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Surprise Discovery of 4،000-Year-Old Egyptian Sphinx with Human Head and Lion Body

Sunday 12/August/2018 - 05:34 PM
Sada El Balad
Edit by: Mohamed Emad

Local authorities in Egypt have announced the discovery of an ancient sphinx statue between two of the best known ancient temples in the country – Karnak and Luxor، according to Ancient-Origins news website.

The discovery was made by chance، during a restoration project، and stunned the construction workers who found it. There have been very few sphinxes discovered in modern times and the find will add to our knowledge of Egyptian sculpture and art. The sphinx will also raise questions as to what else may be found in the area and which Pharaoh the statue represents.

Sphinx Mythology
Sphinxes are common in many mythologies، including Ancient Greece. They are usually portrayed as having human heads، with the bodies of a lion and are sometimes depicted as winged. In Egyptian mythology، they are often portrayed as benevolent and strong and they are usually associated with royalty. The best-known Sphinx in Egypt is، of course، the colossal one at Giza، adjacent to the Great Pyramids.

The Temples of Karnak and Luxor
The temples of Karnak and Luxor are located within the ancient city of Thebes and date back to the second millennium BC. They are not just temples but large religious sites and today they are open-air museums، hugely popular with tourists. The Theban complexes are among the largest in the world and played an important role in the religion of Ancient Egypt. It is believed that the recently discovered sphinx is the first unearthed in Thebes and one of the most significant finds in the city since the discovery of a tomb in 2014.

An avenue of sphinxes that stretched over 1.5 miles (3 km) once connected the temples of Karnak and Luxor. The famous path was used for the annual Opet festival، when the Egyptians paraded along it carrying statues of Amun and Mut in a symbolic re-enactment of their marriage.

The New Sphinx
There has been a long-running construction project، to excavate and restore the Al-Kabbash Road، that runs between the temples of Luxor and Karnak. Egypt Today announced that a team of archaeologists was working on conserving the site known as the alley of the rams when they made the stunning discovery. It was unearthed by some construction workers as they were digging، and the sphinx was located beneath the surface. According to Daily Mail، the supervisor of the Al-Kabbash road project ‘’stated that the statue has not been excavated completely yet’’ to ensure that the Sphinx is not damaged until it can be finally taken from the earth.

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