ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 144

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Archaeologists in Egypt unearth Sphinx-like Roman-era statue from 2,000 years ago

Researchers also find Roman-era stone slab with demotic and hieroglyphic inscriptions; shrine includes a two-layer platform and mud-brick basin from Byzantine era

In this undated photo distributed March 6, 2023, by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, a sphinx statue believed to be made in the likeness of a Roman emperor is uncovered from an archaeological site in Qena, Egypt. (Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities via AP)
In this undated photo distributed March 6, 2023, by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, a sphinx statue believed to be made in the likeness of a Roman emperor is uncovered from an archaeological site in Qena, Egypt. (Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities via AP)

CAIRO, Egypt — Archaeologists unearthed a Sphinx-like statue and the remains of a shrine in an ancient temple in southern Egypt, antiquities authorities said Monday.

The artifacts were found in the temple of Dendera in Qena Province, 280 miles (450 kilometers) south of the capital of Cairo, the Antiquities Ministry said in a statement.

Archaeologists believe the statue’s smiling features may belong to the Roman emperor Claudius, who extended Rome’s rule into North Africa between 41 and 54 CE, the ministry said.

It said archaeologists would conduct additional studies on the markings on the stone slab, which could reveal more information about the statue’s identity and the area. The statue is much smaller than the towering, well-known Sphinx in the Pyramids of Giza complex, which is 66 feet (20 meters) high.

The archaeologists also found a Roman-era stone slab with demotic and hieroglyphic inscriptions.

The limestone shrine includes a two-layer platform and a mud-brick basin from the Byzantine era, the ministry said.

Such discoveries are usually touted by the Egyptian government in hopes of attracting more tourists, a significant source of foreign currency for the cash-strapped North African country.

In this undated photo distributed on March 6, 2023, by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, a sphinx statue believed to be made in the likeness of a Roman emperor is uncovered from an archaeological site in Qena, Egypt. (Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities via AP)

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