Smiling sphinx statue discovered in Egypt | News

An Egyptian research team says the dimpled face may be a stylized representation of the Roman Emperor Claudius.

Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed a statue of a sphinx “with a smiling face and two dimples” near the Temple of Hathor, one of the country’s best-preserved ancient sites, the Ministry of Tourism. Calendar and Antiquities (MoTA) notifications.

It is the latest in a series of discoveries revealed in the past few months.

The MoTA said in a statement on Monday that the limestone artifact, believed to be a stylized representation of an ancient Roman emperor, was found inside a two-story tomb near the temple in St. southern Egypt.

Alongside the “beautifully and accurately carved” sphinx, the researchers found “a Roman stela written in vernacular and hieroglyphics,” the ministry statement said.

Once fully deciphered, the stela could shed light on the identity of the sculpted ruler, who the Egyptian team suggests could be Emperor Claudius.

The Temple of Hathor, about 500 km (310 mi) south of Cairo, is home to the Dendera Zodiac, a celestial map that has been on display at the Louvre in Paris since 1922, more than a century after it was discovered. French Sebastien Louis Saulnier blew it up. out of the temple.

Egypt wants it back.

The country has announced significant archaeological discoveries in recent months, mainly in the Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo but also in Giza, home to the only surviving structure of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

On Thursday, the MoTA announced the discovery of a 9-meter (29.5-foot) secret passage inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, which archaeologist Zahi Hawass said could lead to a “burial chamber” true treasure” by pharaoh Khufu, or Cheops.

Further south, at Luxor, archaeologists have discovered an 1,800-year-old “complete Roman settlement,” authorities announced in January.

Some experts consider such announcements to have more political and economic weight than science, as Egypt is counting on tourism to revive its vital tourism industry amid the pandemic. severe economic crisis.

The government aims to attract 30 million tourists a year by 2028, up from 13 million before the pandemic.

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