The upper part of a granite double statue of king Amenhotep III (1410-1372 BC) was unearthed at Kom El-Hittan in the west bank of Luxor. Kom el-Hittan is the site of the temple of Amenhotep III, which was once the largest temple on Luxor’s west bank. The temple originally had two entrances: one on the eastern side where the Colossi of Memnon reside, and one at the northern side, where the double statue was located. The statue was found during a routine excavation carried out by an Egyptian team of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).
Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny reported that the statue depicts Amenhotep III seated on a throne accompanied by the Theban god, Amun. The king wears the double crown of Egypt, which is decorated with a uraeus.
Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, remarked that the statue is one of the best new finds in the area because of its expert craftsmanship, which reflect the skills of the ancient Egyptian artisans. Dr. Hawass pointed out that King Amenhotep III is well known thanks to the overwhelming amount of statuary, which feature him in groupings with different deities, such as Amun-Re, Re-Horakhti, Bastet and Sobek. The latter statue is now a masterpiece of the Luxor museum.
Since this new find is the third of such double statues to be discovered at the site of Kom el-Hittan, it is possible that a large cache for King Amenhotep III’s statuary may have been buried in the area.
Dr. Sabri Abdel Aziz, Head of the Pharaonic Sector of the SCA, said that the statue is the second of its kind to be found in the area. A similar statue was previously unearthed, which showed the king seated beside the solar god, Re-Horakhti. He continued that the mission also found a statue of the god of wisdom, Thoth, carved in the likeness of a monkey.
Mr. Abdel Ghaffar, head of the mission said that the newly discovered statue of Amenhotep III is 130 cm tall and 95 cm wide. Excavations are now focusing on unearthing the rest of the statue.