CAIRO: A 4,400 -year-old lower part of a royal statue bearing the name of little-known ancient Egyptian pharaoh Sahu Re has been unearthed south of Luxor.
The find was discovered by a Belgian archaeological mission that has been excavating in the Upper Egypt archaeological site of El-Kab since 2009.
The statue was made of a high-quality sandstone block taken from a nearby quarry on the west bank of the Nile River, head of the excavation team Dirk Huyge was quoted in a statement released on the Antiquities Ministry’s official webpage Wednesday.
“The statue represents Pharaoh Sahu Re seated on the throne of Egypt. Its lower part measures 22 centimeters [9 inches] high while the full height of the statue is estimated at 70 centimeters,” said Huyge.
Sahu Re (2480 B.C-2468 B.C.), whose name means ‘He who is close to Re’ was the second pharaoh of the 5th Dynasty, archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban told The Cairo Post Thursday.
“He established Egypt’s earliest trade relations with Byblos, the modern day Lebanon and eastern Africa. His trade expedition to Lebanon brought significant amounts of cedar wood used in manufacturing boats and wooden doors,” added Sabban.
Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty described the discovery as “significant as it will shed light on Sahu Re and his reign.”
“There are only two known statutes of Pharaoh Sahu Re; one is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York representing the Pharaoh accompanied by a smaller male figure personifying the local god of a nome while the other is at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo,” said Damaty.
Located 80 kilometers south of Luxor, El-Kab includes a number of rock-cut tombs belonging to high officials, high priests and noblemen of the New Kingdom (1580 B.C.-1080 B.C.,) according to Sabban.
El-Kab was the cult center of the vulture goddess Nekhbet, the patron of Upper Egypt, who was traditionally paired with Wadjet, the cobra goddess of Lower Egypt.