Egypt: Archeologists unearth smiling mini-sphinx which may represent Roman Emperor Claudius

Egypt: Archeologists unearth smiling mini-sphinx which may represent Roman Emperor Claudius

The artefacts were found near the Hathor Temple, one of Egypt's best-preserved ancient sites.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, March 07, 2023, 07:30 PM IST
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Archeologists in Egypt have discovered a small sphinx-like statue which may represent Roman Emperor Claudius. The statue was unearthed from an ancient temple in southern Egypt, the antiquities ministry says.

The artefacts were found near the Hathor Temple, one of Egypt's best-preserved ancient sites.

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

The limestone artefact, believed to be a stylised representation of an ancient Roman emperor, was found inside a two-level tomb near the temple in southern Egypt, the ministry said in a statement.

The emperor, archaeologists say, extended Roman rule into North Africa between 41 and 54 AD.

Next to the "beautifully and accurately carved" sphinx, researchers had found "a Roman stele written in demotic and hieroglyphic" scripts, the ministry's statement said.

Once fully deciphered, the stele may shed light on the identity of the sculpted ruler, who the Egyptian research team said could be Emperor Claudius.

Hathor Temple, about 500 kilometres (310 miles) south of the capital Cairo, was home to the Dendera Zodiac, a celestial map which has been displayed at the Louvre in Paris since 1922, more than a century after Frenchman Sebastien Louis Saulnier had blasted it out of the temple.

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