Egyptian archaeologists from Ain Shams University have discovered the remains of a shrine and a statue of a sphinx on the east side of the Temple of Dendar in the city of Qena.
In ancient times there was a temple erected in honor of the ancient Egyptian god Horus (the god of heaven and the sun, depicted in the form of a falcon or in the form of a man with a falcon’s head)
The Sphinx is a zoomorphic creature that is found in the mythology of different nations. In ancient Egyptian, it was most often depicted as an animal with the body of a lion and the head of a man, as a rule, a high-ranking person – for example, a pharaoh.
The most famous example of a sphinx and one of the largest monolithic statues in the world is the Great Sphinx, which “guards” the pyramids of the pharaohs in Giza.
The remains of the discovered sanctuary were carved into limestone. They consist of a two-level platform with a foundation and a ramp.
Inside, archaeologists found a small pool of Byzantine type. During the clearing of the pool, a small statue of a sphinx carved from limestone was discovered.
“This is a beautifully and accurately carved sphinx,” said the Egyptologist.
He noted that a smile is a special feature of the Sphinx, you can even see dimples on its cheeks. The head of the statue is crowned with a nemes – this is how the royal headdress was called in ancient Egypt, most often in the shape of a cobra’s head.
According to El Damati, the sphinx has regal features. During the initial inspection, archaeologists came to the conclusion that the statue probably depicts the Roman emperor Claudius (the fourth emperor, the nephew of the emperor Tiberius, ruled in 41-54 AD).
Under the statue of the sphinx, archaeologists discovered a Roman stele, decorated with texts in two types of ancient Egyptian language: demotic and hieroglyphic.
Scientists hope that deciphering the texts will help identify exactly who the sphinx represents and reveal other secrets of the discovered sanctuary.
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