Two recently restored statues of Amenhotep III were recently unveiled in Luxor, Egypt, along with a carved alabaster head from another Amenhotep III statue. Chunks of these artifacts had lain about for centuries, but they've finally been restored to give us a sense of their former glory.

The severely damaged statues, which were carved from red quartzite, are now resting at their original sites a the pharaoh's funerary temple. The temple is already known for its existing 3,400-year-old Memnon colossi, the twin statues of Amenhotep III whose reign signified the political and cultural peak of ancient Egyptian civilization.


Of the two restored statues, the first shows Amenhotep III in a seated position, wearing a royal pleated kilt held in place by a decorated belt. The second, now at the north gate of the temple, shows the king in a standing position.


The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

The two restored additions have weathered severe damage for centuries, [German-Armenian archaeologist Hourig] Sourouzian said.

"The statues had lain in pieces for centuries in the fields, damaged by destructive forces of nature like earthquake, and later by irrigation water, salt, encroachment and vandalism," she said, as behind her excavators and local villagers washed pieces of artefacts and statues unearthed over the past months.

"This beautiful temple still has enough for us to study and conserve."

One of the "new" statues - its body weighing 250 tonnes - again depicts the pharaoh seated, hands resting on his knees.It is 11.5 metres (38 feet) tall, with a base 1.5 metres high and 3.6 metres wide. Archaeologists said with its now missing double crown, the original statue would have reached a height of 13.5 metres and weighed 450 tonnes.


Read more at the SMH.

All images AFP.