Amenhotep III Rises in Egypt Dec 16, 2014 18:00:41 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Dec 16, 2014 18:00:41 GMT -5
Amenhotep III Rises in Egypt
LUXOR, Egypt – A massive statue of Pharaoh Amenhotep III (above left) toppled by an earthquake some 3,000 years ago has risen again. The 50-ton, 42-foot statue was unveiled Sunday at the ancient city of Luxor, restored to its former grandeur as a result of the hard work of Egyptian and German archaeologists.
The same team, including noted German archaeologist Hourig Sourouzian, unveiled two other massive statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III in March. Sourouzian heads the temple of Amenhotep III conservation project. The latest statue to be restored depicts Amenhotep III standing tall. "These are up to now the highest standing effigies of an Egyptian king in striding attitude," Sourouzian told Agence France-Presse.
The temple of Amenhotep III was erected between 1390 and 1353 BC for the pharaoh, according to the World Monument Fund. It was 328 feet wide and almost 2,000 feet in length, but only the lower sections of the structure remain.
The newly restored statues can be found at the funerary temple of Amenhotep III, where they join a pair of already-famous giants at the temple known as the Colossi of Memnon – two 52-foot images of Amenhotep III seated on his throne.
The Colossi of Memnon, which mark the entrance of the temple of Amenhotep III, are the most visible remains of what was once the most richly ornamented of all Theban monuments, says the World Monument Fund. "The temple structure was originally destroyed by earthquakes and because it was never fully excavated, the site was overgrown with vegetation and threatened by seasonal floods and agricultural development," the organization says.
Located more than 370 miles from Cairo, Luxor is divided by the Nile into two areas commonly known as the East and West Bank. The West Bank is home to some of Egypt's most prized ancient temples and monuments.
The unveiling comes at a time when Egypt's tourism sector is fighting to pull itself out of a slump caused by political instability that has lingered since the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Source: James Durston and Karla Crippsm CNN, December 15, 2014.