Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Raising of Amenhotep III

The Egyptian antiquities service has re-erected 2 statues on their original site in the memorial temple of Amenhotep III at Luxor. Amenhotep III was known as "the magnificent" because he reigned at the epoch of the Egyptian empire in the middle of the 14th century BC.

The kings temple of millions years was the largest of the memorial temples at Luxor but became damaged by an earthquake shortly after the kings death. By the time of the Pharaoh Merenptah, at the end of the 13th century BC, the blocks and sculptures from the temple were re used in the elderly Merenptah's own temple.

This last step was fortunate as those blocks which were re used had their sculpted surfaces turned down so the original decoration was hidden away and protected from further damage. Merenptah's workmen also took a stela from the site inscribed for Amenhotep III and carved the back for Merenptah.

The stela was found by Sir Flinders Petrie in 1896 and is considered by many to be that famous archaeologists most important find, this being because the stela's inscription contains the first known mentioning in archaeology of "Israel".

AFP Photo/ Khaled Desouki

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