(ORDO NEWS) — In southern Egypt, archaeologists have discovered a miniature figurine of a sphinx with a smiling face.
The artifact was discovered near the Temple of Hathor in a tomb with two levels and is believed to depict the Roman emperor Claudius.
The unusual smiling expression on the Sphinx’s face is not commonly found in ancient Egyptian art, which adds intrigue and mystery to this find.
In addition, the researchers also found a Roman stele (stone slab) written in demotic and hieroglyphic script next to the sphinx.
According to a press release from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, once fully deciphered, the stele could reveal the identity of the ruler.
They also found a two-layered platform and a Byzantine-era adobe basin.
Archaeologists believe that this is the emperor Claudius, as he extended the rule of Rome to North Africa between 41 and 54 AD, which coincides with the dating of these finds.
The Temple of Hathor, which is located in the temple complex of Dendera in the province of Qena, located about 450 kilometers south of Cairo, is one of the best preserved ancient monuments in Egypt.
A smiling sphinx and artifacts were discovered within the walls of this complex.
The Temple of Hathor was built during the Ptolemaic dynasty, which ruled Egypt from 305 to 30 BC.
It was an important place of pilgrimage in ancient Egypt and many visitors came to the temple to receive the blessings of the goddess and perform rituals.
Hathor was a deity worshiped as the goddess of love, beauty, fertility, music and dance. She was also associated with motherhood, childbirth and the sky.
The temple houses the Dendera Zodiac, a celestial map that has been exhibited in the Louvre in Paris since 1922.
The Dendera zodiac is one of the earliest known representations of the constellations and is considered an important document in the history of astronomy.
It depicts the twelve signs of the zodiac, as well as other astronomical objects such as the planets, the Milky Way, and the constellations of Orion and Sirius.
The discovery of a sphinx statue near the Temple of Hathor is another important find for Egyptian archaeologists.
Through ongoing excavations in various parts of the country, the rich history of Egypt is gradually being revealed.
Such archaeological finds are not only of scientific importance, but also of economic importance for the country’s vital tourism industry.
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