Having just written about Queen Tiye, Akhenaten’s mother, I was fascinated to learn that’s team had found pieces of her statue as recently as 1/11/11 – what an omenous date!
Per Egyptian Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny, six missing pieces from the colossal double statue of the 18th Dynasty King Amenhotep III and his wife Queen Tiye, Akhenaten’s parents, had been discovered at the Medinet Habu on Luxor’s west bank. The double statue was then taken to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo serving currently as a centerpiece of the main hall.
The missing pieces were uncovered 130 years after Mariette discovered the double statue in 1889 at Medinet Habu.
The statue fragments were found during an excavation by an Egyptian team under the direction of Dr. Zahi Hawass. Archaeologist, Abdel Ghaffar Wagdy, the supervisor of the excavation at the site in Luxor, said that the statuary pieces were found as part of a project to lower the ground water on the west bank of Luxor.
The pieces of Queen Tiye that were uncovered include a section of her distinct wig and pieces from her left arm, fingers and foot.
The pieces from Amenhotep III that were recovered come from the right side of his chest, nemes headdress and leg.
Hawass said that when the Amenhotep statue was first discovered an Italian team restored the statue and filled in the missing pieces with modern stonework.
These six pieces are only a few of nearly 1,000 statuary fragments that have been found dating from the Pharaonic to the Coptic era. All the pieces that have been found to date are being stored in the west bank magazines for documentation and restoration to be part of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.