Temple of Tut’s grandad could be home to ancient statues

May 18th, 2010 - 12:55 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 18 (ANI): The funerary temple of Tutankhamun’s grandfather Amenhotep III could be home to several colossal granite statues representing an ancient deity, say reserachers.

Egyptian archaeologists led by Dr. Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, have unearthed one of these statues at Kom el-Hettan on Luxor’s west bank.

A statue similar to an 11.5-foot-tall and 4.5-foot-wide granite statue of Thoth, the ancient Egyptian god of wisdom, was discovered last year, which has led the team to believe that there could be more.

Unearthed at the northwestern side of the temple, the red granite colossus of Thoth is just one of the several artifacts and statues discovered in the buried ruins of the temple.

More than 80 statues have been already unearthed at the site, including the colossal head of Amenhotep III and a statue of the god Thoth in the shape of a baboon, both discovered a few months ago.

“The site could contain an avenue of Thoth statues that once outlined the original path leading to the temple,” Discovery News quoted Afifi Rohayem, the assistant of the mission’s director, as saying.

Amenhotep III (1390-1352 B.C.) ruled for 38 years during a time when Egypt was at the height of prosperity and cultural development.

Some of ancient Egypt’s biggest monuments were constructed during his reign.

His mummy was found in 1898 in a tomb dubbed KV35 by French Egyptologist Victor Loret. Recent DNA tests have revealed that he was King Tutankhamun’s grandfather.

The largest religious complex in ancient Egypt, guarded by two (still standing) gigantic statues of the Pharaoh, known as the famous Colossi of Memnon, stood very close to the Nile.

It is believed that floods destroyed the temple. (ANI)

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