Archaeologists find statue of Tut's grandfather

Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:13pm EDT
 
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CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed the biggest statue of Tutankhamun's grandfather Amenhotep III and another of the goddess Sekhmet, the country's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said on Tuesday.

Both statues were discovered at the pharaoh's temple on the western bank of the Nile at Luxor in southern Egypt. The statue of Amenhotep III, who reigned around 3,350 years ago, is 13.65 meters (yards) high and carved out of quartzite.

The statue, found in seven chunks and missing a head, is one of twin statues erected in front of the temple's northern entrance, said to have been destroyed in an earthquake in 27

B.C.

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

The expedition headed by Hawass also found a 185 cm granite statue of the lion-headed goddess Sekhmet. Amenhotep built large effigies of the healing deity after he contracted a disease in his final years.

They also found a part of a statue of the ancient Egyptian god of wisdom, Thoth, who is usually depicted with a baboon's head.

(Reporting by Sarah Mikhail, editing by Paul Casciato)