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Statue head of King Tut's grandfather unearthed in Luxor

2010-03-01 08:55 BJT

CAIRO, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- A team of Egyptian and European archaeologists have unearthed a colossal head for the pharaoh who was King Tutankhamun's grandfather according to DNA tests revealed last week, the Egyptian government said on Sunday.

The red granite head of King Amenhotep III, part of a larger 3, 000-year-old statue, was found at the site of the pharaoh's funerary temple in Luxor, said Zahi Hawwas, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in a statement.

"The newly discovered head is intact and measures 2.5 meters high," Hawwas said, adding "it is a masterpiece of highly artistic quality and shows a portrait of the king with very fine youthful sculptured features."

Amenhotep III was the ninth pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, ruling Egypt between 1390 BC and 1352 BC. The artefact belongs to a large statue of the pharaoh in a standing position wearing the Upper Egyptian white crown with his hands crossed over his chest and holding the royal insignia.

After DNA tests and CT scans on a number of mummies, scientists have identified Amenhotep III as the grandfather of Tutankhamun, the teenage-king who was born of an incestuous marriage between Akhenaten and his sister, both the offspring of Amenhotep III.

Hourig Sourouzian, who headed the team of archaeologists, said the statue head was one of 84 artefacts unearthed at Amenhotep's funerary temple on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor.

Editor: Zheng Limin | Source: Xinhua