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calendar   Wednesday - April 02, 2014

No Ozymandius Be He

Two “New” 3400 Year Old Statues

Of Amenhotep III

Rise Again Over Luxor

image

Amenhotep III, with his Great Wife Tiye

In the black land of Kemet, this very Egypt ...

Archaeologists have unveiled two colossal statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III in Egypt’s famed temple city of Luxor, adding to an existing pair of world-renowned tourist attractions.

The two monoliths in red quartzite were raised at what European and Egyptian archaeologists said were their original sites in the funerary temple of the king, on the west bank of the Nile.

The temple is already famous for its existing 3400-year-old Memnon colossi — twin statues of Amenhotep III whose reign archaeologists say marked the political and cultural zenith of ancient Egyptian civilisation.

“The world until now knew two Memnon colossi, but from today it will know four colossi of Amenhotep III,” said German-Armenian archaeologist Hourig Sourouzian, who heads the project to conserve the Amenhotep III temple.

The existing two statues, both showing the pharaoh seated, are known across the globe.

The two restored additions have weathered severe damage for centuries, Ms 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 tall, with a base 1.5 metres high and 3.6 metres wide.

Amenhotep III was a bit like Bill Clinton, in that he rode the wave of economic success started by the previous, more warlike pharaohs Tutmoses I...n in the early part of the 18th Dynasty. When this guy was king, Egypt stretched from Turkey to Libya, the irrigated part of chunk of Iran and Iraq down to the Persian Gulf, and South up the Nile all the way to Ethiopia and beyond. map. About the only radical thing he did was to change his personal religion from Amun/Amen to Aten, and that mainly as a political move because the priests in his first faith were getting too uppity, too powerful, and too rich. Of course, everything has unintended consequences, and when his son Amenhotep IV (The Abomination known also as Ahkenaten) took over, the boy turned 3000 years of Egyptian worship on its head, and declared that Aten, his sun god, was the one and only. He also moved the capitol and went totally punk with the official art style. The nation blew up, Ahkenaten went bye-bye, and son/grandson/nephew Tutankhaten got the big gold chair. And he quickly changed his name to Tutankhamun, which means he caved to the priest class, but that move put the other gods back in happy rotation, and the country stopped freaking out.  However, having “lost faith” for a time, Egypt never again had the surety to command such vast lands, and over the next centuries shrank down to something like its current borders. But they did take apart the entire new capital city of Armana stone by stone, defaced every statue of AH IV they could find, then did a “who, us?” for the next couple thousand years, pretending things had never happened. This inward turning allowed Ramses the Great, who came along a few decades later in a whole new Dynasty (19th) to get billions of statues and monuments made in his image, and now history sees him as the most big deal Pharaoh ever. He did manage to live nearly forever, to 91 or so, and was king the whole time. Which is pretty great in itself, when everyone else in the country died at about 38.




Ok, so that makes for a decent “A” part of A&R Thursday ... except it isn’t Thursday. So, like Teh Abomination hisself, I’m changing the rules for the “R” part just a little bit ...

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/02/2014 at 04:21 PM   
Filed Under: • Archeology / AnthropologyEye-Candy •  
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