(eTN) – Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny announced today that six missing pieces from the colossal double statue of the 18th Dynasty King Amenhotep III and his wife Queen Tiye, have been discovered at the king’s mortuary temple on Luxor’s west bank. The double statue is currently a centerpiece of the main hall at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
The missing pieces were uncovered 130 years after Mariette discovered the double statue in 1889 at Medinet Habu. The fragments were found during excavation work by an Egyptian team under the direction of Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).
Hawass said that when the statue was first discovered an Italian team restored the statue and filled in the missing pieces with modern stonework. The pieces from Amenhotep III that were recovered come from the right side of his chest, nemes headdress, and leg. The pieces of Queen Tiye that were uncovered include a section of her wig, and pieces from her left arm, fingers and foot. A small section of the base of the double statue was also found. The measurements of the six missing fragments range from 47cm to 103cm. These pieces are currently being held at the site of Amenhotep III’s mortuary temple on the west bank, but will soon be relocated to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo for restoration and placement into the colossal statue.
Archaeologist, Abdul Ghafar Wagdy, the supervisor of the excavation at the site in Luxor, said that the pieces of statuary were found as part of a project to lower the ground water on the west bank of Luxor. These six pieces are only a few of nearly 1,000 statuary fragments that have been found dating from the Pharonic to the Coptic era. All the pieces that have been found to date are being stored in the west bank magazines for documentation and restoration.