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Intact Colossus of Egypt's Queen Tiye Found

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Josie Linde
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« on: April 03, 2008, 01:42:02 am »

Intact Colossus of Egypt's Queen Tiye Found


March 31, 2008—This intact statue of Queen Tiye, a powerful queen from ancient Egypt's 18th dynasty, was recently discovered at the site of the mortuary temple of powerful pharaoh Amenhotep III, as seen in this photograph taken March 27, 2008.

The 12-foot-tall (3.6-meter-tall) quartzite figure was found attached to the broken-off leg of a much larger colossus—a 50-foot-tall (15-meter-tall) likeness of Amenhotep III seated at his throne.

Experts said the statue is one of the best preserved at the site, ancient Egypt's largest temple complex that most believe was decimated in antiquity by massive earthquakes.


http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/03/photogalleries/Egypt-pictures/index.html
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Josie Linde
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2008, 01:43:52 am »



A broken-off hand and a portion of a right leg of a colossus statue were recently excavated at the second pylon of the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III, shown here in a March 27, 2008, photograph.

The massive likeness of the pharoah, a long-tenured 18th-dynasty king, had fallen on its right side and fragmented due to a powerful earthquake in the first century A.D., experts say.

The fragment was found unexpectedly as archaeologists were looking for pieces of another broken colossus, which stood nearby some 3,400 years ago.

Attached to this fragment, which had been deeply buried, archaeologists found the perfectly preserved statue of Queen Tiye, Amenhotep III's favorite wife. Depictions of her are found in a smaller scale by Amenhotep III's right leg on other colossus statues, including the Colossi of Memnon.

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Josie Linde
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2008, 01:45:31 am »



Hourig Sourouzian (right), director of the Colossi of Memnon and the Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project, stands near a massive right hand and knee that once belonged to a colossus statue at the temple complex of Amenhotep III in Luxor on March 27, 2008.

Sourouzian unearthed the massive fragment in 2002 near the temple's second pylon, the same site where a perfectly preserved statue of the king's favorite wife, Queen Tiye, was uncovered last week.

The right hand resting on the knee, according to Sourouzian, “is one of the old conventions of Egyptian representations.”

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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2008, 01:46:59 am »



This decorated block was found at the base on which a massive colossus once stood at the second pylon of Amenhotep III's temple complex in Luxor, shown on March 27, 2008.

This portion of the base, from beneath the colossus' right foot, contained a representation of “southern peoples”—inhabitants of the lands south of Egypt—according to Hourig Sourouzian, an archaeologist who is leading excavations at the site.

The representation of foreign peoples was a common motif and an expression of power, Sourouzian said.

“It is a convention that means that everyone is under his feet."
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2008, 01:49:16 am »



The famed Colossi of Memnon still flank the entrance to the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III in Luxor, as seen in this March 27, 2008, photograph.

The colossi depict Amenhotep III seated on his throne with his hand on his right knee, a conventional position of Egyptian royal iconography.

The 59-foot-tall (21-meter-tall) quartzite statues were built to guard the ancient temple and were also meant to express the divinity of the ruler.

“They are gods in their own right … and they act as intermediaries between gods and men,” said W. Raymond Johnson, an Egyptologist at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2008, 01:50:48 am »



An Egyptian worker cleans a newly found sphinx with the head of Amenhotep III on March 27, 2008. The statue was recently unearthed at the king's sprawling mortuary temple, ancient Egypt's largest. Archaeologists also found a now headless sphinx that represented his favorite wife, Queen Tiye.

The sphinx statue was meant to express the owner's influence, according to Hourig Sourouzian, the archaeologist who is leading the excavations at the temple.

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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2008, 01:52:15 am »



In 2002 another well-preserved statue of Queen Tiye—shown here on March 27, 2008—was discovered beneath the right leg of the northern colossus at the second pylon of Amenhotep III's Luxor temple complex.

The queen was usually depicted by the king's right leg, though in much smaller scale. The larger-than-life representation of the queen shows the emerging empowerment of royal women during ancient Egypt's New Kingdom, according to experts.

“[The statue] shows that the women of the crown are so important they are represented openly on colossus statues,” said Hourig Sourouzian, director of the excavations.
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2008, 01:53:36 am »



Egyptian workers pull an inscribed block that once belonged to base of the southern colossus at the second pylon of the temple of Amenhotep III on March 27, 2008.

The move will take the block to a safer location away from groundwater, where the artifact will be cleaned for conservation and carefully documented.

Archaeologists are hoping to collect all the pieces and reassemble the colossus statue, as well as others at the site, to create a unique open-air museum.
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