In a discovery that has surprised archaeologists and historians alike, a smiling sphinx was found to the east of the famous temple of Dendera in southern Egypt. In recent weeks, Egypt has amazed the world with great finds, such as the possible corridors to the tombs of Cleopatra and Khufu. Now, a smiling sphinx is added to the list.
What’s behind the Newly-Found Smiling Sphinx?
According to the archaeological mission that made the discovery, the limestone statue in the form of a smiling sphinx could represent Emperor Claudius (10 BC – 54 AD), who ruled Egypt at that time.
The sphinx was found inside a hut that Egyptian experts claim belongs to Emperor Claudius: “The remains of the hut are a platform consisting of two levels and sloping floors, inside of which a water storage deposit was found,” highlighted the head of the mission, Mamduh al Damati, in a statement from the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.
During the cleaning of that deposit, a limestone statue in the form of a sphinx was found that “represents one of the Roman emperors,” said Al Damati, who was the Minister of Antiquities in Egypt. He indicated that on the head of the statue, which according to photos released by the ministry is practically intact, the funerary headdress known as Nemes is worn with a cobra on the forehead, an attire that Egyptian pharaohs used when represented as deceased kings.
The initial examination of the face indicates that it is likely to be that of Emperor Claudius,” asserted the head of the mission from the Egyptian University of Ain Shams. The mission that started excavations last February managed to reveal a stone tablet dating from the Roman era written in hieroglyphics and demotic in the same place where there was a temple of the god Horus built in the Roman era.
The Egyptian Ministry highlighted that the mission will continue excavation work in the area to discover the path that connects the temple of Horus with the temple of Dendera, one of the best-preserved in Egypt. Last January, another Egyptian archaeological mission announced the discovery of a “complete residential city” from the Roman Empire period during excavation work on the eastern bank of the Nile River in the historic city of Luxor.
Story written in Spanish by Miguel Fernández in Cultura Colectiva News.