3,400-year-old statues found in Egypt
A team of archaeologists unearthed two large red granite statues in southern Egypt at the mortuary temple of one of the most powerful pharaohs, who ruled nearly 3,400 years ago, the Culture Ministry said today.
A ministry statement said the team discovered a 13-foot statue of Thoth, the ancient god of wisdom and the top part of a statue of Pharaoh Amenhotep III standing next to another god.
Both were found buried in the pharaoh's mortuary temple on the west bank of the Nile in the southern temple city of Luxor.
On Feb. 28, archaeologists discovered a massive red granite head of Amenhotep III at the same temple. The head, which is about the height of a person, is the best preserved sculpture of Amenhotep III's face found to date.
Amenhotep III, who was the grandfather of the famed boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun, ruled from 1387-1348 B.C. at the height of Egypt's New Kingdom and presided over a vast empire stretching from Nubia in the south to Syria in the north.
The temple was largely destroyed, possibly by floods, and little remains of its walls. But archaeologists have been able to unearth a wealth of artifacts and statuary in the buried ruins, including two statues of Amenhotep made of black granite found in March 2009.