Archaeologists Find Statue of Princess Iset, King Tut’s Aunt

CAIRO — A statue of the daughter of King Amenhotep III, who was Tutankhamun's grandfather and ruler of Egypt around 3,350 years ago, has been unearthed by a team of Egyptian and European archaeologists.

The statue of Princess Iset was discovered at the temple of her pharaoh father on the western bank of the Nile in the southern city of Luxor, the Egyptian antiquities ministry said Friday. The new discovery is the first known representation of Iset alone with her father, the ministry said. Sculptures on display at the Egyptian Museum depict her and her siblings together with the 18th Dynasty ruler.

Image: Princess Iset
This statue of Princess Iset was found during renovation work at Amenhotep III's mortuary temple in the city of Luxor. Iset is identified in hieroglyphs on the base of the statue, but the face is heavily eroded. Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities via AFP

The statue is only five and a half feet (1.7 meters) high and is part of a huge, 45-foot (14-meter) alabaster statue of Amenhotep III himself that has been excavated in recent years, the ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency MENA.

The statue was found between the feet of the seated king. Iset's name and royal title are inscribed near her feet, but her face has suffered from erosion.

Amenhotep III presided over an era which saw a renaissance in Egyptian art. He was succeeded by his son Akhenaten, the sun-worshipping pharaoh credited by some for starting the world's first known monotheistic religion. Tutankhamun was the son of Akhenaten.

— Maggie Fick, Reuters