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Extremely Rare Alabaster Statue of Queen Tiye Found in Egyptian Funerary Temple

Extremely Rare Alabaster Statue of Queen Tiye Found in Egyptian Funerary Temple

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A team of archaeologists has uncovered a unique carved alabaster statue of Queen Tiye in Luxor, Egypt. The exciting find was made by the European-Egyptian mission that works under the wings of the German Archaeological Institute.

Impressive Carved Alabaster Statue of Queen Tiye Discovered

An impressive statue, most likely of Queen Tiye, the grandmother of King Tutankhamun and wife of King Amenhotep III, has been unearthed at Amenhotep III’s funerary temple in Kom El-Hittan on Luxor's west bank, as archaeologists from Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities announced on Thursday, March 23. Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany who went to the site to examine the discovery, referred to the statue as "unique and distinguished". Excited with the fascinating discovery, he told Ahram Online , “No alabaster statues of Queen Tiye have been found before now. All previous statues of her unearthed in the temple were carved of quartzite.”

Minister of Antiquities examining the discovery of the Queen Tiye statue. Credit: Ministry of Antiquities

Getting to Know Queen Tiye

As Natalia Klimczak eports in a previous Ancient Origins article , Tiye was one of the most influential and powerful women in ancient Egypt despite her name been forgotten in the centuries that followed her death. She is believed to have lived from about 1398 BC – 1338 BC, but the story of her life is as mysterious as most of the people who lived in this period. The world she lived in collapsed with the capital city of her son Akhenaten – Amarna.

Tiye, the Great Royal Wife of Amenhotep III and mother of Akhenaten and grandmother of Tutankhamun ( CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )

According to ancient inscriptions, Tiye was the daughter of Yuya and Tuya and sister of the pharaoh Ay. Some Egyptologists say that there is no link between Ay and Tiye, but the position of her brother seems to be a proof. Ay was the Second Prophet of Amun and inherited most of the titles of Yuya. She would later become wife of the great Amenhotep III and grandmother of King Tutankhamun. It is also believed that Tie had great influence on her husband and was the only adviser that he blindly trusted. She was married to him during his second year of reign, when they basically were both very young and thus they spent their whole lives together. Tiye appears in history as a smart adviser and the most important woman in Amenhotep’s court, who also became an important person during the reign of her son.

Queen Tiye, whose husband, Amenhotep III, may have been depicted to her right in this broken statue (CC BY-SA 2.0 FR )

She played an active role in the politics of Egypt and foreign relations for many years and she became the first known Egyptian queen whose name appeared in official acts. When Amenhotep died after 39 years of his reign, she was the one who arranged his burial in the Valley of the Kings in a tomb known nowadays as WV22. Tiye died, perhaps during the 12th year of her son Akhenaten's reign, possibly in 1338 BC. It is speculated by Egyptologists that she probably died due to an epidemic even though nothing is historically confirmed.

The mummy of Queen Tiye, now in the Egyptian Museum. ( Public Domain )

Statue is in Great Condition

Fast forward to 2017 and the discovery of Tiye’s statue, Hourig Sourouzian, leader of the mission was very happy to see that the statue is in great condition of preservation and has retained its colors. She told Ahram Online , ”The statue was founded accidentally while archaeologists were lifting up the lower part of a statue of king Amenhotep III that was buried in the sand. The Queen Tiye statue appeared beside the left leg of the King Amenhotep III statue,” and added that the statue will now be the subject of restoration work.

    Egypt to announce huge archaeological discovery in Luxor this March: Zahi Hawass

    World Renowned Egyptologist and former Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass has revealed he is leading excavations beside the temple of Mina Habu in Luxor, and will announce a major discovery next month.

    In an interview with Daily News Egypt, Hawass said that he is now currently working in the western part of the Valley of the Kings to find the tomb of the Ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. This is running alongside additional work at the tomb of the Pharaoh Ramses II, also in Luxor.

    He highlighted that the discovery of Queen Nefertiti’s tomb will be the greatest discovery of the 21st Century.

    World Renowned Egyptologist and former Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass

    The interview touched on a range of issues, including the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on archaeological missions, and the latest discovery at the Saqqara archaeological area.

    Hawass also touched on the details of important upcoming events, including the Royal Mummiesparade, and the establishing of an archaeological replicas factory.

    The interview also looked at the concerns that some people have on sending Egyptian antiquities to temporary exhibitions, and retrieving stolen antiquities.

    Your name is synonymous with fame and stardom, but this is not related to any positions – what is the secret to this?

    The secret lies in my fondness for antiquities. Let me explain that the word love is very simple in comparison to my fondness for antiquities.

    I think what distinguishes me is my fondness for the antiquities that appears clearly while I talk about them, and this enters the people’s hearts locally and internationally. This fondness makes people love to hear me, either locally or internationally.

    A lot of people are fond of antiquities, but they do not have your fame. How has this come about?

    I think this is the so-called charisma, which is given by God’s grace, and which has ensured I received the attention of the media when I travel to any country.

    Can you tell us more about your continued cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities?

    [Minister of Tourism and Antiquities] Khaled El-Anani is not afraid of my fame, but is instead using it to achieve success. I think he is the only one that completed and built on my work that had stopped in 2011, such as completing the Museums in Sohag and Kafr El-Sheikh, as well as the Museum of Royal Chariots, the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), and the Museum of Egyptian Civilization. The most important thing that I love in him is that he is continuing my approach, which is to ask successful people to help.

    Can you tell us more about the latest Saqqara discovery in 2021 and its importance?

    The most recent Saqqara discovery is a very important one, because it changes lots of things in history. The unearthed funerary temple reveals, for the first time in history, the name of Queen Nearit, the wife of the Pharaoh Teti. Now we are writing a new page in the history of the Old Kingdom.

    We had previously discovered this queen’s pyramid in 2010, but this year we found her temple and her name.

    We also found important New Kingdom artefacts inside the area, such as mummies and coffins, around we found stelae, models of boats, and important pottery. This is really an important discovery that will tell us a lot about the cult of the Pharaoh Teti, the first king of the Old Kingdom’s Sixth Dynasty that ruled Egypt over 4,300 years ago.

    The latest discovery in Saqqara was carried out by a purely Egyptian mission under your leadership. Does this mean we can dispense with foreign missions and rely solely on Egyptians?

    The idea is not whether we should dispense with foreign missions or not. In any case, we cannot dispense with the foreign missions, because I personally, along with 70% of archaeologists studied in universities abroad, so they complete us.

    But the idea is that, in the past the Egyptian archaeologist was an assistant to and serving the foreigners, but now Egyptian archaeologists are competing with them. In 2002, I said that I wanted to rearm the humans before the restoration of the stone.

    I have taught a large number of young people, and we now have Egyptian archaeologists of no less experience and knowledge than foreigners. Competition here does not mean conflict, but cooperation in the service of Egyptian antiquities.

    How did COVID-19 impact archaeological missions in Egypt?

    The COVID-19 pandemic affected the foreign missions as they could not come to Egypt due to the health crisis in their home countries. But it had no impact on the Egyptians.

    You are against analysing DNA of mummies, especially from abroad or seeking the help of foreigners in this regard, why?

    In general, I’ve been against the DNA analysis of mummies because there was no Egyptian laboratory doing this work. However, I then decided to try and follow all scientific principles, and established two laboratories, one at the Egyptian Museum and one at the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University.

    I then put scientists in both laboratories who did not communicate with each other, and they both started taking samples, and comparing the results. The results were a success, with our work reviewed for eight months by the American Journal of Medicine.

    By using both DNA analysis and CT scans, we proved for the first time that the Pharaoh Tutankhamun was the son of Akhenaten rather than Amenhotep III, and that Queen Tiye was his grandmother.

    We are looking now for the mummies of Queen Nefertiti and her daughter Ankhesenamun by using DNA technologies and analysis. This comes in addition to using scientific evidence that will definitively prove what killed Tutankhamun.

    I am against DNA tests on Egyptian mummies being conducted by foreigners or in foreign labs, because foreigners can alter the results of the DNA for their own good.

    Moreover, some archaeologists are not trustworthy, for example the scientist who conducted the study on Ramses II in France stole his hair. As a result, I don’t want to bring a foreign scientist to conduct DNA analysis and announce that Tutankhamun is Hebrew, and I can’t prove it.

    That’s why I always urge for DNA tests and analyses to be supervised by Egyptian archaeologists. This is why I also supervise the Egyptian project to study the royal mummies. We announced huge discoveries, such as finding the mummy of Hatshepsut, and we found out that Ramesses III was killed.

    Is it true that 70% of the Egyptian antiquities have not been discovered yet?

    It is true that modern Egypt was completely built over Ancient Egypt. I am an archaeologist working everywhere in the world, so I put this estimation from what I see as an archaeologist from my work everywhere in Egypt. For example, if you go to Saqqara you will find antiquities everywhere you walk.

    In the last century, people have been obsessed with red mercury. Does this substance really exist, and how did people discover it? Does it really have a value?

    During the last century, there was a mission working in the Saqqara archaeological area which found the coffin of an army chief from the 27th Dynasty. When they opened the coffin, they found a liquid inside, which they put in a bottle. They sent it to the Egyptian Government and the artefact is now in the Mummification Museum in Luxor.

    In fact, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the sale of uranium began which is a powder or mineral red powder used in nuclear fission operations, and this powder carries a radioactive substance sold for millions of dollars on the black market after being smuggled from nuclear plants and reactors by the world mafia.

    But the swindlers are the ones that lie and say to the Egyptians that the substance found in the coffin is red mercury. However, there is no such thing called red mercury.

    Is the alleged curse of the Pharaohs real?

    These are words that have no basis in truth. I myself was subjected to some incidents, including while I was involved in conducting the CT scan on the mummy of Tutankhamun and the device stopped.

    But this is not related to the curse of the pharaohs. In fact, if you locked a mummy in a room for 3,000 years, and then opened it, you would have to bear in mind that invisible germs are likely to grow in this environment, which could affect the modern day archaeologist and lead to their death.

    So what I am doing now, after I discover a new tomb, is leave it open for several hours after the discovery to replace the bad air with fresh air.

    Some are concerned sending Egyptian antiquities to temporary exhibitions, believing that this will harm or destroy the pieces. What is your response to these concerns?

    I want to mention that those that are against the transfer of the antiquities and say that it can be stolen are not aware of the full situation.

    The artefacts travel abroad accompanied by archaeologists, restorers, and a police guard to protect them from the moment they leave Egypt until they return. So the packing, transportation, and the insurance or safety of the artefacts, are of the highest level, and there is no reason to worry.

    Zahi Hawas

    Having said that, when I was president of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, I drafted a policy for foreign exhibitions, stipulating that no unique artefacts shall travel abroad whatever the financial return is. So the artefacts that travel abroad in exhibitions are not rare.

    I want to mention that while Egypt has participated in many temporary exhibitions, there has never been any illegal exchange or theft of any of these artefacts. This is because archaeologists, restorers, and a police guard accompany the artefacts 24 hours, from the moment they leave Egypt until they return.

    These exhibitions provide a large return and motivate potential tourists in different countries to visit Egypt. They also strengthen the bilateral relations between Egypt and the countries that host the exhibitions.

    Some people also have concerns that the tourists may not come to visit Egypt as they already have seen the monuments abroad in the exhibition?

    This is not true at all, the artefacts that travel abroad are treated as the appetiser, motivating tourists to come and visit the rest of Egypt’s monuments.

    Following on from all the exhibitions that have travelled to America, Spain, Japan, and the like, we have noticed that the more we participate in exhibitions abroad, and the more artefacts that travel, the more tourists come to Egypt.

    Significant efforts have been exerted in retrieving stolen antiquities, but the world’s museums still have many Egyptian antiquities. Were all taken illegally, and how can they be retrieved?

    Not all of them left Egypt illegally, as some antiquities were officially sold until 1983, until a law was introduced preventing this. Unfortunately, UNESCO has ruled that antiquities that leave their countries of origin before 1972 cannot be retrieved.

    When I was in charge of antiquities, I succeeded in retrieving 6,000 artefacts that had illegally left Egypt. I was also able to ensure the return of a lot of antiquities through a tough stance, and by stopping foreign missions. This does not, however, resolve the situation of those pieces that left before 1972.

    You set up an initiative to retrieve the bust of Nefertiti from its current residence in Berlin. What were the results of this initiative?

    I tried to retrieve the bust of Nefertiti, but I couldn’t. However, I think that we must not stop demanding its return, and I am currently forming a team of Egyptian and international thinkers and intellectuals who will sign a petition to be sent to Germany.

    This petition will demand and highlight the importance of the bust’s return, because it left the country illegally. This is a unique artefact and must return to Egypt. I think this is the most important piece that needs to be retrieved.

    Could you talk further on the Royal Mummies Parade and its importance?

    The event will be a big ceremony held after the COVID-19 pandemic, and will leave the Egyptian Museum at 6 in the evening before heading towards the Museum of Egyptian Civilization. We are expecting that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will receive the mummies at the Museum.

    The transportation of the mummies between the two museums is my idea, and it is very important, because for the Museum of Egyptian Civilization to be opened without a starring exhibit will ensure that no one will ever go to it.

    This is why we thought we should transfer the mummies. People who do not know may think that it is dangerous, not dangerous at all. We have the most sophisticated evidence of transportation. The mummies came in a boat from Luxor then the minister of antiquities are doing all the steps to preserve the mummies but the presence of the mummies inside the civilization museum will make this museum a very important one that will tell us the history of Egypt.

    What is your opinion on establishing the archaeological replicas factory?

    It is an important project, because the replicas will be produced and stamped with the seal of Egypt’s different museums, including the Grand Egyptian Museum, the Islamic Museum and the Coptic Museum.

    The factory will work under the full supervision of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, with the replicas to generate a very strong income. They will also ensure that there will no longer be any need for Chinese replicas, because they are not produced according to standards, but the seal of the Egyptian Museum will ensure our antiquities are sold everywhere. I think the private sector will go to the state rather than China, but we have to make reasonable prices so that people can buy.

    Could you tell us more about the Zahi Hawass Center for Egyptology and its goals?

    It is a centre affiliated to the Library of Alexandria, whose activity is focused on increasing the archaeological awareness of Egyptians.

    Through this centre, I visit the different universities in Egypt, rotary clubs, schools and talk about the greatness of Egypt, to increase their archaeological awareness and teach them Hieroglyphics. Also through this centre, I have lead digs at Saqqara and in the Valley of the Kings.

    Did you partner through this centre with foreign institutions to teach them the history of Egypt?

    No, the main aim of the institution is to benefit the Egyptians.

    Which of your discoveries is closest to your heart, and why?

    All the discoveries that I made are close to my heart. I cannot pick out one discovery, but the most important could be the tombs of the pyramid builders, that proves to the world that the builder of the pyramids were Egyptians, and they were not slaves.

    Let me explain that the word love is very simple in comparison to my fondness for antiquities.

    The most recent Saqqara discovery is a very important one, because it changes lots of things in history.

    The transportation of the mummies between the two museums is my idea, and it is very important, because for the Museum of Egyptian Civilization to be opened without a starring exhibit will ensure that no one will ever go to it.

    The Royal Archive of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt and the Statue of Tutankhamun’s Grandmother

    Data found in Armenia shows that many rulers of ancient Egypt were carrying Armenian genes. However, this fact still causes a lot of controversy and criticism, especially among militant ignorant individuals. For the final clarification of the situation, we propose the article written by Anzhela Teryan.

    Near the Amarna archaeological site (300 km south of Cairo), archaeologists accidentally discovered the royal archive of the 18th dynasty of Egypt (1580-1090 BC), which was of great importance for the study of the history of not only Egypt but the rest of Asia Minor as well. The archive consists of 300 tablets containing the diplomatic correspondence of Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV with the kings of Mitanni, Assyria, Babylon, Hatti, etc.

    At the peak of Mitanni’s power, its southern borders reached the Kingdom of Egypt as well as Syria and Palestine. In this region, the interests of the two powers collided, which led to war.

    Thutmose IV (1465-1455), following his ancestors, undertook new campaigns against Mitanni, but the eastern coast of the Mediterranean remained under the control of the Mitannians. As a consequence of the unsuccessful war, the Pharaoh decided to sign a peace and brotherhood treaty.

    Thutmose sent a delegation of matchmakers to the palace of Artatama I to propose to his daughter. Only after the seventh time, Artatama agreed, and the princess of Mitanni Mutemwiya became the queen of Egypt.

    Mutemwiya gave birth to the next pharaoh of the 18th dynasty Amenhotep III (1455-1419). He also, in his turn, sent six delegations to the capital of Mitanni to King Saturn I. As a result, Gilu-Hepa, his daughter, became the wife of the pharaoh.

    Amenhotep III also had another wife of non-royal origin named Tiye (probably after the death of Gilu-Hepa since there are no more references to her). From the written sources found in the tomb of Queen Tiye, we know that her parents were from Nairi (Naharina). Tiye was called “the elder wife of the king.”

    She was smart and had fame in the palace. She also helped her husband in rule. Despite these positive features, because of Tiye’s non-royal origin, the Egyptian priests demanded a divorce, but Amenhotep refused and called her “the wife of a powerful pharaoh”.

    Flinders Petrie, a well-known archaeologist and Egyptologist who carefully studied the positions of the princesses of Mitanni in the royal court of the pharaohs, wrote:

    “Tiye’s face… was different from the type common in Egypt… the face of Nefertiti has many features similar to Tiye’s. They have so much in common that they probably belonged to one nation.”

    Translation of an excerpt from Anzhela Teryan’s “History and Armenia”, Yerevan, 2006. Read also: From Mitanni to the Kingdom of Van and: Armenia And Ancient Egypt

    The statue of the grandmother of Tutankhamun

    A group of archaeologists led by a popular Egyptologist of Armenian descent Hurig Suruzyan, who conducted excavations in Kom el-Hettan, reported on a unique find, the statue of Queen Tiye, the grandmother of the most famous Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun.

    The statue of Tiye was discovered accidentally in the funerary temple of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. According to Hurig Suruzyan, the find was in good condition. It was reported that the statue has even retained its colors despite the centuries of age.

    Hurig Suruzyan is considered an outstanding Egyptologist and art critic. The scientist heads the archaeological “Colossi Mission of Memnon and the temple in Kom el-Hettan”. She was born in Baghdad into a family of Armenian emigrants, whose ancestors had become victims of the Armenian Genocide.

    Hurig Suruzyan took part in numerous excavations, which resulted in the discovery of important artifacts of antiquity. Many of the finds of Suruzyan are now kept in the Louvre and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Suruzyan is married to the popular Egyptologist and researcher of the Egyptian pyramids Rainer Stadelmann.

    Statue believed to be King Tut’s grandmother Queen Tiye unearthed along Nile

    A “unique” carved alabaster statue that may represent King Tut’s grandmother ― Queen Tiye ― has been unearthed on the west bank of Luxor along the Nile River, archaeologists with Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities announced yesterday (March 23).

    The statue, which looks to be life-size in images released by the ministry, was found accidentally when workers lifted the lower part of the colossal statue of King Amenhotep III, the ninth ruler of ancient Egypt’s 18th Dynasty, who lived from about 1390 to 1352 B.C. The statue, dating back around 3,400 years, was situated next to the king’s right leg, according to the mission leader, Hourig Sourouzian.

    Queen Tiye, who died around 1340 B.C., was the wife of King Amenhotep III and the paternal grandmother of King Tut as the identity of the boy king’s mother is a source of debate among scholars, his maternal grandmother is not known for certain.

    Found within the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III at Kom Al-Hittan, the statue is “beautiful, distinguished and unique,” Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany said in a statement.

    Previously discovered statues of the queen were carved into quartzite this is the first alabaster statue of her found inside the temple, El-Enany said.

    The statue is in good condition, with its ancient colors preserved, Sourouzian said. Next, fine restoration work on the statue will be carried out.

    Another alabaster statue found at the site in 2011 shows Amenhotep III wearing a pleated kilt and a Nemes headdress, or the striped head cloth worn by pharaohs. That statue was part of a pair of colossi of the king found at his tomb. Each of these statues would have been as tall as a six-story building and weighed some 720 tons (650,000 kilograms). The colossi would have “stood guard at the temple’s main gate,” according to the World Monuments Fund (WMF).

    The statue is 3,400 years old and was found at the temple of King Amenhotep III.

    Credit: Egypt Ministry of Antiquities

    Amenhotep III ruled ancient Egypt during a time of prosperity, during which he built grand structures, according to the WMF. For instance, his temple originally held three enormous mud-brick gates called pylons along a corridor that led to a courtyard and sanctuary, the WMF said. Hundreds of statues, sphinxes and steles (tombstone-like stone slabs that would have been inscribed with words related to Amenhotep III) were erected inside the temple. The entire complex was longer than five football fields, according to the WMF.

    Architecture in ancient Egypt:

    Despite the simple beginnings of housing in prehistoric times, ancient Egyptian architecture, especially the era of the Pharaohs, begins with the ancient era around 3100 BC. A number of factors played in the emergence and maturity of this architecture, the most important of which was the religious factor that had an impact on the emergence of death architecture, such as cemeteries, stables and pyramids, particularly west of the Nile, where the sun sets.

    Egypt’s internal political stability was an important factor as well, as it did not witness violent internal wars. Rather, there were limited social and political revolutions that did not destroy urbanization, but were driven by social and political change.

    As for the environmental factor, especially the hot climate, it led to the emergence of flat roofs in Egyptian architecture, the reduction of the number of external wall openings and the economy of lighting sources on the ceiling openings and the doors. The walls were thickened to reduce thermal leakage. This had an impact on the appearance of internal and external writings and drawings in the form of engraved inscriptions and carvings.

    Clay appeared in the construction of poor houses, and stone was used in the construction of palaces and tombs, such as limestone, sandstone, marble, alabaster, and granite. Techniques of using glass, wood and metal appeared in the building, which gave it a special beauty and distinct functional sobriety.

    Two huge pharaoh statues unveiled in Egypt

    The two colossal statues will add to an existing pair of monoliths in the temple, which is already world famous for the 3,400-year-old Memmon colossi – twin statues of Amenhotep III who ruled during the political and cultural zenith of ancient Egyptian civilization, AFP reports.

    Pharaoh Amenhotep ruled over an empire that extended from the Euphrates, where modern day Iraq is located, to Sudan, and managed to maintain Egypt’s position through diplomacy. Amenhotep became king at the age of 12 and died in 1354 BC.

    The new statues have been extensively restored, as they have experienced severe damage over the centuries, according to Hourig Sourouzian, the German-Armenia archaeologist who is leading the project to conserve the entire Amenhotep III temple.

    “The world until now knew two Memmon colossi, but from today it will know four colossi of Amenhotep III,” Sourouzian said.

    “The statues had lain in pieces for centuries in the fields, damaged by destructive forces of nature like earthquakes, and later by irrigation water, salt encroachment and vandalism,” she added.

    One of the new statues is of the pharaoh seated it weighs 250 tons and is 11.5 meters tall and 3.6 meters wide. It is now missing its double crown, which would have made it 13.5 meters high and 450 tons in weight.

    The seated Amenhotep III is wearing a royal pleated kilt and a zigzag decorated belt. Beside his right leg rests the figure of his wife in a wig and a long fitting dress. However, the statue of queen mother Mutemwya, which should be by his left leg, is missing, the archaeologists said. The throne that the pharaoh is sitting on is decorated with scenes showing the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt.

    The second statue, of Amenhotep standing, has been positioned at the north gate of the temple.

    The archaeologists are also exhibiting several other ancient pieces of smaller, fragmented statues of the pharaoh and his relatives, including an extremely rare alabaster head of Amenhotep III. Next to the head is a statue of Princess Iset, his daughter.

    Sourouzian said that her team is trying to conserve all these monuments and the temple itself, which had been left to the mercy of the elements and suffered at the hands of man.

    “Every ruin, every monument has its right to be treated decently. The idea is to stop the dismantling of monuments and keep them at their sites,” she said.

    She added that the work to preserve the Amenhotep temple is being funded entirely though private and international donations and that the only way to make sure they can complete their work is through steady international funding.

    Luxor is a city of 500,000 on the banks of the Nile in southern Egypt, and is now an open air museum of pharaonic tombs and temples. With the exception of the colossi, very little today remains of Amenhotep’s temple because of its location on the Nile floodplain successive floods have eaten away at the foundations.

    Extremely Rare Alabaster Statue of Queen Tiye Found in Egyptian Funerary Temple - History

    Map of Lower, Middle and Upper Egypt. Kmt Kemet Nubia. Em Hotep Ptah Memphis (Public Domain) .


    Nswt Tiyi was of Upper Kmt not of Ta-seti, europeans made the difference to foster the lie of Kmt being asian or european NOT of Alkebulan(africa)
    The country's name(pn) is KMT NOT egypt (greek)
    Kings are called Nsw(t) NOT Pharoahs(greek)the "t" is the female determinate
    AST NOT isis(greek) & HAR-HOR NOT hathor(greek)
    Ta-seti NOT Nubia or Sudan

    blonde hared egyptians lol what a joke.

    Thank you for this! Where can I read more?

    Great Spiritual Meditation (Osiris –Isis –Hours)
    We will experience . . .

    Deir el Bahari (Hatshepsut Temple)

    Isis Temple at Philae .

    I sigh with deep disgust of the European lies and theft. Dates, facts, obvious paintings and sculptures are on our side.

    whats wrong? i dont get it..

    �� Queen Tiye was a phenomenal leader in many respects. We should learn from #QueenTiye's wisdom & legacy, especially our black queens. Our #queens were seen as goddesses and #MotherGod, but it's hard to imagine that with all the confusion and disrespect of our women. Check out my book �� 𔄟 Types of Queens, Kings Desire”

    I never understood how the most popular reconstruction of king Tut's mummy was made to look european and accepted as such when clearly his grandmother is a black african woman. When does common sense kick in. I am mixed with black, white and native american and am clearly a light skin black man. King Tut's dna analysis shows that he is mixed with black,middle-eastern and european genes. Shouldn't he look more like us mixed african americans instead of the white reconstruction that has been shown on tv and throughout the internet. Crazy world lol

    Um. Where are these supposed European genes of Tutu Ankh Amon? Both his parents were Africans.

    The Egyptiana Emporium

    The tomb was discovered along with a number of others by an Egyptian archaeological mission led by Mostafa Waziri (Source: Ahram Online).

    “In a gala ceremony held in Draa Abul-Naga necropolis on Luxor’s West Bank, Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany announced the discovery of an 18th Dynasty tomb of god Amun-Re’s goldsmith, Amenemhat (Kampp 390), and a Middle Kingdom burial shaft for a family.

    Luxor Governor Mohamed Badr attended the ceremony as well as members of parliament, the Greek and Cypriot ambassadors to Egypt, as well as China’s cultural attaché and the Swiss head of mission.
    The discovery was made by an Egyptian archaeological mission led by Mostafa Waziri. The newly discovered tomb includes of an entrance located in the courtyard of another Middle Kingdom tomb, Kampp 150.

    The entrance leads to a squared chamber where a niche with a duo statue depicting the tomb owner and his wife is found on one end. The statue shows Amenemhat sitting on a high backed chair beside his wife who wears a long dress and wig.
    Between their legs stands, on a smaller scale, a small figure of one of their sons. Waziri told Ahram Online that the tomb has two burial shafts: the main one for the tomb’s owner and his wife.
    It is seven metres deep and has a collection of mummies, sarcophagi and funerary masks carved in wood along with a collection of ushabti figurines.
    The second shaft was uncovered to the left of the tomb’s main chamber and bears a collection of 21st and 22nd dynasty sarcophagi subject to deterioration during the Late Period.
    In the open courtyard, the mission stumbled upon a collection of Middle Kingdom burial shafts, where a family burial of a woman and her two children was unearthed. It includes of two wooden coffins with mummies and a collection of head-rests.
    Osteologist Sherine Ahmed Shawqi, who studied the mummies’ bones, explains that early studies on these mummies show that the woman died at the age of 50 and that during her life she was suffering from cavities that led to abscesses in her jaw and a bacterial disease in her bones.
    “This woman probably cried extensively as the size of her carbuncular are abnormally enlarged,” Shawqi said, adding that inside the coffin the head-rest of the deceased woman was found as well as a group of pottery vessels.
    Studies on the mummies of her two children show that they were two adult males of age ranging between 20 to 30 years old. Both mummies are in a very good state of conservation with the bones still having mummification liquids.
    Waziri asserted that one of the male mummies shows that he was suffering from cavities during his life while the second shows that it was probably put later in the same coffin because the bones were bare.
    Archaeologist Mohamed Baabash, who is a member of the excavation team, said that during excavations the mission stumbled upon several funerary objects, some of which belong to the tomb owner.
    Among the discovered artifacts are limestone remains of an offering table four wooden sarcophagi partly damaged and decorated with hieroglyphic text and scenes of different ancient Egyptian deities and a sandstone duo statue of a trader in King Tuthmose III’s temple named “Mah.”
    A collection of 150 ushabti figurines carved in faience, wood, burned clay, limestone and mud brick was also unearthed. The mission also unearthed a collection of 50 funerary cones, 40 of which are evidence of the presence of other tombs belonging to four officials.
    The exact location of the latter has not been yet found. These officials are Maati, Bengy, Rourou and vizier Ptahmes. The other stamps belong to Neb-Amun, the grain harvester and supervisor of Amun’s grain storehouses, whose tomb is probably TT145, and Nebsenu, the high priest of Amun whose tomb is probably Kampp 143″ – via Ahram Online.

    King Menkaure (Mycerinus) and queen

    Serene ethereal beauty, raw royal power, and evidence of artistic virtuosity have rarely been simultaneously captured as well as in this breathtaking, nearly life-size statue of the pharaoh Menkaure and a queen from c. 2490–2472 B.C.E. Smooth as silk, the meticulously finished surface of the dark stone captures the physical ideals of the time and creates a sense of eternity and immortality even today.

    Undoubtedly, the most iconic structures from Ancient Egypt are the massive and enigmatic Great Pyramids that stand on a natural stone shelf, now known as the Giza plateau, on the south-western edge of modern Cairo. The three primary pyramids at Giza were constructed during the height of a period known as the Old Kingdom and served as burial places, memorials, and places of worship for a series of deceased rulers—the largest belonging to King Khufu, the middle to his son Khafre, and the smallest of the three to his son Menkaure.

    Giza plateau, photo: kairoinfo4u (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

    Head and torso (detail), Khafre enthroned, from Giza, Egypt, c. 2520-2494 B.C.E., diorite. 5’ 6 inches high (Egyptian Museum, Cairo)

    Pyramids are not stand-alone structures. Those at Giza formed only a part of a much larger complex that included a temple at the base of the pyramid itself, long causeways and corridors, small subsidiary pyramids, and a second temple (known as a valley temple) some distance from the pyramid. These Valley Temples were used to perpetuate the cult of the deceased king and were active places of worship for hundreds of years (sometimes much longer) after the king’s death. Images of the king were placed in these temples to serve as a focus for worship—several such images have been found in these contexts, including the magnificent enthroned statue of Khafre with the Horus falcon wrapped around his headdress.

    On January 10, 1910, excavators under the direction of George Reisner, head of the joint Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Expedition to Egypt, uncovered an astonishing collection of statuary in the Valley Temple connected to the Pyramid of Menkaure. Menkaure’s pyramid had been explored in the 1830’s (using dynamite, no less). His carved granite sarcophagus was removed (and subsequently lost at sea), and while the Pyramid Temple at its base was in only mediocre condition the Valley Temple was—happily—basically ignored.

    George Reisner and Georg Steindorff at Harvard Camp, looking east toward Khufu and Khafre pyramids, 1935, photo by Albert Morton Lythgoe (Giza archives)

    Reisner had been excavating on the Giza plateau for several years at this point his team had already explored the elite cemetery to the west of the Great Pyramid of Khufu before turning their attention to the Menkaure complex, most particularly the barely-touched Valley Temple.

    Four greywacke triads, Menkaure valley temple, S magazines, corridor III 4, photo: 1908 (The Giza Archives). View one of the triads in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

    Menkaure flanked by Hathor (left) and nome goddess (Egyptian Museum, Cairo)

    In the southwest corner of the structure, the team discovered a magnificent cache of statuary carved in a smooth-grained dark stone called greywacke or schist. There were a number of triad statues—each showing 3 figures the king, the fundamentally important goddess Hathor, and the personification of a nome (a geographic designation, similar to the modern idea of a region, district, or county). Hathor was worshipped in the pyramid temple complexes along with the supreme sun god Re and the god Horus, who was represented by the living king. The goddess’s name is actually ‘ Hwt-hor’ , which means “The House of Horus”, and she was connected to the wife of the living king and the mother of the future king. Hathor was also a fierce protector who guarded her father Re as an “Eye of Re” (the title assigned to a group of dangerous goddesses), she could embody the intense heat of the sun and use that blazing fire to destroy his enemies.

    There were 4 complete triads, one incomplete, and at least one other in a fragmentary condition. The precise meaning of these triads is uncertain. Reisner believed that there was one for each ancient Egyptian nome, meaning there would have originally been more than thirty of them. More recent scholarship, however, suggests that there were originally 8 triads, each connected with a major site associated with the cult of Hathor. Hathor’s prominence in the triads (she actually takes the central position in one of the images) and her singular importance to kingship lends weight to this theory.

    In addition to the triads, Reisner’s team also revealed the extraordinary dyad statue of Menkaure and a queen that is breathtakingly singular.

    Heads and torsos (detail), King Menkaure (Mycerinus) and queen, 2490–2472 B.C.E., greywacke, 142.2 x 57.1 x 55.2 cm (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), photo: 1910 (The Giza Archives)

    Death Mask from innermost coffin, Tutankhamun’s tomb, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, c. 1323 B.C.E., gold with inlay of enamel and semiprecious stones (Egyptian Museum, Cairo) (photo: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, CC BY-SA 3.0)

    The two figures stand side-by-side on a simple, squared base and are supported by a shared back pillar. They both face to the front, although Menkaure’s head is noticeably turned to his right—this image was likely originally positioned within an architectural niche, making it appear as though they were emerging from the structure.

    The broad-shouldered, youthful body of the king is covered only with a traditional short pleated kilt, known as a shendjet , and his head sports the primary pharaonic insignia of the iconic striped nemes headdress (so well known from the mask of Tutankhamun) and an artificial royal beard. In his clenched fists, held straight down at his sides, Menkaure grasps ritual cloth rolls. His body is straight, strong, and eternally youthful with no signs of age. His facial features are remarkably individualized with prominent eyes, a fleshy nose, rounded cheeks, and full mouth with protruding lower lip.

    Heads (detail), King Menkaure (Mycerinus) and queen, 2490–2472 B.C.E., greywacke, 142.2 x 57.1 x 55.2 cm (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), photo: 1910 (The Giza Archives)

    Menkaure’s queen provides the perfect female counterpart to his youthful masculine virility. Sensuously modeled with a beautifully proportioned body emphasized by a clinging garment, she articulates ideal mature feminine beauty. There is a sense of the individual in both faces. Neither Menkaure nor his queen are depicted in the purely idealized manner that was the norm for royal images. Instead, through the overlay of royal formality we see the depiction of a living person filling the role of pharaoh and the personal features of a particular individual in the representation of his queen.

    King Menkaure (Mycerinus) and queen, 2490–2472 B.C.E., greywacke, 142.2 x 57.1 x 55.2 cm (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), photo: tutincommon (CC BY-NC 2.0)

    Menkaure and his queen stride forward with their left feet—this is entirely expected for the king, as males in Egyptian sculpture almost always do so, but it is unusual for the female since they are generally depicted with feet together. They both look beyond the present and into timeless eternity, their otherworldly visage displaying no human emotion whatsoever.

    The dyad was never finished—the area around the lower legs has not received a final polish, and there is no inscription. However, despite this incomplete state, the image was erected in the temple and was brightly painted there are traces of red around the king’s ears and mouth and yellow on the queen’s face. The presence of paint atop the smooth, dark greywacke on a statue of the deceased king that was originally erected in his memorial temple courtyard brings an interesting suggestion—that the paint may have been intended to wear away through exposure and, over time, reveal the immortal, black-fleshed “Osiris” Menkaure (for more information on the symbolic associations of Egyptian materials, see Materials and techniques in ancient Egyptian art ).

    Unusual for a pharaoh’s image, the king has no protective cobra (known as a uraeus ) perched on his brow. This notable absence has led to the suggestion that both the king’s nemes and the queen’s wig were originally covered in a sheath of precious metal and that the ubiquitous cobra would have been part of that addition.

    Based on comparison with other images, there is no doubt that this sculpture shows Menkaure, but the identity of the queen is a different matter. She is clearly a royal female. She stands at nearly equal height with the king and, of the two of them, she is the one who is entirely frontal. In fact, it may be that this dyad is focused on the queen as its central figure rather than Menkaure. The prominence of the royal female—at equal height and frontal—in addition to the protective gesture she extends has suggested that, rather than one of Mekaure’s wives, this is actually his queen-mother. The function of the sculpture in any case was to ensure rebirth for the king in the Afterlife.

    Watch the video: Researchers found beautifully carved alabaster statue, possibly of Queen Tiye (June 2022).


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