Last Updated: Sun Oct 17, 2010 00:34 am (KSA) 21:34 pm (GMT)

3,400-year-old statues unearthed in Egypt

Amenhotep III ruled from 1387-1348 BC (File)
Amenhotep III ruled from 1387-1348 BC (File)

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered two red granite statues in Luxor, one of Tutankhamun's grandfather Amenhotep III who reigned about 3,350 years ago, Egypt's antiquities chief said on Tuesday.

The second statue was of the ancient Egyptian god of wisdom Thoth, Zahi Hawass said. At four meters high, it is one of the biggest statues of the deity yet discovered.

The statues, both more than 3,000 years old, were found at the funerary temple of Amenhotep III in Kom el-Hetan on Luxor's west bank.

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.

In February scientists said DNA tests and CT scans on a number of mummies indicated Tutankhamun, the teenage-king, was born of an incestuous marriage between Akhenaten and his sister, both the offspring of Amenhotep III.

Some of ancient Egypt's biggest monuments were constructed during the reign of Amenhotep III during the 18th Dynasty.

Amenhotep III 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 pharaoh's funerary temple, the largest religious complex in ancient Egypt, was destroyed by floods.

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.

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