dozen excavators and workers have been digging deep into the sand in an effort to lift two large statuary fragments, parts of statues of Amenhotep (1410-1372 BC) and the god Hapi, one of the four sons of Horus.

The pieces of statuary are carved in red granite. The first is a 2.73m-tall head of Hapi depicted with a baboon face. The second is a fragment of a larger statue of Pharaoh Amenhotep which features two legs that measure 30cm tall.

Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni says that the objects were found during a routine excavation carried out by an Egyptian team in an attempt to uncover more of the ruins of Amenhotep III's funerary complex, which was once the largest temple in ancient Egypt. Unfortunately the temple was destroyed by a strong earthquake that hit the country during the Late Ancient Egyptian Period.

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