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Those of you who have been following our expeditions over the past few years may recall that in January of 2002 over a period of ten days we uncovered pieces of a beautiful statue of Ramesses III. The statue has been reconstructed and is now in the new wing of the Luxor Museum. We visited the museum today, saw the statue and were excited to see the JHU expedition was mentioned in the text describing the statue. The first six images below are from January 12 and January 22, 2002 and show the the initial finds. These are followed by images of the reconstructed statue in the Luxor Museum.

Statue Find
January 12, 2002

Excitement around 8 am at the temple of Ramesses III where we’re looking for possible earlier New Kingdom remains. The team of workers clearing the back sanctuary found the lower half of a beautiful statue of King Ramesses III (ca. 1180 B.C.) which has been sliced in two vertically.
Statue Fragment
January 12, 2002

Now removed from the ground the right side of the statue preserves the leg of the king wearing an elaborately pleated long garment, the front kilt of which you also see. The back pillar of the statue gives the king’s titulary and dedicates the statue especially to Osiris. From the form of the piece (we’ll show you more when we can) the statue of the king was holding a smaller statue of the god Osiris in front of him.
Incised Relief
January 12, 2002

On the left side of the statue is a depiction in incised relief of a son of Ramesses III, shown wearing the traditional sidelock indicating youth. The prince is identified in the text as “hereditary prince, royal scribe, overseer of the choicest armies of his Majesty, king’s son of his body, his beloved, Paraherwenmyef (The god Ra is at his right hand).”
Finding the Ramesses III Head
January 22, 2002

Okay, the day we hoped for (but didn’t dare admit it) has come. We have the head of that beautiful statue of Ramesses III found a week or more ago. It is beneath the floor of the back sanctuary of the temple of Ramesses III and, like most of the pieces retrieved, in excellent condition.
Displaying the Head of Ramesses III
January 22, 2002

Qufti Fikhry and his crew display the head of the statue of Ramesses III they found this morning. The statue is of the king wearing an elaborate pleated shawl and kilt and the so-called Double Crown (Upper and Lower Egypt combined) atop a round wig. The king holds a small statue of a god before him. That god is mummiform and could be the ithyphallic Amun-Re or Osiris, since we know there is a cult of that god of the next world in the Ramesses III temple.
Close View of the Head
January 22, 2002

The head of the statue of Ramesses III in greywacke, a sedimentary stone quarried in the Wadi Hammamat, some 40 miles from Thebes. The statue appears to be one of the most beautiful ever made for Ramesses III, and it was the cult statue for the temple, because it is actually depicted in relief in the back sanctuary’s statue niche. Chuck Van Siclen began work here to look for earlier New Kingdom, but this has been illuminating about the temple as it stands. Hooray! Because we have found so many pieces, we will be able to reconstruct all but the feet and one shoulder of the statue.
Statue of Ramesses III in Luxor Museum full view

And here is Ramesses III reconstructed in the Luxor Museum. They have done a wonderful job. It is a thrill for archaeologists to see work we've helped uncover restored and on display for many to enjoy.
Statue of Ramesses III in Luxor Museum full view
Statue of Ramesses III in Luxor Museum right side Statue of Ramesses III in Luxor Museum left side
Statue of Ramesses III in Luxor Museum head Statue of Ramesses III in Luxor Museum detail Statue of Ramesses III in Luxor Museum detail
Statue of Ramesses III in Luxor Museum label

Here is the descriptve text provided by the Luxor Museum for the sculpture.

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For additional information contact: macie.hall@jhu.edu