3K Years Later, Pharaoh Statue Rises Again

Amenhotep III effigy was felled by earthquake
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2014 9:07 AM CST
Statue Toppled 3K Years Ago Once Again Stands
The statue was re-erected at the king's funerary temple, which is already known for its Colossi of Memnon, two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III shown here.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

In 1200BC, an earthquake took down a 43-foot statue of Amenhotep III, the grandfather of Tutankhamun. More than 3,200 years later, it's once again standing in Egypt, thanks to archaeologists who reassembled its 89 sizable pieces and many smaller fragments. Its 121 tons now lord over those who pass the northern gate of his funerary temple in the city of Luxor. As AFP reports, the temple is already famously home to twin statues of the pharaoh, in this case seated, that are more than 70 feet tall. Hourig Sourouzian, the archaeologist who heads the team working at the temple, calls the re-erected statue one of "the highest standing effigies of an Egyptian king in striding attitude"; a second such restored "striding" statue of Amenhotep III has been in place since March.

This newly standing effigy—celebrated in a re-installment ceremony yesterday, per a press release—shows the king with a papyrus roll in each hand. It's not the only Amenhotep III-related news to grab recent headlines: Last month it was announced that a limestone head depicting the king was found at a temple 15 miles south of Luxor. It's in poor condition and was surfaced accidentally during work that was being done on Armant Temple's foundation, reports Ahram Online. (More surprising discoveries: a jeweled mummy found under a collapsed roof.)

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