LUXOR, Egypt, March 1 (UPI) -- An Egyptian-European anthropology team says it has found a giant sculpture of the head of King Amenhotep III at a funerary temple in Egypt's Kom El-Hettan area.
Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni said the red granite head of the king who reigned circa 1390-1352 B.C. was discovered along the west bank of the Nile River in Luxor.
Dr. Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the head is intact and measures slightly more than 8 feet high. He described the sculpture as a masterpiece of high artistic quality, showing a portrait of the king with very fine youthful features. Hawass said the head is smoothly polished and perfectly preserved.
Dr. Hourig Sourouzian, the head of the Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project -- the Egyptian-European team that made the discovery -- said the granite head belongs to a large statue representing the king standing, hands crossed over his chest and holding the royal insignia.
"Over the past years we have gathered a large quantity of red granite statue pieces, which once stood in the southern part of the great court of the funerary temple of Amenhotep III at Kom el Hettan," Sourouzian said, adding the ceremonial beard is broken off under the chin, but it might still be buried in the temple's rubble.