June 2, 2011 - 16:27 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Egyptian archeologists have unearthed a massive alabaster statue of pharaoh Amenhotep III at his funerary temple on the west bank of the River Nile.
The face of the statue shows the 18th Dynasty king and King Tut's grandfather, Egypt's Ministry of State for Antiquities said. The statue was discovered near the third pylon of the pharaoh's funerary temple at Kom el-Hettan on the west bank of Luxor and about 200 meters behind the Colossi of Memnon, which once guarded the first gate, Press TV reported citing Discovery News.
According to Minister Zahi Hawass, the statue shows the king seated, wearing the Nemes headdress - a striped head cloth that pharaohs routinely put on -, a pleated kilt and a royal beard. He described the face of the statue as a masterpiece of royal portraiture with almond shaped eyes outlined with cosmetic bands, a short nose and a large mouth with wide lips.
"In spite of its large scale, the face is extremely well carved and well proportioned," Hawass said.
According to the leader of the Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project Dr. Hourig Sourouzian, the statues were about 20 meters tall. “The discovery is very important for the history of Egyptian art and sculpture, as well as for the story of the temple,” said the German-Armenian Egyptologist.
Experts believe that the statues may have been ruined by floods and devastated by a severe earthquake in 27 BCE.
Amenhotep III reigned from about 1390 to 1352 BCE, the height of a period known as the New Kingdom that is noted for its peace and artistic abundance.
Previous excavations had also yielded a 3,400-year-old statue of King Amenhotep III in the southern ancient city of Luxor.