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Ancient Egypt treasure gate unearthed in Luxor

July 4, 2011 Comments off

rawstory

CAIRO — Egyptian and French archaeologists have unearthed a 2,700-year-old stone gate belonging to Nubian King Shabaka while digging near Luxor’s Karnak temple, the ministry of antiquities said on Sunday.

The gate, which was found to be “in good condition,” once led to the room holding the king’s treasures, the ministry said.

“It is the first time an item of the 25th dynasty has been found in such good condition, and wasn’t ruined by the 26th dynasty,” Mansur Boraik, the Egyptian head of the Franco-Egyptian Research Centre of the Temples of Karnak, told AFP.

The large stone door features colourful engravings that depict King Shabaka offering the goddess of truth, Maat, to the god Amun Raa, the chief deity.

“The Egyptian-French mission succeeded in making important discoveries from the 18th to the 25th dynasties,” minister of state for antiquities Zahi Hawass said in a statement.

The mission also unearthed a stone wall surrounding the temple of Ptah, the chief god of the city of Memphis. His temple had been built on the site of an earlier Middle Kingdom temple, and restored by Shabaka.

The Franco-Egyptian Centre has been working to open the temple to visitors next winter and plans to put Shabaka’s gate on display.

“The discovery shows that the temple of Karnak still has many secrets to be uncovered and it will do for years to come,” the centre’s Dominique Valbelle was quoted as saying in the ministry statement.

Shabaka established the capital at Thebes and was believed to have invested great effort in restoring religious architecture.

Enormous statue of powerful pharaoh unearthed

April 27, 2011 Comments off

yahoo

This undated photo released by the Supreme Council of Antiquities on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, shows a 13 meter (42 foot) tall statue of Amenhotep III in Luxor, Egypt. Archeologists unearthed one of the largest statues to date of the powerful ancient Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III at his mortuary temple in the southern city of Luxor, as well as one of the god Thoth with a baboon's head and and a six foot (1.85 meters) tall one of the lion-headed goddess Sekhmet, the country's antiquities authority announced Tuesday.

CAIRO – Archaeologists unearthed one of the largest statues found to date of a powerful ancient Egyptian pharaoh at his mortuary temple in the southern city of Luxor, the country’s antiquities authority announced Tuesday.

The 13 meter (42 foot) tall statue of Amenhotep III was one of a pair that flanked the northern entrance to the grand funerary temple on the west bank of the Nile that is currently the focus of a major excavation.

The statue consists of seven large quartzite blocks and still lacks a head and was actually first discovered in the 1928 and then rehidden, according to the press release from the country’s antiquities authority. Archaeologists expect to find its twin in the next digging season.

Excavation supervisor Abdel-Ghaffar Wagdi said two other statues were also unearthed, one of the god Thoth with a baboon’s head and a six foot (1.85 meter) tall one of the lion-headed goddess Sekhmet.

Archaeologists working on the temple over the past few years have issued a flood of announcements about new discoveries of statues. The 3,400-year-old temple is one of the largest on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor, where the powerful pharaohs of Egypt’s New Kingdom built their tombs.

Amenhotep III, who was the grandfather of the famed boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun, ruled in the 14th century B.C. at the height of Egypt’s New Kingdom and presided over a vast empire stretching from Nubia in the south to Syria in the north.

The pharaoh’s temple was largely destroyed, possibly by floods, and little remains of its walls. It was also devastated by an earthquake in 27 B.C. But archaeologists have been able to unearth a wealth of artifacts and statuary in the buried ruins, including two statues of Amenhotep made of black granite found at the site in March 2009.