Huge Statue of God Horus Found in Egyptian Temple
An international team of archaeologists has found a massive statue of the god Horus, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. It was discovered during restoration work on a major temple. This find will provide a better understanding of the temple and may help in its eventual restoration.
An Egyptian-German joint archaeological mission found the remarkable statue in the Kom al-Hetan area, which is rich in historic sites. It is located in Luxor, on the west bank of the Nile. The international team was excavating an area in the House of Millions of Years Temple, that was built by Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who reigned approximately from 1380 until 1350 BC.
This important temple has been the subject of a major restoration project ‘which began in 1998 under the supervision of the Ministry of Antiquities and the German Archaeological Institute’ reports Egypt Independent. The ultimate aim of the project is to rebuild the great temple and restore it to its former glory.
Two statues of Amenhotep III (Memnon's pillars) at the entrance to his temple (CC by SA 2.5)
Huge Horus Statue
During their work, the Egyptian-German team came across a huge statue. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities posted on their Facebook page that ‘a large part of a huge statue of the God Horus’ was found.
The astonishing find was made in one of the main halls of the former temple. Mr. Fathi Yassin, Director General of West Luxor Antiquities, stated that the ‘statue is made of Black Granite’. The sculpture is 1.85 meters high, or 6 feet tall, even though it is incomplete.
The statue’s leg and arms are missing but apart from this, it is in very good condition overall. The statue shows Horus with the head of a hawk and wearing an Egyptian kilt, a very common representation of the deity.
Horus was a very important god in the pantheon and was often regarded as the protector of the lands of Egypt. the joint leader of the mission Horig Sorosyan, is quoted by Curiosmos.com as saying ‘The recently uncovered statute of Horus has an important artistic, scientific and archaeological value’.
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The newly-discovered Horus statue. Credit: Ministry of Antiquities
Search for Legs and Arms
The mission is continuing to work in the area where the statue was found, and they are focused on trying to find the missing legs and arms. If the missing limbs are found, the sculpture could be restored to its original condition for the first time in millennia. This would allow researchers to better understand Egyptian art during the New Kingdom period. It is hoped that other objects related to the temple will also be unearthed.
Previous excavations by the international team have unearthed a great many statues in the temple. A sculpture depicting the Pharaoh Amenhotep III was also unearthed. His reign was one that was noted for its cultural achievements and when Egypt was at the height of its international prestige. Another figure depicting his wife Queen Ti was also recovered.
Protector of the Pharaoh
The team also found statues of a number of Egyptian deities, in particular, they unearthed a figure of the goddess Sekhmet, who was regarded as the protector of the Pharaoh. Curiosmos.com reported that ‘Upon death, Sekhmet continued to protect them, bearing them to the afterlife’. The statues of this goddess were possibly related to the Pharaoh’s desire to protect not only himself but his temple.
The House of Millions of Years temple is presently in a ruined state. Egypt Independent quoted the joint leader of the mission Horig Sorosyan as stating that this sacred structure ‘collapsed after a catastrophic earthquake struck the region’. Many of its stones were taken for the construction of temples and palaces during the Ramesside period.
The Horus statue is expected to help researchers to better understand the nature of the temple and its layout. This is very important if it is to be restored in an authentic way. The huge statue of Horus and the other recent finds will possibly be placed in the rebuilt House of Millions of Years temple.
Top image: The Horus statue. Credit: Ministry of Antiquities
By Ed Whelan