Limestone bust of Tuthmosis III discovered south of Luxor
Statue of Tuthmosis III at Luxor Temple. Photo courtesy of Heidy Vanderforn
By RANY MOSTAFA

CAIRO: A limestone head of the 18th dynasty Pharaoh Tuthmosis III (1479B.C. –1425B.C.), has been unearthed at the temple of God Montu at Armant, south of Luxor, according to a statement on the Antiquities Ministry’s Facebook page Monday.

The 3,400 year-old finding came during routine excavation and restoration works carried out by a joint mission of archaeologists from the French Institute for Oriental Studies (IFAO) and the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said the statement.

The 4.5 meter-tall head, is believed to be part of one of the pharaoh’s massive statue that used to stand on the two sides of the temple’s open court, director of the Upper Egypt Antiquities Department Abdel-Hakim Karar, told The Cairo Post Tuesday.

“The head features the pharaoh wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, the stylized form of an Egyptian cobra at the center of his forehead along with the ceremonial beard attached to his chin,” said Karar, who added that the head was found in a bad state of preservation.

Statue of Tuthmosis III at Luxor Temple. Photo courtesy of Heidy Vanderforn

Statue of Tuthmosis III at Luxor Temple. Photo courtesy of Heidy Vanderforn

In November 2013, other five limestone heads of royal statues, probably dating back to the Middle Kingdom Period (2055 B.C.–1650 B.C.) along with a statue of a high priest, were unearthed at the same temple, head of the Antiquities Ministry’s Ancient Egyptian Deptartment Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, told the Cairo Post Tuesday.

“The findings of Montu temple at Armant will be on display in a private section at the Egyptian Museum in January 2015,” Abdel Maqsoud said.

The modern town of Armant, located 25 kilometers southwest of Luxor, was an important Middle Kingdom trade center, which was enlarged during the Eighteenth Dynasty. It is famous for its temple which was originally built during the Old Kingdom Period and dedicated to Montu, the ancient Egyptian god of war whose statues are scattered in several museums in Egypt and abroad, former head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Abdel Halem Nour el-Din told The Cairo Post Tuesday.

“Tuthmosis III was the sixth Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. During the first 22 years of his 54-year reign, he was co-regent with his stepmother and aunt, Queen Hatshepsut. His statues were much smaller than those of Ramses II and Amenhotep III as he was a busy military man and an active expansionist ruler, who led 16 successful military campaigns in 20 years and was said to have captured over 300 cities and conquered much of the Near East from the Euphrates to Nubia,” said Nour el-Din.

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