Archaeologists have revealed two massive statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III in the famous Egyptian city of Luxor, at their original sites in the funerary temple of the king, on the west bank of the Nile.
The two colossal statues will add to an existing pair of monoliths in the temple, which is already world famous for the 3,400-year-old Memmon colossi – twin statues of Amenhotep III who ruled during the political and cultural zenith of ancient Egyptian civilization, AFP reports.
The new statues have been extensively restored, as they have experienced severe damage over the centuries, according to Hourig Sourouzian, the German-Armenia archaeologist who is leading the project to conserve the entire Amenhotep III temple.
“The world until now knew two Memmon colossi, but from today it will know four colossi of Amenhotep III,” Sourouzian said.
“The statues had lain in pieces for centuries in the fields, damaged by destructive forces of nature like earthquakes, and later by irrigation water, salt encroachment and vandalism,” she added.
One of the new statues is of the pharaoh seated; it weighs 250 tons and is 11.5 meters tall and 3.6 meters wide. It is now missing its double crown, which would have made it 13.5 meters high and 450 tons in weight.
Sourouzian said that her team is trying to conserve all these monuments and the temple itself, which had been left to the mercy of the elements and suffered at the hands of man.
“Every ruin, every monument has its right to be treated decently. The idea is to stop the dismantling of monuments and keep them at their sites,” she said.