Last updated: 7 March, 2014

Egypt dig unearths statue of pharaonic princess

Archaeologists in Egypt have found a nearly 3,500-year-old statue of the daughter of pharaoh Amenhotep III in the famed temple city of Luxor, the antiquities ministry said on Friday.

An Egyptian-European team uncovered the statue of princess Iset, 170 centimetres tall and 52 cm wide, during renovation work at the Amenhotep III mortuary temple on Luxor’s western bank, antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim said in a statement.

“The statue is part of a 14-metre-high (46-foot) alabaster sculpture of Amenhotep III that was at the entrance of the temple sanctuary,” team head Dr Hourig Sourouzian said.

The sculpture features the 18th Dynasty ruler on his throne, his hands on his knees, his daughter standing between his legs, wearing a wig and a long tunic and holding a neckless in her right hand.

It is the first time a sculpture has been found that depicts the princess alone with her father: others show her with her two parents and her brothers, Sourouzian said.

The statue of the princess “was eroded, especially the face”, and the feet were missing, ministry official Ali El-Asfar said.

The princess’s name and her titles, among them “Love of her father”, were carved on the statue, Asfar added.

Luxor, a city of some 500,000 people on the banks of the Nile in southern Egypt, is an open-air museum of intricate temples and pharaonic tombs.