(ORDO NEWS) — A group of archaeologists have discovered a huge face carved into a mountainside in the Theban Necropolis.
The giant face is reminiscent of the face carved on the Great Sphinx at Giza. It has been discovered that the gigantic face that in ancient times gazed at the royal necropolis “lights up” during the solstices.
In the center of the Theban necropolis, many hidden secrets of the ancient world have been preserved. In 1881, archaeologists came across tomb TT 320, which contained more than 40 mummies of famous ancient Egyptian pharaohs such as Ramses II, Seti I and Thutmose III.
Archaeologists made another amazing discovery: all these mummies were guarded by a massive statue carved into the mountainside.
Despite the severe destruction, the researchers identified part of the sculpture, the arch of the eyebrow, and even the cavity of the nose – all with precise proportions.
The discovery was documented by a mission of Spanish archaeologists from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) in collaboration with the Ancient Egyptian Documentation Center of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities (CEDAE).
Called the “Royal Cache Wadi Exploration” (or Project C2), the mission unearthed a large number of stone inscriptions at the site, mummified animals, offerings, an unexplored tomb, and this 20-meter statue, about which absolutely nothing was known until now.
“It depicts a face with hair, possibly similar to the face of the goddess Hathor, the daughter of the sun god Ra.
And although this is not quite a sphinx, since it does not have the body of an animal, it could fulfill the same role as the guardian as the sphinx in Giza,” explains Egyptologist José Ramón Pérez-Aquino, professor of ancient history at UCM and co-director of the C2 project.
Archaeologists believe that the face carved into the side of the mountain did not collapse due to erosion, but was deliberately disfigured.
Coptic materials found during excavations suggest that this act of vandalism occurred “very late, almost in medieval times.”
In late antiquity (4th, 5th and 6th centuries) this area was heavily Christianized and the old temples became monasteries.
In this context, the carved face could be perceived by Egyptologists as something too large and incompatible with the Christian religion.
At the same time, those responsible for the destruction could have been Muslims, since the Islamization of the area took place in 637 AD.
Another interesting detail is that the guardian’s face lights up at the time of the solstice, which was verified by the archaeologist Pérez-Achino on December 21, when the archaeological campaign was already ending.
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