- 6.5ft tall statue believed to be part of an even bigger 456ft tall structure
- Discovered outside the southern city of Luxor
By MARK PRIGG
PUBLISHED: 12:29 EST, 7 March 2014 | UPDATED: 12:30 EST, 7 March 2014
Archaeologists have uncovered a mysterious giant statue of an Egyptian princess guarding a temple.
They say the 6.5ft tall alabaster figure of a pharoanic princess is part of a huge 465 feet tall statue.
Dating from approximately 1350 B.C, the mysterious giant was found outside the southern city of Luxor.
The Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Mohammed Ibrahim said the statue was once part of a larger statue that was nearly 14 meters (456 feet) tall and guarded the entrance to a temple.
Ibrahim says the statue is of Iset, the daughter of Amenhotep III, and is the first found that depicts her without her siblings.
Archaeologists uncovered the statue next to the funerary temple of Amenhotep III, who was worshipped as a deity after his death.
An Egyptian-European team uncovered the statue of princess Iset, 170 centimetres tall and 52 cm wide, during renovation work at the Amenhotep III mortuary temple on Luxor’s western bank, Ibrahim said.
The 6 ½-foot-tall alabaster statue of a pharoanic princess, dates from approximately 1350 B.C., and was found outside the southern city of Luxor.
‘The statue is part of a 14-metre-high (46-foot) alabaster sculpture of Amenhotep III that was at the entrance of the temple sanctuary,’ team head Dr Hourig Sourouzian said.
The sculpture features the 18th Dynasty ruler on his throne, his hands on his knees, his daughter standing between his legs, wearing a wig and a long tunic and holding a neckless in her right hand.
It is the first time a sculpture has been found that depicts the princess alone with her father: others show her with her two parents and her brothers, Sourouzian said.
The statue of the princess ‘was eroded, especially the face’, and the feet were missing, ministry official Ali El-Asfar said.
The princess’s name and her titles, among them ‘Love of her father’, were carved on the statue, Asfar added.
Luxor, a city of some 500,000 people on the banks of the Nile in southern Egypt, is an open-air museum of intricate temples and pharaonic tombs.