Amenhotep III and Thoth statues unearthed in Luxor

Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:01pm EDT
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CAIRO (Reuters) - 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 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.

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.

The pharaoh's funerary temple, the largest religious complex in ancient Egypt, was destroyed by floods. The Colossi of Memnon, two 18-metres-high stone statues of the pharaoh, are all that remain of the complex.

(Writing by Marwa Awad; Editing by Louise Ireland)