Culture Minister, Farouk Hosni, announced today that a colossal red granite head of King Amenhotep III (circa 1390-1352 BC) was discovered in his funerary temple of the Kom El -Hettan area on Luxor's West Bank. He added that the discovery was carried out by the Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project, a multi-national Egyptian-European team.
Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) said that the newly discovered head is intact and measures 2,50m high. It is a masterpiece of highly artistic quality, and shows a portrait of the king with very fine youthful sculptured features.
Hawass added that the head is smoothly polished and perfectly preserved, with some traces of red paint on the head of the ureaus (cobra).
Dr. Hourig Sourouzian, the head of the mission, said that the granite head belongs to a large statue representing the king standing, hands crossed over his chest and holding the royal insignia.
The king wears the Upper Egyptian white crown. The ceremonial beard is broken under the chin but, according to Sourouzian, it may still lie under the rubble below.
She added that: "Over the past years we have gathered a large quantity of red granite statue pieces, which once stood in the southern part of the great court of the funerary temple of Amenhotep III at Kom el Hettan. Parts of the body of the statue are presently in restoration."
This temple is one of the most important temples of Dynasty 18, where 84 colossi statues have been unearthed.
Among them are those of King Amenhotep III and his wife, Queen Tiye, whose mummy was recently identified by Dr. Hawass and a team of scientists.