Archaeologists have reportedly unearthed a 3400 year-old statue, believed to be that of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, grandfather of the child ruler King Tutankhamen (right). Ruler of Egypt in the 14th Century BC, Amenhotep III presided over a vast empire that stretched from Nubia in the south to Syria in the north.
Months of painstaking work has led to this latest find, which was unearthed at the site of the Pharaoh’s mortuary temple in Luxor. The temple is the largest in Luxor, on the west bank of the Nile.
This rare find depicts Amenhotep III wearing the double crown of Egypt, and seated beside the chief Theban god Amun. However, it seems that there is more to come, as archaeologists have as yet been unable to unearth a number of other important objects, including two black granite statues of Amenhotep.
A famous king who ruled during a peaceful time in Egypt, Amenhotep solidified his standings with surrounding nations by marrying a Babylonian princess, and another from Mittani (a loosely organised state in northern Syria.) He is credited with building the Colossi of Memnon, and, along with his enormous mortuary temple on the west bank of Luxor, is credited also with building the Temple of Luxor itself. He also spent years improving Karnak, by adding temples and a row of sphinx.
He died in his mid-fifties, leaving the infamous Akhenaten to rule in his place.
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