King Tut's grandfather's statue head surfaces in Luxor

CAIRO Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:49pm GMT

1 of 2. A new discovery at Kom el-Hetan by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities shows the newly unearthed 3,400-year-old red granite head, part of a huge statue of the ancient pharaoh Amenhotep III, at the pharaoh's mortuary temple in the city of Luxor February 28, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Egyptian Supreme Council/Handout

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CAIRO (Reuters) - A colossal 3000-year-old red granite head of Amenhotep III, the grandfather of Tutankhamun, has been discovered in Luxor, Egypt's Culture Minister Farouk Hosni said Sunday.

Smoothly polished, and showing "youthful sculpted features," the 2.5 meter high head belonged to a statue of Amenhotep III in a standing position wearing the Upper Egyptian white crown and clutching the royal insignia.

Scientists conducting DNA tests and CT scans on a number of mummies have identified Amenhotep III as the grandfather of Tutakhamun, 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 conservation mission, said the Amenhotep's head was one of 84 artifacts unearthed at his funerary temple on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor.

"We have gathered a large quantity of red granite statue pieces which once stood in the southern part of the great court of the funerary temple of Amenhotep III," Sourouzian said, adding that parts of the statue are being restored.

(Writing by Marwa Awad; editing by Noah Barkin)

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